Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Delhi: Emergency numbers

Police numbers/ stations/ helplines:


Commissioner of Police 3319661(O) 3319721(O)

Police Headquarters 3352678

Chanakyapuri Police Station 3011100, 3012003

Parliament Street Police Station 3361100, 3542700

Tughlak Road Police Station 3014878, 3012100

Tilak Marg Police Station 3382100

Fire Service 101

Ambulance 102

Accident & Trauma 10999


Emergency numbers for #RML hospital: 23348200 23404446 23743769 23404478
Emergency numbers for AIIMS 26588700;
Emergency numbers for Safdarjung Hospital: +91-011-26101925, +91-011-26161960, +91-011-26194690, +91-011-26165032, +91-011-26168336,

Blood Banks in Delhi (via ClickIndia):

Connaught Place
Indian Red Cross Society
Located in Connaught Place, Indian Red Cross Society is a voluntary humanitarian organization which provides relief in times of disasters/emergencies and promotes health & care of the vulnerable people and communities.

Red Cross Road, Janpath
New Delhi - 110029

Karol Bagh
Bajaj Blood Bank
Bajaj Blood Bank is situated in Karol Bagh. It has a collection of all blood components, who wants to take on emergency basis.
Karol Bagh
New Delhi 110005
Tel:+(91)-(11) 28712849
Blood Bank Organisation
Located just opposite Telephone Exchange, it is an organization which provides blood when it needed to the patient admitted in various hospitals.
11/6 B, Shanti Chamber, Oppositte Telephone Exchange, Pusa Road
New Delhi - 110005
Tel:+(91)-(11) 25721870, 25711055, 25730773
Fax:+(91)-(11) 25745208
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
The Blood Bank at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital is housed in a newly renovated larger area. It has been equipped to provide not only good quality blood but also the blood fractions required for the treatment of various haematological diseases and complications in medical cases.

Rajinder Nagar
New Delhi 110060
Tel:+(91)-(11)25735205, 25861463

Mayur Vihar
Dharmashila Cancer Foundation & Research Centre
Situated close to Noida, it is well equipped with ultra modern facilities. It has a list of voluntary donors from whom blood can be collected on urgent basis.

Vasundhara Enclave
New Delhi - 110 091
Tel:+(91)-(11)-43066666, 43066688, 22617771-75
Tel:+(91)-(11)-22617770, 22619033

Civil Lines
Sant Parmanand Hospital
The hospital's Blood bank is situated in the basement. Platelets, Plasma, Packed cells are available round the clock. It has the latest Apheresis system for preparation of Mega units of platelets (Single Donor Platelets).

18, Sham Nath Marg, Civil Lines
Delhi -110054
Tel:+(91)-(11)23981260, 23994401
Fax:+(91)-(11) 23974706
Lions Blood Bank
One of the newly opened blood bank in the town, Lions Blood Bank is equipped with all the latest technologies & testing facilities and it is a 100% voluntary blood bank.
AK - 100, Shalimar Bagh,
Delhi -110086
Tel:+(91)-(11)- 47122000, 42258080, 9717897500

Greater Kailash
G K Medical Centre Blood Bank
G K Medical Centre Blood Bank is situated in Greater Kailash. It operates on a round the clock issue basis.
E49, Greater Kailash II
New Delhi 110048
Lajpat Nagar
CPC Blood Bank
Located in the posh shopping area of Lajpat Nagar, CPC Blood Bank provides the safe healthy tested blood when it needed to the patient admitted in various hospitals. It has the full stock of Platelets, Plasma, Packed cells.

J-36 Lajpat Nagar-II
New Delhi 110024
Tel:+(91)-(11) 26834101
Batra Hospital & Medical Research Centre
Located near Hamdard Nagar on the Mehrauli Badarpur Road, Batra Hospital provides the blood on a round the clock issue basis. Blood and apheresis component donations are carried out from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (week days).

1, Tughlakabad Institutional Area, Mehrauli Badarpur Road
New Delhi - 110 062
Tel:+(91)-(11)-26056148, 26056153, 26057154

Rotary Blood Bank
Located in Mehrauli, it has been established to alleviate the tremendous shortage of healthy, fully tested blood and blood components. Whole blood, platelet concentrate, fresh frozen plasma and packed cells are available any time.

56-57,Tuglakabad Industrial Area, Mehrauli - Badarpur Road,
New Delhi - 110044
Tel:+(91)-(11)29054066, 29054067, 29962078

All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
The Deptt. of Transfusion Medicine at AIIMS is running a full time Blood Bank whcih is open round the clock. It is one of the Regional Blood Transfusion Centre for south Delhi. It collects blood from all the healthy donors who wants to donate blood in the Blood Bank and in the Blood Donation Camps organised in and outside Delhi.

Ansari Nagar
New Delhi - 110029
Tel:+(91)-(11)26588500, 26588700

South Extension
Sunil Blood Bank and Transfusion Center
Located in Kotla Timber Market, Sunil Blood Bank and Transfusion Center provides the various blood components on emergency basis.
806 Arjun Nagar, Kotla Mubrakpur,
Opp Defence Colony
New Delhi 110003


Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital
It can be access through Dwarka – Connaught Place Metro line, just 02 km. from Hospital. It provides the various blood components on urgent basis.
Hari Nagar
New Delhi 110064
Tel:+(91)-(11)25494403 Upto, 08, 25125259

Jaipur Golden Hospital
Jaipur Golden Hospital is housed in Sector 3. There is not only good quality blood in fact it has also the blood fractions required for the treatment of various diseases.
2-Institutional Area, Sector-3, Rohini
New Delhi - 110085

Kailash Hospital & Research Centre
The hospital's blood bank is located in Sector 27, Noida. Platelets, Plasma, Packed cells, platelet concentrate, fresh frozen plasma are available. It has been provided with high-tech refrigerators, freezers, and cell separator.

H-33, Sector-27
Tel:+(91)-(120)2444444, 2440444

General link to a list of hospitals/ ambulance services, from the Delhi Traffic Police site.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The khichdi conundrum

(From my food writing files, in honour of the weather, this August 2010 piece on khichdi, carried in the Business Standard.)

As the rain clouds settle in and the skies darken, a primitive instinct kicks in: like so many Indians, I must make or eat khichdi, preferably with the accompaniments, but at need, just the plain rice-and-dal dish that has travelled down to us from the time of the Vedas. (Note: There are recipes for rice dishes in the Upanishads, too, but they may have unintended consequences--see below.)

Khichdi is perhaps one of the universal Indian dishes, found in some form or the other across all regions; and yet it’s rarely found in restaurants, and outside of Bengal, khow-swey parties would be more common than khichdi parties. This is not so much household food as langar food, puja pandal food; it hasn’t yet migrated to coffee shop menus. (Given the number of road warriors who look eagerly for home-style food in their fancy hotels, I’m willing to bet it would be a hit if anyone took the plunge and introduced it.)

The closest equivalent to khichdi-on-the-menu is Karnataka’s Bisi Bele Bhath, a complex union of toor dar, rice, tamarind, spices and an assortment of vegetables that may have originated in its present form in the Mysore Palace. Bisi bele bhat enthusiasts will argue hotly over such minutiae as whether one can add green peas (no, say the purists, and I agree), what accompaniments may be served (none or an assortment of vegetable dishes, according to taste) and whether bisi bele bhat tastes even better reheated the next day (no, but it remains edible, unlike leftover sambar-rice).

The Bengali version of khichdi I grew up with had many variations: there was the soupy invalid dish that resembled nothing more than the gruel described in the grimmer work of Charles Dickens’, flavoured austerely with salt, and then there were the infinite variations on the grand “party dish”. Perhaps this is why khichdi doesn’t make it to restaurant menus: anyone can make an average khichdi, but it takes a master to blend the deceptively simple array of spices, lentils (roasted moong dal, the humble masoor), rice and vegetables to the correct pitch.

In that sense, a khichdi is closer to the paella than to the risotto: everything depends, not on the grain of the rice or the release of starch at the right moment, but at the cook’s ability to add in ingredients at just the right stage of cooking. It’s also a dish best made in quantity and served steaming hot; reheating dries out the lentil grains (my theory is that the tamarind sauce in bisi bele bhat makes it slightly more amenable to reheating than the classic khichdi/ khichuri).

Just a few restaurants in Calcutta offer khichdi—these used to be the old “canteen stalwarts”, formica tables, plastic chairs, the haunt of the working class clerk who will settle down in comfort, secure in the knowledge that the smart set will not invade his privacy. Kewpie Kitchen’s offers, in season, grand khichuri-thalis—platters of either hilsa-khichdi, meat curry-khichdi, or the not-to-be-despised niramish or vegetarian version. The accompaniments are classic. The purest of ghee is a must, and will be ladled on to khichuri in quantities that demolish any faint idea that this is a meal for the health-conscious.

Fried vegetables in besan batter—or in the case of aubergines, thinly sliced or cut in fat wedges and fried to an irresistible meatiness—will accompany the khichdi. As with the North Indian obsession with making different kinds of pakoras, delicacy and skill is everything: the highest praise is reserved, as the author Bulbul Sharma noted in her collection of food stories, the Anger of Aubergines, for single leaves of spinach lightly coated in besan batter, introduced briefly to a cauldron of hot oil, and flash-fried, in the same manner as parsley might be fried in the West. Meat and fish accompaniments are permissible, but not really classic.

Which brings me to another pet theory: the first restaurant to set itself up as a langar-specialist, bringing together Amritsar’s gurdwara classics alongside Bengal’s puja-pandal khichdi and labra and Kerala’s temple payasam will make a killing. All we need is the right backer, and a chef who understands the importance of the perfect plate of steaming-hot, delectable, nostalgia-laden khichdi.

The Upanishads on the cooking of rice:

Now, when the monthly sickness comes upon anyone's wife, for three days she should not drink from a metal cup, nor put on fresh clothes. Neither a low-caste man nor a low-caste woman should touch her. At the end of the three nights she should bathe and should have rice threshed.

14. In case one wishes, 'That a white son be born to me! that he be able to repeat a Veda! that he attain the full length of life!'--they two should have rice cooked with milk and should eat it prepared with ghee. They two are likely to beget [him].

15. Now, in case one wishes, 'That a tawny son with reddish-brown eyes be born to me! that he be able to recite two Vedas! that he attain the full length of life!'--they two should have rice cooked with sour milk and should eat it prepared with ghee. They two are likely to beget [him].

16. Now, in case one wishes, 'That a swarthy son with red eyes be born to me! that he be able to repeat three Vedas! that he attain the full length of life!'--they two should have rice boiled with water and should eat it prepared with ghee. They two are likely to beget [him].

17. Now, in case one wishes, 'That a learned (pandita) daughter be born to me! that she attain the full length of life!'--they two should have rice boiled with sesame and should eat it prepared with ghee. They two are likely to beget [her].

A. Now, in case one wishes, 'That a son, learned, famed, a frequenter of council-assemblies, a speaker of discourse desired to be heard, be born to me! that he be able to repeat all the Vedas! that he attain the full length of life!'--they two should have rice boiled with meat and should eat it prepared with ghee. They two are likely to beget [him], with meat, either veal or beef.

Monday, September 05, 2011

The furore over 2(m) and parallel imports

The problem with the debate over parallel imports is that it has, inevitably, pitted the interests of readers, students and academics against the interests of authors, publishers, and well, readers again. As someone who might write books at some point, and who's worked in the publishing industry, I was very glad to hear that the controversial 2(m) amendment had been dropped. The parallel imports debate is a complex one, and here is a link to old posts on Akhond that cover the entire debate:

Three posts on the parallel imports debate:

Here is a link to a piece in Mint that explains the position from the other side, from the point of view of students and readers:

But much of the debate has ignored the unpleasant realities that drive the publishing industry. The first is that the Indian publishin industry does not operate in isolation; as I and several others have argued, there is no benefit and a great deal of harm in opening up our markets one-way, without being able to access the great souks of the West in an equivalent fashion. The second is that it doesn't make sense to treat academic and trade publishing as the same kind of beast, and assume that laws that are good for one sector will be good for the other. They operate in very different ways, and part of the problem here is that what might work in the textbooks/ academic sector does not work at all for trade publishing and for mainstream fiction/ non-fiction writers.

I'm relieved that 2(m) has been dropped, but I also hope that this will start a longer and more complex debate on parallel imports, and what we can do to bring better books more cheaply to Indian readers--without killing off what is still an emerging English language publishing industry.
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