Mangalorean Recipes

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An insight into this website

As I go through the Web Statistics, I am surprised to note how far the reach of the Internet is. Sitting here in a home in Mumbai, India, in front of a computer, I who have passed seventy years of life, am still wondering at the capacity that is within us, in the technology and the simple things of life to reach out to others, in distant countries, who are separated from me by time and space! We are complete strangers, but bound by a common interest. May be we are as disparate in age, as in time and space. Yet, the power of the human mind is such, it overcomes all these barriers and seeks to find some one else, who  thinks like you and the chain of like minded people grows through the help of "forward e-mails" !!.

As I look back to the forties, when I was in the first Grade, taken walking over a stretch of a mile or so, to my first school in Mangalore,  a west coast town of Southern India, unknowing of how life was in other parts of the globe, missing nothing, wanting nothing, but to go to my new school. My keen inquisitiveness, achieved for me the distinction of being first in my class, and the prize was, "War In Pictures" given to me by my Head Master, Fr. Francis Pinto. What did I know then, that it was just a magazine, yet it was a precious possession, to receive it every month, as my prize for my achievement. (I wonder if I ever put any effort, or it was just the blotting paper brain that I had, should  really have received the prize !)

In 1945 the war ended, and so too the "War In Pictures" which was a steady monthly reading for my parents, who were well educated themselves coming from families, who for over three generations  had great achievements to their credit. Yet India in those days was still being ruled by a foreign power, and was about to enter into the threshold of freedom and expansion.

As the years trudged on, we absorbed more and more knowledge, and my colleagues and I apparently did well. With the coming of Independence in 1947, young men from  Mangalore started to move to Bombay as Mumbai was known then and from there they found other greener pastures.   Many went to the Gulf countries of the booming oil industry, where the British were the Political Agents for the Arab Rulers. With College Degrees, young men and women found job opportunities in UK and USA. Many of my own cousins migrated and have been citizens of these countries for over fifty years !    Today Indians from every walk of life, and from every part of the Country have established themselves in different parts of the world.

People of my home town, found the opportunities outside this little town  (called the Rome of the East,  which had nurtured a people of Goan migrants for over 450 years,) and began moving out to Bangalore and other cities of India. Thus this gene pool started spreading out of this little town, like a beam of rays coming out of the bright sun. As I now look at the Web Statistics, I see, where these rays have reached !  Indeed, the Internet has become a tool of the 21st Century, and it is up to us, to use it to achieve still more, just as we had achieved with our simple slate and pencil way back in the forties. Simple ideas snowball into unfathomed results ! 

You may wonder, how I managed to put up this website, and you will be surprised to know, it was this "blotting paper" brain of mine, which discovered all these things on my own, with a little help from friends or a tip from some magazine or an article on the web. It is true that "necessity is the mother of inventions" - as I first started devising a database program to collect all the old recipes of my mother, and my wife,  it turned out to be a monster with about 700 recipes, and then I needed to find a way to sort them, by region and ingredients, and with each problem, came an answer. I found it difficult to get others to look at what I had done, so I realized that people are generally ill at ease with new tools.  You can download a simplified program to build your own data base.    My earlier efforts were clumsy, but I refined them, again with a little tip from a friend which awakened the interest to find more. The website provided free HTML  lessons, which taught me how to understand the source code of the web page, and then a good friend of my daughter persuaded her to buy some web space and give her Dad  as a present, which has now made it possible for you to see this and all the other things I have offered you.   This website has also provided an opening to my life long passion in Church Music, which I have cultivated since the 1950s and put all my compositions in a locker, unable to show them to anyone, as few people could read music. Now all of a sudden, I have visitors from the USA, Canada and Australia  visiting the website, through their "search engines" and I feel, that God has rewarded my efforts even after so many years. You too can learn to read and write music.   Hope someone, will use this material, improve upon it, and use it for the praise of God, our common Father. Thus I have tried to provide food not only to the body to our scattered Mangalorean brothers and sisters, but also food for the Spirit, which may be shared by all.

Thank you for taking some time to listen to my musings !

A special thanks to my visitors:

I have to tell you that it was a pleasure to have so many visitors arriving at this website and many returning after previous visits, from countries like: Australia, Bahrain, Canada, EU, France, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia,  Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and Yemen.   Wow !   All these just within the last two weeks !  You may wonder, if I have taken these names from the United Nations.   Of course, they all belong to it, but I culled these names from the Web Statistics, that I use to track my site.

Most of these visitors have come through 'Search Engines' and others through the recommendation of their friends.   I find this as the beginning of a friendship.  I started this to reach out to others, hoping that this service will meet some need.  Surely, food is a basic need, and nostalgia is the other element in our lives we can not get rid of.  Just as I remember my mother's cooking, so too, will others be longing for their own mother's cooking.   Why not we pool our resources, and help one another?

From the search engines, I also noted a search for Catholic Music, and all this time I felt I was alone in this search.   In this world, where everyone is in a hurry, the searches too tend to gloss over what there is on offer.  

Let me give you a background of why I believe traditional polyphony is better suited to project the Catholic liturgy than any other musical form.   In India, due to changing times, more emphasis is given to local languages, within the Catholic Church.   But in churches where the language of the liturgy is English, there has been a tendency to choose pop styles to represent a Sacred Event, as the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

In Oriental Churches, this event is rooted in history, and due to the respect that event deserves, have not sullied it with prevalent musical styles, but kept to a monotone in the liturgical chant, to symbolize the ancient fact, and to sublimate it to reverential heights.  

The Catholics however, have brought down the ancient to the modern, and leveled it to their current mores.    They treat the Heavenly Father as their Dad. - whom many may treat as a friend and others as their Boss.  The true meaning of this Heavenly Father is not to think of Him as a 'male' as the feminists object, but to take the spiritual dimension, and know this Spirit is neither male or female, but has qualities expected of a caring Father among humans.  The Provider, The Care Taker, - in Indian religions, He is even taken as a 'Mother'  - and thus one deserving respect.  

That is why, expressing our emotions at the same level as we would express on a dance floor or in a disco, does not befit the ambiance of the liturgical celebration which reflects the Ancient Fact.   It should be a moment to uplift us from the worldly, to the other-worldly.   In this I find, the settings of the classical polyphony is the ideal.  

As my website reaches areas where the western classical music is still prevalent, I would appeal to them to consider seriously about using the polyphonic music for the liturgical celebration, as the thirst for spirituality is growing.    This could help in the better  understanding of the depths of our Faith and help us to respect  the Divine.

I do not belong to any interest group, but all these are my personal efforts energized by an idea.   I treat all of you as individuals, just like me, and I would like to be of help to you if only I knew what you were looking for.  I am afraid, the speed at which life is lead now a days, you must be envying me for having so much time.   I too was working once upon a time, and I fully realize, how it must be for all of you - in this hectic commercial world.  If you find some time, do drop a line.  You are not dealing with a corporate organization !


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