Friday, July 8, 2011

TV Programme - Vijay TV Bhakti Thiruvizha

TV Programme - Vijay TV Bhakti Thiruvizha

Yesterday’s episode of Bhakti Thiruvizha (Vijay TV) moved me to tears.

Professor Ilampirai Manimaran has been talking for the past four days on different stories from The Mahabharata. It is always very nice to hear the stories of Mahabharata.

Being Bhakti Thiruvizha, it has been basically about Lord Krishna’s part in the epic, but today, the concluding episode was about Karnan. It was not his full life history, but in general about what he is famous for – his generosity. 

Arjunan has beaten Karnan, but he is still alive. Arjuna is tired of piercing Karnan with his arrows, but he is not yet dead. Arjunan says so to his sarathy, Lord Krishna. Krishna with his mysterious smile says he will sort out the problem. He takes the form of an old Brahmin and goes to Karnan for alms. When Karnan feels sorry for his inability to give the Brahmin anything in the battlefield, Lord Krishna asks Karnan to give away all his good karma as alms. Without hesitation Karnan not only gives away all his good karma as dhaanam, but also gives away the good karma he will get because of giving away all his good karma when he is about to die! The Lord gives Karnan darshan and grants him his wish - how many ever janmas Karnan takes, he will be as generous as he is in this janmam as Karnan!
Lord Krishna comes back to Arjunan and instructs him to aim an arrow at Karnan now.

The Professor went on to explain how pathetic Karnan’s life was

The most important persons in one’s life are Maatha (Mother), Pitha (Father), Guru (Teacher) and Deivam (God).
In Karnan’s life, his mother Kunti deserted him right after birth by putting him in a box and leaving it in the Ganges river
Father Surya Deva is in the sky and not of much help
Teacher Parasuramar taught him everything, but cursed that he will forget the most important asthra prayogamGod, Lord Krishna, joining the opposition, took away his good karma

She also mentioned about the song by Kaviarasar Kannadasan in the Tamizh movie Karnan about his charity
 மன்னவர் பொருட்களைக்   கை கொண்டு நீட்டுவார் மற்றவர் பணிந்துக்  கொள்வார்
மாமன்னன் கர்ணனோ தன் கரம் நீட்டுவான் மற்றவர் எடுத்துக்கொள்வார்
வலதுகை கொடுப்பதை இடது கை அறியாமல்  வைத்தவன் கர்ண வீரன்
வறுமைக்கு மறுமையை வைத்ததோர் மாமன்னன் வாழ்கவே வாழ்க வாழ்க!

Usually when people give anything, the donor’s hand is above and receiver’s below. But Karnan will hold things in his hand and the beneficiary can pick up what he needs from him. Such was his generosity!

Karnan will always be remembered for his charity and Mahabharata is incomplete without his story!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Recipe - Vazhaithandu morkootu (வாழைத்தண்டு மோர்க்கூட்டு)

Vazhaithandu morkootu (வாழைத்தண்டு மோர்க்கூட்டு)

The stem of banana, Vazhaithandu is rich in fibre and is very good for health.
This healthy dish is quite common in my parents’ place and relished by all of us


Banana stem       - 1
Toor dall            - 2 tsp
Grated coconut   - ½ cup
Red chillies          - 3
Jeera                  - ½ tsp
Beaten curd       - ¾ cup
Salt                    - to taste

For seasoning
Oil                    - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds  - 1 tsp
Urad dall         - 1 tsp
Curry leaves     - a few

Soak the toor dall in a cup of water.
Cut the banana stem into tiny pieces and keep it soaked in water to which few teaspoons of buttermilk is added. This is to ensure that the stem does not blacken due to oxidation
Drain the buttermilk water, wash the cut vegetable once again and cook with some water.
Banana stem takes some time to cook. Add salt half way through. Ensure less salt is only added as this vegetable cannot take much salt.

Grind the coconut, soaked dall, red chillies and jeera with some water into a paste. Add this to the cooked banana stem. Keep stirring as this mixture will thicken very fast because of the toor dall in it. After 2-3 minutes, add the beaten curd and switch off gas after one boil

In a kadai add oil, coconut oil tastes very nice, but any cooking oil is okay. Add mustard seeds and when it splutters, add the urad dall. As soon as the urad dall becomes golden brown, take the kadai off the gas, add the curry leaves to it and then add the seasoning on the vegetable.
Delicious vazhaithandu morkootu is ready to eat!