Food review: Aap ki Khatir

Syed Zafar Mehdi

A long time ago, when culture of kabab stalls was yet to pick up, there was Aap Ki Khatir. This quaint little place in Nizamuddin has turned from a small kebab corner to a full-fledged restaurant now.

Aap ki khatir provides the best Kakori Kebabs, Mutto Burras and Mutton Tikkas in city. Its kakori kebabs served with green chutney and the mandatory rings of onions simply melt in mouth.

Their menu is not extravagant. Daal Makhni and Paneer Tikka are favorites. The Aroma is too tempting, the magic spices that keep your tongue tingling with the taste of cinnamon and cloves. Try Kakori Kabab rolled in Sweet Parantha, a great combination as the sour meat mingles with the Sweet parantha taste.

Kakori Kabab in Rumali Roti leaves great taste in mouth. Follow it with Mutton Kathi Roll, the sweet parantha roll, containing big juicy charred pieces of mutton marinated and grilled for hours. End it all with a Mutton Biryani served with Tari (Local word for gravy).

Aap ki khatir is the perfect haunt for kebab freaks, and burden on pockets isn’t too heavy either.

B-781, Lodhi Road, Nizamuddin West.
Contact: 9810764449
Cost for two: 400-500


Celebrating women’s empowerment

Syed Zafar Mehdi

International Women’s Day, observed on March 8, celebrates the emancipation and empowerment of the fairer sex. From political stalwarts, community leaders, business honchos, educators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and television personalities; women are on roll everywhere.

Here we present some of the inspiring success stories of women in various fields of endeavour, who dared to dream, backed their instincts and made a mark for themselves. From a sportswoman who has conquered the world, to a writer whose books for children have touched peaks of popularity, to a health activist who has changed the way people think about congenital disorders, to a poet whose poetry inspires action and to a young change maker, whose community-based work on education and leadership has got her international fame.

Krishna Chopra (South Extension I)

“Born for the field, would die for the field, and if God willing, on the field,” is the mantra of this “young” octogenarian, who has been running to glory and fame for six decades now. Krishna Chopra, 83, from South Extension II, is a prominent name among senior citizen veteran athletes of the country, and has performed and won laurels at international level as well.

Chopra worked as a senior official in Lok Sabha Secretariat, before retiring in 1986. Introduced to athletics by her athlete husband, Badri Nath Chopra, she managed to balance her work and passion with finesse. “I was selected for veteran world championships Durban in 1997, Asian championships Japan in 1998, World Masters Athletic Championship Italy in 2007, and each time I returned with gold medals” says Krishna with gleam in her sunken eyes. “I want to be remembered as an athlete who did her country proud,” says Chopra.

At national level, she has competed and won medals in Delhi State Championships, North Zone Veterans Athletics Championship, National Veteran Athletics Championship, National Masters Athletics Championship, Asian Masters Athletics Championship and many more. Her recent performance was in Asian Athletics Championship at Chiangmai Thailand in January 2009, where she returned with two golds’ and one silver medal.

In 2001, she and her husband were nominated for Arjuna Award, and in 2005, they were nominated for the prestigious Dhyan Chand Award. “On both occasions, politics came in our way,” says she, with a deep sigh. But life moves on for her. In fact as she puts it, “life has just started at 84.”

Shabnam Gupta (SDA)

She wears many hats – of a journalist, children’s book writer, playwright, educationist and a community worker. Shabnam Gupta from SDA is a multi-faceted lady but her claim to fame remains her books for children.

Gupta was brought up in Ajmer, and later studied management in Jaipur. Reading and writing fascinated her from an early age. “I always had a knack for writing and reading, and wanted to write stories and share them with people,” shares she. A multi-talented lady, she also dabbled with other creative genres like movie screenplays and novels.

Gupta started her journalism career with PC Quest magazine; popular computer magazine (sister publication of Dataquest) by the Cyber Media group. Later she took to freelancing. Since 1992, she has been writing books for children, the target group being 11-16 years. Her first six books came under the banner of prestigious Sterling Publications, following it up with ‘Wonders of the World’ from Brijbasi Publications. “I get excellent feedback from target readers, which acts as great motivation to work on,” says Gupta. Currently she is working with Lotus Publications.

Among her acclaimed works are World Quiz Book, World Science Book, Antonyms and Synonyms, 1010 riddles besides others. “I have many stories to tell, I want to indulge in other genres, write a novel, a movie screenplay, a script for serial, that’s creatively more satisfying,” she adds. Her mantra: Pursue your passion and listen to your heart.

Tulika Verma (Hauz Khas)

Her’s is a poignant tale of courage and altruism that can inspire millions. She and her family struggled against heavy odds and hardships, but their never-say-die spirit drove them on. Managing to sail through the tide, today they present an elixir of hope to thousands of others. Tulika Verma, 35, and her husband Rahul Verma have set out on a noble crusade to trigger a ‘healthy’ change in the society.

The force behind city-based NGO, Uday Foundation, that provides support service to children from low-income group families, afflicted with congenital defects, critical disorders, syndromes, and other related conditions, Tulika and her husband have helped change the lives of hundreds in the last few years.

It all started with the birth of their son Arjunuday. Uday, 3, was born with multiple congenital disorders. Worse still, despite the massive expenditure on his treatment at a city-based premier private hospital, the Vermas were left crestfallen and had to take him to AIIMS. But they fought on, and after seven corrective surgeries, eleven hospital stays and over three million medical expenses, Uday got another life and Uday Foundation was born. Tulika, A Section Officer with National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT), became a vital cog in Uday’s wheel, alongside Rahul. “We realised if people like us could suffer, who are relatively well off financially and more aware, what about the people who lack awareness about the subject,” says Tulika.

Uday Foundation provides help of three kinds: monetary, surgical, and counselling. “We fund the treatment of various children, depending on the condition and support we get from friends,” says Tulika. For surgery, the foundation helps patients from low-income groups get operated for paediatric problems at government run hospitals of Delhi like Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP), Ram Manohar Lohia (RML), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Wadia Hospital in Mumbai etc. for free. In counselling, Tulika explains, “We, along with our various volunteers and doctors, provide them 24 hours support.”

The couple is also into social activism. “With support of Public Interest Litigations on health, Right To Informations and various other campaigns, we are trying hard to change the mindset of the government,” says Tulika, who is also the recipient of CNN IBN citizen journalist award.

Shanti Sharma, (Green Park)

Poetry is her medium of expression, a source of creative gratification. And her tryst with destiny has just begun. Exactly 40 years after Shanti Sharma, 65, from Green Park, wrote her first poem, her maiden work, “Gunjan” – a compilation of her poems is ready to hit the floor. Daughter of Padmabhushan Shri Ratan Lal Joshi who was the editor-in-chief of Dainik Hindustan between 1963 and 1977, for Sharma, creativity runs in the family.

Sharma was born in Rajgarh district in Madhya Pradesh and graduated from Delhi University’s Lady Sri Ram College. The passion of weaving poetry hit her at an early age, but because of family commitments, she couldn’t devote much time to it. “The inspiration behind my poems is my father. His quest for truth and courageous attitude inspired me,” says she. Two years ago Shanti decided to pen down her feelings. “I felt poetry is the best outlet to vent my emotions.”

She has written over 100 poems in Hindi. A linguist in her own right, she has also penned down about forty couplets in Urdu, apart from many devotional songs.

Sharma feels that without the unflinching support of her family, she wouldn’t have been able to give vent to her creativity.  Her family has helped her in getting her book of poems ‘Gunjan’ compiled and published.

Ishita Chaudhry (Defence Colony)

She is the young change-maker, who believes in leading by example. She works with people who build a valuable promise for what they can do for and with young people. They facilitate change, break silences and work with discomforts.

Ishita Chaudhry, 25, an English literature graduate from Lady Shri Ram College, has been a social entrepreneur since she was 17. The founder of The Young People Foundation (TYPF), Ishita’s intensive focus in global development, planning and international policy drives her community-based work on education and leadership, the regional and international coalitions where she works on building youth leadership and networks.

Ishita has worked as a Project Consultant for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and The Ford Foundation, as well as with the Consultancy Division of Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), an international grant-making organisation in India. As a speaker and trainer, Ishita was nominated by the UNODC, Geneva in 2006 to represent India as a Chair at the 17th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm. In 2008, she was invited by Clinton Foundation to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative in New York and feature her work with TYPF.

She has also trained several local youth groups and networks across India, including Students for the Promotion of International Law, the Global Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Summit India 2008 and the Indian Youth Climate Network. “I believe in the power of what young people can create and in our potential, to build stronger impact,” says Ishita. “TYPF is my fire, my belief system, my inspiration,” says the change maker.

 (First published in Hindustan Times)