Ganne ka Ras | A desi health drink

Popularly known as ganne ka ras, the sugarcane juice is not just another drink, but one of the healthiest drinks that you could lay your hands on. It is a healthy, raw, natural, whole plant food that heals and restores our bodies. Freshly extracted juices contain live enzymes and nutrients that are easily absorbed by the body for quick nourishment. Raw sugarcane juice is in fact nature's perfect wonder food. It hydrates the body instantly and helps in regaining energy.

Khovar | An ancient tribal wall art

khovar

Tribal wall painting is an age-old tradition. The personal experiences of the artists and their interactions with the nature are the biggest influence in these art forms. Khovar art was traditionally for decorating the marriage chamber of the bride and groom, and it usually depicts the animals and plants of neighbouring forests and valleys.

Mukhosh | Masks of Bengal

I was travelling to Ranchi from Kolkata. I saw traditional Bengali masks were being displayed at the departure terminal of the Kolkata airport. It’s a nice way to promote the ancient craft of mask-making in Bengal. Throughout the world, masks are used for their expressive power as a feature of masked performance — both ritually and in various theatre traditions.

Handia | A desi fermented drink

Any tribal festival is incomplete without the rice-beer called Handia, an indigenous alcoholic-fermented beverage. The indigenous peoples have inherited the process of preparing the drink from their forefathers as the craft passes on from one generation to the other since ages. Handia is prepared by mixing boiled rice with traditional fermenting inoculums.

Beirut | Pigeons’ Rock

The Raouché, a timeless symbol of Lebanese capital Beirut is its most famous landmark. Off the coast of Raouché, there is a natural landmark called the Pigeons' Rock, its Arabic name translates to rock and is believed to be a derivative of the French word rocher. It is also known as the Rock of Raouché. This 60-meter high offshore rock couple was formed in the prehistoric era by a geologic movement. These two huge rock formations, made of sedimentary pale soft porous limestone rock eroded over millions of years, stand like gigantic sentinels on the Mediterranean Sea.

Samosa | The quintessential Indian snack

No evening snack in India can be complete without tea and the quintessential samosa. It is considered an Indian delicacy, but its history is far more complex and cosmopolitan than that. It is a historic artefact and is a product of the process of globalisation — the product of influences of the great migrations and interactions that shaped this country.

Pache | A delicacy since the days of Mesopotamia

Iraqi cuisine has developed over the course of a long and rich history. Pache, a veritable witch’s brew of sheep offal is celebrated as rare delicacy, having its origin in early Mesopotamian civilisation. Another charm that adds on to the wacky tinge of this adventure food is that is made with a Sheep’s (or goat’s or lamb’s) head, the stomach and its hooves (cleaned and processed under sanitary measures) boiled slowly, mashed up and served with khubz (flatbread) sunken in hot, watery and oily broth.

Byblos | An oldest city in the world

Byblos is among the cities listed as candidates for the distinction of the oldest city in the world as it has been continuously inhabited for over 7,000 years. Carbon-dating tests have set the earliest age of settlement at Byblos around 7000 BCE, however it was not officially established as a city until sometime around 5000 BCE.

Malana | History, Hashish & Himalaya

Malana is an ancient Indian village in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Much before going to Malana village, I had read quite a lot about it.  This solitary village in the Malana Nala, a side valley of the Parvati Valley to the north-east of Kullu Valley, is isolated from the rest of the world. The peaks of Chanderkhani and Deo Tibba shadow the village. It is situated on a remote plateau by the side of the torrential Malana river, at a height of around 10,000 feet above sea level. Malana has its own lifestyle and social structure and people are strict in following their customs. 

Bullet marks at Jallianwala Bagh

Ninety-eight years ago, one of the bloodiest actions of British rule was the calculated massacre of close to 2,000 innocent Indians at the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar (Punjab). The firing was ordered by an officer of the British colonial power, General Dyer. While the official figure for lives lost was 1,526 the actual figure was reportedly much higher.