Tuesday, December 28, 2010

An accolade for my work - expressing my gratitude.

click the image to enlarge it

My sincere thank to Dr Navras Jaat Afreedi , for including my name in your feature published by Woolf Institute, studying relation between Jews, Christians &Muslims.
I am even thankful to the Editorial board,

Lucia Faltin, Ed Kessler, Editors
Dan Avasilichioaie, Marketing
Esther haworth
Trisha Kessler, Culture
Tina Steiner, News
Lucy Glendinning, Editorial Assistant.

Dr Edward Kessler, 
Founding and Executive Director

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rimon רימון - Pomogranate

This is a simple calligraphy which can be counted as an anatomic calligraphy of hebrew, The basic font used is the font used for writing the sta''m but the shape and size has been adjusted  for the final work, the nun at the end of the word helped me to put the crown shape as nun is one among the sha'atnezgets letter and the shape is almost similar to the floral tip or the blossom of the pomogranate. The crown was the driving factor which made me to design such.

Nahl (Honey bee) - A Sign from God

I had made a calligraphic piece of a honey bee which contains the verses from Quran, Surat al Nahl which itself means Honey Bee. The verses are given below :

68 And your Lord taught the bee to build its cells in hills, on trees, and in habitations;
69 Then to eat of all the produce, and find with skill the spacious paths of its Lord: there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colours, wherein is healing for men: truly in this is a sign for those who give thought.

Looking into the meaning of these verses actually made me to think about this creature. And as stated in Quran, the honey is a main ingredient in the Ayurvedic medicines. According to ayurveda is one of the five elixirs of immorality.

Jewish Kashurath law states pure honey is kosher even though its not from a kosher creature.

In Islam, Quran, Hadith states about this creature and in hadith Prophet Muhammed strongly recommend the healing properties of Honey.

Apart from that hope all of you liked this work.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hebrew Anatomic Calligraphy

Recently the word גמל made me to think, there is a chance of anatomic calligraphy in Hebrew language. After just wasting two three papers I reached my destination, and understood that it was near to my finger tip. Just putting the letters in proper place and giving them a new look with maintaining the basic shape, and it happened to be a success, just before publishing the designs in the blog I had forwarded a calligraphic piece of Magen david, to Mr.Zeev Barkan ( who does research on that ) he published it in his flicker account. Soon he received a request from a person seeking permission to make it a tattoo, that made me more happy. The responds was so fast. Thank God.
Hebrew word גמל gamal, which means camel written in a shape of 

a camel

Hebrew word נבל nevel which means harp, written in the replica of 

a harp.

Hebrew word סוס soos which means horse.

Hebrew word אריאל which means lion of God, an alternate name of 

Jerusalem. in the shape of lion head.

מגן דוד Magen David, means star of David in hebrew, drawn in a 

exact magen david shape.

And i dedicate this work for the world peace.its written shalom, in a style of 7 branch Menorah.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hebrew Quran Manuscript From Cochin

I was stunned to see a web page which really fascinated me; I was goggling in the net checking for any existing written documents belonged to Cochin Jewish community, as a part of my research. I was just visiting the pages, after having a glance if it is worth I saved the pages or else I left but this page made me to get stuck into it for a long time. Even after reading it thrice I was still in surprise mood.

The web page was about one of three existing manuscripts of Quran. And interesting part is that it was from Cochin, India. Rather than me explaining about that I would like to quote the words from the page.
“In a tour de force of bibliographical sleuthing, Myron M. Weinstein, former Head of the Hebraic Section, using both painstaking scholarship and creative imagination, offers the missing date and even a nineteenth-century provenance. In his "A Hebrew Qur'an Manuscript" in Jews in India, edited by Thomas A. Timberg, Weinstein, in elegant narrative style, leads the reader along a thoroughly documented road, at whose end we are convinced that this Hebrew version is a translation from a Dutch copy which is itself a translation from the French translation of the original Arabic. Weinstein also persuades us that the translator is Leopold Immanuel Jacob van Dort, a Jewish convert to Christianity who was professor of theology in Colombo, Ceylon, and that the scribe was David Cohen, a native of Berlin then residing in Cochin, a city on the southwest coast of India. Weinstein is equally persuasive about the manuscript being written in Cochin in the 1750s or 1760s, probably in 1757, when van Dort was visiting that city, and that is the volume the missionary Joseph Wolff saw in Meshed, Persia, in 183 1, when he encountered a group of Jewish Sufis. Wolff writes:

I met here in the house of Mullah Meshiakh with an Hebrew translation of the Koran, with the following title: "The Law of the Ishmaelites, called the Koran, translated from the Arabic into French by Durier, and from the French into Dutch by Glosenmachor, and 1, Immanuel Jacob Medart, have now translated it into the holy language, written here at Kogen, by David, the son of Isaac Cohen of Berlin."

From Cochin to Meshed to Washington, and who knows where in-between, a  hegira from the ends of the earth indeed!

Check it in the below link  http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/loc/Word.html

That is really an interesting fact isn’t it?  And even I feel proud to be a cochinite as this happened to be in Cochin.

The word Kogen (Kogin or kotzin as been called by Jewish community of cochin for the name Cochin) made me to recall an incident happened in my encounter with the Cochin jewish community.

It was a Tuesday, just after my lunch I received a call from Thaha saying, Joseph Hallegua one of the oldest member in the community wants to meet me to recreate the seal of Pardesi synagogue, I was taken to a 18  th century mansion, the residence of Joseph Hallegua. His daughter was there to whom I seemed to be an alien even though I had met her many times form the ticket counter of synagogue. I think it might be because she saw me from her home.

Joseph Hallegua took me and Thaha to a table and gave me some papers and the seal. The seal was made of bronze and look very antique in nature. I was very much exited to see the seal and was glad to get an opportunity recreate it. The part of me was to draw the exact replica of it. I have done it in course of time Joseph Hallegua asked me, how is studied Hebrew language and I had narrated the story and I finished drawing the outline then started with writing part, Mr Hallegua gave me a piece of paper in which he tried to draw it and I read it but there was a mistake in it and I found it and showed to Mr. Hallegua he didn’t admit it first but after a healthy argument finally I took a photo of the seal in my mobile and I zoomed it and then showed to him he understood it the word in which he made the mistake was Kogin it was written  קוגין   in the seal but Mr.Hallegua told it is כוגן , even later Thaha took a enlarged Xerox copy imprint of the seal and gave him a copy.

The word Cochin is written kotzin by the new age Hebrew users, ie instead of gimel they use tzadik, even called by any name Cochin is always Cochin.

And here i would like to say that printing and issual of Hebrew translation of Quran is been announced by the King Fahad complex in 2007, hope the works are still going or it would have published, any way i would like to get one copy of it, Inshallah. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Calligraphic Gift for Bar Mitzvah.

Almost a month ago, while i was checking my mail i got stuck with a mail from States, i read it was a calligraphic request, as i anticipated it was also a bit challenging work, the request was from Mr.Yohan Jeffereis from U.S.A it was to create a Bar Mitzvah calligraphic gift with a Indian Jewish and antique touch. so it was interesting too. so gladly i proceeded with the work, with all the Cochin Jewish design and other Indian design specimens we had a discussion and came to a decision and he send me a layout how it has to be.he send me a copy of invitation card too.

The name of the boy is Marcus Binyamin Eller, i scribed his name in golden letters, in a hand made paper which has a rough texture. And to get parchment colour i had used a secret mixture.

And just below that i had made a lotus design, which is a fusion style and two magen davids in it. Then a scroll   with the Torah portion ie, the Lech-Lecha from Bereshith ( Genesis 12:1-2 ) this is the portion which is to be recited by the boy during the ceremony.

The pillar shown here is a replica of the pillar of Aron Kadesh of Cochin Pardesi Synagogue. A combimation of red and golden colour. The floral design given in white colour frame is of Taj Mahal floral design. Finally, after all the work i had just placed a picture which was forwarded by Mr.Jefferies in the place left for the photo.And even the frame he brought from Thailand or Indonesia, i don't remember the place.

Hope he will like it, and you too will.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

סיפורי - My story

This posting is the answer for the frequently asked question and request of my well wishers, that how I get acquainted with the Hebrew language and Cochin Jews.

I cannot actually recollect the entire story of my first visit to Cochin Jewish synagogue which sawed the seed of Hebrew language in me. when I was about 10 years old I even don’t know what actually it is ,but I was insisting my father to take me to the synagogue; I don’t know what driving force made me to think so,  It was not something divine but might be some curiosities arise in me by seeing the foreigners visiting cochin.
It was evening, the time might be around 6.30pm the roads leading to the Jew town started to get painted in dark by the night, I couldn’t find any person in the road and I think it was a Sunday. The curiosity in me made my each second to an hour and at last I reached to the Jew town junction where the yellowish tint of the street light gave the place to be a distinct from the other streets of Cochin. My father parked his bike aside and we walked, the buildings on the both side of the street seem to be extraordinarily large to me, and with a glance itself the antique shops in the street grabbed my attention. I saw a jumbo size crystal of orange colour and I stood there for a second my father came and hold my hand and made to walk to the synagogue, the two unusual lamps on the either side of the synagogues gate and the abruptly laid rocks in front took me decades back and still I feels that I am somewhere in the history when I visit Jew town.

The gatekeeper told the synagogue is closed for the visitors during that time someone from the synagogue who was lighting the lamp came out, I am sure he was a Jew he was fair with cat’s eye and he wore a skull cap, as my father explained to him that I was insisting him to take me to the synagogue. With a smile he allowed me and my father to get into the synagogue and I was in a dilemma, whether I have to walk further or what to do. That panoramic view is still there in my mind, I can even sketch it out. I paid my attention to Hebrew wall writings and the torah chest which is carved out exquisitely.  Then I just went near to the person who allowed me enter into synagogue he was still lighting the lamps that was quiet unusual lamp it was made in glass with some water and oil he said that was his relatives death anniversary day and he just came on behalf of his memories and he explained how that lamp worked

This incident was scraped out of my memory but it is a sort of incident which cannot be explained with same essence which I experienced.

Then after a long time when I was perusing with my 9th I was curious about the languages and I love to write Hindi and Gujrathi, I used to write it for my friends and even I used to write the word “Gujrathi” in the black board just before I leave from my class (where the gujrathi classes are conducted) to another class room for my Malayalam class. Once the Gujrathi teacher caught me as if I had done a mistake, her sound is very rough and bold, which made my hands freeze but she appreciated me and told to me you have to write it for every class.

Later when I was in 10th standard I was crazy with the Chinese alphabets and I created a set of alphabet which resembled Chinese of my own and used it as our classmates code language, it’s still there in my slam book. These where just told me to show my concern towards language.  

Leaving from that school and the friend circle made me to forget that language. I joined for my 11th standard (in 2004) in Santa Cruz, Higher secondary school which was a catholic management owned school. From there I got one Gideon’s Bible while an hundred year old library was emptied then to be re-established. The copy was given to me by one teacher. I took it to home I started to turn the pages, there was some page which is has translation of one verse from John in different languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, German and so on there around 25 languages. The Hebrew attracted me after a long time from visiting the synagogue this was another moment which put me in touch with the Hebrew; I wanted to the word which means God in Hebrew I was that much alien to Hebrew language initially i failed to find it out that failure made me to learn more. And I started to just imitate the letters and started the journey with the Hebrew language.

My next intention was to get a Hebrew bible, I acquired one Hebrew book but it was not a bible it was a daily prayer book I brought from a street side bookseller. That book helped me a lot because in that book one side was Hebrew Prayer and other side was its translation in English that helped me to find out the corresponding word of God. And in last page there was transliteration of Kadeesh La’eela that actually helped me to get the idea about the alphabet and vowels after spending long hours in night i learned that there were around 30 alphabets but later I realised some letters at the ending of the word and found out their distinct character and the learning procedure went on finally comparing with the Arabic alphabets I learned at my childhood helped me to understand what is Hebrew language. Gradually I learned to write, read and then to understand some of the word meaning and it went on.

 For learning Hebrew I have not approached anyone other than God, The Almighty.  

 I had used simple fountain pen, pencils, brushes, shaped Quill, shaped Bamboo stick and finally a calligraphic pen to write Hebrew and in course of time I was active in Arabic calligraphy and I use to write Ayathul Kurzeey for my relatives even gifted for their house warming. But I didn’t try to create one Hebrew piece.
I was having a great time with languages I came across with Aramaic, Syrian, Samaritan, Mandaic and Coptic; even I had translated a Coptic book to Malayalam language.

It was a co incidence that one of my friend Sharon who know about my interest in Hebrew asked me have you visited synagogue I told yes when I was a child I had visited it. Then he asked can we go tomorrow I told why not?

The very next day four of us Me, Peter, Sharon and Shaheed, went to Dutch palace and then to synagogue we were in our bicycles and kept it aside and went inside and the synagogue inside was cool as it is well ventilated. As photography was not prohibited my friend took some snaps in his mobile. Suddenly the doors of the synagogue was closed as it was closing time one old man with a kippah walked along with one lady and he was explaining about the history of synagogue, later I came to know that she was the wife the election commissioner(i don’t know her name). The old man opened the Aron Kadesh and showed the Torah scroll someone from the crowd told the torah is kept upside down it seems, I suddenly  told its not, the old man looked at me and asked how come you know that I told I can read Hebrew

He was surprised and asked me: are you a Jew?

 I told: no, I am a Muslim.

He asked: who taught you Hebrew?

I told: I learned of my own.

He asked me:Can you read a small portion from Torah?

I told I can only read with the vowels, but I will try.

And I read a small portion and I don’t know from which portion I read and was it correct or not.

But he congratulated me and asked me where I from am and so on.....

On the very same day itself I tried to make one replica but to make a replica I have to learn some of the rules to be followed, it took one week for me to get a small idea regarding that, the eagerness in me helped me a lot to finish the intended work to get over by another one week.  

I took it to the caretaker of synagogue Mr. Joy, and he helped me to meet the warden Samuel Hallegua, I met him after a long time from this incident(early 2007), He was sitting in a chair which is laid in synagogue I went and introduced myself and showed the replica of  Torah made by me he gave a good comment on that, He was interested to talk with me and he took me to his home to have a talk, he talked to me for a long time the topic was regarding Judaism and the life of Jews in Kerala. And he told that during the recent reconstruction of the First mosque of India, Cheraman Juma Masjid which is situated in Kodungalur, he met the Khatib and some of the office bearers and requested to reconstruct it in the same manner without disturbing the ancient structure but that was reconstructed in a different manner. He told he felt bad about it. He was a great storyteller and he gave stress on peaceful co existence and tolerance.

Then I used frequently visited him and just before  starting with my degrees (in later 2007) I met him for the last and I presented him an oil painting of Menorah and a calligraphic piece of Ten Commandments in Hebrew handwritten by me. And now he is no more he passed away couple of days before the last Rosh-Hashanah (September 2009)

Then I got acquainted with my studies and but during my second year I just tried to make a birkat ha bayith in and I made around 10 different type and then in 2009 I met Sarah Cohen and I remember it was on June during my vacation time. I showed the birkat ha bayith to her and she was very interested to see those works and these are some of the thriving instances which came into my mind while dusting out some.

Rest of the incidences are narrated in older blogs  

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Arabic-Hebrew liaison Calligraphic Project is done.............

The project from far west to create a Hebrew Birkat ha bayith in Arabic Kufic style font was really a challenge to me it, took a long time to frame the alphabets.Initially started it with calligraphy by following some basic rules of Hebrew calligraphy but as per the request from Mr.L I had done it vise-versa i.e, I included more of Arabic calligraphic elements. There were more constrains than the comfort so after overcoming those constrains i persued with the work and the work was finally done. I had received a good comment from Mr.L and here is the picture of the Birkat Ha Bayith.

He told that he will be engraving that in Jerusalem Stone. I hope that the engraved image will be almost similar to the below given image.

Hope everyone will like this word.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hebrew alphabets in Arabic kufic style, a new attempt.

Recently I had received a requisition letter for Calligraphic job; it was from Odessa, Ukraine. Mr.L(not mentioning the name due to his request) is a Jew who admires Islamic Art and Architecture he had designed his house in Moroccan (Magribi) Style. His need was to design Birkat Ha Bayit in Hebrew but the twist; it must resemble Arabic Kufic style writing. As a calligrapher it is a challenging job to create a new style of Font within a short period of time, but I am a sort of person who likes these type of Challenging works.

To My knowledge no one had created such a font a liaison of Hebrew and Arabic. Some alphabets resembles to some extend but not the corresponding or respective alphabets.But some like ש,س resembles the same, but the ultimate aim, to create a Hebrew font in Arabic specifically Floral Kufic style made me to get acquainted with the job for a long hours. Hope i can meet the need of Mr.L and make him happy.
I will soon upload the picture of the work as soon as possible.
I can even do any such challenging Calligraphic work. Contact : thoufeekzak@gmail.com

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Cochini Pesah

After a long days of studies and I got leave for the Easter holiday from my college, after a long 6 hour journey I reached back to the hometown yesterday night. As it was Pesah I went to visit Sarah aunty I know she will be expecting me, Thaha was standing in front of the house I greeted him and we both entered to the house, when I entered Sarah aunty told me that she was expecting me, why because I use to visit her during every festive occasion and this time too I did the same.

She enquired about my studies and my family then she took me and Thaha to the dining room then served some Israeli cookies and cakes. She cut cakes and gave to me and the cookies too, it had a different texture and taste quiet Israeli…..

Thaha showed me an English news paper’s supplementary where a detailed documentary was there about the Cochin Jewish community. Then Sarah aunty started to explain about the pesah preparations like cleaning the house, stacking the vessels and utensils. Cleaning and storing the ingredients, the interesting factor is that she uses to wash the sea salt and then dry it under sun and store it.
She took a carton box and showed me the Israeli made “Matzos” and she gave me a piece and insited me to eat and she told that “You will always remember me if you eat it”. She took a jar and showed me “Duoh” ie preserved dates jam which is only used for the special occasions like Pesah. And explained that it has been made 3 or 4 years back but the taste is still the same and I asked about the matzos ball soup which I had read from an Jewish cooking book “The Israeli cook book” written by “Molly Lyons Bar-David” she showed me the matzos meal packet which somebody sent from Israel and the talk prolonged for two hours and the Thaha told me about the newly opened Tourism Police museum and I went there the place was so beautiful I saw many Jewish items displayed like Kippas, Menorahs, and Hebrew books. Then I talked with the police man who takes care of the museum and talked about the Tourism and related.
Then I went back to Sarah auntie’s house, Isaac uncle was standing outside on seeing me he was happy and he asked about my studies and when it will be getting over and we talked about the pesah and I told to Isaac uncle that I know that for Pesah there will be a special plate in which contains celery/lettuce, hardboiled egg, 3 Matzos, Duoh, salt, vinegar, a roasted leg of lamb. He told I am almost right and in Israel they use honey instead of the duoh and even explained about the Rosh Hashanah in Israel only apple and honey is seen during the service but in cochin the entire dining table is filled with fresh fruits. And he explained why these items are used in the service during the Pesah Seder, in Pesah Seder the use the silverware if possible and any bitter herbs where this shows the harshness of slavery of Israelis when they were in Misrayim(Egypt),Duoh as a symbol of the mortar or the clay used by the Israelite to build the warehouses for Misrayim, any vegetable with vinegar or salt water to dip it, a roasted leg of lamb and roasted which shows the Pesah sacrifice or hardboiled egg and which symbolizes the festival sacrifice wine will be used and blessing will be recited in between followed by ritual and traditional of the meal of Seder night. And that will be lasting for 11 pm.
After that I went back to my home, having another wonderful occasion with them.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter egg designing competition

Today there was an easter egg painting competition held in my college and i had made an egg scroll and an Ukrainian style easter egg with an Megan David in it.i decorated it with some hay. I got a good comments from my fellow colleagues. here i am posting a picture below in which the egg with a star and colour ribbon hope u all liked it............. Even you can see my English calligraphy in it..

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Hanukah an Indo-Jewish experience

The sun was on his way to sleep, the queen of Arabian Sea with a cool and gentle breeze gave her vale to the sun. The elegant red coloured bungalow that bears a lot of histories is celebrating the Hanukah, the Jewish festival of lights. The Menorahs (Jewish candelabrum) was kept ready to be lighted for rituals of the Hanukah to start with......

Here I narrate a bit of history about the beautiful bungalow and my experience of attending Hanukah there, a Jewish festival in the restaurant named Menorah in Cochin. It stands in Cochin’s one of the oldest bungalow The Koder House, it was reconstructed over an early nineteenth-century Portuguese mansion by the Koder family’s patriarch, Samuel Koder, it is believed to have been structured and gabled in Europe and shipped to Cochin. Its windows are said to be made of glass imported from Belgium and the stories go on like it.

The Koders family immigrated to Cochin from Iraq a few centuries ago. Samuel Koder ran the Cochin Electric Company which was eventually sold to the government. Also, the Koders had a huge chain of department stores across Kerala, which too, were sold. The Koders could be relied on to stock luxury goods such as alcoholic beverages from the UK, fine clothes, and chandeliers from Europe. The owners, of course, were like mini-royalty.
As Samuel Koder was the honorary consul to the Netherlands, the Dutch ambassadors visited the house often. He also began the Freemasons’ organisation in Cochin.
In its heydey under the Koders, the house was known for its famous Friday Open houses. This was a big event on the Cochin social calendar. Though informal, anticipation of the event would build up in mid-week itself. It became a focal point of anyone who wished to meet the Koders or know about Indian Jewish lifestyle. Visitors could be as many as 45, or just a handful - among them ambassadors, celebrities or heads of state! Conversation and food was the order of the day.

The house presently turned to a Boutique hotel with a Jewish restaurant, The Menorah conducts this 8-day long Jewish festival as an Indo Jewish festival for last 4 years. The American Jew Mr. Chaim Weissman is the host for the festival, he is actually an American as apple pie. The Menorah or hannukia (Jewish candelabrum with 9 branches) were kept ready for lighting for the ritual to start with. After enjoying the beauty of beach I and my friend Vishnu entered to the restaurant where the action is, we were escorted to our reserved seat, to the very next there was a small crowd of some people who were talking to each other. There were two Indians and 3 foreigners.  I could identify Mr. Chaim Weismann even though I am having only a nodding acquaintance with him. I introduced me and my friend to him. Mentioning that I know Hebrew language and have a very good relation with cochin Jewish community. Suddenly he asked me whether have you earned a blog. I told yes I do. Then he explained to others that I had made a very good and sensitive portrayal about the Samuel Hallegua, the son in law of Mr. Satu Koder the owner of this Bungalow. By saying this he introduced me to the crowd who was present over there. He asked whether you know Queenie, Samuel uncles wife. I told, Yes I do, and told that she gave me many cochin Jewish recipes and I am a frequent visitor to Sarah Cohen (the eldest among the community).

By 7 pm a group of people entered the restaurant by their appearance itself we can read they are Israelites. Mr. Chaim wished them and had a small word with them as a host, then he introduced me to them in Hebrew language, I didn’t understand it fully but what I understood is that I am a person who read and writes Hebrew language very well. They were amazed to hear that and they excitedly asking how I became curious towards their culture and language.

Then came many people to the scene and the ceremony started, Mr. Chaim explained about the history of the bungalow and then the conducting of ritual, he asked me whether can I loudly read this prayer in Hebrew I was excited and so nervous, honestly I said I can read but I could not do it right now because I would like to be an audience. He told no problem, and he gave the book to one of those who was standing in front of him. He covered his head with a white cloth and started with the blessing. The candles were lighted one after one, a candelabrum lighted by people from different part of the world with a pretty different experience. Then there were other traditional oil lamps for lighting it, Mr. Chaim called a young lady who was a cochin Jew settled in Israel her name was Aadi. The lighting ceremony was finished succeeded by the hanukah songs. To the scene, came a family they were a bit late. The ceremony concluded, some people went out after it and others settled down on their respective places for the hanukah dinner. Mr. Chaim came to us and introduced that family who came late that they came from Israel but they were emigrants from the Kerala’s oldest Jewish settlement in Mala, in Thrissur. We wished them and asked whether they had been to other synagogues in Thrissur. They told yes but not to Parur. They told they couldn’t contact with the Namiah family who has the key of the synagogue. I told I can help them by giving the contact number. Then I showed them some picture of the synagogues and cemeteries of the Mala, Parur, Chennamangalam fortunately one tombs picture in my mobile was of their grandfathers. Erela was happy to see it and the synagogue. She called her sister Lea and showed those pictures to her she was also happy and asked for my contact number and address.

Then we just went to our seat and ordered for some Indian Jewish dishes and we were discussing about the scenes that happened, then we thought of seeing the bungalow interior as it may take time to the food to get ready. So with the help of the operational manager we had a brief session. Where the each nook and corner have some to say about the past Indian Jewish history. The three storied building has good wooden flooring in the first and second the room was large and spacious and each holds a well furnished coat and other utilities. The ground floor which holds the restaurant has good flooring which resembles a chess board. The chandeliers and other fixtures had an antique touch which all together gave an endurance of a lofty visual feast for us.

The food was ready and the waiter seeks for our approval. First our table was occupied by “Oaf Marak”, which literally means chicken soup but it is a chicken based broth with vegetables and meat ball. That actually tasted well with dominating flavor of coriander leaves which is one of the main ingredients in cochin Jewish cuisinette

That was followed by the “Kubba” stuffed chicken dumpling in Jewish gravy, this least spicy curry went well with the chapattis and “Plav” (cochin jewish coconut rice dish) and the dinner to end with I ordered for “Queenie aunties fruit salad”, cut fruits with whipped cream in Queenie auntie’s style.

I was surprised to read the name of the dish, because I personally knew Queenie auntie very well and I was proud to say that to my friend and was too interested to explain about her, She is the daughter of Mr. Shabdai Samuel Koder the last owner of the bungalow and even she is the wife of late warden of the cochin pardesi synagogue Mr. Samuel Hallegua, who was also my friend actually an adorable Crichton. When I went to visit her, out of my interest she used to give a long lectures on Cochin Jewish cuisinette and Jewish dietary laws which is valuable for me as this cuisinette and the community is at its labefaction phase. It’s sad to say only ten members are remaining alive and well in the cochin Jewish community and rest emigrated to Israel years ago, as a cochinite I took an intention to preserve it ,for that she helped me out by giving some recipes and even Sarah Aunty also helped me out by sharing her valuable experience.

As my home is only a walk able distance from the Koder house we walked, I was recollecting the incidents which gifted me a lot of memories and memoirs about Cochin Jews............................