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Why I love India (series)

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Sorting Marigolds

Why I love India (series)

HAPPY HOLI!

Beautiful series on ‘Why I love India’ on rediff.  Living away from India, we can especially relate to Shobha De’s sentiment on what she longs for when abroad. “When I’m away from India, I miss: The smells!…The smell of masala, mogras, wet matti (earth)”

Discover the entire series here.

Written by Redpatang

March 16, 2014 at 1:27 pm

India Republic Day – January 26th

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64 years ago India adopted a new constitution making it a republic, a country of the people, for the people, by the people.  Republic Day is more than just a holiday.  It is a celebration of the freedoms and opportunities afforded to all Indians.  The Constitution, among other things, includes the following Fundamental Rights for ALL citizens: 

  1. Right to equality
  2. Right to freedom (speech, expression, life and liberty)
  3. Right against exploitation, prohibiting child labor and human trafficking
  4. Right to freedom of religion
  5. Right to conserve one’s culture, language or script.
  6. Right to constitutional remedies for enforcement of Fundamental Rights.
  7. Right to education.

A lot of progress has been made despite many challenges.  But India is, at best, a work in progress and a lot more still needs to be done.  We believe in India’s immense potential created by the huge human capital – a population of more than one billion citizens – who together will make India truly incredible.  We applaud Aamir Khan for creating and promoting ‘Satyamev Jayate’, which exposes the state of India’s rights and freedoms.   This hard hitting series from 2012-13 is a must watch.  It is available at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=ELHRj2Wug-qa0.

Watch. Feel. Act. For those who are unfortunate and helpless…

To freedom…

Written by Redpatang

January 21, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Cyber Monday Deal – Our best ever! 20% off everything.

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Cyber Monday Deal - Our best ever! 20% off everything.

Written by Redpatang

December 2, 2013 at 11:39 am

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Black Friday Deal!

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Black Friday Deal!

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November 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Redpatang.com has a new look!

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Redpatang.com has a new look!

Check out our new and improved website with a cleaner and more modern design!

Written by Redpatang

August 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Indian Cranberry Chutney

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With thanksgiving just around the corner, I was hoping to add a little Indian flavor to the traditional cranberry chutney.  I wanted a recipe that  good but also simple and quick to make .  So after some fruitless (pun intended :)) internet and recipe book browsing, I have come up with my own version of an easy cranberry chutney with an Indian kick.  Ingredients are underlined

Slice 1 large red onion into slivers and saute until it becomes transparent.  Add 1 tbslpn black mustard seeds. Quickly add the paste of 2 medium fresh garlic cloves, 1 tblspn red chilli powder , a pinch of Asafetida and 1 cup of fresh cranberries.  Simmer until cranberries are mushy and fully cooked.  Add 1 tspn sugar.  Blend and add salt to taste. 

That’s it!  Happy thanksgiving everyone!!

Written by Redpatang

November 21, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Redpatang.com is now optimized !

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We are thrilled to announce that the redpatang website is now optimized for browsing on your ipad, iphone and other devices!  

We have also had any visual differences between browsers fixed so your shopping experience is seamless whether you use internet explorer, firefox, safari or chrome!  Happy shopping 🙂

Written by Redpatang

November 19, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Akshay Patra – changing lives with a school lunch program

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“At a government-run public middle school in Bangalore, the blackboard’s cracking, the textbooks are tattered and most of the students are barefoot. But with all those challenges, the biggest obstacle that teachers face in keeping kids in school is hunger.”….NPR coverage of the school lunch program Akshay Patra

Its not often that a news report gets me all choked up but a feature by NPR was so inspiring that it  got me thinking and made me want to do my part.  The feature was on a school lunch program in India run by the Akshay Patra Foundation.  With a noble vision of ““No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”  the foundation has supported school lunch programs over the past 11 years and hopes to feed 5 million children each day by 2020.

This story resonated with me on multiple levels.  As a parent who knows what it is to want  the best for their child , it is gut wrenching to me that there are children around the world (see the story of Suchitra on the NPR news cast) who want to go to school and but cry on the bus at the idea of having to face the day on an empty stomach.  And then there was the aspect of fresh food…after hearing the continuous uproar of partially hydrogenated junk food that children in the US have access to, it was nice to hear that the entire meal provided by Akshay Patra was freshly cooked (on the same day)….all natural… and healthy with a good dose of vegetables.

Today Akshay Patra serves 8,000 schools and feeds nearly 1.3 million children in  India, enabling them to stay in school and secure their long term future.  Sridhar Venkat – an ex-corporate executive who runs the program talks about success stories and the gives an example of the profound effect this program had on a student who went on to college and became an engineer.

So how can you help?  If you are in India – a small sum of Rs 675 (around $15) can feed a child for an entire year.  Go to the online donation portal and contribute or volunteer your time today.   If you are in the US, you can donate through the Akshay Patra USA foundation at this portal or get involved in other ways like a corporate sponsorship, or simply spreading the word within your community.

To listen to the full NPR story or get the transcript – go here

Written by Redpatang

April 19, 2012 at 10:05 am

Got Milk? International travel with a toddler (III)

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This post is relevant for toddlers who are past the formula/breastfeeding stage.  We traveled internationally with our little one with the confidence (or should I say over-confidence?) that she would adapt to milk differences if needed.  After all, she had tried goats milk with success and we grew up drinking buffaloes milk so why would we anticipate any problems?   Her grandparents even knew where to get cows milk if needed so it should be fine …right? WRONG!

Our hungry little toddler who usually does not fuss about milk (touchwood) took a few sips of the milk offered to her and refused any more.  I put the first cup refusal down to jet lag.

The second cup was no better.  Ok, lets try skimming the entire cream off before pouring her a cup …aah that was better.  At least she drank a few sips.  But now I’m worrying about inadequate caloric intake.

After another day of frustrating attempts, we have now resorted to feeding her yogurt instead of milk.  She seems ok with the home-made yogurt.  Numerous discussions later we realize that one of the main differences in milk that she is used to vs what is available is “Homogenization”.  Milk in the US is usually homogenized whereas milk delivered to households in India is usually not.  What is homogenization you ask? Wikipedia defines homogenization as a process that “breaks the fat into smaller sizes so it no longer separates at any fat specification”.  Uuhhh…the completely skimmed milk should have given me a clue right ?

The good thing is we had a solution.  There were local tetra packs available by the famous Indian Amul brand that had homogenized and pasteurized milk.  The tetra packs were not commonly stocked so we hoarded them like gold.

Amul tetra packs

So after a lot of trial and error we had a solution.  Our little toddler was enjoying milk again.  Whew!

Now your toddler might not have this preference for homogenized milk but in case he/she refuses the milk abroad, you might want to check if non-homogenized milk is the problem.  Hopefully our experience made it easier for someone out there.  Happy travels!

 

Written by Redpatang

February 17, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Keeping your toddler healthy -international travel (II)

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If you are like most parents, you probably have some anxiety around the health and welfare of your little one while traveling.  Here are some tips that helped us keep our little one relatively healthy during our recent trip abroad (a special thanks to all our family and friend circle who shared their words of wisdom):

Water sources:  The  most important thing you can do is to ensure a clean source of drinking water.  Tap water should not be blindly trusted and water should be either from a trusted bottled brand or boiled and filtered.  This is especially true in Indian metro cities where the water pipe system is relatively old (and can have bacterial seepage issues).   Of course there are some parents who believe that children should be exposed to all types of germs to build lifelong immunity but I’m guessing if you believe that to an extreme … you aren’t reading this post 🙂

Hot is better:  We made our toddler avoid cold salads, juices and uncooked raw food.  When the weather was especially warm, packaged (and pasteurized) cold juices or home-made cold drinks were selected.

Immunizations:  Talk to your pediatrician before your big trip (ideally 6 months before).  S/he might recommend some additional vaccines in addition to ensuring your child is up to date on all regular vaccines.  Getting your child vaccinated for Hep A (jaundice) is a good idea -this contagious disease can cause some serious havoc.  The CDC recommends a Hep A vaccine for children over a year-see document here

And don’t forget some travel sized hand  sanitizers for use while in transit and away from easily accessible hand washing.

All these tips might help keep your little one safe from serious illness but with airplane travel and changes in climate there is always the potential for a little common cold.  Arm yourself with these awesome moist saline wipes…if your toddler does end up with a cold – these wipes are great for keeping little noses from becoming sore.

Safe travels!

Written by Redpatang

February 1, 2012 at 2:39 pm

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