Saturday, May 30, 2009

Summing up.

One year of Blogging. Here's a post to commemorate it. Like the cliche goes, I am at a loss of words. Literally. I've been staring at this blank create page for 15mins now.
Yeah, so where was I? Its been a decent run so far. I haven't received too many brickbats so far, except for one post with spelling mistakes. Am sure you've forgiven me for that. :P

A huge round of thanks to you people for reading, all that I churn out. For keeping the nasty comments to yourself and posting only nice stuff. Being patient and running through 500 words odd articles. A commendable achievement, when most of us cant stand more than 2 pages of our course materials. 
Special thanks to Soms, Neesu(esp her patience), Suddie, Sunshine,vedha, Supri,  Satya, Gitu, Pri, Nithi, Alvi, Sowmie and Aishu for being regulars. Also, you random folks who drop in now and then to make that world map look nice :P thank you folks! 

Now, that am done with thanking you people. Let me impart some real nice gyaan. This comes free!

Yesterday we had this lecture, on finance electives and how each one of the electives would help us in moulding our careers. The Prof is the best finance teacher, I've seen all my life. Somebody who hasn't put me to sleep in both his lectures.
Don't worry, I won't bore you with that. If you are a finance geek, you'll know the prospects. At the end of it, he gave us this piece of gyaan which is the best I've heard in a long time.

It goes like this, to be successful in life you need the following Sampaths(wealth's).
The interpretations are all mine. I personally feel, all of us should know this. Not just for career's sake, for for the journey of life in itself.

1) Kshama- Forgiveness. Forgive and forget. If you hold a grudge for too long, you'll never be able to perform well in any of your activities. Letting go is really important in life. Look at each day as a new one and make sure it is spent usefully.

2) Titiksha- Tolerance. This is something most of us lack. Be patience towards others. Let them be, accept them for what they are. Everybody comes with manufacturing defects. Dump your quality checks and look at them for what they have. Don't harp on the lacking
.
3) Tyaga- Sacrifice. If you desire something in life, you have to let go of a few things that come in your path of glory. Take them off your system for good, and you'll be through.

4) Viveka- Prudence. Be careful in what you say, think and feel. Don't be overly judgemental or opinionated. Plan your life, have a planned document. Try to follow it judiciously. Remember that there are 3 faces to any controversy. Yours, others and the right one.

5) Vairagya- Determination. The headstrong attitude is very very crucial for success. Just by saying "I want to do it". You cannot do it. You need perseverance of the highest order. An unshakable belief in yourself and nobody else. Stick to your guns like there is no tomorrow. Lend a deaf year to the nay-sayers.

6) Mumukshutva- Urge. There is no point in your existence if you don't have the urge for anything. There should be a driving force in your life. An ideal or a goal you should live for. Something should push you out of your bed every morning. You should have a purpose in life. Make sure you fulfill this purpose before you breathe your last. 

The sources of wealth:
1) Hard work: There is no substitute to this. Seriously! Plan-Organise-Execute. When you know where you want to be, you'll know how to get there. Simply add hard work to your recipe. Its tough, but worth the trouble.

2) Discipline: Channelise your energies in the right direction. Set a goal and follow it doggedly. To get there, you need to condition yourself to certain hard truths of life. Give up on a few things, shun a few people. There is no other way to get there but this way.

3) Respect for humans: Equals or not, they have to be respected. If you think you can get to the top of the ladder, by trampling over people. You are mistaken.
This one is mine.

4)Belief in God: At the end of the day, there is a super power that controls us. Most folks will agree. Going by moral science lessons, 2 eyes always see you and 2 ears always hear you. Whatever you do, will be rewarded or punished accordingly. Karma is a way of life.

Enough of gyaan!  

Thanks a lot
Sandhya

Monday, May 25, 2009

Why Does English Have To Die Like This?

Disclaimer:

Certain characters and sentences might have strange resemblance to real people. The blogger does not aim at maligning the people concerned. This is a post where I voice my views against the murder of English. 
I draw inspiration from real people and incidents.

The other day, a friend was going through my posts. I was getting a stream of comments, and one of those, triggered this post. It was "I hate people, who can't read or write Tamil properly!". Fair enough, am not contesting it.  I know for a fact that I can't read or write Tamil. Not even my name. It's a shame, taking into account; I am Tamil, tam-brahm at that. I can only speak my language. It looks really bad when I am asked to mention my proficiency in languages, I say English: Read, write, speak. Hindi; Read, write, speak. Tamil; Speak only. The discussion then moved onto, blogging, my posts, and ultimately English. 

This brings us to the topic on hand: "Why does English Have To Die Like This"

If not knowing how to read or write in your mother tongue is a thing to be ashamed of; then not knowing how to write or speak in your medium of instruction is a bigger and better shame. Am not doing, an Anniyani here. But this is to voice my disgust against the people who mutilate the language with, wrong spellings, bad grammar. The worst of the maladies is shortening of words.

Soms, asked me to check a testimonial written for somebody. Am not going to comment on it, you can read it for yourself. 

"QUEEN OF DIFFERENCE....... her taste in nything is exquisite n a rare blend of trend n variety..... i admire the collections n her composed demeanor.....  a gourmet n a hardworker to the core....

Does this lady, know the meaning of gourmet? What does the word have to do here?  Collection of what? - Lingerie?

Spelling and Grammar: Shruti, ragam and talam are the foundations of music. Mangling any of these will not be taken lightly. When all these are in place, your music sounds divine. Likewise, grammar and spellings are the very foundations on which any language is built. Lacking in any of these is bound to raise eyebrows and invite brickbats. 

Eg: Our College being liberal da, other college won’t allow jeans. I was startled at this very statement. Have you people forgotten you school grammar lessons? I'd say SSN was liberal in admitting you.

Spelling errors can always be corrected. Use Google chrome when you chat. Every time you misspell a word, it makes a red mark. Use that option diligently. You will improve. If you continue to misspell them on purpose, God save you!

Improper Usage of words: 

I would be doing at my home. It is "At home". When you say home, it refers to your home. There is no need to make a special mention that it is yours. There is a subtle difference between; past present and future tense. You lie down on your bed. You don’t lie on it, you lie "down" on it.  The best of all "We need not to search". Please don't kill me!! 

I can help you in this aspect. I shall lend you my well worn copy of Wren&Martin's English grammar book. Since there are too many of you in this league. I'll take the trouble of taking mini-photo copies. Big books are a big turn-off, especially when you like things small.

Shortening words:   This is the worst of all.  It all started off with Instant messaging and SMSing. Look around and all you can see is this.  Words shortened and screwed. I've heard from people that it saves a lot of time.  In the process it becomes an inseparable part of your personality. I used to type like this until I realised how dumb and immature it was. It is not COOL, it is stupid!  

Make it full make it complete:  

There is nothing in this world that can beat long, lovely descriptive sentences. Correct in grammar and spellings with no interspersed SMS lingo. Imagine Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice in SMS lingo. Ayn Rand's fountainhead in bad grammar. Am sure Howard would die if he read our works today. No amount of reading novels and journals will help you, if you refuse to take corrective actions. Quoting Soms: "How long does it take to add a couple of letters to complete the word?"

If Written is religion; Verbal is God:  This one is self-explanatory. How you write is a direct reflection of how you speak. I am referring to an individual's distinctive speaking style here. When you cannot write proper sentences I doubt your ability to speak sense.  A prof in my college told me this when I entered the lab when the University exam was going on. "You will come in as such ah ma? University going"  I was appalled by his statement. It took me a couple of mintues to figure out that he was doing a literal translation from Tamil to English. As such-meaning Appdiye. University going- nadakardu! :P Nadakardhu is literally walking. So shouldn't the sentence be "university walking instead?" Please correct me if I am wrong. 

How to: Make a very true to yourself effort to change. Stop cutting short words. Treat them well. Buy my mini version of Wren&Martin. Put it to best use. Get in touch with people who speak good English. Try to emulate them, no copying business! Improve written communication. Use the spell check option and don't forget the punctuations. 

Now that I have given you a Ramayan on why you should speak, read, and write well. I'll give you the advantages. 

It creates a great first impression. It gives them an impression that you are well groomed even if you are not. Now you know why people lay so much importance on communication skills. You can feel good about yourself. When you have your own distinctive style, it makes you feel different. Thus you stand out in a crowd.

Conclusion:

Quoting my Director's most famous statement "You can only, take the horse to the pond. You cannot make it drink". Only if you make a very conscious effort to change, any thesaurus or my mini-photocopied, Wren & Martin would be useful.

The whole concept now makes me wonder... Did the British free us, thanks to our non-violent freedom struggle or because of our Angrez abilities.. (This is also a means of non-violent struggle)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Semiya Upma!

What do you do on a Sunday afternoon, when you have a model practicals in less than 24hrs? Case studies to be finished again in less than 24hrs and worst of all exams coming up?
No, this is not a Sandy-wants-to-crib post. This is actually a fun post.

To kill all these, I made Semiya Upma!

Semiya upma, if you ask me is the easiest thing to make after thayir sadam. Of course people don't "make" thayir sadam. It's really simple because, all of us have been through the two-minute noodle making procedure. Making Semiya Upma is just the same, with a twist in the tale.
This is easy to make, light on the tummy yet yummy . You can have it any time during the day, all you need to follow is these simple steps!

Disclaimer: Am not a professional chef, am a good foodie and so, I guess cooking comes naturally to me. Or so I believe :D

What you need:

3 cups of roasted vermicelli.
6 cups of water.
1 carrot
1 onion
1 tomato (optional)
1 small piece of ginger
2 green chillies (as you like it, add more chillies if you like it hot)
2 tbsp of oil (lesser the better)
salt to taste.
 Jeera, mustard seeds and thoor dal for tempering.


Here's how you make it:

Step-1: Heat oil in the kadai. When the oil starts heating up, add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add jeera and thoor dal. Let them roast for a while. 
Add onions, green chillies and ginger to this. Fry them until the onion is golden brown.
Step-2: Add 5 cups of water, and then the veggies. Cook them on a low flame.  Add vermicelli little by little, when the water comes to a boil. 
Keep stirring, to avoid the clumps.
Mix them all together and let the mixture cook for a while. 
Step-3: Once the mixture comes to that half cooked consistency, add the rest of the water.  
Note: Excess of water or too little of it can ruin your recipe.
The apt mixture would be: 1 cup vermicelli=2 cups of water.



Step-4: Keep stirring the mixture until it cooks fully. You've seen noodles cook right? This one will look just like that!
Voila! Semiya upma is ready to eat.

For the accompaniments:

You can eat it with plain thayir or little pickle or some spicy vengaya vatha kozhambu! :)

Me has even put up a nice picture of it on a plate. Arrangement inspiration: Nithya!
Happy Eating!

PS: Try out the recipe and send in your experiences.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Dogs In My life!

Before we begin the post, Say Hi to my newest friend :D

This post is dedicated to him and his brothers. 

There are a bunch of 6 really cute looking puppies in my block. These pups are the cynosure of all eyes.  Anybody who passes the library spends a couple of minutes admiring these cutie-pies. I am not an animal lover. As a matter of fact, am animal-phobic. Used to be the same, until this happened.
 
On Tuesday production sir was solid 90 mins late. I had time to kill, after picking up a finance book; I decided to play around with the pups. Was a bit scared in the beginning. I had never been close to animals.  These pups make you feel really comfortable mind you. Thus it all started. I and a friend were around for 30mins playing with them, calling them names, petting them, then we realised we had to get back to class. 
After that I have been going to the library enclave, during the breaks, lunch hour and every time I get out of the class. When anybody asks me- "Where are you going?", I say "I'm going to the dogs!" :P Such is the lowes!

These cuddly canines are too cute to be missed. Am still scared to lift one of them, am pretty sure it will happen very soon :P

So this is what happened. Whilst playing with them, I was so much in love that I even named a pup after a guy. Even went to the extent of naming them like the scientist in Cadbury's Gems Ad names planets after himself. Subru-1 subru-2! :D

It's been almost a week now. The pups have become a part of my college life. Every morning I go to their tiny little abode and pet them! They drink anything from water to my college's cutting chai. Particularly relish Good-Day biscuits according to a friend. 

From Monday, yours truly will be carrying Milk-Bikis for milk shakti.. :P I still address the pup by the same name. Only problem is all of them respond to the same call. I don't make my call really loud, lest somebody realize the truth that yours truly is mad. Actually lots of people know that I have named this puppy. The one after it is named will never know of this incident!

This is the story of the dogs in my life. 

If anybody wants to name these little pups, please send in your entries. Only guy names please. These pups will grow up to be dogs and not the other way round. I don't want them to grow up with an identity crisis. Am sure you understand! :D

I had an idea of drawing up similarities between these pups and guys. But the idea is still in its drafting stages. Until I post it, you can drool over my little pups, even think of sexy names for them.

Here are the pictures!
                                                                     Tea Break.

 













Water Break :D Lol!