Saturday, October 18, 2008

Editor's Note: A Sneak Peek

Never in a million years would I have thought that being editor of a graduate students’ newsletter would be this hard. Why? Simply put, it’s beyond hard to come up with an issue; the main conundrum - what to put in it. We wanted to introduce ourselves with Parichay but Ike spoiled our plans. Ike came and went, and we thought about releasing the issue focusing on that dreadful hurricane (a welcome break though), but minimal responses to articles about Ike got me paranoid if the newsletter could get started in any way or fashion. But Parichay did happen, and we did take that leap to get out Dautya to you.

And so we bring to you our first edition of Dautya for this academic year. Late, but here it is. We’ve got all Parichay in this issue. The popular Vikram Shete puts in his dilemma about judging, the president goes through his schedule packed experience with the presidency, Vishnu tells you what the freshers’ thought, Hemantha brings to you something you all are going to love, and Aritra takes a stab at giving you ideas for your Thanksgiving break (you should ask him his). But most of all, you will find a few photos and links to the entire list, thanks to Javits for going all the way when it came to pictures.

Dautya is trying hard this year to be a regular with you guys, and so we are going to need all the help we can get. A team is a team, but we’d love for anyone and everyone to send in your inputs. We’d love to see you a part of Dautya as well. We need all the writers we can get- humor, satire, political- in short- ANYTHING. We are going to expand this newsletter, bring out all the important news a grad student needs, a student away from home wants to read. You are going to be our thought process. So help us out! Also, please do subscribe to the Dautya channel on Youtube. We need all the fan following we can get.

Here is a slideshow of the photos

Also feel free to look at the playlist for the Parichay videos

Sit back and enjoy. Have a laugh, and have a blast

-Shreyasee Das

Cook's Corner: Gaajar Halwa

  1. Carrots 2 lb
  2. Butter Sticks 2
  3. Milk
  4. Sugar 1 lb
  5. Dry Fruits (Cashew, Almonds, Raisins)
  6. Cardamom Powder 1 tbs
  1. Wash and peel the carrots.
  2. Grate the carrots.
  3. Add 1 ½ Butter stick in a non-stick frying pan. Add grated carrot.
  4. Fry it for 3 mins. Add Milk such that the carrot soaks completely. Keep cooking the carrot in milk.
  5. Add sugar and cardamom powder and stir the mixture. Fry dry fruits with ½ butter stick.
  6. Add the dry fruits and cook for 10-15 mins. Serve hot.

- Hemantha Mangalampalli (Image Courtesy : Mstephens7 )

Travel: Fix your travel plans

Midterms, assignments, deadlines!!! If you are looking forward to that Thanksgiving break- you are on the right track. Yes, some of you are going to show off by going to exotic places for the break, but for those of you who are considering some place that could leave some money in your pocket, why not explore Texas. Two distinct Texas regions pop into the picture- Gulf Coast and the Hill Country.

The Hill County region, heart of the Lone Star State, is home to rolling hills, a breathtaking display of wildflowers found along roadsides in springtime, year-round lush green landscapes and plenty of splendid lakes and rivers. This region begins in west Texas in Crockett County, and stretches east to Austin. History buffs can quench their desire for knowledge at places like the granite dome of the State Capitol building, the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum or the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Of course, while you’re here, don’t miss the famous UT- Austin campus. Down the road in Fredericksburg, you’ll find the region filled with historical museums, amazing underground caverns, historic structures providing a glimpse into the lives of early Texas settlers, wineries, wildflower and nature attractions, and plenty of venues to enjoy some quintessential Hill Country cuisine and music.

But if that’s not what you want, then why not explore the Gulf Coast? The coast along the Gulf of Mexico- a 624-mile stretch, beckons visitors to swim, fish, sail, sunbathe, build sand castles, surf or just take a relaxing stroll on the beach. Searching for some solitude? Look no further than the North Padre National Seashore – which has the longest undeveloped stretch of barrier-island beach in the world. If you enjoy wildlife, this is your place. The Rio Grande Valley is the nation’s number one bird-watching destination, and most of the Texas Coastal Birding Trail stops fall within this portion of the state. For history buffs, travel back to a different time in Texas with a visit to one of many sites of profound historical importance. Visit the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site in Deer Park, where Texas avenged its Alamo defeat and won its independence from Mexico. See Spindletop in Beaumont, the place that set off the oil boom in Texas in 1901 and brought in the modern era of petroleum production.

With so much to see and do, it might be hard to decide where to start, and where to end. So, be sure to review the following pages to learn more about the cities and attractions found within the area, and use the information to plan your adventure.

-Aritra Sur

Parichay 2008 : A Different View

It is always a different experience to leave one’s homeland and fly to a foreign land, usually it is filled with questions of the unknown. But amplifying this emotion along with a heartwarming welcome creates waves and lifts the spirits in each of us, providing us with the much-needed inspiration to reach our goals. This is exactly what took place in PARICHAY 2008! Parichay, GISO’s first communal party for a “Desi “ fresher, needs multiple adjectives for us to applaud it. Our sincere thanks to GISO for organizing an event like this, more so, providing freshers a chance to interact with seniors. Every event deserves a page in the newsletter. The energy shown by every newbie was phenomenal.

To say the least, we had a lot of fun, enjoying every moment of Parichay; after all we were numb from midterms, assignments and other academic dragons, standing ready to fume the next morning. Drubbed by the load of coursework at school, the wide range of “Parichay entertainment capsules” came to us at the right time. The JAM session at the end of the party was really amazing, with the music creating ripples in the crowd. The dance floor saw some jaw-dropping moves; be it break, shake, folk or any move that fit the definition of dance. It was nice of GISO to give the non-profit organizations a chance to showcase their work as well.

Every fresher is proud to be a part of University of Houston and we thank each member of GISO whose efforts have made our initial stay so pleasant. Parichay will be close to everyone’s heart, what with the memories it has left in our lives.

- Sri Vishnu Varada

Shete on Judging

Parichay is the time for freshers to come forward and introduce themselves to all, by means of performance or personal interaction and 2008’s was certainly a special one. Most importantly, the enthusiasm was evident in numbers and the talent set the stage ablaze. I must appreciate the efforts of the committee for pulling off such an event. The committee set a new trend by awarding the best performers (male and female). Personally I feel it was a great idea, as it was a transparent and precise way to attract and retain talent.

I would like to thank and appreciate the efforts of the entire team of performers, who despite natural calamities (Ike, assignments, classes, jobs and so on), put up a show of high standards. Each one made their mark!!! We were disappointed as there were only 2 prizes to give out. I want to assure all the participants that the competition was fierce and extremely close. Well, you may have lost the 500 minutes (calling cards awarded as prize) but am sure you have won a lot of friends!

Over the past few years GISO has increasingly set higher standards. It started with Pick Ups, then Maitri, followed by the Anubhav Cup and now Parichay. I am eagerly waiting for Maitri 09, as it is the mother of all events!! With you all managing and performing, it promises to be a great evening!

Parichay '08 was truly "An Experience To Live By!!!"
All the best fellas!

-Vikram Shete

The President Speaks

Taking up the presidency of an association, however small, however big is always a challenging task. GISO is no exception to it. But then I thought how bad could it get- only to realize that even thinking that was a grave mistake. It seemed like a never-ending pile up of events, all with a lot of fun and responsibility involved though. Pick ups, Independence day, Orientation, and then IKE!!! Parichay was the much-needed change in the routine we students were following (or at least trying to).

Parichay, GISO’s Fresher's party, was nothing short of a Post Ike party this year. Initially planned for September 20th, it got pushed to the 5th of October due to Hurricane
Ike. In spite of that, the enthusiasm was evergreen and it was evident with the huge turnout and with the way the show went. There were a variety of songs, dances and also poetry. The new students put up a brilliant performance- the songs had a lasting effect on the audience while the dance performances set the stage on fire. It was certainly hard to differentiate between the performances and pick the best. If the tune from 'Bombay’ melted the audience, then the dance performance for ‘Dil mein baji Guitar’ pepped them up, even demanding for an encore. One thing was evident from Parichay 2008 - there is no dearth for talent in GISO, it keeps increasing every year.

I thank each and everyone who was involved in Parichay 2008 and for making it a grand success. Kudos to Shreyasee and Shilpa for coordinating with the participants and ensuring that the show was a BLAST!!! I am sure it would have been a tough task for the judges to select two winners from the different performers. I would like to thank all the judges for their unflinching support. Congratulations to the winners - Shantanu Mujumdar and Medha. The day also turned out to be Shreyasee's birthday -the editor of Dautya and the sole reason for me to come up with this write-up.

Thank you once again everyone!

-Saravanan Srinivasan