Archive for September 26th, 2019

The “Liberation” of the “Liberated Woman” 

September 26, 2019

This story happened many many years ago.

I don’t know why – but I have decided to tell you this story about the “Liberated Woman” today – after so many years…

“LIBERATION” of a “LIBERATED” WOMAN

Fiction Short Story By Vikram Karve

The “Liberated” Woman – Story by Vikram Karve

It was her virtuoso performance on the topic “Women’s Liberation” at the “Women’s Empowerment” debate in our college that earned her the soubriquet “Liberated Woman”.

The nickname “Liberated Woman” stuck.

Even today – I remember her impassioned speech in which she articulated her strong views on “Gender Equality” “Women’s Liberation” and “Women’s Empowerment” in a most lucid and compelling manner.

From the forceful and fervent manner in which she spoke – it was clear that she was speaking from the heart – and – she fully believed in what she was saying.

All of us in the audience were impressed – and – among the audience was a young man.

The young man was the “scion” of a famous industrial family – the son of a business magnate who was the Chief Guest for the debate – which was an important event in our college day celebrations.

The young industrialist was struck by the “Thunderbolt” – “Cupid’s Arrow” – and – he instantaneously fell in love with “liberated woman”.

For him – it was truly “love at first sight”.

That night – at the dinner table – while having dinner with his parents – the young man expressed his desire to marry “liberated woman”.

His parents were delighted – because – their son was now 30 years old – and – till now – the young man had refused to consider any marriage proposals.

After “due diligence” – the business magnate learned that “liberated woman” belonged to a good family – though not very rich and affluent.

The business magnate approached the parents of “liberated woman” with the marriage proposal – asking for their daughter’s hand for their son.

The parents of “liberated woman” were delighted – especially her mother – who was overjoyed that her daughter had netted a “prize catch” husband.

For the mother of “liberated woman” – her daughter’s marriage to the young industrialist was a “social triumph”.

It did not matter that the boy was more than 30 years old – more than 10 years older than their 20 year old daughter.

What mattered was that her daughter would transcend from the “middle class” into the “elite class”.

After her marriage to the rich industrialist – she would “belong” to the highest strata of society.

So – the mother instantly said “yes” to the marriage proposal.

Of course – “liberated woman” – who was still studying in college – in the final year of her BA degree course – was bewildered by the sudden turn of events.

But – her mother prevailed upon her – using every trick in the book – including all sorts of “emotional blackmail”.

So – “liberated woman” got engaged to the scion of the business family.

And – the moment she completed her graduation – she got married to the young industrialist.

ONE YEAR LATER

I heard that “liberated woman” was in hospital – so I went to meet her.

It was nothing very serious.

The “liberated woman” had gone through a difficult pregnancy and had developed some complications during childbirth.

But now – she was okay – and her baby – a girl – was okay too.

In my presence – the gynecologist visited the “liberated woman”.

The gynecologist warned her:

“I will advise you not to have any more children – so you better take some precautions.”

ONE MORE YEAR LATER

I heard that “liberated woman” was in hospital again.

“Liberated Woman” had once again gone through a terrible pregnancy – developed complications during her delivery – but now – she had recovered and she was okay.

This time too – she had delivered a girl – and –the baby girl was healthy too.

The gynecologist scolded the “liberated woman”:

“I told you not to get pregnant – but you did not listen to me.

At least now – please make sure that you do not get pregnant again – it can be dangerous for you…”

I said to the “liberated woman”:

“Yes – now that you have two children – there is no need to take any more chances…”

“I think you should get sterilization done – it is a simple operation – I suggest you get it done right now – so that you will not get pregnant again…” the gynecologist said to the “liberated woman”.

“I will ask my husband…” the “liberated woman” said to the gynecologist.

“Okay – but I strongly suggest that you get yourself sterilized – or your husband can get himself sterilized – so that you can prevent pregnancy which can be dangerous for you…” the gynecologist said.

After the gynecologist left – I looked at my friend “liberated woman” and I said to her:

“The doctor had told you not to get pregnant after your first delivery.

Why did you not listen to the doctor…?

You already had a baby girl…?

What was the need to get pregnant again?

And – why did you get pregnant so fast – within a year…?”

The “liberated woman” said:

“My husband wanted a boy…”

I said to her:

“What…?

I can’t believe it.

You put your life at risk just because your husband wanted a boy…?

And – in college – you used to talk big things about gender equality and feminism…”

The “liberated woman” interrupted me and said:

“I know – I used to talk big feminist things about “women’s empowerment” and “gender equality” and the “girl child”.

Yes – those days I did say all that.

So – you can call me a “hypocrite” – you can say that I am a “fraud” – but please try to understand.

It is easy to talk idealistic things – but it is not easy to practice them in real life…”

“What do you mean…?” I asked her.

“I am married into a conservative patriarchal business family – and they want an “heir” – a male – and what is worse – my husband’s cousin brother has a son – so my husband is desperate – it’s very complicated – you won’t understand – let’s talk something else…” the “liberated woman” pleaded with to me.

THREE MORE YEARS LATER

We had a college Alumni Meet.

There – I met a classmate – and she said to me:

“Did you hear the sad news about “Liberated Woman”…?”

“No. What happened…?” I said.

“Don’t you know…?”

“No…”

“She passed away…”

“What…? “Liberated Woman” is dead…? How did she die…?”

“She died in childbirth…”

“Oh – that is tragic – very tragic – she had been warned by the gynecologist that she should not get pregnant…”

My classmate said:

“I know – but her husband insisted that they should try for a boy – so she let her husband make her pregnant again.

Yes – despite the medical advice to avoid pregnancy – she still got pregnant.

During her pregnancy she had a very difficult time – so her husband flew her abroad and admitted her to a posh maternity home in her 7th month itself – she got the best prenatal care – and they got the best doctors for her delivery.

But even the best doctors could not save her.

I heard there were severe complications during the delivery and she died in the Operation Theatre.

Poor thing. She died. But – they saved the baby…”

“Really…? They saved the baby…? What was the baby – a girl…?” I asked.

“No – a boy – after two girls – she delivered a boy…” my classmate said.

“Oh – so finally – she delivered a boy…”

“Yes…”

“The “Liberated Woman” has been “Liberated”…” I said to myself.

“Did you say something…?” my classmate asked me.

No…” I said, “I was just thinking about “Women’s Liberation”…”

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:

This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice

No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2018/01/liberation-of-liberated-woman.html

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

This is a revised repost of my story THE “LIBERATED” WOMAN posted by me Vikram Karve earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on March 16, 2016 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/03/the-liberated-woman.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/04/story-of-liberated-woman.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/05/womens-liberation.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/the-liberation-of-liberated-woman.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/07/how-liberated-woman-got-liberated.html

Dhaba Style Chicken Curry – Story and Recipe

September 26, 2019

Do you know how to make Dhaba Style Chicken…?

A Foodie Friend requested me to post a recipe for Dhaba Style Meat/Chicken.

Here it is – a Recipe for Dhaba Style Chicken Curry – which I learnt more than 30 years ago at a Dhaba on the Highway near Vizag…

CHICKEN CURRY MADE SIMPLE
First Cook (Boil) – Then Fry
Mouthwatering Vizag Memories
By
VIKRAM KARVE

I have learnt most of my cooking by observing dishes being cooked – especially in streetfood eateries – and – of course in Navy Ship Galleys.

I vividly remember the tastiest chicken curry I ever eaten and truly relished long back – more than 30 years ago – sometime in the late 1980s – at a rustic wayside dhaba on the highway near Visakhapatnam – or Vizag – as we knew it.

The ramshackle place was called “NSTL Dhaba” (or Dhabha – if you prefer to spell it that way).

Why did it have that name…?

I do not know.

Maybe – the place does not exist now.

Or maybe – the rustic dhaba may have metamorphosed into the ubiquitous motel-type restaurants one sees on our highways.

We reached there well past midnight – well fortified and primed with Rum – as one must be – when one goes to a dhaba.

We ordered the chicken curry – and – I watched it being cooked.

Half the joy of enjoying delicious food is in watching it being made – imbibing the aroma – and – enjoying the sheer pleasure of observing the cooking process.

And – in this Dhaba – the food was made in front of you – in the open kitchen – which comprised an open air charcoal bhatti with a tandoor and two huge cauldrons embedded – and – a couple of smaller openings for a frying pan or vessel.

They say that the best way to make a fish curry is to catch the fish fresh and cook it immediately.

Similarly – the best way to make a chicken curry is to cut a chicken fresh and cook it immediately with its juices intact.

And remember – it is best to use country chicken or desi murgi or gavraan kombdi for authentic taste.

And that is what was done here in this dhaba.

Let me describe the process of making the chicken curry.

The live chicken is cut after you place the order.

And then – the freshly cut, dressed and cleaned – the desi murgi is thrown whole into the huge cauldron full of luxuriantly thick yummy looking gravy simmering over the slow fire.

How do you cook your Indian Mutton or Chicken Curries…?

Do you first fry the meat – and then add water and cook it…?

You first FRY and then BOIL – aka – FRY and BOIL

Or – do you cook (boil) the meat first – and then fry it…?

You first BOIL and then FRY – aka – BOIL and FRY

In this dhaba – the BOIL and FRY technique was used.

Here the chicken is cooked first in the gravy – on a slow fire – lovingly and unhurriedly – and – then stir fried later (like throwing in a tadka into a hot cauldron).

Like I told you – in this dhaba – a gravy is simmering 24/7 in a huge cauldron – being topped up from time to time

Yes – first they cook (boil) the whole chicken in the gravy.

Then – when done – they pull out the whole chicken from the gravy – cut the whole chicken into pieces – and – they throw the chicken pieces into hot oil – and – stir fry on full heat.

Lastly – they throw in some gravy – stir vigorously – give a finishing touch – and garnish before serving.

This is a busy dhaba – so – at any point of time – there are a number of whole chickens floating in the gravy – and – the cook is keeping an eagle eye on each and every one of them – in order to pick the chicken out at the right time when it is ready for frying.

From time to time – the cook gently nurtures the floating chickens – and this helps them absorb the flavor and juices of the gravy.

As the chickens absorb the gravy – they become heavier – and acquire an appetizing glaze.

Once the cook feels a chicken is ready (30-40 minutes of gentle slow nurtured cooking) – he takes out the chicken – chops it up – and throws it into a red-hot wok pan to stir fry – basting the chicken with boiling oil.

Then once the chicken is nicely fried – the cook ladles in a generous amount of gravy from the cauldron – and gives the chicken pieces a final fry.

When ready – the chicken curry is garnished with crisp fried onion strips and coriander – and savored with hot tandoori roti.

We have a bowl of dal (simmering in the other cauldron) duly “tadkofied” as a side dish.

Yes – one cauldron has the simmering chicken gravy – and – the other cauldron has the simmering dal.

These are the only two dishes on the menu – chicken curry – and – dal.

The chicken is delicious – and – the gravy tastes magnificent – as we dunk fresh hot tandoori rotis in the gravy and relish them.

Ambrosia…!!!

We eat to our heart’s content – a well-filled stomach radiates happiness!

I still remember how delightfully delicious, flavorsome and nourishing every morsel tasted – and – just thinking about the lip-smacking rustic chicken curry has made me so ravenously hungry that I am heading for one of those untried and “untasted” Dhabas/Eateries in my vicinity to sample their wares.

If you don’t find this type of “Dhaba Chicken” anywhere – just try and make this rustic chicken curry at home.

Remember the cardinal rule for cooking meat (especially Chicken):

First Cook (Boil) – Then Fry

It is easy to cook and tastes delicious –- you can take my word for it.

And – if anyone in Vizag is reading this – do let us know whether the Highway NSTL Dhaba still exists – or – has it vanished – or – like most yesteryear simple dhabas – has it metamorphosed into a fancy motel…?

Happy Cooking – and – Happy Eating

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:

All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/chicken-curry-made-simple-first-cook.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This recipe was first posted online by me more than 15 years ago in my creative writing and food blogs at various urls like http://creative.sulekha.com/mouthwatering-memories-by-vikram-karve_186686_blog andhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/03/rustic-indian-chicken-curry.html etc and the recipe also features in my Foodie Book APPETITE FOR A STROLL

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