Saturday, February 7, 2015

Morning walk in Victoria Memorial Hall premises, Kolkata,India

Those who walk daily in the morning in the premises of Victoria Memorial Hall, to them it is just a daily routine. However, this is not the same to me. I left Kolkata years ago. Even when I was there, I leaved far from Victoria Memorial Hall, so, I never thought of going there in early morning.The other day something happened like this. 
Suddenly the day before yesterday my husband wanted to go walking in the morning in 
Victoria memorial hall premises. I agreed with him because I also wanted get an experience of morning walking in the vast greenery there. I heard that many morning walkers gather there on every morning to get some fresh air and to do exercises. The morning breeze, in the green with aubade of birds creates a serene atmosphere in this oasis amid concrete jungle. Kolkata, which is one of most congested city in the world, and where this congestion is increasing day be day, getting fresh air is scarce. Just to get some fresh air, and to get rid of all the cacophony of a  metro, people throng here in the morning.
Before going there, though I understood that, it was going to be a great feeling, but after going there I found that, it was more than I thought.  
At 5 o'clock in the morning my husband woke me up, and ask me whether I was ready to go for morning walk or not. I jumped out of bed to get ready. Our son also woke up, and wanted to go with us. We managed to convince him that we were going for work. We took a cab and went there. The road in the morning were empty,  so we didn't face any problem to reach there. The gate was opened just at that time. We didn't have to wait. 
Long back, most probably 15 years back I came to Victoria memorial hall, to accompany one my friends who came from Mumbai to visit Kolkata. This was the first time I visited the area in the early morning. In the dim light of the morning,  when sun was yet to come out, the soft light beautify the colonial structure, which was standing tall. This hall was created by the British in the memory of queen Victoria.It was mystical to my eyes. The trees were looking more green. When it was difficult to breathe amid pollution, this premises provided us some fresh air, so that we could breath. 

The hall was created with white marble stones.  The hall has number of galleries. However, we didn’t go inside the hall, we just went to walk around the hall.
We planned to walk around the garden at least 3 time. It took time and energy to cover the vast area. However, I was not out of breath, after 3 rounds. Actually, it was already 7 in the morning, and we had another plan. We wanted to have kachuri and tea from a particular shop,  where we had the same things 3 years back, and we loved the food very much. 
It was another feeling, in the morning, when the city yet to wake up in the morning. The roads were still empty. The road side tea-stalls were getting ready for their morning business. I love the city in the morning,  because still I can get a little fresh air, and my ears could rest a little, before listening the blaring sounds of the vehicles.

P.C. : Sourav Das

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Creamy Chicken-noodle soup

Half pound boneless chickenOne cup boiled chicken noodlesOne carrotTwo stems of celeryOne medium sized onionOne tbsp. all-purpose flourOne tbsp. olive oilOne cup reduced fat milkOne cup shredded cheese (I used Mexican blend)Salt to taste Two-three cups (or more) water

Cook the noodles according the instruction on the package. Drain the water and keep aside. Cut the boneless chicken into small pieces. Pat them dry, and place in the bowl. Sprinkle salt, and mix well. Marinate it for half an hour. Cut the carrot into small pieces. Finely chop the onion. Cut the celery into small pieces. Half cook the carrot, and keep it aside. Heat oil into a heavy bottomed wok. Add the onion. Saute onion for few minutes. Add the celery, and fry slightly. 
Add the chicken, and cook until chicken in tender, covering the wok. Don’t add water. Add flour, add keep stirring it mix well with the other ingredients. Add milk and keep stirring to avoid lumps. Add carrot with the water, noodles, and salt.  Bring the soup into boil. If needed add more water. Boil unto desired consistency. Add cheese on the top. Stitch off the stove. Sprinkle freshly ground pepper, and serve hot.