Saturday, 7 July 2018

Pumpkin- The King

Story on Pumpkin?
You must be going mad! Who will read it? Who likes pumpkin?
Well Ghumakkad loves pumpkin. Doesn't just love it but also grows it in his yard. It grows as a creeper and it's bright yellow flowers are in bloom currently. That's why this story.



What do we use pumpkin for? Many many ways including as a noun in Hindi! Read on:
  • Pumpkin for Cooking: Vegetable, Soup, Sambhar, Raita, Puree, Desserts, Pies, Drinks etc. Postscript: Agra Petha, Kaddu halwa- courtesy Umesh Dhyani and Lalit Khanna respectively.
  • Salad Decoration using its shell
  • Halloween masks
  • Water can with a handle called kamadal कमण्डल used by Sadhus and hermits in India
  • Pumpkin seeds- extra nutrition and medicare
  • To ward off the evil eye- when hung on the front wall of a newly constructed house
  • A noun in Hindi- in derogatory sense. He is a kaddu कद्दू  - meaning dimwit person
  • Pumpkin Festival- held in many countries
It was interesting to observe how pumpkin fruit grows on a vine. There are male and female flowers. Male flowers bloom early morning for 4 to 6 hours. Pollinators such as the ants and the bees have to visit the male flower and then pollinate the female flower. Otherwise, the female flowers just fall off. The male flowers shrivel after few hours. See the pictures below narrating this fact which Ghumakkad learnt after observation.








Pumpkin is a healthy fruit. According to Nutritiondata, "It is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese." Did you know that?

As a result, pumpkin has many health benefits as summarised below by WebMD, Healthline and Reader's Digest:

Weight Loss- Pumpkin is rich in fiber
Sharp Vision- Supplies beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for eye health
Better Immunity- vitamin A helps your body fight infections, viruses and infectious diseases
Younger-Looking Skin- helps you look younger
Lower Cancer Risk- lowers the risk of some types of cancer including prostate and lung cancer
It (May) Help Treat Diabetes- research continues to prove this postulate
Boost your sex life- provides a good dose of zinc
Improve Prostate Health- eat pumpkin seeds
Treat Intestinal Worms- eat pumpkin seeds

So, those of you who love pumpkin, are on the right track. Keep eating it. And those who don't, better start liking it. You can grow pumpkin on terraces too. The creeper keeps the house cool during summer months.

As we said earlier, sometimes in India we call a dimwit as kaddu (pumpkin in English). But for kaddu lovers like Ghumakkad, there is a corollary. If anyone belittles you for liking kaddu, please tell them that "The liking for kaddu is inversely proportional to the amount of kaddu in one's head"! QED.


Hope you enjoyed the story on Pumpkin- The King.
Thanks for browsing.

        -Harsh-the Ghumakkad with Neeta Bhargava/ 7th July 2018

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