When my hesitations turn out to be Manjadikuru – little red seeds

 

Nearly half the Winter Quarter is over at Seattle University. And it’s been a one great experience for me.

My primary jobs at Seattle University are two: to teach a course and deliver a Public Lecture as part of LeRoux Chair. That’s huge responsibility and privilege. A privilege I dreaded to begin with. And not very much at home with!

Thanks to my students -first of all- at St Josephs College! When I sounded them (not in any certain terms; far from it!) they bombarded me with ideas! The senior Mass Communication (Masters) students showed much interest to begin with. Some delivered handsomely. Thanks to them. The first years – of course, they are first years! Anyone would envy their inputs. They would be proud of their Dear Teacher putting their suggestions (of film titles) to real good use! And remembering them gratefully from 13,000 miles!

And then, there was one more former student from St Aloysius College – Arron Menezes. The 2004-07 batch of B.A. Journalism. He “flew up” to Bangalore from Mysore (!) to discuss films with me and spent one full day of his office life!

Students here at Seattle University have been absolutely brilliant! Far exceeding my expectation in their cooperation and open-to-learn attitude. Well, I expected them to be academically good and professional, but had reservations about openness to learn and be “good”! They defy it all – they are simply amazing! By the end of Winter Quarter, I will have -something like today’s Malayalam film- Manjadikuru (Little Red Seeds; Anjali Menon, 2012) – plenty of those precious, innocuous, cute, red seeds as memory strands to pick up and cherish!

Thanks to Fr Tom Lukas – I visited Berkley in California in the last week of January. And, it is always nice to have one of your own – Shantharaj Thomas in Berkley. From there we visited San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Clara and other places. Within these, Google, Facebook, Stanford University, California University, Santa Clara University (none of which we entered for the obvious reason – what else (save computers!) do you see in an IT company!?) But the campuses were good enough to get a feel. I was sad to miss Twitter (later heard that one of my friend and school classmate’s sister works in it!)

There are so many people who have been making this a memorable, meaningful, and cherish-able experience – both in India and Seattle, California (and next in Los Angeles – Cali.!) – my friends, family, students, Jesuits and well wishers. But the best one has been AB the Great. Nothing to beat! What more? Everything else!

(oh, before I forget: it rains a minute, and the next – it shines bright in Seattle! It’s about 0-5 degree celsius one day and 10-12 another. Something like one day it’s Vietnamese cuisine, the other day Thai, third day Indian, interspersed with thoroughly American delicacies!

And last one thing, lest you should accuse me of not sharing with you: I am teaching a course “Visions of Progress in Indian Cinema,” a newly designed course for this purpose. And my students just love it.

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