Drinking tea is part of our existence, it is the highest used beverage in India, may be not much less of a habit, even outside India. But the manner it is made, and consumed, is not proper, at least very original taste of tea is sacrificed. General way as it is prepared, is to first boil water vigorously, and then dust tea is poured, and boiled for a considerable time vigorously. After full course of boiling, it is strained. Then spoons of sugar, and thickened milk, is mixed and stirred well before drinking. Often, tea drinker after a few sips finds the tea less sweetened, adds further sugar, before fully enjoying the cup of tea. To the tea drinker, existence of sugar and milk, is more important than tea. The drinker is not aware due to a force of habit, that he is really drinking a syrupy mixer of sugar and milk, rather than tea real. But whatever, this is the common practice of preparing tea, in India.

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If any of you ever visit an Army /BSF/CISF establishment , you will see their mug-full of tea, tastes same in whichever part of India  you might be located, for their method of preparation is same. What they do always– they have a giant size saucepan, which they fill it with water from tap; pour milk, sugar and tea, in cold water itself before putting on the burner, and boil for an hour, then strain into a big drum and distribute by riding a cycle to their personnels spread over several points. It is remarkable that their tea taste same wherever you may be geographically located.

As for me, in my childhood, my common breakfast would be eating chapattis after soaking in the excessively sweetened glassful tea, often there would be previous night’s left-over excess chapattis made use of next morning. I know many of my readers would have the same practice. Actually, those were the days when economic condition of common Indians, was not as good as of today, people in general had to grow up like this in deprivation, could not afford fashionable dress and food as of today. It is a good sign that many poor of those old days, are now well off, and leading high standard of life .  This is without any special talent of their own, Just like rising level water lifts all the boats on river, similarly general rising economic condition of the country improved  their lot also….. It is ludicrous that same old people, turns now hypocrite, shows off their wealth, and looks down upon those who unfortunately missed the bus to wealth. These neighbors of ours put on airs and graces, as if they are wealthy Americans doing us a favor by condescending to live as our neighbors for a precious few days, whenever they want they may abandon us  to get back to their abode, America. It is not my experience alone, I am sure, it is your experience as well, and you have quite a many among your friends, only that you don’t have time to ventilate your dislike, as I have been doing. Their ordinariness, lack of culture and hollowness , is seen through their wealth and huge make-up. I pity them, like Jesus, I pray, ” Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

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Coming back to preparation of tea, my likes in childhood has changed from that syrapy mixer to strong hard and flavoured black tea. I have turned wiser after being diabetic to cut off sugar consumption.  I don’t use milk and sugar anymore. I use loose Darjeeling tea at Rs 80/-per 100 gm. In Kolkata, its availability was easy, but in Mumbai buying loose tea is not in fashion. I searched vigorously in the market, and found out similar Darjeeling tea sold by HASHMUKH TEA.  HASHMUKH TEA has a chain of retail shops in various places in Mumbai city, they are 90 years old shops, and selling high quality Darjeeling tea with reputation. I have a great faith in them. Without milk and sugar, my tea is strong and bitter which I find quite invigorating, and charges me smart.

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From person to person, making of tea varies according to tastes. Some prefers dust, others half-dust, still others, flavoured long tea leaves, put into from just-boiled to vigorously boiled water. Way side tea stalls even prefer boiling for half hour. Boiling the tea leaves, especially tea dust, releases too much of tannins which can cause stomach upsets, in fact it does.

When it is the question of making of tea, it is essential that I mention the name of a great Kolkata born English writer, George Orwell—he was a great connoisseur of tea. He wrote how to prepare tea to get the best of it. He elaborately explained his method spread over 13 pages in his ‘ The collected Essays, Jounalism and Letters of George Orwell, Volume 3, 1943-45, under the title ‘ A nice cup of Tea’. He prescribed 11 golden rules of which I mention five only, that too, duly modified by my own experience—

1.- Tea must be made in small quantity, in a tea pot , made of china or earthenware.,2.-The pot should be warmed beforehand . This is better done by placing it on the hob than by swilling it out with hot water., 3.-Tea should be loose in the pot, otherwise it won’t infuse properly. Tea should be strong , 4.- Only just-boiling water should be poured in the loosely spread tea leaves in the pot, tea-bags is not a good idea. 5.-Tea should be drunk without sugar, putting sugar means destroying the flavor of tea. Tea is meant to be bitter, by sweetening it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.

In balance, my idea is that you may taste tea, preferably, Darjeeling tea, without mixing milk and sugar ie retaining its original bitterness , and if you can drink it for 15 days straight, you are bound to like it, won’t revert back to drink again the syrapy tea. Try it, drink the right tea for your stimulation.

Tata Agni Leaf, 1kg


High and mighty will join the reform process only when they start suffering like the poor/ under privileged.

This morning’s TOI (Date 21.1.2018) carried a shocking news. The only son of a city police was bitten by a rabid dog, and he then like a common man ran from pillar to post, to get a bed in the hospital which he did not get, and the result was that his priciest wealth in the world for any father, died. I wish this only a bad dream. The grieved father lamented, ‘ For the first time, I realized how difficult life is for the common man’. Here, I have a side comment to make, but before that I remind all that this shocking incident may happen to anybody and anytime -you, me or anybody else.
Even being from the police Department, also did not save him. But such incident everyday is happening to half fed, unfed nameless multitudes, but no one know of it to keep count, because in this society they are under privileged and nameless and too many in number. In this unequal society ( don’t read me as a communist), high and mighty are specially served , to the neglect of the common people of meagre/no means. In essence, first of all you are weighed by your nuisance value—that is how much damage you can inflict upon others when you want. True, there is a democracy ( duly diluted by our Indian version), and social institutions created under it, but mostly, people sitting there weighs you by your nuisance value, and if you have it high, they will serve you. What I say here is not any revelation, any common man know it, but there is a rider, you can’t go about mentioning it—in that case you may be digging your own grave.
Essence is until high and mighty in the society suffers, remedy will not be sought seriously. Two days back there was report in the newspaper, and editorial comment, that a huge percentage of class VIII pass cannot read his mother tongue, or do basic calculation correctly. Earlier, an international study had shown mathematical skill of class III of south Korea is equal to our class VIII student. This poor quality of education does not effect the rich, for, a rich send their sons and daughters to developed countries for their education, naturally, they do not have concern for poor quality education as available in the country. Same is true for medical care. When high and mighty suffer, they go abroad to get their medical treatment and come back, what is the need for reforming the education or medical institution in the home country. Unless and until, rich, mighty and powerful suffer as the helpless and poor, there will not be any focus for their improvement, once improved, all the common people will reap the benefit. Although, the issue is different, there is talk of prison reform now a days, for, some big people have been sent to prisons for their misdeeds, coming back they talk of prison reform because they suffered.
Forgive me, here I will drift a bit left, talk about terrorism. Since nineties, India suffered terrorism, America and other countries in the west only gave their lip service, did nothing internationally, for the safety of Indians. …. For the first time in2001, terrorists struck America by demolishing its twin towers, then they got the real shock of terrorism, and understood our pain, gradually come up now to help India and condemn Pakisthan as the route cause of terrorism. If America did not taste terrorism even now, I think, they would not still have supported us, still would remain unaware of our problem. I understand, there is a shift of Geo-political position, never the less this is a powerful factor in that America suffered terrorism. In our country, while high placed persons, VIPs,  have to be highly compensated, commensurate to their talent, merit, but they must be compelled to use public transport, common people’s healthcare and education infrastructure as available to common man. Only then, they will be aware of the problems, and will be concerned for improving those.
Without the active help of high and mighty, you can’t reform institutions—national and international, things starts changing when they get the blow and then only, they climb down from their ivory tower to address common man’s problem and pain.
I have been dragged into all these analysis, by the unfortunate death. I only will that high and mighty join the under privileged to reform the institutions of society so that all of us get proper service, to live a healthy life. INDIA HAS ENOUGH RESOURCES FOR ITS PEOPLE TO LIVE A HEALTHY, WEALTHY , AND PROSPEROUS LIFE. YE MERA MAN KI BAAT.


I made a lapse in an article somewhere else in this blog, directed to the baldness of Prince William of Royal family of England. I advised there to use mustard oil that will help restore lost hair in his bald head. I had to write there ‘Pure mustard oil’ but mistakenly, I wrote only ‘mustard oil’.

It is an unpardonable mistake , in our society, whenever you require some food items, you have to specifically  add the  word ‘pure’ , otherwise, you will land up with adulterated variety which occupies the larger part of market and is normal traditionally.  When you need ghee you have to say ‘pure’ ghee, when you need milk ask for ‘pure’ milk  etc. etc. As I have never stepped outside the border of India, I have no idea whether in developed societies of Europe, when you go to market to buy any food items you have to choose  ‘pure’  variety or purity is automatic without special mention for it . Food or any product for use of mankind without saying should be automatically pure, without selectively choosing for it. There should not be two varieties—pure and impure, it should be only pure, impurity should not be any option unlike as ours.

Our most of  food items are impure due to adulteration. Mustard oil is mixed with oil argemone oil which is a tremendous health hazard, creates  a condition similar to epidemic dropsy. Milk  is adulterated  with  water, chalk, urea, caustic soda and skimmed milk. Honey is often adulterated with water and table sugar to increase the bottle’s quantity. most honey brands being sold in the country contain varying amounts of antibiotics and their consumption over time could induce resistance to antibiotics, lead to blood-related disorders and injury to the liver. Spices like turmeric powder is also adulterated with ‘metanil yellow’. ‘Metanil yellow’ is produced with utilizing some raw materials like ‘metanilic acid’ and ‘diphenylamine’. The common people do not know the risk of consuming turmeric powder mixed with ‘metanil yellow’. It is purely carcinogenic – means it is capable of causing cancer in living tissues. In black pepper adulterant is Papaya seeds. It ‘s harmful effect is that Papaya seeds can cause serious liver problems and stomach disorders. Chilli powder is often adulterated with a similar looking substance like brick powder.  In ice Cream  adulterant is pepperonil, ethylacetate,butraldehyde, emil acetate, nitrate, washing powder etc are not less than poison. Pepperoil is used as a pesticide and ethyl acetate causes terribble diseases affecting lungs, kidneys and heart. Ice cream is manufactured in extremely cold chamber where fat is hardened and several harmful substances are added. Also a kind of gum is added which is sticky and slow melting. This gum is obtained by boiling animal parts like tail, the nose, the udder etc. The coffee powder usually adulterated Tamarind seeds, chicory powder (used to add bulk and colour). It ‘s harmful effect is that it can cause diarrhoea, stomach disorders, giddiness and severe joint pains. Tomato sauces mostly used in local fast food centres in numerous areas of West Bengal, are also artificially made from ‘pumpkin pulp’, ‘sugar’, ‘non-edible colours and flavours’. No tomato is present in that sauce to maintain very cheap rate in the local market. These sauces with ‘artificial colours and flavours’ are highly carcinogenic. These are being supplied rampantly without the checking of the health department. No wonder, most of the stomach cancer patients In Tata center, Mumbai are from Kolkata. I think cheap and widely adulterated food items are behind this.  Khoya and Chhena  are commonly used for the preparation of traditional Diwali sweets, and are often adulterated with starch. All you need to do is boil a small sample in water, cool it then add a few drops of iodine solution. A blue color indicates the presence of starch. Silver coating (vark) used to decorate sweets is made from silver. [Source:,,, timesofindia, V. Lakshmi et al., IJSIT, 2012, 1(2), 106-113,,,]

There are enough regulations, and authorities are employed at tax payer’s money by Govt to implement those,  but those unfortunately  do not function as originally intended by legislators. We love to blame our Govt. for all the ills of society, and to many our duty ends there. A Govt. –it may be by BJP or Congress, is as good as its citizens. Have we asked any of our municipal authorities what their food inspectors who are responsible to check the quality of food sold in their local area, are doing?? Or how drug inspectors amass so much unaccounted wealth, almost none of who is reading this article, did, then how do we expect authorities alone can do it especially when all of us living in a corruption ridden society.

As for me I do my part. In my whole life at least I complained one thousand times wherever warranted. True, most of those did not work, at least a few really worked. My advice is whenever you find some misdeeds/ corruption, write down a complaint and post it. You need not physically fight. Opinion builds up to a logical end….sometime back I lost my baggage through theft in ACII tier coach of a Howrah-Mumbai train, I lodged an FIR at Bilaspur GRP, and on their declaring after six months not recoverable, I wrote a letter to the office of PMO desiring to meet Prime Minister personally to apprise my anguish but it is a different thing that his office did not cooperate. I have my records intact, if anybody want to see I can show.

I have also a feeling that it is really difficult to administer a country of teeming millions–130 crores people, by any Govt, if India could be divided into at least 200 states, each being of size of European states, it could be administered more effectively, where any citizen can meet Governmental authority any time they want. Those disagree with me, I want to say to them try once to meet a minister to apprise him your problem—I am sure if you are a common man like me, you won’t get chance to meet him, you will be lost in the crowd.

We are generally oblivious people, whatever happens around we do not have any concern. Every day lakhs of commuters see on both sides of railway track of western railway in Mumbai, that vegetables are grown with water pumped from large gutters carrying human excreta and all rotten things. Those vegetable are sold in the station side market, are in high demand. Investigation has shown that those vegetable carry heavy metals in them, and likely to cause cancer and other diseases. If we do not purchase those, automatically such contaminated vegetable would not be sold. But people are blissfully ignorant.