There are so many things that we just do not give a second thought to, though we use it or see it often. And then suddenly, we hear something about that everyday thing and go “huh” or “that is what this is!” or other similar thought. And I realized I can say that about a few things after doing a bit of a research for this post: Never thought about it & now I know better!
While the initial plan was to write about changing my own or someone else’s long-held belief, I could not think of anything in those lines. Instead, here are a few (really) random things I never gave much thought to earlier; and now I know better!
A total hodge-podge of randomness below!
As I contemplated adding ghee (clarified butter) to a meal for a possible lactose-intolerant person, my DH and DD both remarked, “but ghee is lactose-free!” I had to look for myself, and lo and behold, it is! How did I not know this? Or deduce this? Given I have made ghee countless times, and watched all the milk solids separate during the process with fascination while I inhaled that wonderful aroma!
Well, now I know better.
So, while ghee is not dairy-free, it certainly is (almost) lactose-free; and if you are lactose intolerant and avoiding or missing butter (or ghee), ghee is a delicious and safe option for you. [Note: Fact-checked with Dr. Gourmet & other sources]
Note: For those who are wondering, ghee is a class of clarified butter that originated in ancient India. It smells heavenly, and tastes wonderful too. Ghee finds many uses in our cooking:
- desserts (like this cashew based one or this carrot and semolina sweet here or these date and nut power bites)
- in flavored rice dishes like biryanis and similar
- with almost every meal (a little bit with Indian breads, with rice and lentils, , drizzled over curries, etc)
- and also used for baking/frying.
Horn OK Please
If you spent enough time on Indian roads, you must have noticed the Horn-OK-Please signs on the back of the quintessentially-colorful trucks. I have certainly spent enough time in vehicles behind such trucks growing up in India, and seen this often. I mostly smiled at this (and its grammar, or lack of it as I grew older). Even if I had wondered momentarily, I must have been distracted by the other even-more-interesting captions on the truck.
As I posted a IG pic with one of those trucks recently, I did wonder; and a little bit of (re)search returned so many theories, so many unverified origin stories. Regardless of which of them is correct, each one is totally worth the read!!
A couple of these stories (edited from various sources linked below as well as answers from Quora users)
- OK referred to On Kerosene. The “Horn OK Please” was painted on trucks used by troops during WW II that were running on kerosene. This was as a warning to drivers behind these trucks to keep their distance. It also meant they had to honk to indicate if they wanted to pass. The sign stayed even after the use of kerosene stopped.
- Earlier highways were single lane. So if a driver behind a truck wanted to overtake, they would ‘horn please’ or honk to indicate the same. The truck driver would check for oncoming traffic; then switch on a bulb over the “OK” to indicate it was safe to overtake.
Sources as well as interesting related reading:
- The Origins of ‘Horn OK Please,’ India’s Most Ubiquitous Phrase (AtlasObscura)
- ‘Horn OK Please’: a crowdsourced, entirely dubious history of India’s iconic truck slogan (scroll.in)
- Why is “Horn OK Please” painted on the back of almost every truck in India? (Quora)
So while I had not wondered much about the origins of this phrase that has traveled well beyond the back of trucks in India…..
Well, now I know better!
The “Reading Fiction” Debate
This last one is a little different. Given who I am and always have been, it never crossed my mind that someone would think reading fiction was unnecessary.
While I always knew there were readers and non-readers, I never thought reading anything would be considered a waste of time!!
So here I was, perplexed as I read article upon article with titles like ‘Is Reading Fiction Pointless?’ or others in a similar vein. Huh? What? Why? TBH, I do know a few people who think a little like this; they think fiction is only for entertainment and serves no other purpose. So they feel it is OK to read fiction every once in a while just for the sake of the entertainment it provides. And they concede that maybe sometimes, you learn a few things!
Well, now I know better!
Looks like there are enough who feel strongly that reading fiction is pointless…and hence these articles… (well, duh, right!) And since they are the reason for all these articles that show how wonderful reading fiction is, here is a thank you, camp-the-other-side!
- The Case for Reading Fiction (HBR.org)
- Can Reading Make You Happier? (The New Yorker)
- The Great Debate: Reading Fiction is a Waste of Time
- Is Reading Fiction a Waste of Time? Probably Not, Studies Find (CAVE)
- The books that could flourish in this pandemic era (BBC.com)
- Is Reading Fiction A Waste Of Time? Here’s What Research Suggests
- Who Needs Literature? (LA Review of Books)
The BBC article linked above noted that “in the week leading up to lockdown (21 March) 1.09 million fiction books were sold in the UK according to Nielsen BookScan, dwarfing the number of non-fiction books sold by 17%.” And the article also mentions that plague-related fiction (like Albert Camus’ The Plague and Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year) and historical fiction seem to be among the more popular fiction genres among a few others! I found myself reading a lot of historical fiction as well recently, maybe that is a reason? No idea, but I do know I saw a lot more of these out there than earlier..
And getting back to the point of reading fiction in general; as for me, I would rather get caught reading fiction (and non-fiction) anytime! And for today, I will let you check those various articles and links rather than expound on the benefits of reading – fiction, I mean.
If you are trying to get a teen (or anyone for that matter) to read more, then check out this earlier post with tips to motivate your teen to read.
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, what about you? Do you have long-held beliefs that you changed because of something you learned or something that happened? Or is there a general long-held belief that you would like to change? Or are there things like I mention today – things you never gave much thought to but when you did, you learned something fun or interesting?