Window Seat: The Battle of Butter Chicken

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | February 11, 2024 IST

Valentine Day, Saraswati Puja, Goonj, Facebook

Mrinal Chatterjee
 
Butter Chicken according to Test Atlas is ranked 43rd in a list of the world's best dishes. It was the second ranked Indian food after Butter Garlic Nan.
 
Recently a lawsuit has been brought about by the Kundanlal Gujural family who own the Moti Mahal chain of restaurants against Kundanlal Jaggi who were apparently partners when Motimahal restaurant was established in 1947. According to the Kundanlal Gujural family version they operated a restaurant in Peshawar, presently in Pakistan. It was there in 1930 that Kundanlal Gujural created this dish. It was said to have been born out of frugality, with leftover tikkas mixed together with a thick tomato gravy and dollops of butter.
 
The similar claim was made by Kundanlal Jaggi also. Both left Peshawar at the time of partition and came to Delhi, where they opened a restaurant named Moti Mahal, before they separated.
 
The case is now in the court. The food historians say that Butter Chicken is an old Mughlai recipe. It came to India with the Moghuls and what Kundanlal Gujural and Kundanlal Jaggi did was to alter the old recipe a little bit. Now let’s wait and watch the court’s judgement over the battle of butter chicken.
 
Valentine Day
 
Valentine's Day is named after Saint Valentine, a Catholic priest who lived in Rome in the 3rd Century. As per the legends around St. Valentine, during his time many Romans were converting to Christianity, but the Emperor Claudius II was a pagan and created strict laws about what Christians were allowed to do. Claudius believed that Roman soldiers should be completely devoted to Rome and therefore passed a law preventing them from marrying. St Valentine began to help these soldiers marry in secret Christian ceremonies and this was the beginning of his reputation for believing in the importance of love.
 
Eventually, Valentine was found out and jailed for his crimes against Claudius. While imprisoned, Valentine cared for his fellow prisoners and also his jailor's blind daughter. Legend has it that Valentine cured the girl's blindness and that his final act before being executed was to write her a love message signed ‘from your Valentine'. Valentine was executed on 14 February in the year 270.
 
 It wasn't until more than 200 years later that 14 February was proclaimed St Valentine's Day. By this time Rome had become Christian and the Catholic Church was determined to stamp out any remaining paganism. A pagan fertility ritual was held in February each year and the Pope abolished this festival and proclaimed 14 February Saint Valentine's Day, thus establishing this feast day on the Catholic Calendar of Saints.
 
The poet Chaucer in the Middle Ages was the first to link St Valentine with romantic love. This was the beginning of the tradition of courtly love, a ritual of expressing love and admiration, usually in secret. This custom spread throughout Europe and with time beyond.
 
Saraswati Puja
 
Saraswati, as per the Hindu belief, is the deity of learning, wisdom, music and art. Her dhyana mantra describes her to be as white as the moon, clad in a white dress, bedecked in white ornaments, radiating with beauty, holding a book and a pen in her hands (the book represents knowledge). She is generally shown to have four arms, but sometimes just two. It is believed that she was born on the day of Basant Panchami. On this day, students place their books at the feet of the idol to seek her blessings.
 
This year Basant Panchami falls on 14 February, which is also Valentine Day.
 
For information of the students who are little bewildered as to how they should spend the day- praying Devi Saraswati for gyan or wooing girlfriend/boyfriend for pyar- it is believed that Lord Kamadeva is also worshipped on this very day.
 
Goonj turns 25
 
Goonj is a Delhi-based Non-Profit Organisation, which undertakes disaster relief, humanitarian aid and community development across the country. It will turn 25 on coming 18 February.
 
Goonj was founded by Anshu Gupta, his wife Meenakshi and some of their friends in 1999. They initially started distributing used clothes to persons who are in need of it. They did it with missionary zeal. The scale of their operation increased. Gradually they started working in other areas including providing relief during disasters. For the last two and half decades, Goonj has been working on varied disasters from earthquakes to Tsunami, cyclones and floods. Popularly known as the Clothing Man of India, Anshu Gupta was conferred the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2015, popularly called the Nobel Prize of Asia.
 
I met Anshu last year in Bhubaneswar. He, his wife Meenakshi and Goonj team had come to Bhubaneswar for a photo exhibition and a training workshop on disaster mitigation. We got talking and I found out that both Anshu and his wife were classmates at (Indian Institute of Mass Communication) IIMC, Delhi. As a part of IIMC (I teach in its Dhenkanal campus) I felt good.
 
Now, as Goonj turns 25, I feel proud.
 
Facebook turns 20
 
Facebook, one of the most popular social media platforms turned 20 on 4 February 2024. In just two decades, it occupied a significant space in the world media ecosphere. Facebook is the largest social media platform globally with 3.03 billion monthly active users worldwide. This means roughly 37 percent of the world's population are Facebook users.
 
Mark Zuckerberg, its founder, was born in 1984, the year I joined journalism. Zuckerberg created Facebook to connect people around the university. He never thought it would go so big. It went on to change the way people across continents communicate- in just twenty years.

Disclaimer:

This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with www.prameyanews.com.

 

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