I never seriously thought about the roots, where we belong or about entity or identity or about the customs, religion and practices we follow until very recently........! Few months back, one evening when my husband came back from work, he had a brown cover in his hand, which I am familiar about it! I thought it must be a cake from "Starbucks" coffee shop! But the cover was big and when he gave it to me, I curiously opened it to see, that it was a book! I looked at him and he said, "Since you like to read books, today I was at Barnes and Noble book store and I found this book and thought you might like to read and got it for you! I was very happy as well surprised because, I have stopped reading books all these years, since I cannot concentrate on reading because of kids! So suddenly when he got me a book, I was really happy.
After few days, when my both kids were having noon nap, at that time my elder daughter was not going to school, I thought I will check out what the book is about and opened the book! The book name is "Unaccustomed Earth" written by Jhumpa Lahiri! The author name Jhumpa Lahiri, is very unique name and I do remember the name......I tried to recollect.....and remembered that I had watched a movie called "Namesake" which was based on the book written by her "The Namesake"!
So I started to read the book! And my kids woke up so I had to stop after reading few pages! I am a fast reader, I used to finish off reading a novel with in 3-4 hours! But this one sounded complicated because it seem to revolve around the relationships, following the customs and traditions, living away from the motherland and try to find the roots and having a conflict and strenuous relationships with our own kids! Sounded very interesting and started to look forward for the quiet moment in the noon times, when kids went to nap, started to read the book and finally before my elder daughter started her school I finished off reading the book!
The book has eight stories, and mainly its about Bengali families, where parents have come from India to USA at their young age to find a living here and start a family here and struggles with the kids, teaching them to respect, and follow Indian culture and traditions and finally their kids move out and find their own lives and marrying a American, and not following or respecting any of the Indian culture or traditions!! So according to the author, in all the eight stories, the second generation Indian kids, who are born and brought up in USA, has some kind of revolt nature that they do not respect or follow Indian culture nor marry a Indian!!!!!!
Well, now I remember seeing the movie "Namesake", written by Jhumpa Lahiri, that , it also deals with the same story line, that the second generation kid wants to fit in with his fellow New Yorkers, despite his family unwillingness to let go their traditional ways!
Now, why do the second generation kids want to do so? Is it about kids or is it about parents? The basic thing is, if you force your kid to do something, or try to keep in control or preach and teach something, which you yourself, are not doing, then, yes, kids will revolt when they become independent!
The thing which does not create an impact, a rule,a method, a discipline, a principle or ideal which does not create respect, but is only a burden or scared or forced upon the kids, those kids are definitely going to revolt and of course will not have any respect for their culture!
So it cannot be only theory that all the second generation kids who are born and brought up in USA, are not going to follow or revolt against their parents and culture!
"Swadharma",is a sanskrit word, means our duty or our religion, meaning depends on what context you are using it. Lord Krishna has said in Bhagavad Gita that "Its better to do your own duty, however imperfectly, than to assume the duties of another person, however successfully"
So why follow others culture? By not following others culture does not mean that you are disrespecting the other cultures. Just because you are in USA, does not mean that you should not follow our culture or feel low or inferior about ours! Why is that? I feel that one has to be level headed and grounded and proud, for what you are, who you are, and where you have come from!
I am not commenting the author, but I am surprised and very curious to know why that is the only subject for her, in all her novels! She has won Pulitzer prize for fiction for her first novel, she was born in London and brought up in New York. Well, in most of her stories, the parents who come to London then move to USA......! She herself has quoted in some place that she had felt embarrassed about her name, it feels like someone causing you pain, for just being what you are!
But her flow, her way of describing about the relationships is par excellent! She is a very good writer, you never feel bored or never feel that there is repetition or never feel that she has unnecessarily described feelings or events or issues.
Yeah, I know I have written some heavy stuff, you all need a break from reading this topic! I can help you in getting a break from reading this complicated subject, and divert that into eating something healthy and tasty!
Last time when I was in India, in Mysore, I used to watch food shows and few of them really sounded that I should write down the recipe and try it, so I wrote few of them and one of them was "Moong sprouts dosa", which sounded very tasty and yummy and healthy too.
So last week I tried to make this dosa and it came out very well and my husband and kids liked it so thought of sharing it with you today! So here goes the recipe.
Moong Sprouts(Whole green gram dhal sprouts or Hesaru kallina mollake) 1 cup
Semolina (Rava) 1 cup
Rice flour (akki hittu) 1/2 cup
Green chillies 5-6 or adjust according to taste
Small piece of ginger
Salt to taste
Oil to make dosa
Soak whole green gram dhal in water for 8-10 hours. Then drain the water and tie the dhal in a cloth tightly for 8 -10, the sprouts will be ready to use, in winter it may take long time for sprouts to come up. Else if you have a sprout maker, then also you have to soak the dhal for 8 to 10 hours but after that if you put that in the sprout maker, you will get really long, nice sprouts.
So grind sprouts, green chillies and ginger, together in the mixer, adding little water to a smooth paste. In a bowl, mix the sprout paste, semolina(rava) and the rice flour together adding water, the batter should be on the thinner side, if its too thick add more water and add salt and mix well.
Cut onions into small pieces and mix well with the batter. Now heat the tava or the non stick pan and pour the batter with a ladle and put 1-2 spoons of oil on all the sides of the dosa, you can see that bottom of the dosa turns golden brown and then you can turn the dosa and cook for another minute and the dosa is ready to eat!