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BLOG - ER Ramachandran

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Merchants of Death

Why is our public health- conscious Health Minister Hon. Anbumani Ramdoss barking up the wrong tree again? Why does he want to bring in compulsory prohibition all over again when it failed miserably last time unless he wants to give jobs to millions of bootleggers? Why is he missing the woods for the trees?

Sabarkantha in Gujarat is reeling under outbreak of Hepatitis –B and similar deaths lurk around our hospitals. Doctors in collusion with rag pickers- yes, rag pickers are buying used syringes to be recycled into hospitals. Police found used syringes, needles, medical waste from scrap dealers. In essence, these doctors are merchants of death. Why doesn’t our Health Minister initiate action and prosecute those doctors and give them a lifer?

Again why is he keeping quiet when doctors are openly prescribing banned drugs and in collusion with chemists, sell them in drug stores across the counter?

Has he bothered to investigate why medicines are ‘out of stock’ in Government hospitals, but the same are sold in Chemists’ shops across the country? Why is he not aware of these things when they are happening right under his nose? Why doesn’t he take time off from his pet obsessions and devote his time to tackle major health problems? Even now our record in Child Morbidity and Mortality rate is abysmal and compares with sub-saharan region. Doesn’t he just care and / or is he keeping a safe distance from it all saying ‘Health is a State Subject’!?

Why doesn’t the Health Minister tackle the major heath issues first and later attend to his pet projects?

The Minister is sincere and hardworking. If only he focuses his attention on Major issues, he could really make a difference.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Masala Dose at Vidyarthi Bhavan, Bangalore

Masala Dosas are popular all over the world now. But have anyone of you tasted the MD at Vidyarthi Bhavan in Basavanagudi ( or Gandhi Bazaar ) in Bangalore? Your life is incomplete if you have not tasted this! It must come in your list of' things to do before I die'!

It is a minute walk from the Gandhi bazaar circle. Started in early 1940 meant for students in the area , gradually it started attracting people from all walks of life. Since its dose became so popular and famous, the owner stopped making other dishes as people came from far and wide only for the masale dose. The accepted drill here is , you eat Rava Vade and wait for MD.

Vidyarthi Bhavan has a narrow longish hall which could seat around 35 to 40 people.Later as the rush became too much and space was a constraint, they arranged couple of benches at the 'sanctum sanctorum' - the kitchen where the Doses were made! You would get a first hand view of how the dosas were fried with pure ghee and after the 'masale' was put in, another dollop of ghee before the dosa took a golden hue colour. As the Dosas were served not one or two or even three at a time - it's more like 15 to 20s at a time with the server deftly carrying the goodies to disgorge to the eagerly waiting Dosa- aradhakas.The waiter balancing the dosas is carrying 19 plates!Chutney doesn't come in spoons but poured out from a vessel with refill available as soon as you finish the first helping.

Recently Vidyarthi Bhavan has expanded, but the result is the same. You still have to stand next to the person devouring his / her dosa before you can occupy the seat!

During our college days when money was always inversely prortional to hunger, we used to pool all our bits and pieces and order a 5 /8 Dosas, i.e., 5 dosas for 8 people. Even when you order 2/3 dosas, - 2 dosas served for 3 people, invariably one of the 3 would get two pieces. It used to be a suspense who would be the beneficiary of the waiter's largesse!

There was a time when customers fought over passionately which was the better Masala Dosa - the one you get at Mavalli Tiffin Rooms - MTR - or Vidyarthi Bhavan ? Later people realised you don't compare Shelly with Keats or for that matter Erapalli Prasanna with B.S. Chandrasheakr or GRV with SMG. Each one is unique in his own way.It's good we have a variety to enjoy the uniqueness of each. So it is with Dosa!

Just go there this week- end and dash for you seat. Those of you who are outside Bangalore, this should come in your list 'to do' when you visit there next time!

*** The photograph is courtesy of, Blog Churumuri and a mouth-watering article on Mosale doses by Ratna Rao shekar who has published the picture.