Showing posts with label India. Show all posts
Showing posts with label India. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The tragic death of Jyoti Singh Pandey

Jyoti Singh Pandey
Jyoti Singh Pandey was a 23 old woman from New Delhi, India with a big heart and even bigger dreams. However, on a cold December night in 2012 that all came to an end, as Pandey became a victim of one of the most gruesome crimes the country of India has ever seen--gang rape. 

Around 9:30 pm on December 16, 2012 Jyoti Singh Pandey and her friend Awindra Pratap Pandey were walking home after watching the movie Life of Pi in the Saket area of New Delhi, India. Without hesitation, they decided to board a bus. There were a total of 5 men on the bus, with 6 men including the driver and now 7, including Awindra Pandey. 

Shortly after they boarded the bus, Awindra grew incredibly suspicious because the bus started going into an opposite direction and the doors closed immediately after. When Awindra confronted the men with his suspicions they began to taunt him and Jyoti. As the banter continued, the men began to beat Awindra with a rusty iron rod. He was beaten so badly he was knocked completely unconscious. 

In efforts to escape, Jyoti was dragged against her will to the rear end area of the bus. They proceeded to beat her with that same iron rod (which was a rusted wheel jack handle) shortly before raping her. As the bus driver continued to drive, they began to take their perversion to the next level by inserting that same rod into vagina. During this time Awindra tried to fight them after he gained consciousness and they started to beat him until he was knocked out again.

Jyoti Pandey was beaten so badly she was unrecognizable, she was raped to the level that her intestines were hanging out of her body, and tortured so horribly she was put into a coma days after the crime. As she continued to bleed, these savages continued to brag about what they have done before throwing her and her friend Awindra off the bus as it was moving. As both continued to fight for their lives, Jyoti was able to tell the cops some of things that happened to her. 

However, after days of fighting, she underwent a series of surgeries to correct her injuries including removal of her remaining intestine. She suffered a series of complications including pneumonia and stomach infections shortly before she was declared brain dead. And due to her injuries, Jyoti Singh Pandey tragically lost her life on December 29, 2012. 

And 24 hours after the crime was reported, the police were actually able to trace the suspects. They included Ram Singh and his brother Mukesh Singh (the bus driver) from South Delhi, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta from Uttar Pradesh, Ashkay Thakur of New Delhi. Raju Singh, who was a minor at the time of the crime was never fully charged for his part, as he was only 17 when the 2012 Delhi Rape occurred. 

In March of 2014, almost two years since the death of Jyoti Pandey, Ram Singh, Ashkay Thakur, and Vinay Sharma were charged and sentenced to death. Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta decided to appeal the decision. Ram Singh, who was described as the worst of the group was found dead of an apparent suicide by hanging; however, theorists believe he was murdered. Both Singh and Gupta lost their appeals.

Raj, the youngest of the perpetrators, who was just 17 years old at the time is now a free man according to sources. He did little to no time at all yet was part of the crime with five other men. There is also speculation that he has changed his name and will be completely free of the crime. 

The question remains: has justice been rightfully served here? And if so, how is this justifed? According to Jyoti Singh Pandey's parents Asha Devi and Badrinath Singh, it has not. "We are still waiting for justice to be served," the couple shared in regards to their daughter's rape and murder. Jyoti's Singh's last words were her pleading and begging her parents to get justice for what happened which is exactly what they will continue to do for the rest of their lives. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Simple Wheat Chapatis

Dating all of the way to 16th century when Indian emperors ruled the Indian subcontinent, chapatis have made a name for themselves all throughout India. In fact, this cult-class staple can be found in virtually every Indian home, on every Indian dinner table. 

And the best part is chapatis are so easy to make. Once you master them, you will never go to any Indian restaurant again, as you will want make them at home. 

This bread only uses two key ingredients with a few others mixed in between. All you will need for this recipe is wheat flour, salt and fresh water. No need to add any butter or anything else to the mixture. One thing I have learned about Indian cuisine is that less is more, but flavor is everything. For good measure, I added some garam masala and a few extra spices hence why my bread is a little darker in color. 

Add your ingredients into a mixing bowl or even on a table. Take a small Indian rolling pin (commonly known as a chakla belan) and roll out the dough to form a small circle. The dough portions should be smaller in size. Now, take some ghee (purified butter) and place it onto a tava (which is basically a round frying pan) and place it onto it. If you don't use ghee, you can use butter or oil. 

It is helpful to have a set of cooking tongs nearby. Now it is time now to cook your chapati. I recommend cooking on medium heat and doing one at a time. A lot of authentic Indian people love to cook this bread directly on the burner, flipping both sides. They swear this is the key to making epic chapatis. 

One thing you will notice when cooking these is that each side of the bread should kind of rise, as if it were breathing. Amazing right? Once you are done and the bread is cooked on both sides, add some ghee and/or butter. Then, you will want to plate your bread. Make sure to plate each bread, one-by-one or piece by piece. 

Finally, garnish with your sauces of choice. This is strictly optional. In India, ghee is very popular. Especially when adding it to chapatis. The more, the better. The more, the merrier. In the picture I shared with you today, I cooked these tonight for dinner. I topped my chapatis with butter, ghee and fresh curd and garnished with fresh dill and mint straight from my garden. 

Once you master what makes an incredible chapati, you can get creative and add more ingredients later. In the meantime, embrace simplicity. This allows you learn how to make it. Especially if you haven't tried this bread before. It is one of the best breads you will ever eat. In fact, according to many Indian people this bread is the best there is.  

I hope you are having a wonderful day. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Rajma Chole Masala + Chapati Wrap

So, tonight for dinner I decided to make a unique Indian dish which consists of an epic fusion of the classic Rajma (a simple curry primarily made up of kidney beans) and Chole (a chickpea curry). I garnished this dish with white onion and cilantro. In India, you will notice onion is paired with a lot of dishes. Indian utilizes onion more so than lettuce in a salad substitute. 

And what better way to pair this dish than with a sun-dried tomato basil bisque Chapati wrap. Chapatis are a cult-classic staple in India and remain to be one of the most popular flat breads in the country. Of course adding butter is a must, as butter not only makes the bread shine, but taste even better. 

I don't know what it is, but it seems like I always find happiness in the kitchen. I don't eat out much anymore, as I have garnered a love and appreciation for my own cooking. And lets face it, when it comes to food, there is simply no place like home. 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Mother cow with her baby in Sonipat, India


In honor of Mother's Day today, I want to share with you a wonderful video of a beautiful mother cow nursing her baby in the streets of Sonipat, India. Taken in the early hours of the morning, late into the night - cows in India are treated with the utmost respect. This is one of the most precious things you will ever see in your life. 

Disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed: What happened?

Najeeb Ahmed, who has been missing since
Fall of 2016. 
In case you are unaware, Najeeb Ahmed is a college student from New Delhi, India who went missing on Saturday, October 15, 2016. At the time, he was only 27 years old, so he would be estimated to be 30 years old today. Having went missing under suspicious circumstances, there has been no justice since that time. 

Ahmed was studying biotechnology at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Looking to pursue his masters degree in the field, friends describe him as reserved, gentle and with no temperamental issues. I heard about this case recently and have been wondering what could have happened to him. With a closed case, a botched investigation and no leads at all, one can only speculate what really happened to Najeeb Ahmed. 

The night before Najeeb Ahmed disappeared he ended up having a confrontation which ended up with him being assaulted. Ahmed's family and friends pleaded with authorities to investigate; however, the authorities in this particular case failed to do so which lead to Ahmed's family (his mother in particular) filing a habeas corpus petition in New Delhi's high court. 

As time proceeded the authorities took the initiative of filing an FIR for kidnapping and wrongful confinement. After investigating, they used a taxi driver's testimony that Ahmed was mentally ill and therefore went with a narrative that Ahmed left New Delhi by choice. According to an article published by The Indian Express, the driver also went onto say that he drove Ahmed to the Jamia Millia Islamia University. Which leads me to the question - is the taxi driver involved in the disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed? Did he actually kill him? or Is the taxi driver telling the truth? 

Due to lack of evidence, the New Delhi police dropped the case completely. After failing to prove the connection between Ahmed's mental state and actual disappearance, the authorities discreetly placed the case on the shelf. 

Additionally, there is speculation that the man and/or men who assaulted Ahmed the night before also had something to do with his disappearance. According to an article published in The Quint, Ahmed was beaten by a group of 25-30 students on the way to the warden's home. Perhaps he feared them and left or they killed him which is why he has not been found. 

What do I think happened? 

I think he is possibly deceased. It makes no sense he would not be in contact with his family. I believe he was possibly murdered by a group of men who threatened him the night before and I believe the taxi driver was part of the group. There were witnesses to the confrontation who have said they watched these men threaten Ahmed the night before he disappeared. I believe the driver's remark regarding the Jamia Millia Islamia University was a subliminal message also and references the original remark regarding the threat. I would hope this isn't what happened and Ahmed is still alive, but there are no leads and the case is closed. 

Will there ever be justice? One can only hope. Najeeb Ahmed is currently missing and has been for almost three years now. India is one of the world's largest countries (the 2nd largest to be exact) so it is possible he is still alive. If you know of anything regarding his whereabouts please contact your local police department. 

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Cheti Chand 2019

Chetri Chandra is one of the most popular holidays in Rajasthan, India. Based on the lunar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu calendar, this two-day celebration marks the arrival of Spring and harvest. It also marks the birth of Uderolal, in the year 1007. Although Uderolal was known as a freedom fighter, he believed everyone of every faith deserved the same treatment. 

For Cheti Chand, Hindus celebrate by cooking huge dinners, attending parties, listening to music and visiting temples where their favorite ishta devta is located. Some Hindus (mainly Sindhi Hindus) traditionally go to nearest body of water (lake or river usually) and take gifts with them. 

These gifts include: 

Misiri - granulated or crystal sugar
Fota - cardamom
Fal - fruits
Jyot - oil lamp

Other gifts include a water jar (commonly known as a kalash) and some nariyal (or coconut) wrapped in a cloth and covered with flowers and leaves. 

Additionally, Cheti Chand promotes Chaliho Saheb, Baharana Sahib and Chet Chand wishes. And like most holidays including restricted holidays such as this one, most businesses are closed. 

I am just discovering the holidays of Hinduism, including this one. Although this holiday isn't one I follow presently, I can admit that I appreciate it. To all of you who celebrate today, happy Cheti Chand day.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

The case of Robin Vadakkancheril, the priest who raped a minor

Robin Vadakkancheril escorted by police.
(Photo via Google News)
I am sure most of you who are reading this have no idea what I am talking about. I recently discovered this case when looking at the crime in India. I was shocked and baffled at what I discovered. This was one of the biggest stories I have discovered, making it breaking news all over India.

 A priest by the name of Robin Vadakkancheril from Kerala, India was sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment for raping and impregnating a minor, a crime he committed several years ago. As a vicar of the St. Sebastian Church, what brought this case to light was the fact that in 2017 his victim delivered a child. An anonymous caller reported this directly to Childline, a foundation which protects the rights children living in India. An investigation immediately took place shortly after Childline heard of the allegations from the anonymous caller.

What makes this case even more sinister is the fact that his legal team tried to shift blame onto the victim's father, who was unaware of the priest's actions originally. Once the father found out about what the priest did to his daughter, he tried take the blame as he didn't want Vadakkancheril to be punished nor his daughter. In addition, his daughter (the victim of the crime) originally told the court that she wanted to eventually marry Vadakkancheril.


In addition, several employees of the St. Sebastian Church were charged with conspiracy and destruction of evidence. These employees include one priest and six nuns. They also ordered a probe on the victim's parents for trying to hide the crime. The family comes from a lower caste (or class) and found the case created a lot of pressure on them. The parents even went so far to tell their own daughter that the labor pain she was feeling was just a very bad stomach ache. Crazy right?

Originally ten people total were charged; however, two doctors and administrator of the hospital both appealed the charge via Supreme Court. As a result, their cases were dismissed. One of the doctor's in this case eventually offered very vital testimony which helped the priest get in trouble for what he did.

The court verdict was determined by the gynecologist's report from the hospital where Vadakkancheril's victim originally delivered the child. A paternity test determined the father of the child was, in fact, Robin Vadakkancheril. And it was the statements provided by one of the doctors which charged the priest for this crime.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Chhath Puja 2018

Me tonight.
Today we celebrate the anniversary of our beautiful sun and his wife Usha. As the sun (or Surya) is a demi-god which brings light into our lives, Usha is a demi-goddess who represents the dawn in which she represents the daily light coming into our lives and life as we know it. Chhath Puja is a tradition that started many years ago and is dedicated to thanking both the sun and Usha for bestowing life upon us. Starting exact four days from Diwali with today being the 6th day from the that same holiday, this festival is primarily embraced by women more so than men. 

I will celebrate this incredible holiday today. It is currently 11:30 pm here in Idaho. Starting in 30 minutes, I will fast for 24 hours. I will not eat nor drink anything in that time frame. I will go outside often to pay respects to the sun with prayer. I will refrain from using technology, which means no internet for me. Then, at 12 am tomorrow (November 14, 2018) I will offer my food to both the moon and goddess Ganga and finally be able to enjoy a wonderful meal. I am a vegetarian (occasionally vegan) so I will enjoy something wholesome. 


Dating all of the way back to vedic times, Chhath honors both the rising sun and the setting sun. Taking part in Chhath symbolizes loyalty, love and liberty for self and for family. I am celebrating this to pay respects to the sun and my incredible boyfriend, who is an Indian Hindu. As the sun is necessary for life, this is the only holiday which commemorates it but honors everything it brings including love and light. And truth be told, it is one of the few festivals on earth that is backed by science. 


During this day my body's immunity will be boosted. This will also include a heightened level of immunity to my physical body and health, mental state of well being including eliminated anger, social state of well being including patience, emotional health including happiness and spiritual connection to life. 

Additionally, I will absorb both Vitamin D and Calcium which are both extremely vital to the human body. 

Amazing right?

And although this is considered a holiday in Hinduism, other faiths have the right to celebrate it also. Whether you are Christian, Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim or even Mormon, you too can acknowledge Chhath. It is; however, celebrated by Hindu women around the world, including myself. 

Happy Chhath Puja! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Sumit's recent video message to me


My amazing boyfriend Sumit is filled with many surprises. He sent me this video message earlier today from Chandigarh, India letting me know he loved me. For those of you that do not know, I met a man from India recently. We started dating in late May. Sumit is younger than me, but that is okay, as we have a strong connection not to mention great communication, amazing chemistry and evident compatibility. He makes me extremely happy and makes me realize life is worth living. It has been almost two years since Joe and I split and I always wondered in spite of remaining friends with Joe, if I was destined to find love again. 

Today, I am happy to say that I have and it is stronger than ever. Sumit makes me realize the beauty of life. He makes me not only see, but love and appreciate everything that comes into my life, including the little things. And no matter big or small, he allows me to realize we all have value and a true purpose for living. Everyone has a place on earth.

Sumit is not only intelligent (he went to college at 16 and graduated with a bachelor's at 20), he's a polymath in a sense where his intelligence goes beyond anything academic. Never have I ever spoke to anyone who is on his level intellectually. He's also the most positive, free thinking person I have ever met, as he is extremely optimistic and ambitious. He is human and he has his moments, but in the end, he makes me the happiest I have ever been in a very long time. 

With that said, those of you reading this, I hope you find your "Sumit" as I hope you find love. I believe everyone in life is deserving of love and happiness including those of you who despise me (and you know who you are). They say a life without love is like the earth without the sun. And I think there is some truth to this.