Friday, June 22, 2018


                                                        ( BAGELS )
                                                         ( BAGELS )
                                                            ( KASHMIRI TELVOR )
                                                   ( KASHMIRI TELVOR )


This is Bagel ;A variation of traditional kashmiri bakery item called Telvor. Very popular in USA. It has arrived in America with the Jewish immigrants . Believed to have been a breakfast item of Jewish community in Poland (Boiled and Baked Krakow Bagel) , it is made from yeasted wheat dough. Bagel must have a ring shape. 

Now you have Bagels with cinnamon ,sesame  seeds ( Til)  on top, Poppy  seeds (khas khaas) on top, dough mixed with all grains, dough mixed with eggs, Raisins, Dry garlic or onion pieces, and nuts . Common salt is also mixed with the dough to make Bagel taste salty.

I found everything Bagel the best variety. Slice it into two, fill up with cheese or salads or non veg and relish it with coffee or juices. It is complete breakfast over here. A Bagel costs something around two dollars in a Deli or restaurant. It could be a little cheaper if you buy direct from bakery shops . You have so many shops selling only Bagels. Shops with "Kosher" word written boldly on outer signboard indicates that Bagel is prepared by them strictly as per jewish food standards.

A Bagel seller in Manhattan told me :

"Bagel has survived many centuries because of many reason and primarily because of the boiling before Baking . Boiling gives it an external sheen and protective cover and it can last longer than any Bread . My Grand father has told me that Bagel has been in new York even prior to 1925 A.D . So many Bakeries at that point of time sold Bagels. The addition of cream cheese spread over Bagel is something that we innovated over here .Now Bagels are everywhere . Even Coffee outlets like Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks and many others sell Bagels . Here bagel is loved as a Bun ; Cheap and Nutritious. "

Kashmiri Telvor is also made from Yeasted wheat flour and has a sprinkling of sesame seeds over it. It is not boiled but baked only . It has a whole at its centre , which , quite often, gets filled up in the baking Process. It is consumed with Tea . and topped with Butter .

For those who believe in Jewish and kashmiri link , Bagel ( Believed to have been eaten by ancient Egyptians and Romans as well ) could be another tool for them since kashmiri Bakery Telvor and Bagel are almost identical.

 I don't believe that there is any verifiable , historical or other evidence for this theory even if some writers also  believe so . 

According to Dr Shashi Shekhar Toshkhani Linguist and Scholar:

“Joo” is an honorific word used throughout the Hindi-speaking belt to express regard or affection for a person the same as Ji. Braj Bhasha poetry is replete with its use. In Kashmiri also, it was used for the same purpose. It has nothing to do with the word “Jew”. The word Kosher means food prepared according to the rules of the Jewish law. It has no relation with “Koshur”. Koshur means a person belonging to Kashmir and the etymology of the Hebrew word Kosher is in no way linked to it. Phonetically too the words “Kosher” and “Koshur” are quite different— the basic word in the latter case being “Kashir”. Kashmiri, it must be emphasized, has descended from vedic sanskrit through Prakrit and Apabhramsha . It has no links with Hebrew . Chance Resemblances of sounds of some stray Vocables belonging to totally Unrelated word stocks do not in any way indicate affiliation with any Language or Linguistic Group "

So Long so Much..

( Avtar Mota )

Creative Commons License 
CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\\.

Sunday, June 17, 2018



                                                                     ( Qateel Shifai )

                                                        ( Sahir )

Milkar Juda huye to na soya karenge hum
Ek doosre ke yaad mein roya karenge hum......
( Qateel Shifai )


Qateel Shifai ( 1919-2001} was a very successful Lyricist of Pakistan Film industry . Born at Haripur ( District , Hazara Khyber Pakhtoonwala ) , he moved to Lahore where he worked as assistant to some Well known film Lyricists . As song writer , He was associated with " Teri Yaad " a film produced by Dewan Sardari lal from Lahore in 1947. The film was released in 1948  and Premiered at Prabhat Talkies Lahore. As song writer , he was immensely successful. Some call him sahir of Pakistan Film Industry . He wrote about 2500 film songs. Apart from film songs , He also wrote Gazals and Nazms in urdu . Qateel is a  very  respectable name in Urdu poetry / Literature .His poetry has been translated into numerous languages including Hindi, Gujarati, English, Russian and Chinese. 

"Qateel Shifai" penned the lyrics of some of the most heard songs of the subcontinent. These songs have been sung by Mehdi Hasan, Jagjit Singh, Sabri Brothers, Pankaj Udhas and more. And he is one of the rare lyricist from across the border who wrote songs for some Hindi films like Painter Babu ( 1983 ), Sir ( 1993), Phir Teri Kahaani Yaad Aayi (1993)and Hum Hain Bemisaal ( 1994 ) etc.

He was liberal and broadminded in his beliefs and convictions . So many friends he had across the border who loved him as a man and also as a poet. Sahir Ludhianavi remained his lifelong friend . Qateel's close friends included Poet Jagan Nath Azad, Sunil Dutt , Manoj Kumar, Rajinder Singh Bedi, Khushwant Singh , Raj khosla , Lyricist Aanad Bakshi and many more..
                               ( With K A Abbas and Rajinder Singh Bedi )
                                                                 ( With Khushwant Singh )
                                                     ( With Raj Khosla )
                               ( With Manoj Kumar in a Marriage function )

                                                       ( With Suni Dutt And Nargis )
            ( With Jagan Nath Azad and  Poet syed Zameer jafri )
"Ulfat ki nai manzil ko chalaa, Vo baanhein daal ke baanhon mein
Dil torrne waale dekh ke chal, hum bhi to parre hein raahon mein...""

I continue to love this gazal penned by Qateel and sung beautifully by Great Iqbal Bano..
Now ending this Mini Post on Qateel with some couplets from his another Gazal ......

Aey deeda-e-giryaan kyaa kahiye iss pyar-bhare afsaane ko
Ek shamaa Jali bujhne ke liye Ek phool khilaa murjhaane ko
Me apne pyaar ka deep liye Afaaq mein har-su ghoom gayaa
Tum duur kah─źn ja pahunche thhay Akaash pe jee bahlaane ko 

( Avtar Mota )

Creative Commons License 
CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\\.





And finally located Cranberry Beans or Farash Beans or Thoola Razmaah in New york. In kashmir, This fleshy , good looking and delicious variety of beans would arrive in markets during late summers.Every family loved to cook this stuff.

  • I am not sure when and how these beans have come to kashmir. Possibly like Potato , some European brought them to India and finally to kashmir. Climatically , kashmir proved ideal place . Kashmiris too accepted these beans wholeheartedly .They named them THOOLA RAZMAAH or the beans that look like Eggs . Post 1990, these beans traveled to Jammu for consumption of displaced kashmiri Pandit population. Presently these are grown in many hilly areas of Jammu including Batote Kud, and many villages adjoining Bhaderwah ,Kishtwar and Doda towns  of J&K State .

Today , In New york, we Bought this stuff for something around $3 per pound or roughly half kg. They were farm fresh. You get cooked and tin packed as well. You get raw fresh frozen as well. They come in variety . Mexican restaurants serve this delicacy. At Mexican restaurants, Cranberry beans are simmered with onion, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and garlic. Simply mouth watering.

I was informed that these beans were first grown in Colombia. I was also informed that these beans
arrive in market sometime during  late summers and can be seen till  Fall or Autumn season.

Americans also love these  beans. Also known as Borlotti, Americans make tasty soups or stews of these beans . They also cook these beans with olive oil and herbs preparing a  dish for Lunch or Dinner. So does every kashmiri relish cranberry beans dish prepared in mustard oil with tomatoes, potatoes and other Indian spices.

(Autar Mota)

Creative Commons License 
CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\\.



( Quote... Albert Camus )

" Blessed are the hearts that can bend; They shall never be broken."

(Autar Mota)

Creative Commons License

CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\\.




(Mobile Photographs  ... Autar  Mota)

To these photographs, i am adding a poem of Faiz Ahmed Faiz...

" Ye dhoop kinaara, shaam dhale,
milte hain dono waqt jahaan,
Jo raat na din,
Jo aaj na kal
pal bhar ko amar,
pal bhar mein dhuaan,

Iss dhoop kinare,
 Pal do pal
Honthon ki lapak,
Baahon ki chhanak,

ye mail hamaara ,
Jhooth  na sach,
kyon Raaz karo,
kyon dosh dharo,
kis kaaran jhoothi baat karo,
Jab teri samandar aankhon mein,
iss shaam ka sooraj doobega,
sukh so’enge ghar Dhar walae,

Aur raahi apni raah lega.."

My English rendering would be ......

" This Sunlight’ rim
At  evening’s arrival Time ,
A  position where two moments convene ,
Neither Day nor Night,
Neither this day   Nor Tomorrow,
A moment that looks like Eternity ,
A moment about to depart .
At this sunlight’s edge ,
For a moment or two ,
These  lips  moving   close intensely ,
These arms clinging  to embrace ,
This union of ours ,
Neither true  Nor false,
Then, Why this concealment about it ?
Why Blame others ?
 Tell me , Why at all should we tell lies ;
And when , In your  sea deep eyes ,
This evening’s sun will set ,
There , Those householders  shall go for the comfort of  their  sleep ,
  And Here , This traveler ,
shall move  towards his assigned pathway …"
( Autar Mota )

Creative Commons License

CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\\.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018








The entire  Northeastern region of the United States comprising the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island  is known as New England. People from England  , Ireland and Netherlands  arrived here in early 17th century  for permanent  settlement. New England is   known for its Colonial past and beautiful Atlantic coastline.

Perched  on the shores of Mystic river, MYSTIC  is about three hours distance from New York by a   fast  Train . It is  almost at central point if you go by Boston bound Amtrak  train. Although a small  train station  happens to be at Mystic village but only   few trains  stop at this station. Visitors to Mystic coming by Train generally get down at New London and cover  approximately  10 kms  distance to Mystic by Taxi/  Cab .

Mystic is a famous Tourist destination well known for the Mystic sea port , Mystic Art Museum,  Mystic Aquarium and the adventurous  Quaint downtown.  Mystic  village is located within the towns of Groton (west of the Mystic River, and also known as West Mystic) and Stonington (east of the Mystic River). So the complete visit to Mystic means visits to Groton and Stonington Towns as well.

 We were at Mystic last month (May 2018). It was 14 degrees Celsius at day time and we felt  need for woolens. We were told that the Village (total  population of about 4000  ) freezes in winters. River Mystic passes through this beautiful place that lies  close to Atlantic .Once  this area was a hub of whale catching activity.

As you walk through the nicely decorated shops catering to Tourists, you find Whale  images on Bags, souvenirs, cups ,key rings etc. that tourists buy . You find  old churches with   tops resembling some old  Ziyarats of  kashmir. Then you have the  landmark Bascule  bridge over  river Mystic that  rises up many times during the day at predetermined time slots creating passage for ferries and small   ships to pass . It is amazing to see how a massive bridge rises to create  the passage .

Mystic provides some best food and delicacies around. You have so many coffee houses, Bakeries, Spices shops , Tea shops and ice-creams outlets  of  mouth watering taste and quality.The main Market is full of Restaurants that serve Mexican, Italian , Chinese and other continental food. Sea food remains a specialty of  the town.

At water street, you have the Oyster club,  Water street Gallery and the famous Friar Tuck's Tavern that claims to serve the best  fresh fish and chips. We were suggested to book a table at the famous Captain Daniel Packers's inn for our dinner. Old Hotels have fireplaces where timber is still burnt .  

Anytime of the year , tourists are seen walking along Mystic River boardwalk looking at boats sailing in and out.

We located an Indian Restaurant ( A Taste Of India )  , And  the only one in Mystic  .I am not sure about any other in  Groton  or Stonington or  nearby   . It is owned by a Punjabi namely Bharat Bhushan. We had spicy and sumptuous Indian Food after so many days especially Kadai chicken and Baingan ka Burtha .

Breakfast at another  Restaurant  was quite  interesting. It was   run by a father son duo. The father and his young  son   work hard and supply Bread,  Buns and Bakery  to so many Hotels in the village . We had Tea,  cakes and omelets . The son of the proprietor became friendly on knowing that we were from India. He said  :
" Have this special  cake piece . I made it myself . I stayed awake at the Bakery all along the night today.  We had some urgent deliveries. I told Dad to sleep and take rest. He is old now. See he has sweated his life working so hard for our family. I need to help him now. We are Americans though Turkish speaking people from Iran. We love peace and family  life. My maternal  grand mom told me good things about India . Love  Indian cinema.  Good Bye.  Grandma says  khuda Hafiz."

" Good bye. Khuda Hafiz . We say Orzu in our mother Tongue. It means may you be healthy ,fit and fine. "  I replied .
" Orzu sounds good.Like a Turkish word."
He said  and smiled at us as he went  inside the restaurant cum Bakery.
we came out , we saw  the  father sipping coffee with some local friends outside the Bakery cum Restaurant. We said' good bye ' to  him  and his friends . He and his friends  were prompt in reciprocating our ' Good bye ' . The sincerity of the communication  brought smiles on all faces.  

And over here, residents live in total peace and harmony.

There are so many historic  places to Visit  in Mystic .Places like Mystic  sea Port Museum , Williams Beach Park ,Mystic Museum of Art and Mystic Aquarium .Also nearby, in Groton town , is the US Submarine Force Museum .

Mystic seaport Museum is the largest Martine Museum in the world. you can  Go fishing, climb up to the top of a lighthouse, or sit back and watch the sun set. All wonderful and enjoyable.

Except some Bars and Restaurants,  The Market over here closes at 8PM. Shops are just closed with lights on. You can see everything lying inside from the glass doors. No grills  or shutters.
We stayed at the Picturesque"  Inn At Mystic (Harbour House ) Hotel that overlooks this beautiful Town.  From the  window of the hotel  room, we could see the  passing Trains   just about  hundred yards away  .

We were told that crowds throng to this  beautiful place on Saturday and Sundays  during summers. The Hotels rooms  are totally booked to capacity . Private accommodation in residential houses is also available at cheap rates . Tour operators arrange Itineraries that include river canoeing / kayaking, visit to wineries , visit to  Williams Beach  Park( Small Beach ) , Sandy Point Island  and also a visit to  Fields  of Fire Adventure Park.

We walked through the Market and residential area of the town. Shops are well decorated for Tourists. A spacious Book store is busy with visitors. This book store near Bank Square  has a huge  whale  sculpture at its entrance.  The houses are neat and clean and mostly painted in white. No walls to segregate and create boundaries between two structures. We saw private Boats also tucked alongside cars in  garage area of some houses. People use Boats for fishing and sea or river holiday trips. So many landing ghats near the port area are privately owned and fenced.  At crossings, Traffic is efficiently managed by Neon Lights . As usual, the pedestrian has priority right over the road.  It was Spring time and we saw abundance of flowers and greenery all over. Willows and Poplars  at some places reminded me of my hometown.
The market had all varieties of fruits coming from various parts of US or Mexico. We saw cherries, apples, oranges, Mangoes, Watermelons, Muskmelons, Apricots, Bananas, plums, Kiwis and Pears.  Most of the shops sold gifts that Tourist carry back home. A little expensive for sure but no bargaining and  cheating of any type. You will be told clearly what you are buying should you seek any clarification. Shopkeepers are Courteous and welcoming even if you stroll inside and buy nothing. Shop for Art, Old LP records ,Antique Maps,  sculptures, glasswork items, Designer jewelry and relish the Mystic Handmade fudge, ice cream  or the famous Mystic Pizza.

I am told that there are  some World class Casinos  around Mystic  . So many Hollywood movies have been shot in and around Mystic .Apart from so many movies and TV serials, I am old that popular Films like  LOLITA with Stanley Kubrick as Director  ' MYSTIC  RIVER  ' with Clint Eastwood,  'AMISTAD '  directed by Steven Spielberg , 'HUNT  FOR THE  RED  OCTOBER ' featuring  Sean Connery and' HOPE  SPRINGS ' featuring Meryl Streep , MALCOLM  X,  MYSTIC NIGHTS AND PIRATE   FIGHTS , MYSTIC  PIZZA  were filmed in this area .

There are some round the year attractions like fairs and festivals  for Tourists in this area  . These include' Sea Music Festival',  Taste of Mystic Festival, Wooden Boat Show , Stonington Agricultural show, Mystic Outdoor Art Festival , Midsummer festival,  Chowder Days Festival, Luminaria  Lights or  Festival of Lights , Chocolate Festival, Great Pumpkin festival and Local Artisan fair.

So long so much about the Beautiful MYSTIC (Connecticut ).

( Autar Mota )

Creative Commons License 
CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\\.