Education system generally in India is focused on getting higher marks in written examinations. This forces students to spend time, running into late night, confined to chairs with practically no physical activity.
Calicut University in Kerala has come up with a unique program which is laudable and embraced by the students in large.
Students can get upto 24 additional marks (grace marks) if they enroll and complete the program. Here they have a variety of sports/ physical activity options which are modules of at least 10 hours of workout during each of the four semesters.
The response to the initiative is huge. Students and parents are all in praise and are happy at the positive effects of the physical activity compared to the bad effects of what is becoming a couch potato.
That’s is with gaining the extra grades without a side effect of health degradation and in fact with positive effects of health upgradation.
Simple but surely an effective initiative which should be copied by all educational institutions.
This is coconut broom, made from the thin stem of dried coconut leaves and used for cleaning sprawling compounds of Tharavad houses in Kerala of leaves fallen at night from the surrounding trees.
Bold housewives used them to discipline the drunken husbands as the imprint of an effective beating will be shown on the back of the shirtless toddy shaap regular.
Though I am the self proclaimed Walter Mitty with many managed daydreams, real dreams sometimes happen.
Last night’s was interesting, I was in a painting competition (competitive exams still rank high in my nightmarish dreams) and I saw the broom sitting on the side.
I took it, dismantled it into seven bunches and dipped each bunch into one of the colours of VIBGYOR. Then the bell sounded to announce one minute to end.
Remembered acing a strategy training in standard chartered bank where the trainer asked us to make a flying object with paper and fly it onto the screen fast. Not a skilled person in paper craft, I crumbled the paper and threw onto the projector screen. My project implementation skill was the focused subject for the 5 days of training.
I gathered all the seven bunches back in random order and ran it on the canvas when ‘stop’ siren was heard.
It was a crowd of examiners, contestants and others around my broom art with uuuuus, ahhhhas and wowwwws.
My words then, “you are artistic if you see a difference in nude and naked”
Jackfruit trees are giant sprawling ones growing to 30 to 40 feet high over a period of time. In addition to the coveted fruit, the hardwood itself is in much demand.
Grown wild, the trees were not much talked about till recently when it has been elevated to a health food.
The resultant rush prompted introduction of early fruiting and dwarf varieties. Here we have one of them yielding fruits in just under two years.
The limited height of the trees which at the same time produce good quantities of fruits, solves one of the difficulties of getting the fruits from tall trees.
I am seriously considering to plant some 300 of them along with my farming plans. The rush I mentioned will create a market glut and small scale production of some longer lasting delicacies like chips and sweets could overcome the risk to a great extent.
I have in this site posted my experiments with them as part of my Cooking Exotica & Fitness program
Chakka undas (jackfruit balls)
This is perhaps the season when people get a cold, cough or fever. This is not because of location I think, as I have seen this around this time in Philippines, HongKong, London and Kuwait where I lived and in USA where my daughter is.
And I have observed that a practice of drinking fresh lemon squeezed in warm water with or without honey was giving the resistance and protection.
The lime juice practice was discontinued for the last few years as I was fortunate and proud of not falling ill for that period. Not a single sick leave and no cost to insurance company.
Then it has came back. Soon after return from Mauritius with a day’s stopover in Bangalore, I am now nursing a bad cough.
Holidays interfered on my workout routine and six pack plans, and the coinciding indisposition is quite annoying.
Sometimes I feel that I am a spoilt brat, poor patient and quite immature in handling the situation without irritating others.
But then, and after all, the quite enjoyable morning lime should not have been given a miss.
Greeting dear ones on Birthday is a duty. Of course, nothing like being with the person with your own specially ordered cake and gift. But the possibilities of getting involved in the birthday of many social media friends are quite welcome and exciting.
Usually it’s the Facebook which alerts you on a birthday and wishing is easy.
But there are dear ones who choose not to give Birthday details on fb and then you better remember.
Today is one of those birthdays that I can’t afford to forget. The choice of landing at the doorstep with cake on the left hand, flowers on the right and gift in the sling bag with that smug smile on the face is not there due to geographical positions.
But connections are there on Facebook, Instagram, whatsapp, WordPress and email.
So first thing was yesterday, scanning through 123 greetings, and selecting the best with personalised message and sent on email with delivery date for today.
Then get up early in the morning and write Birthday songs on all the media. (I would have sent a voice clip, but my singing ability could spoil the day).
First thing you see on messages is a good morning from a special friend. Boosted by that beautiful gesture, proceeded typing the Birthday song.
The only regret is that the Birthday gift is a ps. to be given in the next meeting.
Happy Birthday Dear
“Mujhse Shaadi Karogi”
(Will you marry me)
We are already married, as this is Sunu with the ‘Marie Reine de la Paix’ (Mother Mary Shrine) in Mauritius as background.
This was shooting location of the 2004 movie by the name, casting Akshay Kumar, Priyanka Chopra and Salman Khan.
Keukenhof near Amsterdam is paradise for Indian tourists remembering Silsila. We took that 100 kilometre drive from Amsterdam in one April for just being there, though we were fresh from the flower festival, a once in 4 years event, which was held that year in Amsterdam.
Likewise Sunu was excited to walk upto and sit in a place in Santorini, the beautiful Greek island where one Sharuq Khan movie was filmed.
I am told that places like Scotland give concessions and facilities for shooting Bollywood item numbers in exotic locations, with an eye on the swelling Indian tourists.
With Sunu Kurian at Marie Reine de la Paix in beautiful Mauritius, cameraman Kurian Jacob reporting.