Kamal Shah

Kamal Shah

Hello, I'm Kamal from Hyderabad, India. I have been on dialysis for the last 13 years, six of them on PD, the rest on hemo. I have been on daily nocturnal home hemodialysis for the last four and half years. I can do pretty much everything myself. I love to travel and do short weekend trips or longer trips to places which have dialysis centers. Goa in India is a personal favorite. It is a great holiday destination and has two very good dialysis centers.

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Tuesday, 07 December 2010 21:37

The evolution of the humble khakhra

The khakhra is a Gujarati snack. It is probably one of the simplest foods ever. It is basically a chapati that is roasted as crisp as a papad. It is typically made of wheat flour, a little salt and a little oil. A dough is made with these ingredients and then made very similar to a chapati. This is then roasted in a tava by applying pressure with a wooden utensil. Ghee can also be used while roasting the khakhra to make it a little tastier.

The most a good cook would experiment with the khakhra would be by adding a little jeera to the dough to add a touch of flavor to the otherwise bland recipe. A few years back, however, people started experimenting a lot with the khakhra. They started making masala khakhras - basically adding turmeric, chilli and other masalas to make the khakhra quite tasty.

Most people would have the khakhra for breakfast with milk, tea or curd. Some people would also have it as a tea time snack, sometimes with a little pickle. But due to the plain nature of the snack, it would always need an accompaniment like curd or tea. With the masala-isation, however, the khakhra took on an independent identity and people started relishing masala khakhras plain.

Recently, people have started taking experiments with the humble khakhra to another level. You now have a large variety of khakhras. The mangroli khakhra, tomato khakhra, bajra khakhra, bajri-methi to even pani puri and pav bhaji khakhras! You also get a dosa khakhra which actually is dosa batter made into a khakhra!

As people started becoming more and more watchful about what they ate and how healthy it was, the khakhra adopted too. So, you now had seven-grain khakhras and khakhras without ghee!

There are entire stores in Mumbai and Ahmedabad that are devoted to khakhras and allied items.

Take a look at this picture of a variety that I recently saw:


The khakhra is shaped like a mobile phone, complete with a keypad on the packing and is called SMS khakhra! It is ideal for people like me for whom the khakhra forms a great 5 p.m. snack at work. Easy to carry as well. The interesting thing about this khakhra is it is labeled 'whole wheat bran diet and health' but at the bottom says 'Ghee sada'! Pray, how can a khakhra that has ghee be branded as a 'diet' khakhra??

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2010/12/evolution-of-humble-khakhra.html

Saturday, 04 December 2010 03:39

Does this ad inspire any confidence?

Recently, a new hospital opened in the city. They've probably got a really bad PR agency! Look at this ad that they have in many prominent places in the city.


Who is the guy in the ad? Is he a doctor? Why is he wearing a sherwani? I read somewhere that he is a ghazal singer. Hmmm. An unknown ghazal singer on the ad for a hospital! It's not even as if he is handsome or something. Seriously, what were they thinking? This is even more silly than the dick who had his pictures all over the city for a famous club in Begumpet.

They have also flooded radio channels with ads with some guy talking about the hospital. The voice is so sick and he talks like he is being very gentle and caring. This may serve to drive patients away from the hospital rather than to it!

A good PR agency is so key!

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2010/12/does-this-ad-inspire-any-confidence.html

Monday, 29 November 2010 04:42

Fistula pain

For the last couple of days I have been having some pain in the venous site of my AV Fistula. I changed the location of the cannulation. I am actually at Care Hospital, waiting outside Dr. P. C. Gupta's OP room for my turn. Dr. P. C. Gupta is a vascular surgeon.

I suspect that there is an infection at that site. There was a similar pain a couple of months back and I had shown it to him. He put me on an antibiotic and asked me to give the site some rest. I haven't used that site since then. Now, a site close to that is paining.

I am a little worried about this. This is the second time in the recent past that this has happened.

A fistula is basically an access to your body's blood for dialysis. During dialysis, blood is continuously drawn from an artery and then passed through an artificial kidney - a dialyser - and then sent back into the body through a vein. Veins are generally small and cannot handle the flows typical during the dialysis process. For this reason, the artery and the vein are connected so that over time, the vein becomes large enough to be able to handle these flows.

Over the last thirteen years, I have had a number of surgeries that involved making accesses, most of them fistulae, in my arms. Once a site has been used or attempted to be used, it cannot be used later. So, except for my right upper arm, all potential fistula sites have been used up. The current fistula is in my left upper arm.

For this reason, I must do all it takes to preserve the current fistula because I do not have too many options left in terms of access.

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2010/11/fistula-pain.html

Thursday, 25 November 2010 19:42

Have you had an orange today?


Oranges are my fruit of the season. What better way to start your day than a ripe, sweet orange? I just love the taste of an orange - slightly sour, yet sweet. It is probably the only fruit that is also the name of a color!

Oranges are excellent sources of Vitamin C and 100 grams of the fruit can give you 75% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C. It also provides good amounts of Vitamin Bs.

Did you know that the word Orange is actually derived from Sanskrit? The word narangah means orange tree in Sanskrit and that is where the word Orange is taken from!

Oranges are best had as they are - the natural fruit pulp after removing the peel. Those on dialysis, unless you're on daily nocturnal, should stay away from the juice since it contains high quantities of Potassium. Orange makes for an excellent marmalade and it is probably one of the most widely eaten marmalades.

The variety that originates in Nagpur and other parts of India is quite different from the variety that is produced and consumed in much of the rest of the world. Nagpur oranges have greenish orange peels and - truth be told - I prefer the slightly sour taste to the variety available in other countries.

Brazil is the world's biggest producer of Oranges and India is the fourth largest.

I often think about how the foods that taste good are never good for the body. Well, the orange proves that totally wrong. So, have you had an orange today?

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2010/11/have-you-had-orange-today.html

Wednesday, 24 November 2010 21:08

Congratulations Nitish Kumar!

There's hope after all! After all the scams in recent times, we were slowly losing hope. Will India ever make it? But then the Bihar elections happened. The landslide victory that Nitish Kumar won shows that development works.

In the recent past, we have seen governments that genuinely work for the betterment of the people being voted back. Until some time back, with the exception of West Bengal, every state would invariably see the government in office being voted out. But then slowly we started seeing this trend changing.

Now, we see this happening in many states. The governments that pursued an agenda of development in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and now Bihar among others were all voted back to power.

In Bihar especially this holds so much significance. The state had become the worst state in the country with Lalu Prasad Yadav and his wife at the helm. Development was a joke. So, when finally, after decades of misrule, when Nitish Kumar was sworn in as Chief Minister, he had his task cut out. And deliver, he did.

From what I read, Bihar is now a changed state. You can see the difference on the ground. And the common man is not a fool. At least not any more. He now sees above caste and religion and votes for what is really good for him.

Congratulations Nitish Kumar!

... http://www.kamaldshah.com/2010/11/congratulations-nitish-kumar.html

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