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2016 IATLH Commitment Award

19 Nov

2016 IATLH Commitment Award. Bhanu and I are holding it just after the awarding ceremony at Lee Hall


2016 IATLH Commitment Award

Premier Cultural Event of India Association of Tallahassee

19th Annual Cultural Glimpses of India

Saturday, November 19, 2016 4:00 to 8:30 PM
1601 S Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd Lee Hall Auditorium, Tallahassee, FL 32307

During the 19th Annual Cultural Glimpses of India (19CGoI) held on Saturday, November 19, 2016 between 4:00 and 8:30 PM at 1601 S Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Lee Hall Auditorium, the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees of India Association of Tallahassee ( surprised me and my family.
During that event Santosh D., a Trustee announced about awarding the India Association of Tallahassee’s Commitment Award someone who was a former President of IATLH. As he spoke more about the awardee it became clear, he was referring to me. Neither I taking photos nor Bhanu who was sitting in the audience few rows behind were expecting the award and VtS was not even in the audience. Then one of the Trustees Dr. Viral B. gave me the trophy.
The committee members kept this as a secret and later I learned that the decision was unanimous. I was happy and shocked! Since I was not prepared I thanked Bhanu and Vivek and some of my mentors at IATLH. I asked everyone to support IATLH and ACT.

Halloween Night

31 Oct


2016 Halloween Night

Monday, October 31, 2016

This year Halloween came on a Monday night and since it was a school/work day there were very few kids doing the “trick/treat” routine in our neighborhood. Typically, we see the revelers come around 6:30 PM. However, today the first batch came only around 7:15 PM.

We had candy and distributed them until about 8:00 PM. VtS had a special costume and face paint.

Weight Training Try-out

29 Sep

Weight-Training Try-out

Leach Center @ FSU

Thu, Sept 29, 2016

Today, my colleague helped me to try-out some weight training at the Leach Center Gymnasium. So far I have been reluctant to try any the weight and strength training and instead choosing to do lots of cardio. Just last week or so I saw an article in Time Magazine (Sept 12/19, 2016 issue; The New Science of Exercise) about how it is better to mix cardio with weight and strength training.

So we started out with few simple machines. My friend who has been training for more than decade demonstrated some of them and after reading the instructions they were simple enough to do.

So, today I started out with the following four machines as a try out. Few minutes each for each of these machines.


I started with Lateral Raise first.


Then I moved to Biceps Curl.


Then we moved on to Row


Then finishing with Pulldown.

Then I went to did some cardio exercise too.

The Ringling Museums at Sarasota

6 May


The John & Mable Ringling Museums

Sarasota Bay, Sarasota, FL

Friday, May 06, 2016


We visited the John & Mable Ringling Museums in the city of Sarasota (SRQ), Florida. Bhanu and I arrived around 11 AM after driving for about 45 minutes from Clearwater, FL where we were staying. The Ringling Museum is part of the Florida State University and since I am faculty at FSU, I got a special rate while Bhanu paid the full amount. We were met with volunteers who explained the places to see.
The Ringling Museums are located on a 20 acre property off of the Sarasota Bay on the west coast of Florida peninsula has many individual museums: the circus museum, the Tibbals Learning Center, Mable’s Rose Garden, Ca’ d’Zan (House of John in Venetian dialect), Banyan Cafe, Center for Asian Art (opening in May 2016), Museum of Art, and Searing Wing.
We saw many of the buildings including the Tibbals, circus museum, the rose garden, the Ca’ d’Zan, Asian Art, Museum of Art, and ate at the Banyan Cafe. The weather was perfect and unusually cool and dry (78F) for an early May.
We spent almost 6 hours at the museums and left around 4 PM toward Palm Harbor.

Flora and Fauna of Aruba

18 Dec

Flora and Fauna of Aruba

We traveled to Aruba, an island nation which is part of the Lesser Antilles and part of Leeward Antilles located in the Caribbean Sea and ~25 miles off of Venezuelan coast. It is part of the Dutch Caribbean and one of the countries of the Kingdom of Netherlands.

We stayed in Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba and visited beaches and other areas where we saw some trees, birds, and animals which are unique. First in the beach we saw trees that are unique to the Caribbean.

Divi Divi or Watapana Tree

Divi Divi or Watapana Tree

Fofoti or Conocarpus erectus mangrove tree

Fofoti or Conocarpus erectus mangrove tree


Cactus in foreground and Coconuts in background

We saw lots of iguanas. The young ones are in green color and older adults were ranging in color from blue to dark grey. We also some skinks.

Young green iguana on a palm tree

Young green iguana on a palm tree

Iguanas were plentiful and they were very shy and ran away if you even came closer than 10 feet.


Adult Iguana on a Palm tree in Oranjestad, Aruba

We also saw lots of house sparrows,  black birds, and bare eyed doves.

Bare Eyed Dove Patagioenas corensis

Bare Eyed Dove Patagioenas corensis

We also saw lots of black birds called Carib Grackle Quiscalus lugubris that were roosting on the palm trees next to our hotel. They were lots of noise in the morning and took some time in the night before they settled down.

In the area near the Alto Vista chapel (past the Arashi beach) and the north eastern corner of Aruba also called Hudishibana, we saw a male Aruban whiptail lizard (Cnemidophorus arubensis) with its beautiful turquoise color. Locally they are called codoco or kodoco.

Aruban Whiptail Lizard (Cnemidophorus arubensis)

Aruban Whiptail Lizard (Cnemidophorus arubensis)

We saw lots of cacti too.


Bushi cactus

Yatu Cactus

Yatu Cactus

Cadushi di Colebra

Cadushi di Colebra

Aruba currency Florin and cents

Aruba currency Florin and cents



Collards and Cornbread Gathering

12 Nov

Collards and Cornbread Gathering

November 2015 gathering

November 12, 2015, 1:30 to 3:15 PM @ Dunn Street Community Garden


During the Tallahassee Forward meeting few weeks ago,  I met Nathan Ballentine, the Man-in-overalls. I was the moderator for a session titled “Addressing Health Disparities” and he was one of the Panelists. He is the co-founder of Tallahassee Food Network,  Start-up coordinator for iGrow Whatever You Like among other things. He invited me to join the Collards and Cornbread Gathering’s November meeting on Thursday, Nov 12, 2015 at the Dunn Street Community Garden. I was happy accept the invitation and wanted to share some basic information about Thai Pongal (தை பொங்கல்), the South Indian farmers festival with Tallahassee Food Network and iGrow Whatever You Like movement.


I met many folks at the Collards and Cornbread Gathering  and all of us spoke about our food memories that reminded about why we were thankful to the food we shared with others. We had about 30 folks at the gathering. Karin from Mission San Luis spoke about historical traditions of our area. Then I spoke about Thai Pongal (தை பொங்கல்) and Mattu Pongal (மாட்டு பொங்கல்) and shared the information about South Indian food habits and festivals.


Tamil Latha Font for MSWord (Office 2010) in Windows 10

26 Aug

Tamil Latha Font for MSWord (Office 2010) in Windows 10

Going from default Nirmala UI (Windows 10) to Latha

Thayumana Somasundaram     Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015.

தாயுமான சோமசுந்தரம், செவ்வாய் கிழமை, ஆகஸ்டு 25, 2015

Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 (Word 14) and Tamil font Latha with NHM Writer 2.9

I have been using, for several years, my Windows 7 Home Premium PC with Office 2010 (MSWord 14 | MSWord 2010) with NHM Writer 2.9 ( to type in Tamil (phonetic) and Hindi (phonetic) documents by selecting combinations of ALT+0 for English, ALT+2 for phonetic Tamil, and ALT+3 phonetic Hindi, etc., Typically when I typed in Tamil, MSWord used Latha font and when I typed in Hindi, MSWord used Mangal font. Of course when I typed in English there were multiple choices. Latha and Vijaya are typical fonts for Tamil Karthika for Malayalam, Mangal for Hindi, Vani for Telugu and Tunga for Kannda that are provided by Microsoft and many adhere to the Unicode ( standards since Window 2000 or earlier.

In early August 2015, I upgraded my Windows 7 Home Premium PC with Office 2010 (MSWord 14) to the free version of Windows 10 Home. Soon I realized when I typed Tamil the default font in Word (actually in Windows 10) was NOT Latha but Nirmala UI. Even though it worked okay, I missed the Latha font since I had used it for many years.

The Internet search yielded one link and I will show how I got my Latha font back.

Window 10 Tamil font forum link

Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 2010 (Word 14) and Tamil font Nirmala UI and Latha with NHM Writer 2.9

As I mentioned above, the default font for தமிழ் in Windows 10 became Nirmala UI and I will show you how to get Latha font while still retaining Nirmala UI

Step 1

From Windows 10 Start Menu, select the Settings


Step 2

In the Settings window, select Time & Language


Step 3

In the Time & Language window, select Region & Language (left hand side panel)


Step 4

The default Tamil (தமிழ் நிர்மலா எழுத்துருவம்) font in Windows 10 for Microsoft Word 2010 (actually it is the operating system Windows 10 that specifies the font) Nirmala UI and NOT Latha


Step 5

Now from the Region & Language window (Step 3), select + Add a language


Step 6

This opens a new window with many language options. So scroll left until you see Tamil and select it


Step 7

The next window gives you an option Tamil (India) or Tamil (Sri Lanka). Select Tamil (India), I guess!


Step 8

This opens another window for Tamil language pack, click to download the pack


Step 9

The install will take few minutes complete (you need to be connected to Internet, of course)


Step 10

Now if you look at the Region & Language panel, you will see Tamil language pack is installed


Step 11

Now if we open Microsoft Office and see Latha Tamil font is now installed.


So in this post I have shown in steps how to install Latha and optionally Vijaya fonts in Microsoft Office under Microsoft Windows 10. As noted above, Windows 10 Home comes as a default with  Nirmala UI font for Tamil. Other Indic fonts are considered special and are NOT installed automatically when you upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10. But you can include them now.

Before adding the fonts I have 181


The procedure shown above should allow you to add more Indic fonts like Latha, Vijaya, and others to Windows 10 Home. The font count increased from 181 to 183 (Latha and Vijaya are added) after rebooting the computer, of course.



Windows 10 ல் இனிமேல் லதா எழுத்துருத்தில் எழுத முடியும்.

PDF file of the same procedure.