Devdutt Pattnaik: Mythology shaping culture and business




Citronmåne – Danish Lemon Cake — Sweet and pulpy

cup = 250 ml

Ingredients for cake

3 eggs, 150+100 g butter, 1 cup cane (or brown)sugar, 2 cups of icing/powder sugar, 2.5 cups self-raising flour, zest of 1+0.5 lemon, zest of 1/2 orange (optional), juice of 0.5+0.5 big lemon, 150 g Marzhipan (if you can get, or almond paste), 100 ml milk


  1. Mix flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp baking powder and mix (dry mix) and keep aside
  2. Blend 3 eggs (white+yolk)
  3. Add zest of 1 lemon (and orange, optional), half lemon juice, 150 g butter, 1 cup sugar, honey (optional), marzhipan and blend.
  4. To the blended solution, add dry flour mixture and mix with whisker. Add milk in between. The consistency of the batter will be flow-y but shouldn’t be running. Make sure there are no flour lumps. Use a strainer to add flour if needed.
  5. Add 1 tsp vanilla essence and mix well
  6. In a baking pan, spread a butter paper and pour the mix. Keep it in preheated oven at 170 deg Celsius for 45 min. Check with toothpick if baked (should come out clean).

Procedure 2: Icing/Glazing

  1. Mix 100 g butter and 2 cups of icing/powder sugar and 1/2 lemon juice,, 1/2 tsp lemon essence, 1/2 lemon zest (finely grated), 1/3 cup desiccated coconut powder (optional)
  2. After taking from oven and allowing it to cool, spread icing mix on the surface of cake
  3. Decorate with lemon slices boiled in sugar syrup for 10-15 min and dried overnight

Note: Make sure you have a high enough baking pan to avoid overflow of cake mixture.

PS: Similar recipe can be used to make Sansa’s Cup cakes from Game of thrones

Food: Tehran and Persian

I started to develop an appetite for Persian food recently and was interested to know more about the different cuisines available and how they are made. The food has a lot of similarity with Indian dishes because of the historical and cultural influences from the past during the Muslim rule in India. Especially, the names sound very familiar but they have a unique way of preparation and finesse. One interesting difference however, I felt Persian dishes still retain the flavor of the base ingredients unlike some Indian “restaurant-style”dishes which are overwhelmed with masala and curry flavors that can at times give same taste to different dishes making it hard to decipher the main ingredient’s flavor.

Food guide to Iran: About Kebabs, Tah-chin, Caviar and more. 

It also gives a glimpse of the Grand Bazaar and streets of Tehran and its people.

  • Top 10 Iranian dishes: HERE
  • A crash course on all aspects of Iran, Here

History Documentaries

  1. Iran and the West Part1 Part2 Part3
  2. 444 days of Iran hostage crisis – BBC
  3. Israel-Arab 50 years war Part1 Part2
  4. The Battle of Dunkirk  (World War 2)
  5. About Nuremberg trials after world war 2 Movie
  6. Know Your Enemy: Japan | WW2 Propaganda Documentary | 1945

  7. Cuban revolution and Fidel Castro
  8. Pol Pot, Khmer Rouge and Cambodia . (First they killed my father Movie trailer)
  9. Pol Pot: Journey to the killing fields (Cambodia) in 1970s
  10. The rise and fall of Japan Empire (From 1890 to 1945)
  11. The Gulf war (Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait)
  12. Selling the Iraq War in US
  13. Selling the first gulf war (The effect of gulf war on news/media/journalism)
  14. World war 2 Complete history Series
  15. America before Columbus – The new world
  16. A short note on Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (The story of DDT)
  17. The Thalidomide drug tragedy in 1960s
  18. Bhopal Gas Tragedy- the world’s worst industrial disaster (Trailer) (Full movie)
  19. How the Europeans divided Africa documentary

Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance: Part 1

Ch 1-4

  • During the Dot com bubble, you no longer had to make something other people wanted to buy in order to start a booming company.  You just had to have an idea for some sort of internet thing and announce it to the world in order for eager investors to fund your thought experiment. The goal as to make as much money in the shortest time before reality set in eventually.
  • From Google in 2002 to iphone in 2007 period, the goal went from taking huge risks to create new industries to chasing easier money by entertaining consumers and pumping out simple apps and ads.
  • “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click on ads” “that sucks”- James Hammerbacher of Facebook
  • Jonatha Huebner was the first to suggest the lull in innovation in “A possible declining trend in worldwide innovation” in 2005. ‘Innovation is a finite resource’
  • 2010- Peter Thiel, Paypal cofounder  promoted the idea that tech industry had let people down. “We wanted flying cars and we got 140 characters”. Established Founders fund. An article”What happened to the future”
  • Enter “ELON MUSK”
  • Compaq bought Musk’s Zip 2(about Maps) in 1999, for 307 mil USD and then his PAypal bought by ebay for 1.5 bil USD in 2002
  • Immediately after, without waiting for the next big thing, during the post dot com bubble Musk invested $100 mil in Spacex, $70 mil in Tesla and $10 mil in SOlarcity
  • . Whenever possible Musk’s companies made things from scratch and tried to rethink  much of what aerospace, automotive, solar industries accepted as convention
  • Direct sales model of Tesla. It doesnt hope to make money because electric cars need very little maintenance.
  • All of Musk’s companies underly- the Mars mission
  • Monday at SPacex. Tuesday begins at spacex, jet to Silicon valley, 2 days at tesla in PaloAlto and Fremont. stay at Hotel/friends in North California. Back to LA and spacex on Thursday. Also shares custody of 5 kids with his exwife, 4 days a week.
  • Must write a Video game code for Blastar at age 12-‘ to destroy alien space freighter carrying hydrogen bombs and status beam machines’
  • At 14, the religious and philosophical texts didnt answer his existential crisis. But. The Hitchhikers guide to Galaxy by Douglas Adams- One of the most influential books in his life did. ‘One of the really tough things to figure out is what questions to ask. We should aspire to increase the scope and scale of human consciousness to understand what questions to ask ‘. Musk formed his mission ‘to strive for greater collective enlightenment’
  • Born 1971 in Pretoria, S.Africa in the time of apartheid. Musk dreamed of a place that awould allow his personality and dreams to flourish.
  • Musk’s grandfather Haldeman had history of adventure, private flight travel, philanthropy. Africa to Australia round trip in a single engine plane using roadmaps-the only private pilots to do so. Also adventures in deserts and forests with their kids.
  • He had ‘the part of brain for image processing used for internal thoughts’ and used to be lost in a trance. Like computers processing images and computation separately. Musk says he can process the interrelationships and algorthmic relationships between images and numbers. He also read a lot of books from young age.By 4th grade,  he ran out of books in school library and started reading Encyclopedia Brittanica and became a know-it-all due to his photographic memory. He later left to live with his dad after they divorced. His father made the 2 sons learn many things and gave a lot of lectures about engineering and how things work. They (Elon and his brother) also traveled a lot together with his father in SA and the world. But Musk believes his time with his father is ‘not a happy and a difficult childhood’ and has aversion to him. He was also bullied a lot at school.
  • Elon, Kimbal and cousins ventured into small enterpreneurial ventures from teen age. They also made explosive stuff and rockets at home for fun. Further, the risky trips between Pretoria and Johannesburg in 1980s redefined their view of risk
  • At 17, in 1988, Elon left to Canada using it as a pitstop to enter US due to his canadian ancestry. His mother could pass her Canadian citizenship to him. Also Musk wanted to avoid participating in apartheid via the service in SA
  • Musk did a hop-on hop off ride all over Canada to reach out to his Mothers relatives. He did many odd menial labor jobs in farms, log cutting, boiler room cleaning etc during this time. Later his mother, brother, sister also moved to Canada. Kimbal and Elon cold-called many elite people to setup meetings for lunch.
  • When at Queens, Elon and his ex-wife Justine took once abnormal-psychology and got 98 and 97. At Queens, Elon was more ambitious, intense and competitive and had a favorable support and environment.
  • In 1992, he moved to UPenn with scholarship after 2 years at Queens. At Penn, he took dual degree of economics from Wharton and Physics. At Penn. Musk wrote a paper on’The importance of being Solar’ with many details about future materials and power stations etc. He also wrote a paper on OCR and things like a combination of  Google books and scholar and on ultracapacitors as energy storage. In all these papers, Musk combined precisely physics concepts and business plans details. At the end of college, he believed Internet, renewable energy and space would undergo significant change in the future.
  • Musk dropped out of Stanford Phd in material science and physics after 2 days, finding the Internet’s calling irresistible
  • Elon and Kimball founded Zip2 in Palo Alto in 1995 to get businesses online from yellow pages. It was like ‘yelp+google maps’. Cash crisis for food and living. Elon did the coding and Kimbal the sales. Elon had typical problems of startups-CEO issues, investors, managing the team etc