Archive for August 2007

ITBHU – Alma Mater

August 21, 2007

Alma Mater

 

 

 

ITBHU  

 

Institute of Technology

 

Banaras Hindu University

 

Varanasi

 

India

 

 

       

On what basis do you judge an educational institution – an Engineering College or a B-School? In today’s world there is just one criterion – market value – the starting salaries and campus placement the students get – the more outrageously astronomical the pay packets, and the greater the percentage of lucrative campus placements – the better the institution. And with the increasing commercialization of education, many institutes blatantly compete, advertise, and focus on these materialistic aspects to attract students – it’s a rat race.

 

   

I feel the cardinal yardstick for appraising the true merit of an educational institution is the value-addition it instills in its alumni – and I’m not talking of utility and materialistic values alone; but more importantly the inculcation and enhancement of intrinsic and intangible higher values. The student should feel he or she has changed for the better, professionally and personally; and so should other stakeholders observing the student from the outside be able to discern the value enhancement.

     

 

 

I studied for my B.Tech. in Electronics Engineering at ITBHU from 1972 to 1977 (first batch IIT JEE) and I experienced the well-rounded value addition I have mentioned above. Later in life, being academically inclined, I continued studying, completed many courses, a Post Graduate Diploma in Management, an Engineering and Technology Post Graduation [M.Tech.] at a premier IIT and even taught for many years at prestigious academic institutions of higher learning, but I shall always cherish my days at ITBHU the most. I knew I was a better man, in my entirety, having passed through the portals of ITBHU, and I’m sure those scrutinizing me from the outside felt the same way.

 

 

 

ITBHU was amalgamated by integrating three of the country’s oldest and best engineering colleges: BENCO ( Banaras Engineering College ) – the first in the Orient, and certainly in India , to introduce the disciplines of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, MINMET – the pioneer in Mining and Metallurgy in India , and College of Technology – the first to start Chemical and Ceramic Engineering. Indeed these three institutions were the harbingers of industrialization in our country.

   

 

In my time ITBHU was indeed a center of excellence, an apt institution to study in, and a lovely place to live in. The vast verdant lush green semi-circular campus at the southern end of Varanasi , the largest university campus I have ever seen, with its pleasant and relaxed atmosphere was ideal for student life. And being a part of a premier university afforded one a consummate multidisciplinary experience.

    

 

It was a delightful and fulfilling experience I will always cherish – learning from erudite and totally dedicated Professors, who were authorities in their fields of specialization, amidst excellent academic facilities and ambience, elaborate labs and workshops, lush green campus, well-designed comfortable hostels, delicious food, expansive sports fields and facilities for all types of sports, the beautiful swimming pool, the unique well-stocked and intellectually inspiring Gaekwad library, and the exquisite temple that added a spiritual dimension to the scholarly ambiance. One could learn heritage and foreign languages, fine arts, music, indology, philosophy, yoga, pursue hobbies like numismatics – the avenues for learning were mind-boggling. The idyllic environs of BHU helped one develop a philosophical attitude to life.

   

 

Like all premier institutes ITBHU was fully residential, which fostered camaraderie and facilitated lifelong friendships amongst the alumni. I can never forget those delightful moments in Dhanrajgiri, Morvi, Vishwakarma, Vishveswarayya and CV Raman hostels, mouthwatering memories of the Lavang Lata and Lassi at Pehelwan’s in Lanka, the Lal Peda opposite Sankat Mochan, and the delicious wholesome cuisine of the city, and the cycle trips all over Varanasi, Sarnath, and even across the holy and sacred Ganga on the pontoon bridge to watch the Ram Lila at Ramnagar.

   

 

Way back then, in the nineteen seventies, ITBHU was a wonderful place to study engineering and live one’s formative years in. I wonder what my dear alma mater is like now!

 

        

VIKRAM KARVE

 

   

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

 

   

http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve

   

 

http://www.ryze.com/go/karve

      

vikramkarve@sify.com

 

 

vikramkarve@hotmail.com

               

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The Art of Eating

August 13, 2007

THE ART OF EATING

By

VIKRAM KARVE

 

 

Are you in the habit of “grabbing a bite”? Do you ever eat in the office while continuing to work or just skip meals altogether? Do you multitask while eating? Do you have power breakfasts, working lunches and business dinners? Do you eat fast and hurriedly, finish meals well ahead of everyone else and eat in bigger bites without savoring the taste of food? Can you vividly recall the taste of all the dishes you ate for dinner yesterday night?

 

Do you want to master the Art of Eating and enjoy your food? Dear reader, remember, there is no love greater than the love of eating – so read on, learn and try to master the Art of Eating!

 

Good food must be savored delicately; slowly, attentively and respectfully; in a befitting manner, with finesse and technique, with relish and appreciation and you will experience true gustatory delight. That’s essence of the Art of Eating.

 

It’s sacrilege to eat in a ravenous and rapacious manner. And never eat when tired, angry, worried, tense, hurried, and at mealtimes refuse to think or talk about unpleasant subjects. It is best to eat alone, mindfully, with yourself, in glorious solitude, in a calm, serene, conducive and unhurried environment. If you must have company, you must always eat with relaxed and tranquil people who love food and whose company you enjoy; never eat with “toxic”, “harried” or “stressed-out” people or in a tense or hurried atmosphere.

 

If you want to do full justice to good food, you must build up an appetite for it – merely being hungry is not enough. And the first step towards building up an appetite for good food is to think about it – simulated imaginative gustatory visualization to stimulate and prepare yourself for the sumptuous indulgence. An important thing we were taught at boarding school was to read the menu and prepare for the meal by beginning to imagine relishing each and every dish, from soup to pudding, in our mind’s eye.

 

Remember: First plan your “eat” and then eat your “plan”. It’s true. I eat my food twice. First in my mind’s eye – imagining, visualizing, “vicariously tasting”, fantasizing, strategizing on how I am going to savor and relish the dish to my utmost pleasure and satisfaction till my mouth waters and I desperately yearn to eat it. And then I do the honours – actually go ahead and eat it and enjoy the delightful experience.

 

Eating is not a gustatory experience alone; it’s visual and olfactory as well. Food must look good, smell good, taste good and, most importantly, make you feel good. The Art of Eating. It’s Holistic. Multidimensional. Encompassing all domains of your inner being.

 

Eat in silence. Mindfully. With full awareness. Savour the aroma, delicately place the food on your tongue, chew slowly and experience the variety of flavours as the permeate your taste buds, fully aware and sense the nourishment as the food dissolves and sinks deep within you. Chew your food to a pulp or milky liquid until it practically swallows itself. Never mix food and drink – alcohol dulls the taste buds, and olfactory sensation, and encumbers the unmitigated enjoyment of good food.

 

You must always close your eyes during the process of eating. When you eat, you must eat; nothing else, no seeing, no hearing, no talking. No multitasking. That’s right – never multi-task while eating. Just eat! Focus all your senses on your food, eat mindfully, meditatively, and you will attain a state of delightful bliss and happiness.

 

It’s simple. Create a positive eating atmosphere, honour your taste buds, respect your food and eat it in a proper state of mind, with love, zest, awareness and genuine appreciation and it will transport you to a state of bliss and happiness. Remember: There is no love greater than the love of eating!

 

In a nutshell, this is ‘The Art of Eating’.

 

 

VIKRAM KARVE


vikramkarve@sify.com

    

 

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

 

http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve

 

http://www.ryze.com/go/karve

 

 

 

Hyderabadi Dessert

August 1, 2007

KHUBANI KA MEETHA 

[Qubani Ka Meetha]

 

By

 

VIKRAM KARVE

   

What’s the perfect ending to a rich and spicy Mughlai meal? A cool soothing Falooda, perhaps!

 

And after fiery Kolhapuri fare? A chilled Mastani, maybe, to quench the fires within!

 

And do you know what the ideal finale to a Hyderabadi Biryani repast is? It is a unique refreshing apricot-based sweet-dish dessert called Qubani Ka Meetha, or Khubani Ka Meetha, spell it whichever way you like. And you get it only in Hyderabad. That’s what I thought, till yesterday afternoon, when famished after a tiring bout of shopping on Main Street, I entered my all time favorite eatery, George Restaurant on East Street, and spotted on the “Today’s Special” menu board, written as the last item – Qubani Ka Meetha.

 

Now first a bit about George “The House of Quality Food, since 1936” – as the logo says. When I was small boy, in the 1960’s and 1970’s, once in a while, my father used bring for a meal to East Street in Pune Camp, to Kamling for Chinese, or Latif or Kwality for Mughlai, and after our meal we always had a meetha paan at George Paanwala at the entrance to George Restaurant. I used to peer inside to see the animated expressions of the hungry hoi-polloi patrons vigorously devouring their food, and yearn to taste the fare, but it was only in the late 1970’s that I became a regular patron and began to savor the mouthwatering cuisine served at George. Since then, there has been a remarkable metamorphosis in the ambiance and variety of cuisine and George has transformed into a decent affordable family restaurant.

 

Having decided to end my meal with the legendary Hyderabadi dessert Qubani Ka Meetha, I ordered a Mutton Biryani to pave the way. Well, the Biryani at George is first-rate, but not as superb as those I have tasted in Hyderabad, or even as good as that served by Olympia or Shalimar in Mumbai, or Dorabjee, Blue Nile, or Good Luck in Pune. It certainly passed the spread-test with flying colours, and tasted wholesome, maybe, a wee bit bland. Now-a-days, I’d rather savor the inimitable tender succulent Rotisserie Chicken, a Mix-Grill, a Roast, or a Mughlai Gravy dish with Naan, at George, but right now I focus on mindfully relishing the Biryani in front of me, enjoying every morsel.

 

The Qubani Ka Meetha, or Khubani Ka Meetha, is served. I lovingly caress the bowl – it’s nicely chilled. They’ve put a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top. I wish they’d served it with chilled freshly whipped cream [malai] as they do in Hyderabad. I push aside the ice cream, dig deep, scoop some of the darkish brown dessert on my tongue, and close my eyes as the luscious tang, sublime flavor and invigorating aroma of the apricots permeates within me. [Qubani, or Khubani, means Apricots or Jardaloo]. Something tickles my taste buds – it’s a pistachio nut – delectable as it disintegrates and releases its characteristic taste and the contrasting flavors mingle on my tongue. I blend in a bit of vanilla ice cream, and slowly and deliberately, relish every bit of the ambrosial Qubani Ka Meetha as it glides on my tongue. Today I’m not going to have a Paan, for I’ve had an ideal end to a delicious meal.

 

Dear fellow Foodies, please do let us know if you know any places in your town where one can relish this splendid legendary Hyderabadi dessert – Qubani Ka Meetha.

     

VIKRAM KARVE

 

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

 

vikramkarve@sify.com

Musings

August 1, 2007

BOOK REVIEWS AND MUSINGS BY VIKRAM KARVE ON THE ART OF LIVING

My name is Vikram Karve. I’m 50 and live in Pune, India. I love reading, writing and blogging and have a philosophical attitude towards life. Here are a few links to my musings on various aspects of the art of living. I trust you will enjoy and derive benefit by reading them. Do send me your comments and feedback to:


vikramkarve@sify.com


vikramkarve@hotmail.com

THE ART OF LIVING


Book Review of THE IMPORTANCE OF LIVING by LIN YUTANG
[A book that shaped my life and taught me the art of living]

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/01/the-art-of-living.htm

http://karve.wordpress.com/2007/01/05/the-art-of-living/

THE ART OF HAPPINESS

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/11/the-art-of-happiness-by-vikram-karve.htm

http://karve.wordpress.com/2006/11/23/the-art-of-happiness-by-vikram-karve/

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/01/happiness.htm

THE ART OF EATING

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/11/the-art-of-eating.htm

http://karve.wordpress.com/2006/11/08/the-art-of-eating-by-vikram-karve/

HOW I QUIT SMOKING

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/12/how-i-quit-smoking.htm

http://karve.wordpress.com/2006/12/22/how-i-quit-smoking-by-vikram-karve/

THE DAY AFTER I QUIT SMOKING

http://karve.wordpress.com/2006/12/29/the-day-after-i-quit-smoking-by-vikram-karve/

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/12/the-day-after-i-quit-smoking.htm

DO YOU WANT TO QUIT DRINKING?

http://karve.wordpress.com/2006/12/22/force-field-analysis-helps-you-quit-drinking/

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/10/want-to-quit-drinking-.htm

TIME MANAGEMENT – SPEND TIME ADD VALUE

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/11/time-management.htm

A SENSE OF VALUES

http://karve.wordpress.com/2006/11/08/a-sense-of-values-by-vikram-karve/

THE MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY

http://karve.wordpress.com/2006/11/23/the-map-is-not-the-territory-by-vikram-karve/

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/11/the-map-is-not-the-territory.htm

THE SWEET CHILLIES

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/11/the-sweet-chillies.htm

COOSING THE RIGHT CAREER

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/11/choosing-the-right-career.htm

EPICTETUS – THE ART OF LIVING

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/10/the-art-of-living-a-book-review–2.htm

80/20 LIVING

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/10/a-book-review-80-20-principle.htm

A TEACHING STORY

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/10/a-room-with-a-variable-climate.htm

BOOK REVIEW – A SOLDIER’S STORY

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/09/book-review-a-soldier-s-story.htm

ORIENTAL STORIES – A FASCINATING BOOK

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/09/a-fascinating-book.htm

KNOW YOUR VALUES FOR HAPPINESS AND HARMONY

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/09/know-your-values-for-harmony-and-happiness.htm

HURRY SICKNESS

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/09/hurry-sickness.htm

BIBLIOTHERAPY

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/09/bibliotherapy.htm

LIFE PROCESS OUTSOURCING (LPO)

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/08/life-process-outsourcing-lpo.htm

BOOK REVIEW – THE PETER PRINCIPLE AND PETER PRESCRIPTION

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/08/book-review-the-peter-prescription-the-peter-principle.htm

ETHICAL FITNESS

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/07/ethical-fitness-2.htm

THOUGHT CONTROL

http://karve.wordpress.com/2007/01/05/be-happy-and-healthy/

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/06/monday-morning-rumination.htm

HAIKU

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/06/haiku-minerva-moment-by-vikram-karve.htm

AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2005/12/the-art-of-eating-an-affair-to-remember-by-vikram.htm

MANAGEMENT OF THE ABSURD – A book review

http://karve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/09/management-of-the-absurd.htm

MAHARSHI KARVE – BOOKS ON HIS LIFE AND TIMES

http://karve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/08/maharshi-karve-books-on-his-life-and-times.htm


TEACHING STORIES

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/09/two-teaching-stories.htm

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/11/the-sweet-chillies.htm

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/10/a-room-with-a-variable-climate.htm

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/09/teaching-stories-part-4-by-vikram-karve-on-teachers.htm

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/09/teaching-stories-part-3-by-vikram-karve.htm

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/08/teaching-stories-part-2-by-vikram-karve.htm

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/08/teaching-stories.htm

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/post/2005/10/a-teaching-story-by-vikram-karve.htm

I enjoyed writing these articles. I hope you enjoy reading them and look forward to your feedback. I’ll keep on posting.

VIKRAM KARVE
Pune India

vikramkarve@sify.com


vikramkarve@hotmail.com

 

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

 

 

 

Bake a Cake – 3/4 : 1: 11/2

August 1, 2007

¾: 1: 1 ½

 

By

 

VIKRAM KARVE

           

“ ¾ : 1 : 1 ½ ” – what’s that? No, it’s not what you think – it’s not a code or some mathematical formula. It’s the recipe for a simple cake – probably the first thing I learnt to cook.

 

It’s simple. Take ¾ [three-fourth] vati [ katori or cup] of fresh butter, cream it till fluffy with your hand, add 1 [one]vati of sugar and whisk vigorously till the sugar and butter blend smoothly, whip three eggs till they fluff up into peaks, fold into the butter-sugar mixture carefully, and beat with your hand till the batter emulsifies nicely.

 

Sieve 1 ½ [one and a half] vaties [katories] of maida [flour] with a teaspoon of baking powder and keep ready in a thali.

 

In a glass pour a generous “tot” of full-bodied dark rum – the more darker and more mellower the rum the better – as it will have more caramel which will impart an inimitable heavenly bitter-sweet flavor blended with the richly aromatic enveloping tang of molasses.

 

Now start adding, by the tablespoonful, the sieved maida to the butter-sugar-egg emulsified batter, gently folding in and smoothing in with your fingers, and alternately, from time to time add a few “drops” by the teaspoonful of the full-bodied dark rum, licking your fingers from time to time, rolling on your tongue, sampling and tasting at every step, till you get the right creamy consistency and taste. I love to mix in a wee bit of powdered spices like cinnamon, cardamom or cloves – innovate as per your mood and taste.

 

Now bake your cake. The rum will guarantee that the cake does not flop and the hot spicy alcohol vapor escaping from the cake and perambulating within the oven will impart a tantalizing aroma and enticing fragrance to the cake.

 

This cake tastes best when eaten hot – as the blissful fresh vapors overwhelm your palate with their zesty fragrance and full-bodied flavor.

 

This is the first recipe I learnt from my mother when I was a small boy [The “rum” innovation came a bit later]. I used stainless steel vaties, if you don’t have them use cups. Don’t be too finicky about precise proportions, sample and taste at every step; and of course trust the rum to do the rest!

 

I bake it in half an hour and it tastes heavenly. Baking a cake is so simple, isn’t it? Just remember simple recipe –  “ ¾  : 1 : 1 ½ ”  

       

VIKRAM KARVE

 

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

 

vikramkarve@sify.com

 

vikramkarve@hotmail.com