Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New Recipes for Dips and Appetizers Inspired by Indian Condiments

My new food essay is up on The Aerogram with two recipes.

In my quest for dips that are a delicious departure from the ordinary, I decided to re-purpose a couple of types of condiments that play supporting roles in South Indian cooking — chutneys and bharthas. Bharthas are somewhat of an unknown quantity outside of desi circles, and while various types of chutneys are popular items on grocery store shelves, the many different South Indian cuisines boast of so many varieties that are still only found in home cooking.

The entire essay is here: Dips With a Twist: New Ideas for an Old Party Standby

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Evolution of an Immigrant's Thanksgiving

My essay on Thanksgivings past. 
We had left behind a culture that boasts of many festivals and rituals that bring families together. With extended families still living in close proximity, impromptu family gatherings are still the norm in our hometowns. Once we moved here we got busy with school and work calendars and we regularly lost track of those festivals (and still do), only a call from home prompting us to remember when it was too late.
The rest is at The Medium.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Review: Sam Kean's The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons

The older one, who's now 14, discovered Sam Kean first through The Disappearing Spoon and was hooked. The Violinist's Thumb followed quickly and there was no question about not pre-ordering The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons.

Here is a portion of his review of The Dueling Neurosurgeons:
The fastest and most powerful computers in the whole world cost millions of dollars to build and millions more to maintain, but a lump of tissue enclosed in bone crowning every human being can run a thousand times faster than the best machines in use today. And all it needs to survive is a good burger every now and then.
The entire review is on

If you are interested in science and science writing, Sam Kean is a writer to follow. On Twitter he's at @Sam_Kean and his website is

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Documentary: The Last Man on the Moon

Anytime I hear about a human in space, I take all of about 10 seconds to marvel at the level of technological sophistication that is necessary to accomplish space flight. The rest of the time, it's the human story that leaves me awestruck.

In fact, it's the same with any endeavor (such as climbing mountains or plumbing the depths of the ocean) that involves extreme hardship and whose demands are many: an undying commitment to the cause, a faith in science and numbers, street smarts and book smarts, an adventurous spirit, the willingness to sacrifice comfort, and the ability to stare down a fear of the unknown.

Needless to say, documentaries, books and movies that give the human angle in these journeys the treatment it deserves rank high on my favorites list.

Soon to make an entry into that list is a documentary titled The Last Man on the Moon that's already seen advance screenings in the UK. According to Universe Today,
“The Last Man on the Moon,” from UK-based Mark Stewart Productions, tells the story of Gene Cernan and his accomplishments against the backdrop of the Apollo era, when superpowers competed for dominance in space and hotshot flyboys became international heroes. With firsthand accounts from Cernan himself and his family, along with several other astronauts and NASA celebrities, it’s an emotional and intimate account of America’s last lunar voyage.
I'm hoping it'll make its way into the US sooner rather than later.


For updates, visit the documentary's Facebook page and hit 'Like'

For a trailer, visit Vimeo:


Update, June 18, 2014: I was able to find a link that I can embed in this post. So here it is!

Friday, February 07, 2014

Theater Courses for Children in Kolkata (Calcutta)

This information is from The Creative Arts' Facebook Page


Theatre Skills, Life skills, Creativity and Imagination :

The Creative Arts Theatre Workshop is dedicated to providing an atmosphere for children to explore, imagine, create and have fun through the world of theatre arts. We impart Theatre Skills like Expressions, Acting, Voice, Speech, Body Training, Rhythm, Music, Dance, Creative Writing, Poetry, Dialogue and Script Writing, Teaching various genres of Theatre and Appreciation and knowledge of other Art Forms.
Though we do enjoy entertaining with our end of the session show - the process is what we focus on.. Our goal is to instill the joy of theatre and in doing so, help to grow happy, healthy, confident kids.Since it's beginning TCA has focused on the philosophy of "Creative Drama". Creative Drama is different from traditional theatre classes in that the primary focus is the Participants NOT the performance.
Creative drama has many benefits for children. Not just the child who wants to be an actor...but for EVERY child. The mission of the Children’s Theater program is to make the theater a setting where opportunities for telling a story in words, motion and emotions can bring awareness beyond the parameters of their own home/school environment. To provide an opportunity for the children from the first grade through twelfth grades to receive the benefit that theater activities can provide. These benefits include

Life Skills:
• Learn about emotions
• Be more confident
• Work on problem solving
• Learn to relate to other people
• Speak in public
• Support positive body image
• Learn to work in a group
• Gain Self- Esteem...
• Create sensitivity to others through teamwork, co-operative interplay, and conflict resolution.
• Explore the varied facets of imagination, and individuality.

Life Values can be imparted through drama and Appreciation of social values can be learned in the play message. An ensemble of students learning to appreciate the power of drama techniques can display the respect, tolerance and patience for all ages, genders, social and ethnic backgrounds, as they work together toward a common goal.

Theatre Days

Days Time Age Group Status

Monday 4pm-5pm 8-13 yrs No Vacancy
Wednesday 3pm-4pm 5-7 yrs Fast filling
Wednesday 4pm-5pm 8-13 yrs Few seats remaining Wednesday 5pm-6pm 5-7 yrs Few seats remaining Saturday 3pm-4pm 8-13 yrs Fast filling

Creative Writing

Days Time Age Group Status

Monday 5pm-6pm 9-13 yrs Few seats remaining Saturday 4pm-5pm 9-13 yrs Few seats remaining

For ADMISSIONS call 9830775677