Archive for May 2007

Eating Out in Churchgate Mumbai

May 29, 2007

Kheema Pav, Bun Maska and Chai at Churchgate

by
VIKRAM KARVE

When I used to live in Empress Court, opposite the Oval, near Churchgate, I would rise at dawn, as the clock on Rajabai Tower struck Six, and go for a long brisk walk all the way to Chowpatty, and on my return, I would head for Stadium restaurant for a refreshing and stimulating cup of tea to energize me and perk me up for the day ahead. On Sundays and holidays, when we went for our super long walks down Marine Drive, up Walkeshwar, Teen Batti, down Malabar Hill, Napean sea Road, a round of Priyadarshini Park, Kemps Corner, Hughes Road, Babulnath, and back, there were three places where we used to breakfast to satiate our ravenous appetites – if my walking partner was a vegetarian we used to head to Vinay in Girgaum for a Misal Pav; and if non vegetarian, it was either Kyani at Dhobi Talao or Stadium at Churchgate for a Kheema Pav.

Stadium serves wholesome tasty Kheema dishes throughout the day, an ideal “snack’ if you are feeling famished. I like their “pudding” and patties too; their Chicken Biryani is worth a try, and so are the “Chinese” dishes, and, if you are in a hurry, why not have a quick spicy egg bhurji with fresh soft pav? Look at the blackboard on the wall for the day’s special – these dishes are real good, whether it’s fried fish, dal gosht, or, if it’s your lucky day, chicken or mutton dhansak.

Stadium Cafe, located next to Churchgate Railway Station, is a clean, well-lighted place to pass time, waiting for someone, or browsing a book, or just doing nothing, staring out onto the busy street, while enjoying a cup of invigorating tea with a bun maska. I like Stadium. It is a clean well-lighted place. It is easy on your wallet, and serves good wholesome food in relaxed ambiance.

VIKRAM KARVE

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KACHORI – MY FAVORITE FAST FOOD

May 29, 2007

MY FAVORITE “FAST” FOOD

By

VIKRAM KARVE

My wife observes and indulges in (and consequently subjects me to) all types of fasts. She fasts on Mondays, Chaturthies and any occasion she wants to fast. Actually, her “fasts” are not true fasts in the rigorous real sense, only a change of food, to what I call “fast food” which is quite delicious and maybe a bit more calorie-rich than normal food (that’s the “fast food” I’m referring to, not the burgers and pizza you thought!).

My favorite fast food is the Kachori. No! No! It’s not the scrumptious Rajasthani style lip-smacking Khasta Kachori I’m referring to, but the Sweet Kachori served by most Udipi eateries in and around Mumbai and Pune.

Take boiled mashed potato, add a bit of sabudana peeth (sago flour) for binding, a pinch of salt and sugar and knead into a dough.

Roast fresh juicy grated coconut with sugar, khus khus, dry fruit like raisins, cashews, till it is nice and crispy “khamang” – and your filling is ready.

You must roast in pure ghee, as oil is not permitted on a “fast”.

Make largish round patties with the potato dough on the outside and a generous portion of the roasted sweet coconut filling inside and deep fry till nicely crusty, crisp and light brown and your sweet kachori is done (fast and simple isn’t it?).

Serve with a katori of whipped sweetened curds and your “fast food” is ready to eat.

You will be tempted to break a piece of Kachori, dip it in the curds and then eat it – don’t do it, that’s not the right way to eat sweet kachori and you’ll ruin the experience as the concoction will turn soggy. What you must do is to place a chunk of crisp hot kachori on your tongue and close your eyes. Now savor the “khamang” crunchy taste of the lively roasted coconut filling for some time, then press your tongue on your palate and roll till the heavenly sweet filling and the crisp potato covering amalgamate. It’s really yummy!

Now is the time to pop in a spoon of sweet whipped curds, and let the feisty assortment of flavors dance and mingle on your tongue till the food dissolves in your mouth and disappears into you giving you a feeling of supreme satisfaction. [I once saw a movie called “Blow Hot Blow Cold” in the seventies – the art of eating a sweet kachori is similar: hot and cold, hot and cold, crunchy and soft, crunchy and soft, sweet and sour, sweet and sour!].

I first tasted the sweet kachori at a place called Apsara near Hirabaug on Tilak Road in Pune. It’s still my favorite. Vihar, at Churchgate in Mumbai, and Vaishali, on Fergusson College Road, Pune, serve an excellent sweet kachori too; and I’m sure you’ll find it on the menu of almost all Udipi restaurants.

So next time you want to relish your “fast” you know which “fast food” to eat, in addition to the usual sabudana khichadi, sabudana wade and ratalyacha kees.

Happy “Fasting” !

VIKRAM KARVE

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Vada Pav

May 29, 2007

MY FAVOURITE VADA PAV

By

VIKRAM KARVE

My favourite Vada Pav is CTO Vada Pav at Ashok Satam’s stall on the Flora Fountain (Hutatma Chowk) side of the Central Telegraph Office (CTO) in Mumbai.

The Vada is served freshly fried piping hot and is crisp and crunchy on the outside. That’s how a good Vada should be from the outside, nice and crisp, not soft and soggy like most of the fare dished out elsewhere.

The moment you bite the sharp zesty effect of the spices and greens hits you – there is an abundance of tangy greens in the tasty fusion inside : green chillies, coriander, curry patta, ginger-garlic. Don’t chew, just roll your tongue and press the hot stuff against your palate and let it dissolve. You’ll feel stimulated for sure! It’s not only mouth watering; it may be even nose-watering too if you have a delicate tongue. So might as well put the vada in a pav and savour the CTO Vada Pav gazing at the Hutatma Memorial, the Fountain and nice faces in the crowd rushing by to and from Churchgate.

Can anyone tell me where I can enjoy a good Vada Pav in Pune? I’ve tasted a few so far, even the famed Joshi’s, Diwadkar, Rohit et al, and found them quite soggy and insipid compared to the Mumbai’s CTO Vada.

VIKRAM KARVE

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SAMOVAR – Lazy Lunch in Mumbai

May 29, 2007

A Relaxed Lunch in Arty Ambiance


By


Vikram Karve

When I was a small boy I traveled all over the country by train, and I remember many trains like The Calcutta Mail via Nagpur, The Frontier Mail, The Grand Trunk Express, and even the Deccan Queen, had Restaurant or Dining Cars where one could sit comfortably and enjoy leisurely meals comprising the choicest “railway cuisine” whilst viewing the scenery passing by through the large open windows. Each train had its own special a la carte dishes apart from the thalis. One can’t enjoy this luxury anymore as the railways have replaced Dining Cars with Pantry Cars and they serve lackluster standard meals packed in foil, paper and plastic containers.

On a warm Mumbai afternoon I feel nostalgic and remember the good old railway dining car lunches, and I am in a mood for a relaxed lunch in arty ambiance, so I convince my friend and we head for Samovar at the Jehangir Art Gallery at Kala Ghoda near the Museum. Samovar restaurant is situated next to the art gallery in a long rectangular veranda and resembles a Railway Restaurant Car of yesteryear. We relax on the cane chairs and enjoy the view of the adjoining Museum lawns.

There is a menu card, but the specialties of the day are scribbled on blackboards on both ends of the no-frills eatery. We order the specialties of the day – a Mutton Chilly Fry Lunch and Hyderabadi Kheema with Lachi Paratha. The tender boneless Mutton Chilly Fry well cooked in a thick dark brown sauce has a nice spicy peppery taste and blends well with the garlic bread and fresh salad. The fiery orange-red chilli-sour Hyderabadi Kheema is lip-smackingly zesty, the paratha super-soft and fluffy, and the combination is delicious.

Next we have the wholesome stuffed parathas [Gobi (Cauliflower) and Kheema] accompanied by their appetizing chutneys followed by Kheema and Kabab Rolls. To cool off, we end with the huge soothing Dahi Wadas. I’m tempted to order a biryani or a prawn pulao, but we’re nicely satiated and overeating will spoil everything – maybe we’ll try the rice dishes next time.

Samovar has a unique charm and friendly ambience you won’t find anywhere else. It serves excellent value-for-money food and is an ideal place for a cosy tete-a-tete with a friend over a leisurely lunch on a lazy afternoon.

VIKRAM KARVE



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Potato Ice Cream

May 25, 2007

 

 

 

 

A HUMOROUS RECIPE FROM A DELIGHTFUL COOKBOOK 

[POTATO ICE CREAM] 

By 

VIKRAM KARVE 

  

Boil a litre of milk on a gentle fire till it thickens and becomes half of the original quantity. 

Boil a kilo of potatoes and after peeling them, mash them nicely and add a little water and pass the pulp through a sieve to make it even. Add this even pulp to the thickened milk and cook it for a few minutes. Add a little pista and chironji chopped fine, and then add 300 grams of sugar (a bit more if you like your ice cream sweeter). 

Cool it. Add a few drops of fine essence of your choice. Put it into a freezer and allow it to set.  

Then, dear fellow foodie, please make it, eat it and let me know how it tastes, for I don’t have the courage (and stomach) to try out  this exotic recipe and sample this wacky potato ice cream myself!  

This recipe is from a cute little book I discovered in my bookcase called POTATO DISHES compiled by the Pusa Institute Ladies’ Association and published by Popular Prakashan Mumbai in 1965 priced for a “princely” sum of Rs. 2.00 ( yes, you read right, the book costs, or costed, Rupees Two only!). [I wonder how this delightful cookbook entered my bookcase – probably my mother may have bought it back then!]  

Whenever I feel low, I leaf through my book shelves and pick out a cookbook. I browse through the appetizing recipes, and in my mind’s eye I “eat” and relish the yummy lip-smacking cuisine, my mouth waters, my troubles seem to go away, my spirits are lifted and I feel good. [Earlier, when I was in Mumbai, I used to rush out and actually eat the dish, or something similar in lieu, which further raised my spirits to a new high; but now that I am languishing in the back of beyond, I just savor the scrumptious food in my imagination which is probably good for my weight!]. It’s true – just the thought of good food can elevate you to a happy plane of living.  

This 80 page book has a collection of 120 recipes arranged in 8 sections, all featuring the ubiquitous potato as the main ingredient, which were compiled during a cookery exhibition of potato dishes organized by the Pusa Institute Ladies’ Association in New Delhi.  

Whatever potato delicacies you could imagine like the curries, koftas, dums, sukhas, rasedars, samosas, bondas, kachories, puris, parathas, snacks, pakoras, chips, chaats, cutlets, rolls and other run of the mill stuff is there. It’s the exotic, out of the ordinary, at times seemingly outlandish, dishes that make interesting reading.   

Let’s have a look at section 7 – the Cakes section. [The recipe for Potato Ice-Cream, described above, features in this section – I didn’t know Ice Cream was a cake!]. The Potato Chocolate Cake, Potato Soufflé and Potato Doughnut sound interesting.  

In section 8, they’ve incorporated and integrated potatoes into all the known Indian sweets – Rosogullas, Chum Chums, Gulab Jamuns, Jalebis, Kheers, Halwas, Pedas and Burfis. I wonder how they will taste and am tempted to try a few.  

I tried a recipe called Alpama, a nice spicy and healthy savory, comprising cashewnuts, dals, suji, and of course the ubiquitous potato, served piping hot – it was delicious and invigorating!   

And while you try out the Potato Ice Cream, I’ll try something substantial like Potato Paneer or the Nargis Potato Kabab.  

Till Next Time – Happy Eating!  

 

VIKRAM KARVE 

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Bake a Cake – ¾: 1: 1 ½

May 25, 2007

¾: 1: 1 ½ 

By 

VIKRAM KARVE 

 

 

 

 

 

“ ¾ : 1 : 1 ½ ” – what’s that? No, it’s not what you think – it’s not a code or some mathematical formula. It’s the recipe for a simple cake – probably the first thing I learnt to cook. 

It’s simple. Take ¾ [three-fourth] vati [ katori or cup] of fresh butter, cream it till fluffy with your hand, add 1 [one] vati of sugar and whisk vigorously till the sugar and butter blend smoothly, whip three eggs till they fluff up into peaks, fold into the butter-sugar mixture carefully, and beat with your hand till the batter emulsifies nicely. 

Sieve 1 ½ [one and a half] vaties [katories] of maida [flour] with a teaspoon of baking powder and keep ready in a thali. 

In a glass pour a generous “tot” of full-bodied dark rum – the more darker and more mellower the rum the better – as it will have more caramel which will impart an inimitable heavenly bitter-sweet flavor blended with the richly aromatic enveloping tang of molasses. 

Now start adding, by the tablespoonful, the sieved maida to the butter-sugar-egg emulsified batter, gently folding in and smoothing in with your fingers, and alternately, from time to time add a few “drops” by the teaspoonful of the full-bodied dark rum, licking your fingers from time to time, rolling on your tongue, sampling and tasting at every step, till you get the right creamy consistency and taste. I love to mix in a wee bit of powdered spices like cinnamon, cardamom or cloves – innovate as per your mood and taste. 

Now bake your cake. The rum will guarantee that the cake does not flop and the hot spicy alcohol vapor escaping from the cake and perambulating within the oven will impart a tantalizing aroma and enticing fragrance to the cake. 

This cake tastes best when eaten hot – as the blissful fresh vapors overwhelm your palate with their zesty fragrance and full-bodied flavor. 

This is the first recipe I learnt from my mother when I was a small boy [The “rum” innovation came a bit later]. I used stainless steel vaties, if you don’t have them use cups. Don’t be too finicky about precise proportions, sample and taste at every step; and of course trust the rum to do the rest! 

I bake it in half an hour and it tastes heavenly. Baking a cake is so simple, isn’t it? Just remember simple recipe –  “ ¾  : 1 : 1 ½ ”    

 

 

 

VIKRAM KARVE

  

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vikramkarve@hotmail.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Khichdi Samrat

May 24, 2007

 

 

 

 

MOUTHWATERING MUMBAI MEMORIES

KHICHDI SAMRAT 

By 

VIKRAM KARVE 

  

 

 

I’ve just had some Khichdi – no, not the yummy lip smacking sabudanya chi khichadi my wife gorges and devours by the plateful whenever she is “fasting” – but the Khichdi one is given to eat when one is convalescing. It’s supposed to be light on the stomach, gives you strength and helps you recuperate. My daughter is ill; hence the Khichdi. The Khichdi I just ate was awful – it was fatless; there was no pure ghee in it, as desired by my darling daughter. In fact, it was so tasteless and insipid that it brought back nostalgic mouthwatering memories of wholesome Khichdi I had savored at Khichdi Samrat on near CP Tank in Mumbai.

  

To get there, walk up Kalbadevi Road from Metro, turn left at the Cotton Exchange, walk past Panjrapole towards Bhuleshwar, turn right on VP Road towards CP Tank, and soon on your right you will see Khichdi Samrat – an unpretentious down-to-earth eatery. In fact it’s so humble and modest that make sure you don’t miss it and walk on to CP Tank! It is a small place, but I always found a seat; maybe they send out more parcels than have patrons eating in situ.

  

You can also walk up from Crawford Market, through Zaveri Bazar, past the Gold Exchange and

Mumbadevi
Temple, to Cotton Exchange; or from Bhendi Bazar via Pydhonie down

Kalbadevi Road

and turn right at the Cotton Exchange. In case you live in the western suburbs, take a train and get down at Charni Road station, climb the overbridge at southern [Churchgate] end, turn left, walk staright down Thakurdwar Road, cross Girgaum (JSS) Road, continue past Vinay [you’ll be tempted to hop in for a Misal!], turn left at Bhuleshwar on VP Road towards CP tank.

  

When I used to stay at Churchgate, I used to walk down Marine Drive towards Chowpatty, cross the road near Taraporewala Aquarium, take the lane between Kaivalyadhama Yoga Centre and Savitribai Phule Ladies Hostel, (the lane is called Income Tax Lane), cross the railway overbridge at the southern end of Charni Road Station on the Western Railway, walk briskly on to my destination. Don’t try to drive down – you’ll go crazy negotiating your way – and besides a brisk walk on a hot and humid Mumbai evening will build up in you a voracious appetite – quite conducive, in fact sine qua non, for total enjoyment of, and to do full justice to, the delicious nourishing fare you are going to partake of in Khichdi Samrat. Besides, your march through the crowded gritty bustling streets will prepare you for the gastronomic adventure.

  

You’ll be surprised, but the first time I went to Khichdi Samrat, one Sunday evening, I didn’t have Khichdi [maybe because of my mental map associating Khichdi  as convalescence-food, or maybe because “Dal Bati” was listed on the menu board as a Sunday special and I was curious to sample this dish which I had never tasted till that day]. Tasty wheat flour balls in scrumptious dal with plenty of pure ghee – it was indeed delicious and satiating.

  

There are ten varieties of Khichdi, ranging from the bland plain khichdi to the special dry fruit kichdi, and I have tried all of them, one on each visit, and I liked the Masala and Vrindavan Khichdis. Do embellish your khichdi with a papad of your choice. There is an impressive array of papads to choose from.

  

To my delight, I found the other dishes on the menu like the Methi Malai Mutter, Koftas, Kurmas and Paneer gravies very delicious too, and so is the excellent satisfying thali with a medley of dishes. So, if you go there in a group, don’t restrict yourself to Khichdi. And don’t forget to try different rotis and parathas including those made of maka [corn], bajra and the delicious stuffed versions.

  

Start off with a jal jeera, have chaas to accompany your meal, and end with a Gulab Jamun or Rabdi; or better still walk down to Bhaishankar Gaurishankar nearby to end your repast with some chilled soothingly-sweet rasagullas.

  

The next time you’re in the heart of Mumbai, do have a meal at Khichdi Samrat, and tell us all about it.

  

 

 

VIKRAM KARVE

  

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

  

vikramkarve@sify.com 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Dabba Gosht in Pune

May 22, 2007

 

 

 

 

DABBA GOSHT IN PUNE 

By

VIKRAM KARVE  

 

 

 

Dabba Gosht! If you’ve tasted it you know it’s unmatched, unparalleled – the ultimate mutton delicacy in Indian Cuisine.

 

Dabba means ‘tin’ and Gosht [or Ghosht] means ‘meat’ – does this imply that Dabba Gosht is mutton cooked in a tin?

 

I don’t know. Hey, wait a minute. Dabba, pronounced differently, also means ‘press’.  I’ve heard a theory, maybe apocryphal, that this delectable dish is called Dabba Gosht because the boneless mutton meat pieces are pressed against a special stone to enable the marinade and masalas to permeate thoroughly deep within and make the boneless mutton pieces truly delicious, succulent and melt-in-the-mouth.

 

I love Dabba Gosht. It’s a rare dish and only very few select eateries feature it on their menu. I’ve savored it in Mumbai, at Delhi Darbar and Baghdadi (it’s a special dish available only once a week, on Sundays, I think), and I’ve heard it’s available at Noorani and George and maybe a couple of select places in Mumbai.

 

But I never imagined I would be able to relish a fantastic Dabba Gosht (the best I’ve tasted) in Pune, of all places, and that too not at the most likely suspects like Good Luck at Deccan, and the expected eateries like George or Dorabjee in Camp, but at Sadanand (no, I’m not referring to the vegetarian eatery near Crawford Market Mumbai) – this is a place called Sadanand Resorts, to be precise, located opposite Balewadi, at the junction of Baner Road and Katraj Bypass. We walked in ready to have the usual run of the mill fare one expects of such typical roadside “motels” and was pleasantly surprised to find Dabba Gosht listed on the Menu. 

 

I ordered this rare dish with a bit of trepidation, but to my unanticipated delight the Dabba Gosht was superb – generous boneless mutton pieces, soft, juicy, succulent, releasing scrumptious flavor as they melted in my mouth and the yummy, lip smacking, nourishing, luxuriously thick white gravy made creamy rich, wholesome and nutritious by the sumptuous combination of ingredients like cashew (kaju) paste, fresh cream and eggs. With hot roomali roti it was a rare and magnificent eating experience which makes my mouth water even as I write this right now.

 

Luscious melt-in-the-mouth Dabba Gosht with delicate Roomali Roti – a supreme feast fit for the kings! Sheer gastronomic ecstasy!

 

Dear fellow Fooodie, wherever you are, search for Dabba Gosht, and then relish it to your heart’s content. And please don’t forget to tell us all about it!

 

 

 

VIKRAM KARVE

 

vikramkarve@sify.com

 

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

 

 

 

 

Khubani Ka Meetha in Pune

May 21, 2007

 

 

 

QUBANI KA MEETHA IN PUNE 

By 

VIKRAM KARVE 

 

What’s the perfect ending to a rich and spicy Mughlai meal? A cool soothing Falooda, perhaps! And after fiery Kolhapuri fare? A chilled Mastani, maybe, to quench the fires within! And do you know what the ideal finale to a Hyderabadi Biryani repast is? It is a unique refreshing apricot-based sweet-dish dessert called Qubani Ka Meetha, or Khubani Ka Meetha, spell it whichever way you like. And you get it only in
Hyderabad. That’s what I thought, till yesterday afternoon, when famished after a tiring bout of shopping on Main Street, I entered my all time favorite eatery, George Restaurant on East Street, and spotted on the “Today’s Special” menu board, written as the last item – Qubani Ka Meetha.
 

Now first a bit about George “The House of Quality Food, since 1936” – as the logo says. When I was small boy, in the 1960’s and 1970’s, once in a while, my father used bring for a meal to East Street in Pune Camp, to Kamling for Chinese, or Latif or Kwality for Mughlai, and after our meal we always had a meetha paan at George Paanwala at the entrance to George Restaurant. I used to peer inside to see the animated expressions of the hungry hoi-polloi patrons vigorously devouring their food, and yearn to taste the fare, but it was only in the late 1970’s that I became a regular patron and began to savor the mouthwatering cuisine served at George. Since then, there has been a remarkable metamorphosis in the ambiance and variety of cuisine and George has transformed into a decent affordable family restaurant.  

Having decided to end my meal with the legendary Hyderabadi dessert Qubani Ka Meetha, I ordered a Mutton Biryani to pave the way. Well, the Biryani at George is first-rate, but not as superb as those I have tasted in Hyderabad, or even as good as that served by Olympia or Shalimar in Mumbai, or Dorabjee, Blue Nile, or Good Luck in Pune. It certainly passed the spread-test with flying colours, and tasted wholesome, maybe, a wee bit bland. Now-a-days, I’d rather savor the inimitable tender succulent Rotisserie Chicken, a Mix-Grill, a Roast, or a Mughlai Gravy dish with Naan, at George, but right now I focus on mindfully relishing the Biryani in front of me, enjoying every morsel. 

The Qubani Ka Meetha, or Khubani Ka Meetha, is served. I lovingly caress the bowl – it’s nicely chilled. They’ve put a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top. I wish they’d served it with chilled freshly whipped cream [malai] as they do in
Hyderabad. I push aside the ice cream, dig deep, scoop some of the darkish brown dessert on my tongue, and close my eyes as the luscious tang, sublime flavor and invigorating aroma of the apricots permeates within me. [Qubani, or Khubani, means Apricots or Jardaloo]. Something tickles my taste buds – it’s a pistachio nut – delectable as it disintegrates and releases its characteristic taste and the contrasting flavors mingle on my tongue. I blend in a bit of vanilla ice cream, and slowly and deliberately, relish every bit of the ambrosial Qubani Ka Meetha as it glides on my tongue. Today I’m not going to have a Paan, for I’ve had an ideal end to a delicious meal.
 

Dear fellow Foodies, please do let us know if you know any places in your town where one can relish this splendid legendary Hyderabadi dessert – Qubani Ka Meetha. 

 

 

VIKRAM KARVE 

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com 

vikramkarve@sify.com 

Parenting

May 17, 2007

Parenting 

By

 

Vikram Karve 

 

 

 

 

It seems to be in thing today to have snobbish supercilious spoilt children. I was a strict old-fashioned father, but looking around, I have realized that in today’s world, where materialistic desires and ostentation overshadow traditional values, my ascetic style of parenting is hopelessly outmoded and distinctly passé. It’s too late for me to change now, so let me pontificate a bit on what I did not do.

 

Apart from the conventional vices like drinking, smoking, drugs, gambling etc, all types of new and novel temptations and addictions like Internet, Gaming, TV, sex, compulsive spending and shopping, indulging in wild reckless behaviour, breaking the law and criminal thrills are on the rise and indeed becoming status symbols in some sections of society. There is plenty of choice available for those who want to “live it up”. For children in today’s consumerist society there is no place for concepts of thrift and frugality, and conspicuous consumption, ostentation, flamboyance and expensive lifestyles are more important. Pamper your kids, pander to all their whims and fancies and they will love you; and, of course, in the long run they will ruin their own lives and cause you distress.

 

If you want to spoil your children remember there are four factors or resources that help develop and nurture bad habits, addictions and anti-social behaviour: TIME, INCLINATION,
OPPORTUNITY,
and MONEY.

 

TIME: One must have time to indulge in whatever one’s pursuits, good or bad. So, if you want to spoil your children, don’t burden them with too many “mundane” things like studies, sports, hobbies etc so that they have plenty of leisure time to live it up and pursue their temptations to their heart’s content.

 

INCLINATION: This depends on your sense of values, home and family atmosphere, social environment, religious and cultural taboos, peer pressure, influence of school and friends. Are you inculcating the right values in your kids by your own actions?

 

I’ll give a real life example.  My friend’s son, age 15, lost his expensive mobile cell-phone forgetting it in a taxi due to his own carelessness and negligence. Instead of admonishing him, my friend bought him the latest, even more expensive and fancy cell-phone. Obviously the boy had no remorse, guilt or regret at losing the expensive gadget, and instead of feeling contrite and responsible, displayed a “couldn’t care” attitude. Can one even expect such actions of parents to inculcate the correct values of thrift, frugality and responsibility in their children? If you drink, smoke, and party in front of your children, won’t they be inclined to do the same? How about your friends, your kids’ friends, their behaviour, and the general atmosphere and culture around? What are your own values? If you’re going to “live it up”, flaunt your lifestyle, be corrupt and dishonest, your kids will be inclined to do so too!

 


OPPORTUNITY : You have the Time, you have the Inclination, but do you have the opportunity to do what you want to do? Suppose you want to drink, but there is prohibition in force? Or religious, social, cultural taboos which do not give you the opportunity to drink?
Opportunity to indulge in an activity is governed by external circumstances, rules and regulations, which either inhibits or makes it conducive for you to do what you want. Enforcement of restrictions like No-Smoking Zones, Prohibition, No Entry into Bars and Pubs for Kids inhibit opportunity. Or do you want to give your kids a laissez faire opportunity to do what they want?

 

MONEY: If you want to spoil your children make sure you give them plenty of money to splurge and to do as they please. “Vices” and profligate lifestyles are expensive, you know? Give them the latest gadgets and gizmos, cars and bikes, pander to all their whims and fancies, and never ask them to account for their extravagant spending. You’ve open-mindedly given your kids the time, the inclination, and the opportunity, but finally it’s the money that matters! It’s the money you give them that helps them sustain their vices, habits, whims and fancies and extravagant lifestyle.

 

 

So go ahead, spoil your kids if you want to; but if you don’t want to, you know what to do, don’t you? Just remember the four key factors – Monitor their Time, give them the proper Inclination in life, restrict their
Opportunity for undesirable activities, and, last but not the least, keep a tight leash on their Money.

 

 

 

VIKRAM KARVE

 

vikramkarve@sify.com

 

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com