Monday, June 28, 2010

To bread or not to bread...

M and I were having a debate over the levy added on to wheat flour. This article 'Bread verses Rice: Choice verses National Interest' explains the reason for the decision by the Government. I heard the same debate over the radio with a DJ griping about this decision and that it is his 'human right' to have bread if he wanted to. Right.

I am impassive about this though M was quite irked. To me, bread is not a necessity. We as a family do consume it on some mornings, and I too bought a fancy sunflower loaf from Sensal just the other day (very nice by the way), but I really feel bread (white wheat) was never a part of our diet before (and I mean long long ago) so why are we so dependent on it now?

Leaving aside bread is more a health reason for me. I was told that chemicals were added to make the break super-white, which is as per the case of Prima sliced bread. And how can bread me so fabulously white and perfect anyway?

We took a trip to Trincomalee recently and the Prima factory (of Singaporean origin, established in the 60's ?!) loomed over each view you can possibly have of the Trinco harbor. It is virtually windowless and one wonders what mechanics and strategies go into making sure the current monopoly stands.

Though M says nay to the levy, maybe long term, we'll get back into the Green grams and the Chick peas diet. Preparation maybe a cow, but still, think of the health benefits, vitamins, minerals... you name it. No fancy packaging or 'added' benefits, its just all natural. And there has to be ways of using gram powder in to making other products like rotis and even bread right? Why not substitute rather than complain...

Of course this post of completely unreferenced, but I read that "The USDA's food pyramid is a good, practical place to start when choosing your high-carb foods. It shows 6 to 11 daily servings of grains, 2 to 4 servings of fruit, 3 to 5 servings of vegetables, and 2 to 3 servings of dairy products (along with small amounts of meat, poultry, or fish)....Limit your intake of highly refined, low-fiber grain products such as white bread." That sounds like good common sense.

Plus, bread disintegrates into sugar and little energy. I make it a point to have oats in the morning and this
digests more slowly and have innumerable positive effects starting from controlling blood sugar to making sure you won't snack mid-way.

I do sometimes come off as a health nut, but I believe what you put in, you put out. I see my boss guffawing rolls and buns in the morning at work, 'Chinese' basmati rice during lunch, sitting throughout the day and complaining of his terrible gastritis
later on. I can't really peg him as a prime example of habitual deterioration of health, and everything should be in moderation, but maybe a levy would make bread a special treat for him, and other Sri Lankans too. I sort of think this is what it should intend to be, plus kola kenda and kawpi doesn't sound too bad either.

Monday, June 21, 2010

She blew his vuvuzela

And no! vuvuzela isn't Swahili for penis, instead, it's a musical instrument per se, that's been a very hot topic in the past few weeks. The reason for it popularity being the 2010 FIFA World Cup, now being held in South Africa. And I must say, after four years, the battle for glory is back with a bang. This 19th edition of the world cup is set in South Africa and involves 32 teams battling each other out over one month to be ultimately crowned the World Football Champions and take home that 'golden lady', and the winners cash prize of $30 million!

Competing for the cup are last years winners Italy, who despite not having a side as impressive as the 2006 team are hoping to retain the title. Other favorites this time are 5 time winners Brazil, who have come out strongly even without players like Ronaldino and Ronaldo. Other teams that came into the competition as favorites include Germany, Portugal, Spain and Argentina. But so far, Portugal and Spain haven't lived up to the high expectations placed upon them, both are yet yo win a match. Germany on the other hand won its first match 4-0 against Australia but lost 0-1 against 15th ranked Serbia.

However, Argentina's story has been different. Featuring FIFA player of the year, Lionel Messi and led by none other than the charismatic Diego Maradona himself, they are at the top of their table with 2 wins in 2 games. I think they might just go onto win this years cup *fingers crossed* But it's still too soon to say, considering the many surprises that football encompasses. Other than the upsets and surprises, things to note in this cup are the Vuvuzela and the Jabulani, which may even be responsible for some of those said upsets and surprises.

The Adidas Jabulani is the official ball used in this year World Cup. Compared to the 2006's Teamgeist, the Jabulani is lighter and has better aerodynamics, which players complain has made the ball more unpredictable. This unpredictability has been quite visible as corners and free kicks don't dip in as much as they're supposed to. Well, it's either that or because experts like Roberto Carlos and Hernan Crespo are absent. But whatever the case, it certainly has made play a little interesting because players are forced to take the ball closer to the net before they fire in.

If you've been watching the matches, you would've experienced that strange buzzing noise in the background, emitted by fans using Vuvuzela horns. These are plastic horns native to Africa and often used at such events, but this I suppose is the first time, so many have been blown simultaneously. It's a rather blunt, unpleasant noise which players claim are affecting communication on the field. But there are methods to filter the noise and some cable services are using it.

Well despite the all this, the World Cup is still as exciting as ever and as the primary group stages end, it's only bound to get more interesting. To finish this off, I know that unless you have cable TV, you're only able to watch 1 match a day on Channel Eye, but not anymore. There is an alternative, which allows you to watch all 3 matches, but maybe not with the same quality. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


My neighbour's kid speaks to God
daily, in sing-song, in Urdu I think -
I saw a woman kneeling with her baby
kneeling all the way to the alter of Madhu Church,
and sitting under the cool shades of the Sri Maha Bodhiya
an orange sunset reminds of an ever omnipresent,
With the energy of Mecca, like a sand-storm
like a rock concert in slow motion,
just drops in an ocean of human faith.
Keeping us strong when we most need it.

Muslim pilgrims at Koneshwaram Kovil, Trincomalee

A prayer tree, Koneshwaram Kovil

Voodoo magic, Koneshwaram Kovil

A personal request, Koneshwaram Kovil

4 rupee luck, Koneshwaram Kovil