Indellectual

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

India has such a rich diversity of cultures, cuisines, religions, religious practices, languages, etc. I feel that there is a quality among Indians that is uniquely Indian , yet there is so much I don't know about the country.

The states of East India, like Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, are almost foreign to me. Perhaps my ignorance comes from my having grown up in the US. Do Indians who've grown up in the larger, mainland Indian states of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, etc. have adequate knowledge about their neighboring states on the other side of Bangladesh?

It makes me want to seek out a website that covers basic information about each one, like its language, or the customs, religious practices, or holidays observed. If anyone has found something like that, please send it our way!

And from me, here's an interesting webite on the cooking of Sikkim:
http://www.sikkiminfo.net/food&drinks.htm

-Rajul Parekh

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Pemberville Stomachs "Fair Factor"
By Elizabeth A. Shack, The Toledo Blade, August 21, 2004

As if chowing down on live worm pizza and bobbing for meat out of toilet bowls weren't bad enough, most contestants who return for the final round of Pemberville [Ohio] Free Fair's "Fair Factor" competition tonight could face something even more disgusting.

The competition, added as a new twist to this year's free-admission fair, is based on the NBC show Fear Factor, in which contestants are covered in roaches or spiders, locked in coffins, or made to eat live snails, among other stunts.

"We wanted to bring all the kids into town to have a ball," said Audra Headley, owner of the Front Street Cafe in Pemberville and one of the event's organizers.

Mrs. Headley said there would be "a rolling contest with a ball and a foreign substance," a Dumpster dive, and an event that was on the Fear Factor television show.

The contestants weren't too concerned.

"We're daring," Katelyn said.

With all the imitation of the West that goes on in India, does that mean we are to expect shows like this to crop up there too?!

We'd be curious to know what religious leaders like the Shankaracharyas and the Imam of the Delhi Jama Masjid think about this?

Thursday, August 19, 2004

These 2 comments are from a newsgroup. It's interesting to see what others think of us:

Actually, the sauces and methods of cooking in Indian cuisine tend to make the specifics of the meat or whatever in the dish rather unimportant.

>>That's what I thought. The few times I've ordered Indian food, I've wondered, "What the hell difference does it make which dish I choose? After the first bite, it's just going to burn the hell out of my palate until I can't taste anything for the next 6 weeks anyway."

To some extent I can understand these comments, since some of my friends with an Eastern-European background really want to be able to taste the meat that they're eating. They desire that specific flavor of the lamb or pork or beef in a meal, and if they can't taste it, they're unsatisfied.

On the other hand, I wonder if some of this strong reaction to Indian food is simply due to bad restaurants which dump ingredients in, without giving proper care to the unique flavor of each dish? I myself have felt that some restaurants make several dishes all look and taste basically the same.

-Rajul Parekh

Monday, August 09, 2004

Kerala News > Martial arts village in Kerala turns into a boxing ring

Pooladikunnu (Kerala), Aug 3 (ANI):
Here is a village where almost everyone, be it the old or the women, has a passion for boxing. From 10-year-old boys to 30-year-old housewives, every third person at Pooladikunnu village is aspiring to be a boxer....

While for parents, who often spend lifetime savings on educating their children, boxing has suddenly become the one-stop ticket to ensuring a career for their wards who are facing cutthroat competition in the ever-shrinking job market.

"...boxing has suddenly become the one-stop ticket to ensuring a career for their wards..."

How? By becoming trainers for eternally warring Indian politicians?!

It almost seems that if Kerala's famous son Shankaracharya were alive today, he might have written "Bhaja Boxingam" instead of "Bhaja Govindam"!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

S. Africa cited as attack target
Nationals arrested in Pakistan raid
--By Paul Haven, Associated Press, The Boston Globe, August 5, 2004

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Two South Africans captured along with a senior Al Qaeda terrorist were plotting attacks on tourist sites in their home country, Pakistani officials said yesterday, a surprising target for Islamic terrorism given the African nation's vocal stand against the war in Iraq and Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

All the good Muslims aspire to go to Mecca for Hajj; and it seems like all the Islamic terrorists aspire to go to Pakistan!

Seriously, isn't it sad that Pakistan, a nation that had such high ideals of becoming a model for a Holy Land for all Muslims across the world, has fallen into such a chasm?

This should serve as a good lesson for extremists of any hue and in any place; and that includes Hindus, Jews and Christians.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

From Ramesh Lahoti's July 14, 2004 letter to The Indian Express:

If the communists have a better solution, why have they not implemented it in states ruled by them? They have ruined the states of West Bengal and Kerala.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

From the newspaper, New Kerala

Antony agrees to discuss student's suicide in assembly
Thiruvananthapuram, July 26 (IANS) :

Rajani Anand, 20, a third-year engineering student, jumped to her death from a seven-storey building here Thursday night after she failed to get a loan to pay her fees at a self-financing engineering college.

This, after 57 years of independence?!