Deprecated: Function create_function() is deprecated in /home/content/p3pnexwpnas15_data03/27/3792227/html/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-23-related-posts-plugin/init.php on line 440

Category Archive Personal

ByJayanthi

Tamil Nadu

Born and brought up in Tamil Nadu(a state in Southern India) and having lived close to 23 years in the state,I have never done a post on my home state  – how did it happen? Let’s get started right away…:) Here are a few points about my beloved state:

  1. Language – Most of you might be knowing this – but to reiterate there is only one language that is freely spoken and understood in Tamil Nadu – and that is Tamizh! 🙂 Unfortunately, no other language is visible except for English, of course… It is not to say that people from other parts of India cannot thrive here – once here, everybody blends in very well after a while… 🙂 
  2. Food – We love our idlis and dosas…I have written extensively written about it…in addition we also love our Venn Pongal, Sakkarai Pongal(sweet Pongal), Vadai, Thayir sadam(Curd rice), different varieties of rice(Puliyodharai(tamarind rice), lemon rice)  and all other poriyals(vegetables)!  Rice is our staple and it finds its way into all the meals whether directly or indirectly…The non-vegetarian spread is no less too!
  3. Cities – the more important cities in Tamil Nadu are Chennai, Coimbatore, Salem, Madurai and Trichy.
  4. Weather – It is a very hot state – there is no concept of winter here – though the month of ‘Margazhi'(December) is considered to be slightly cooler…
  5. Music and dance: It is a great state to learn classical dance and music. If you would like to learn Bharatnatyam or classical music in the true authentic way – then this is the place to be. With places like the Kalakshetra and gurus like the Dhanajayans – it is THE place to learn Bharatnatyam.
  6. Festivals –  the ‘Golu’ season(Dusshera) is celebrated with dolls adorning the steps for the nine days. ‘Pongal’ (Sankranti) is another important festival which is celebrated with much pomp and happiness for a full five days.  Unlike other cities, Chennai wakes up early in the morning to celebrate Diwali (around 4:00 a.m. or so)
    And interestingly enough, there is no dancing or partying for any of the festivals! 🙂 And no –  no, Holi , Karva Chauth etc. 🙂
  7. Fashion – It is one of states where women still dress conservatively(at least, I think so! :)) No ripped pants, shorts, 3/4 pant, sleeveless tops etc. etc. for women. Fashion for women can still be a simple salwar kameez with beautiful jasmine flowers to adorn the hair! 🙂 Of course, not to say that nobody wears western clothes – but the number of people wearing them might be less(and might be only in Chennai)
  8. Temples – Tamil Nadu has huge number of temples with beautiful architecture for the various Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Most of these temples are several hundred years old and it is a privilege to visit these temples!
Temple

These are a few things that I could think of that make Tamil Nadu…can you think of anything else? Add them in comments below! 🙂

This post is my sixth post for my #MyFriendAlexa by @Blogchatter.

ByJayanthi

The clock

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

 

He got up at the same time of 4:30 every morning. Not one morning had he ever gotten up late. In fact, the alarm always needed him to get up… 🙂 He had his fixed morning routines that he would follow everyday. Whether it was the gym or walking – it was followed meticulously and perfectly. Neither rain nor shine could ever disrupt anything. He would leave for work at the exact same time everyday and get back home at the exact time everyday. Breakfast, lunch, dinner was had at the same time of day. Exercise was reserved for certain days of the week. Personal phone calls were made at the exact time intervals(nobody gets extra free calls in his routine!! :)) Even the move to India had not thrown his schedule out of gear. 

If he was busy doing something, it had to be at a particular time of day…There was no need to to look at the clock in this house as there was already a “clock” roaming around! 🙂 Once you see him in a particular location, you knew the time of the day.

She knew the routine as she was married to him for a very long time. While most people maintain a routine, he was an absolute stickler for it…from food habits to exercise to sleep and work – everything followed the hands of the clock. No wonder she thought she was married to the clock rather than him!! 🙂

Most of you must have guessed this “clock” – if you haven’t as yet guessed, come home – I will introduce you to him! 🙂

Clock

This is the fourth post for #MyFriendAlexa by @Blogchatter

ByJayanthi

Who are better multi-taskers? Men or Women?

She was busy in the kitchen. It was a Monday morning. The school bus would be here anytime. It was idli for breakfast. While the first kid was unhappy about idli being the breakfast for the day, the second kid was super excited!  One preferred  coriander chutney. The other one preferred sambhar. Husband was already rushed and late for a meeting(what’s new?! :)) It was a super busy morning making breakfast/lunch – sending the kids and husband off to school/work and getting herself ready for work too!

After work, she had to give attention to both kids as each of them had separate requirements. One needed chart paper for a project, the other needed a printout. Home work, exams, were all over the place and seemed to be solely her responsibility. Dinner had to made and her own needs had to be met too. While her husband did step in every once in a while to help out…he could never keep with all the things she could do… 

Sounds like a familiar story? It is not mine 🙂 but I am sure it is many a woman’s story…

Multi-tasking is the art of doing multiple things simultaneously in my view. Who does this better? 

Working moms, stay at home moms, work from home moms, young ladies are all into multiple things at once. They will don multiple hats during the day and night. They create yummy food for their family according to each one’s taste, teach their kids, do their projects, become a doc for their kids during medical crisis, shuttle the kids from class to class, support their families, keep up with their own personal interests and more! I feel like they are demi-gods brandishing the ‘multi-tasking’ sword…

With all the above points, I have a faint idea about who is the better multi-tasker.. don’t you? 🙂

This post is my second post for #MyFriendAlexa by #Blogchatter!

Have a wonderful day! 🙂

mutitasking

ByJayanthi

Idli or Dosa?

Born and raised in Tamil Nadu, a state in Southern India, Idlis and Dosas  were always a staple at home. Idli for the totally unfamiliar, is defined by Wikipedia as “savoury rice cakes” that is made from fermented batter and which is had mostly for breakfast. Dosa on the other hand, is a savoury crepe made from the same fermented batter. Both of them are served with a huge range of accompaniments to suit the palate. While both idli and dosa are ideally served for breakfast, if you are from Tamil Nadu – you don’t mind having it at any time of the day! 🙂 

How do we make them?

While I will leave the exact recipe for making the perfect idli and dosa to Google, I can say that idli/dosa batter cannot be made in an instant unlike other foods. If we would like to make the idli/dosa batter (totally homemade),  tomorrow morning, the process has to be started 24 hrs earlier – if you are in a tropical climate and longer if you are in a colder climate. 

This because, the lentils have to soaked and ground in a special appliance called a ‘grinder'(or we can do it in a blender too) The resulting batter has to be fermented at least for 6-10 hrs(preferably overnight) .

Once the batter has beautifully fermented,  the idlis and dosas are ready to be made and relished with the different accompaniments! 🙂

Accompaniments to the idli-dosa duo:

Now, there are a variety of chutneys that can accompany the popular idli-dosa combo. There is coconut chutney, coriander chutney, mint chutney, tomato chutney, onion chutney( and my kids prefer all the colored variations! :))  and even more combinations to make this humble food even more tasty! 

There is also the very authentic Tamil Nadu ‘sambhar’ (lentil based vegetable stew as per Wikipedia) that can accompany the idli or dosa along with a a variety of chutneys to make the food super yummy! 🙂

How should it be?

Now, depending the quality of the lentils, the temperature and the duration of the fermentation and the proportion of lentils, the idlis and dosas might come differently. Technically, the idlis have to soft (like ‘malligai poo’ 🙂 aka ‘jasmine flowers’ and dosas may or may not be crisp. But the taste is definitely out of this world! 🙂

Idli
Idli

Can we order them from outside?

Oh…yes, we can and while other states might boast of pani puri stalls and chaat houses everywhere , it is the humble ‘idli’ that will adorn the streets of Tamil Nadu. Numerous idli shops will definitely pepper houses in Tamil Nadu and home cooks will even sell freshly made ‘idli-dosa’ batter for nominal prices.

A mother’s best friend! 🙂

Did you know – most of us mothers in/from Tamil Nadu will be at a loss if we do not have the idli-dosa batter at home in the refrigerator at any point of time? 🙂  The idli-dosa batter is definitely a mother’s best friend! When most mother’s are always at their wits end for “lunch box” and “breakfast” ideas, having the batter always saves the day. We can whip dosas and idlis in a jiffy and save the day! 🙂 

Dosa
Dosa

Now the great question – is it Idli or Dosa that satisfies your palate?

While each of them have their own taste and texture(obviously because one is round and soft and the other is crispy and flat), I have seen most having a preference for one or the other – but not both.

While the daughter in the house loves the soft variations and can gulp them as it is without any accompaniments 🙂 the son, can hardly get the idli down his throat without the frequent ‘eowws’ 🙂 His idea of the Tamil Nadu’s favorite food has to be the crispy counterpart lathered with a generous dollop of ghee that gives it an immensely wonderful aroma!

So, what is your favorite and how do you like to eat it? 🙂

ByJayanthi

PSG Tech reunion

As July 2018 dawned and dragged by, I could see a few of flurries of excitement here and there. There were subtle blips of happiness on the online radar too. Some of us were proudly announcing our itinerary to our happy destination on social media channels. We were all eagerly setting our plans for the big day and the planning committee was working in full momentum. There were invitations to be created and given, momentoes to be ordered, albums to be created, food to be ordered and oh, the list was an endless one. There were online meetings held regularly to plan and execute the things perfectly for the D-day!(Sitting inside the planning Whatsapp group was a special privilege(and one place I really managed to keep quiet! :)) and I could see the umpteen number of things that had to be done to make this day perfect and kudos to all of them to make it happen)

Where was this and what was happening?

This was the silver jubilee celebration for the Class of ’93/94 BE/BE(SW) of the alumni of PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India on July 27th, 2018. Going back to one’s alma mater is always a warm feeling for anyone, and visiting it, 25 years after graduation is extra special!! 🙂 Many of the alumni traveled from as far as the US, UK, Mexico and other countries to be together and celebrate this special day. 

25 years is a long time in a person’s life. We had grown through highs and lows of personal and professional life. Many of us had become “Sirs and madams” 🙂 in our organization and had reputations that were hard to beat. But still, we all traveled to the one place that made us feel 17 again! 🙂 We could throw all our caution to the wind and experience 1989-1993/94 again for just a day!

July 27, 2018!

The morning of July 27,2018 dawned and I was as usual late! It was 10 a.m. and I finally landed at my alma mater. Who was there? There was everyone(who had promised to come) and after a while I could recognize most of them. It was an amazing feeling to meet the entire(or almost) Class of ’93/94 in person. Even though we all play peek-a-boo on social media and see what others are doing in their life, it is a special feeling to meet everybody in person. We had changed in predictable ways and it really wasn’t difficult to identify everyone after a while. Life hadn’t changed and we were still in 1993/94, right? Nope – unfortunately not… 

For those of us who returned to Coimbatore after 25 years, the changes within the college were phenomenal.  The college had grown by leaps and bounds and there were newer departments. The bridge was absolutely new and traffic in our college was totally new to us! (When we studied, there were only a few buildings near us) Some of our old Professors were still present and it was pleasure to see them and reminisce their teachings(whether they remembered us or not! :))

The morning routine took place with precision. Sitting in the auditorium, recognizing old friends,  and whispering to my friends was a really warm feeling. Prayers were sung, speeches were given, momentoes and the batch report were presented. As the batch report was unveiled, it showed the stellar strength of our batch mates. Each and every one of us had done exceedingly well in life and some had even managed to retire! 🙂

Nostalgia took over and and as were re-living 1989-1993/94 days, we tried to see if the shops we used to visit 25 years ago were still around and we also wanted to see the hostel that housed us for 4 years(though I did not finally get to see the hostel) We wanted to see and experience all things that were present 25 years ago when the only work we had in life was to “study”! 

The evening saw the very popular ‘Tech music’ (songs sung by talented singers) and as the night progressed, it was evident that the glorious day would soon end. There were many who had weekend getaways planned to celebrate the silver jubilee reunion, but for me it was back to routine from the very next day.

As I came back home and was reminiscing the days leading up to July 27,2018 and the very day, I keep thinking when it will be when we will meet again…

On a side note, I observed that the Western world grapples with not having enough women in STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), but we women in the reunion were light years ahead of our times. We, women engineers had conquered the ‘engineering Everest’ years ago and many hold high positions in the industry even today. 

 

 

ByJayanthi

Review of ‘A to Z of Mental Health’ By Arjun Gupta

About the e-book: A to Z of Mental Health tries to explore the various aspects of mental illnesses that are sometimes ignored.You will finish this book with richer and more meaningful knowledge about mental health and how it affects every person.

Review: Mental health plays such an important part in today’s life. It is heartening to see the world opening to such issues to help the sufferer. But it is even great to see such a mature topic been written by such a young author(he is only 20!) The author gives an insight into the mental health issues faced by forces in the army, navy, air force, colleges, the common triggers for many mental health ailments, diagnosis, technology and mental health and so on.

It is true that exercise also plays a huge role in healing all sorts of body ailments and and it is good to state that mental health is no exception. It is nice to see the author list the phone numbers in each city for any individuals seeking help on mental health issues.

Personally, I am not sure, if the Internet is a good place to seek any sort of medical advice for any ailment. The author correctly states that there are “no right answers” to be found on the Internet and it is better to talk your problems instead. 

A very good and purposeful book and I am sure it will help the individuals who are suffering. In addition, I also hope it motivates non-sufferers to help them and not shy away from the problem.

You can download Arjun’s e-book for free from this link:

 

 

ByJayanthi

Writing

We writers are a lucky lot! 🙂 No, really…I mean it… what other profession allows you to don the multi-profession cape with the glide of a mouse?

Writing:

There are different types of writers – namely the medical writer, the technical writer, the travel writer, the poem writer, the master story teller but all of them share the pen that gives their thoughts a life. 

A writer can write about anything that he wants to – the butterfly, the cloud(technical and non-technical! :)) , the traffic (the web traffic as well as the physical traffic) , life of a chef, life of a programmer, life of a an engineer, the details of all the professions and so on… what a wonderful life! I have never enjoyed anything more in life than writing. It is the greatest boon to be able to write and write anything under the sun. And to think that I had never written anything major till my Master’s degree papers came along! 🙂

The difficult part of writing:

1.Unlike other professions, once you are done with writing about a particular topic for a period of time from different perspectives – I feel like “I am done” writing about the topic! And people are “done” reading about the topic too!! 🙂

For example, if I tell my son to read the other posts on my blog, after reading the one that has just been published (he follows my blog too! :)) he always says that he has finished reading them all! 🙁 

So, once I am done writing about a particular topic, I seem to be really “done”. And I think my readers are “done” reading the topic too! 🙂

The good part is that there are still plenty of topics to write about and even the littlest topic can evoke a great deal of emotions…

2. The second difficult part of writing sometimes is – that while writing itself takes a quite a bit of time with research and all(esp for my technical articles) but the reading hardly takes 3-4 minutes! 🙁 Sometimes, I feel like I should write a huge novel so that nobody can finish reading it quickly enough… 😉

Keep up with my pen as my writing adventures continue into the technical and personal fields! 🙂

 

 

 

 

ByJayanthi

Review of ‘Diary of a baby’

About ‘Diary of a baby’: “Diary of a Baby” is a candid, witty take on life from a baby’s perspective written as diary entries, followed by interpretation phases of baby’s life from the author’s own parenting experience

Review: ‘Diary of a baby’ by Mahak Wadhwani is a wonderful read for all parents, to-be parents, veteran parents and parents-to-be someday! 🙂 I picked this book to read as I was sure I could relate perfectly to every word written in this book, as I am a mother of two kids. My kids crossed the baby stage long ago(my kids are 17 and 12! :)) but still I cherish every one of those memories. 

I was reliving every chapter with my own experiences. The author has presented colic and separation anxiety very nicely. Yes – they are difficult times for the parents as well as the babies. Some chapters had me rolling in laughter(you have to read the book to know what they were! :)) Sleep regression, teething, falling, wailing, bawling, rolling , anxieties  and more are there in ‘Diary of a baby’. And presenting it from a baby’s perspective is the best!!

I cannot imagine that such a beautiful story could be created for the 26 letters of the alphabet around the ‘baby theme’!! Kudos to the author for this!! 🙂

Excellently written and the chapters move along flawlessly… must read for all parents!

It is available for free only for a short time from this link.

ByJayanthi

TOP SECRET MISSION

Ebook 1: I take on the Baton of Blogchatter Ebook Carnival from Rashi whose ebook ‘Mansa‘ is also part of the mix. 
About Rashi’s ebook: “मनसा” अर्थात मन से उत्पन्न कुछ कविताओं का संग्रह है ये पुस्तक। इसमें कवित्रि ने रिश्ते, देशप्रेम और अपने मन की भावनाओं को व्यक्त किया है।  
 

My ebook experience/learnings:

The BlogchatterEbook carnival launched e-books that converted us bloggers into authors.The whole experience has been exhilarating one and I have received more recognition in the field of writing!

I had written a series of posts around my life in US and my e-book contains all of my posts regarding that. I thank Blogchatter and the entire team for supporting me in creating an e-book around those posts!

You can download my e-book ‘India or US? The constant struggle for educated India for free here.  

About my book:A number of individuals in their 20s, want to go abroad and once they are abroad they start missing India. These individual posts grasp the see-saw of most Indian families trying to balance Indian values and American life.

E-book 2:  I would next pass on the Baton of Blogchatter EBook Carnival to fellow blogger Rohan whose ebook ‘Annoyed Thieves Amid Darkling Armies‘ is also part of the mix. 

About Rohan’s ebook: Stir something
Be it any emotion
Joy, Fear, AngerChannel it
Towards a path
That leads a changeIn yourself
In the surrounding you live
In the society These are the words
Fearless, bold, outspoken
To stir something in you  

 

 

 

 

ByJayanthi

Review of ‘Murder in the palace and other short stories’

It is quite ironic that I am a writer but I rarely read fiction. But that may be because I do not write fiction. Having said that, I read ‘Murder in the palace and other short stories’ and this post just summarizes some of my feelings as I read it. It is written by Priya Bajpai for the ‘Blogchatter E-book Carnival’ season three. 

About the author:

Priya U Bajpai is a short story author and poet who has been published in mainstream newspapers. A versatile story-teller, she is adept at writing fast-paced and layered tales across genres. A voracious reader, Priya is a mother of a nine-year-old.

Read More