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Kumta Street Vegetables

photos of fresh vegetable vendors on Kumta Street by Arun Shanbhag

In the Kumta market, these women set up shop early in the morning before the crowds got there. Those vegetables look so delicious! It was March, so the variations of brinjals/eggplants were in season. You will also find konkani classics padwal, ghosalae, muLi (radish), tambdi bhaji (red leaves), vaaLi (green creeper leaves), muggae, karate, maskaa […]

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Scholarships for the Needy: 2010 – 2011

That gift which is given to a worthy person, in the right circumstance, from whom we expect nothing in return, is held to be most pure. ~ Bhagavad Gita, 17:20 Here is the list of students awarded the 2010 Shanbhag Scholarships in Kumta, India. I thank the many donors who made valuable contributions, so needy […]

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Video: Approaching Kumta on the Konkan Railway

Move your mouse out of the video frame to lose the black border. Music: Mere Desh Ka Salaam, Shobha Gurtu. Those who have ridden the Konkan Railway can attest, the rural countryside with emerald green fields is mesmerizing. I think of an early retirement in a village, a small house and running a school. To […]

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Scholarships for the Needy: 2009 – 2010

That gift which is given, knowing it to be a duty, in a fit time and place, to a worthy person, from whom we expect nothing in return, is held to be most pure. ~ Bhagavad Gita, 17:20 Several years ago we started these scholarships to support needy girls at the Shanbhag School in Kumta. […]

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Academic Update from Shanbhag School 2009

Just received results from the recent Karnataka State Board Exams (Std X) for students at the Shanbhag School in Kumta, Karnataka. What a spectacular performance by the students! Congratulations! Our gratitude also to the teachers who do a fabulous job, every day! Summary of Results: 74 students appeared for the X Std, Karnataka State Board […]

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Scholarships for the Needy 2008-2009

Hope you all had a wonderful “Makar Sankranti.” Now the Sun rises earlier each day and sets later, bringing light and warmth to all aspects of our lives. This year, I celebrated Sankranti in Mumbai with close family and overate “til-gul” and “til ladoo.” Too lazy to ask why this focus on sesame, I simply […]

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Lunch at the Shanbhag School

In 2007, the Shanbhag School in Kumta (and their parent, the Konkan Education Trust), started to provide lunch for all their students. In the midst of a long day, the students had previously rushed home during their lunch hour. There are no cafeterias or restaurants near the school. The school made a significant investment in […]

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Scholarships for the Needy

I have previously written about the Shanbhag School, an academic beacon in Kumta and surrounding villages. The Shanbhag High School, managed by the Konkan Education Trust does not receive any governmental aid. But it follows the state determined academic syllabus and guidelines. While we attract many students who can afford fees, our family wanted to […]

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Fresh-ground Raagi Flour

Raagi Bhakri is a favorite in our home. It’s easy to prepare and very filling. During this past visit to Kumta I replenished our stock of Raagi flour. A few blocks from our place in Kumta is a little “girNi” (or mill) which grinds various types of flour. It is run by a distant relative […]

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Academic Update from the Shanbhag School 2007

When I first posted on the Shanbhag School, the upper floor (1st floor) was still under construction. During my visit in Nov, it was a thrill to see students enjoying lectures in the new classrooms. You can see pics of ongoing classes later in the post. But first, an important question: How are the students […]

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Kids on a School Bus

When I asked folks at the Shanbhag School the best way to travel to Kodkani (about 15 kms from Kumta) to see Shilpa’s parents, they recommended that I ride the School bus. On Saturdays, school ends at noon and the bus drops off students in Kodkani. Riding the bus would thus bring me in Kodkani […]

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Meeting Aayi of Aayis Recipes

Looking for new recipes, you have likely browsed Aayi’s Recipes the uber popular food blog hosted by Shilpa. This is M’s favorite “go-to” site anytime she needs inspiration for her cooking. During my travels to India, I look forward to visiting our ancestral town of Kumta – Jewel of the Konkan in coastal Karnataka. And […]

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Cashew Nuts: To Your Health

Factories play an important role in India's rural economy. They provide jobs for local men and women, which translates into money to buy food, send kids to school, buy medicines if needed, repair and maintain a house and save some money. Villages and towns in India (as elsewhere in the world) don't need an handout, […]

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Kumta: School Kids

Outside my cousin-brother's house in Kumta, these kids were walking back from school. They seemed eager to pose. After shooting this pic, I offered them one of the Britannia cream biscuit packs I always carry in my bag. They grabbed and ran – jumping in joy! Other Kumta Related Posts: Kumta: Jewel of the Konkan […]

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Kumta: Field of Dreams

The road leading from my cousin's house in Chitragi to the Kumta (paent) market. It's a beautiful 10 minute walk. Here, bicycles serve as family vehicles. Notice how calmly, mom and infant are enjoying the ride on the rack. The open drains on the side of the roads, carry the heavy monsoon rain water run-off. […]

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Konkani Delicacy: Kadgi Chakko (Spicy Breadfruit)

Kadgi Chakko is one of M’s signature dishes. At gatherings, she is always asked to make this and relishes the opportunity. Its one of my favorites too.

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Konkani Delicacies: Jackfruit Hapol & Vodi

photos of Jackfruit (Phanas) Happol by Arun Shanbhag

Deep-fried foods are rare in our home. We save it for our favorite konkani delicacies: Jackfruit (Phansa-) Hapol and Spicy Vodi. During our summer holidays in Honavar and Kumta, we kids helped make them. The women would roll the hapol and we would carry them up the rickety stairs to the temporary roof (mandal) made […]

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Worship at a small shrine

Here and on I posted pics from the Chicago Balaji Temple and the Durga Devi Shrine within the Atlanta Temple. These are both very elaborate temple structures. However, not all worship occurs in such embellished temple complexes. On a regular basis worship takes place at the simple home altar. Routinely folks worship at small road […]

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Coconut Oil – The Friendly Fat

Read this in “Experience Life” Magazine – Jan Feb 2004 issue. The magazine is dedicated to exercise and nutrition related topics. Here is their spiel on Coconut Oil, verbatim. Coconut oil is all the rage right now. Once vilified as a heart-clogging monster, its suddenly being touted by many nutritional experts as a “miracle food” […]