Monday, August 23, 2010

Thiruvonam

Ella Malayali Koottukarkku Tiruvonashamsakal!
For me, since cooking special dishes is mostly mood inspired and not occasion or need inspired I am settling for making just some simple semiya payasam (vermicelli pudding) this onam.
Fall semester starts tomorrow and so does my anxiety. A decicive semester for me. By the end I'll know if I am continuing or quitting.
Here we go again!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

To No One in Particular

Come away with me in the night
Come away with me
And I will write you a song

Come away with me on a bus
Come away where they can't tempt us
With their lies

And I want to walk with you
On a cloudy day
In fields where the yellow grass grows knee-high
So won't you try to come?

Come away with me and we'll kiss
On a mountaintop
Come away with me
And I'll never stop loving you

And I want to wake up with the rain
Falling on a tin roof
While I'm safe there in your arms
So all I ask is for you
To come away with me in the night
Come away with me
Borrowed words but personal thoughts..

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Next Food Network Star!

Great news everyone! Aarti Sequeria is the new Food Network Star! I am soooo excited and thrilled that she won. Ever since I caught a couple of episodes of the next food network star show and saw Aarti I wanted her to win. She appears to have a fabulous and bright personality and she also brings in a lot of Indian recipes to the table. I LOVE that!.




I am a big fan of the food network..I am a big fan of food..period. But I was getting a bit tired of all the American, Italian, French, Latino and Asian (as in Chinese) cooking and was praying for a change. I guess the change has come in the form of Aarti. Looking forward to enjoying some delicious Indian recipes on the show and hopefully be inspired to try some out at home.


I was checking Orkut and found this quote next to "Today's Fortune": "Fools and fanatics are always certain of themselves, but wiser people are full of doubts".

Hmmmm..so am I wise or am I foolish? ;)
(PS: I dont know why they have titled it "Today's Fortune".)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Listen & Feel

Watched Eat Pray Love yesterday. I was not that impressed with the movie, just as I was not that impressed with the book. Basically, I could not relate to the central character much so I guess that explains it...
Loved the scenes shot in Italy and Bali though. I want to visit Bali now..what a gorgeous place! I have also heard from friends at the Uni, who have been to Bali, raving about the place. So, perhaps someday I'll visit too. The one scene shot in India that I liked was the "thumbs up" one. My friend and I found it quite amusing. The catch phrase for the "thums up" ad back home is .."Thumbs up ..taste of thunder!!". Those who watched the movie might get it.
I think the BEST part of the movie was when this song was played in the background. It was just perfect!Took me back to my childhood..the song I mean. My dad had a good music collection (these were audio cassettes..almost non existant these days :))and I remember listening to this one. One among my many favorites.Just listen and feel it people.


Friday, August 13, 2010

I Think I Know....

...what I want to be when I grow up. I am not at the age where I can technically claim that I am growing up but I suppose I meant it from an emotional and/or intellectual point of view, and I must say I firmly believe in the statement that age is a state of mind. Being from India, where generally these ideas don’t sell, and where achievements are measured by how “well settled” you are by a certain age, I know I don’t stand a chance and probably figure somewhere in the bottom rung of the achievement ladder. Having said that, I don’t assess myself from an Indian perspective nor do I say what I say from an Indian perspective, rather I say from a perspective that has been influenced by outside forces. By "outside forces” I mean moving to a different country, continuing with my education, meeting people with alternative thinking ( both at home and abroad), reading, reflecting and just doing what I want to do. Before I go any further, revealing my life’s ambitions, I must clarify that although I have made a massive generalization of what an “Indian perspective” is, there are definitely exceptions to this perspective.

Now, as to how I intend to lead my “grown up” life, I think I want to be a teacher. I want to go back home and teach. I think I will enjoy being a teacher because being a teacher is an integral part of education. By definition, education is “an act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life”.

What I like about this definition is that it involves the “power of reasoning and judgement and preparing oneself for life”. This process, interestingly enough does not really terminate once you are awarded a degree or a certificate. It is a continuous process and as an educator you play a key role in it. Living in an academic world all these years has truly influenced my thinking and way of life. I feel so empowered by it that I wish to extend that experience to others. What better way to pursue that than being a teacher. I think the beauty of being in academics is that there is rarely a dull moment. I am not going to glorify it so much and lead everyone to believe that there are no moments of stress, frustration or impatience not to forget the perpetual state of poverty you find yoursefl in. But setting that aside, I enjoy being part of the learning process and I realize its power.

From an academic perspective I am reading and learning on human-environment dynamics and interactions. This is something that excites me because it involves two aspects that I am perpetually fascinated by –humans and the natural environment. If you closely analyze the problems plaguing this “relationship” you will see that in many instances it has to do with weak power of reasoning and judgement. Problems arise and cannot be fixed and are labeled as “more complex than you imagine”. In reality the solutions prescribed would work, if your thinking and reasoning also changes with it. In the world of environmental studies a common (often abused) term is “sustainable use”. Every problem can be solved if we all used resources sustainably or we designed programs that are sustainable. The truth is, being sustainable is a state of mind. It is influenced by your power of reasoning and judgement. That’s were education plays a big role.

By education I don’t necessarily mean in a very strict and formal sense (For example, I could educate and be educated just living with forest resource dependent communities). Bottomline, I feel education has a multiplier effect. It has the power to spread and reach out to people. It has the power to change.

From my own experience I am so inspired by reading the works of wonderful teachers and researchers in my field such as Drs. Agrawal, Ostrum, Peluso, Gadgil, Shiva and many others that I wish to follow their foot steps. I wish to interact with young people and be in a position to provoke alternative thinking, reasoning, judging, reacting and solving. Maybe that’s my business in this world, during my life span .. to learn-to teach-to learn.

PS: I was imagining having this conversation with my mom and other members of my extended family and I saw them cringe. I heard very practical questions like ‘have you applied to any university vacancies in India?’ or ‘when will you be done with your studies?’ , or even totally irrelevant comments like—‘you should have just gone for computer engineering after your 12th ..now where would you have been. Look how well so and so is doing’ :D. Frankly these questions and comments only amuse me these days. I think everyone has a purpose in life and everyone will figure it out eventually—some day. It is never too late.

I still dont think its too late for me and I might even change my mind. As the Nike slogan goes "Just Do It"..whatever you are doing or want to do (as long as its legal ;).