Posts Tagged ‘Cafe’

Thaalam 2017 – Greetings from John Sprovieri

By Editor - July 14th, 2017

Thaalam 2017 - Greetings from John Sprovieri

May 24th, 2017 Dear Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance, On behalf of the City of Brampton Members of Council, I wish to extend our congratulations and warmest greetings to everyone in attendance and supporting the Thaalam 2017: The Ultimate Gaana Competition. I congratulate CTYA on their volunteerism, organization and commitment to the community. Youth organizations are…

New Year’s Resolutions: Make ’em & Keep ’em!

By Admin - January 1st, 2014

New Year's Resolutions: Make 'em & Keep 'em!

Written By: Kayalvizhi J.

A new Year is a time to make some life changes. We often set out new goals, plans and resolutions. However, most New Year’s resolutions fail – in fact almost 85% of resolutions fail. Here are some foolproof ways to help ensure that your resolutions stay active past January end.

1. Write it Down. Write down your New Year’s resolution somewhere visible. When’s it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. The best place to put your resolution list is some place you look at daily. Beside your calendar or on your fridge. We often are very optimistic in the beginning of the year and believe we will do many things, but as the year moves on, we lose our motivation and forget our goals. That’s why it’s important to write down your goals somewhere visible and remind yourself often of them.

2. Go Public. Tell a few of your friends about your goals and help them keep tabs on your progress. You are more likely to complete a task when you feel accountable for it – and if you told all your friends you were going to something, chances are you would feel motivated to complete it to avoid shame. Plus, when your friends see you, if they keep asking you how your project to paint a portrait is going, you may actually start working on it!

3. Baby Steps. When making resolutions, we often write down unrealistic goals. The more realistic we make them, and the smaller we break the goal into, the more likely we can actually achieve our goals. Make your goals into workable and achievable goals. Don’t make “lose weight” a goal. Instead, a workable goal is “lose 0.5 lbs a week by working out X times a week.” It’s more defined and approachable than a general goal. Plus, it’s important to write out how you will achieve your goal. The more clearly defined your goal and method is, the more likely it will happen.

4. Give Deadlines. Give yourself a deadline of when you want to achieve something by. When you have a deadline, you are more likely to work toward it because it will seem more concrete. Without deadlines, your goal stays abstract and is always pushed to tomorrow’s to do list. Don’t set everything for January, spread them along the year so that you continue to work towards your goals.

5. Reward Yourself. Reward your success. Be proud of yourself and reward your successes. Everyone needs a pat on their back once in awhile – and why not be the one to give yourself one? If you feel good about your successes, you will be more likely to continue to succeed and be motivated.

To Family

By Admin - December 23rd, 2013

To Family

Written By: Kayalvizhi J.

When my brother was a child his word was ‘Akka.’ He would say Akka in this super cute way. With his chubby cheeks and bubbly self, he was the cutest little brother anyone could have. Yesterday, I told him a few of the many stories of him as a baby – from the way he would imitate Rajanikanth punch dialogues, to the way he would always cry to be held if he saw my sister or I, and of time he would hide behind us if he was afraid. Now that he is a grown teenager, far taller than me, he laughs when we tell him these stories.

Last night, my father, my mother, my brother and I stayed up just rehashing these old family memories – and I must say, it was very enjoyable. It was really something we did because my dad could not watch TV, my mom could not cook, my brother could not play his video games, and I could not use my laptop. While the blackout was a huge inconvenience, it brought us all together. We sat and talked, and had a good time doing so. Technology has become such a huge part of our lives that our reliance on technology has divided us. We are all electronically connected through social media, but our face-to-face interaction has decreased. Spending time with family is important. The bond of family, culture, and values can only survive through family time, and we need to make undivded time regularily to spend with our families. We sometimes forget that in the end, we work to spend quality time with family, but we work too hard that we don’t spend enough time with our loved ones.

There is nothing that brings people together like a crisis. The togetherness of family, the care and love everyone has for one another is most evident in times of crisis. The way a relative cares for whether you ate, the way a friend calls to see whether you have a safe place to sleep, all show you that you have people who love and care for you. We often take for granted the good people we have in our lives, but in times of crisis, we see who cares really. While this storm brought down electricity, heat and water, it brought with it gave us something invaluable – a provided us an opportunity to show our families and friends how much we care. It provided us an opportunity to bond with our families. Christmas has always been a big deal in my family, but this year, I feel like the blackout has brought together the real spirit of Christmas – family and love.

Thoondal: Shall I compare thee…?

By Admin - December 5th, 2013

Thoondal: Shall I compare thee…?

Written By: Shayanika Suresh

As a society, we evaluate ourselves in comparison to others around us. We use our evaluations to motivate ourselves towards achieving our respective goals. Our parents compare us with our cousins and friends in the hopes that such comparison will cause improvement and success. Our friends compare us to remind us of our value, our unique talents and traits. Our partners compare us with others to encourage a more compromising attitude. We all make these comparisons, in our respective roles, but we complain when we find ourselves in the position of the one being compared. Why? What is it about being compared to someone else that irks us?

As individuals, each one of us strives to be unique, to stand out in one way or another, and being compared challenges that. But there is more, isn’t there? We detest being criticized, and we dislike being inferior to another. The world we live in is a competitive one, and we find ourselves striving to be better than the others in all walks of life.

Darwin’s ‘survival of the fittest’ theory must have really hit home, and as unfriendly as it may seem, there really is no harm in competing. After all, we do reach our personal bests by trying to be better than another, and by combining that with strong leadership and teamwork, we are indeed able to achieve success. Personal goals are set higher, and individuals are more likely to reach them.

Therefore, maintain a sense of competition amongst your classmates or workmates at all times, but don’t lose control and keep it friendly. A well-managed competitive attitude can result in wonders for your entire team!

Spicy Ginger-Lemon Tilapia

By Admin - November 12th, 2013

Spicy Ginger-Lemon Tilapia

Written By: Kayalvizhi J.

•4 tilapia fillets
•2 tablespoons butter
•2 teaspoons salt
•Dash black pepper
•3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
•1 bunch coriander leaves – cut into
•10 shallots – cut and made into a paste
•1 garlic – cut into slithers
•1 lemon – sliced horizontally
•Small piece ginger – cut into slithers
•3-4 green chillies – cut lengthwise


Heat oven to 400°. Lightly grease a large shallow baking dish.

Combine cayenne pepper, curry leaves, coriander, black pepper, salt, garlic, ginger into a bowl with the fillets and mix well. Make sure to cover the fillets completely in the marinante. Let it marinate for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, arrange fish fillets on the prepared baking pan.

Add lemon slices and chillies on top of the fish and under the fish and wrap in foil paper.

Bake the fish fillets for 15 to 20 minutes, or until fish is cooked through. Fish will flake easily with a fork when done.

Remove foil paper and let fish broil for 5 minutes longer in the oven.
Remove from oven and srve! You can serve it on a banana leaf or plate.

Evano Oruvan (Cover) By Luksimi Sivaneswaralingam

October 29th, 2013

Evano Oruvan (Cover) By Luksimi Sivaneswaralingam
Song: Evano Oruvan
Movie: Alaipayuthe
Singer: Luksimi Sivaneswaralingam
Recorded, Mixed & Mastered at Steve Cliff Music Studio
Production & Promotion by
Videography by CineTravia Directed & Edited by Vishnu K.Original Singer: Swarnalatha Composer: A.R.Rahman Lyrics: Vairamuthu
Mixing: Vishnu Karunanandan, Sri K Twinstarz and Steve Cliff Valentine


Thoondal: The “Plague of Sameness”

By Admin - October 23rd, 2013

Thoondal: The “Plague of Sameness”

Written By: Shayanika Suresh

According to Zita Cobb, “there’s a plague of sameness that is killing human joy”. Zita Cobb, is the founder of Shorefast Foundation, which has been working towards building a sustainable economy on Fogo Island, Newfoundland. Zita Cobb’s story of success, dedication, and love for her homeplace is astounding, and a must-hear. But I want to dig a little deeper.

When I read an interview of Cobb in which she refers to the “plague of sameness”, I was really intrigued by the phrase. That simple phrase is able to encompass many of the large, overbearing concepts that dominate modern society. Globalization, diversity, discrimination, culture, religion, just to name a few, have all, in one way or another, led to the structuring of societal norms that determine our lifestyles.

We are expected to behave in a certain way, dress in a specific manner, and socialize with particular groups of people. We watch the same shows, and we drive the same cars. We are cut out to being exactly like each other. That is the gist of globalization.

What’s the problem with that, you may ask? After all, our differences are being merged. But, is it really necessary that we lose our diversity in order to be included in society? It is a huge misconception to think that increasing sameness amongst ourselves will in effect make things better! The impact of increasing sameness, as Cobb observes, is nothing less than the “killing of human joy”.

Yet, that has all been said. Iwan Baan’s TED Talk titled ‘Ingenious Homes in Unexpected Places’, on the other hand, really questions the idea of societal norm in a very specific way. Home, to us, as we have been taught, is a place where we live. It is usually described as a square two-storey building, with a triangular roof, two square windows and a door. This was the image that I drew as a small child, whenever I was asked to draw home. This was despite the fact that I was born in Sri Lanka and bred in Nigeria, where more often than not, houses were sheds built with twigs and leaves.

Iwan Baan brings new light to our idea of home. His photos depicting homes built by ordinary people in extraordinary places – inside incomplete construction sites, on a lagoon, amidst garbage – really question my boring old square home. The creativity of mankind really shines when our norms are broken. When we are forced to find new ways to live, to survive, we truly are able to be inventive to suit our own likes and dislikes. Question the norms around you, there’s no harm in that! Do they make sense, do you agree with them? If you do, then just keep following. But if you don’t, go ahead and create your own norms. Your life, your game, and only you can choose how to play it!

“Fake it ‘til you make it”

By Admin - July 18th, 2013

“Fake it ‘til you make it”

Written By: Senthamil Stefi

I came across a very interesting article yesterday that heavily contradicted the ideologies I built over the course of time while growing up. Who would have thought that being boastful was actually a good thing? According to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, the art of bragging can actually bring you farther in life than others. Basically, the whole notion of “fake it ‘til you make it” can ironically work in your favour. You would think that being humble would make you a more likeable person and further you in a corporate ladder… however, being humble may also cause people to over look your skill sets and choose another candidate that “seems” to be more skilled than yourself. Overconfidence essentially gives you a rise in social stature, an image that you attain through a figment of imagination or the perception you have of yourself or of your future self. This in turn causes those around you to believe that perception and believe that you are far more than what you actually are. Not only will this put your competition at a disadvantage but will also shine light on you and cause a superior to notice you out of a flock of sheep. Goals that in any ordinary case that would be unattainable would become within arm’s reach. So in conclusion, cockiness actually interestingly has quite the high return.

Blemishes Banished!

By Admin - July 17th, 2013

Blemishes Banished!

Written by: Gayathiri Sivakumar
“Neem offers many benefits and is an effective anti-bacterial cleanser. This face mask is perfect for those with blemishes, acne, or oily skin. Neem has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for many years. Turmeric is an excellent exfoliant and adds a glow to dull skin. Together, these two help clear blemishes from your skin to reveal a clearer complexion.


2 tablespoons – Vepampoo Illai (Neem) You can use neem leaves (ground) or neem leaves powder. (If you are using neem leaves, boil the neem leaves then grind them using a mortar and pestle)

1 tablespoon – Manjal (Tumeric)

1 table spoon – Lemon juice


Mix ingredients throughly in a small bowl to form a paste, you can add more powder until you achieve a paste form. Apply mixture over your face for half and hour, then rinse with tepid water. Splash cold water on your face and moisturize.

Dear Younger Self

By Admin - July 17th, 2013

Dear Younger Self

Written By: Dhabisha Kohilanathan

As the two hands on the clock tick away slowly and steadily, we cannot help but utter the infamous “time flies by fast” phrase.

One day, we find ourselves working long hours and being oblivious of time. The next day, we find our lonely selves staring straight into a wall, suddenly conscious of time.

During this reflective moment, we lose our ignorance towards time and ponder over our future, our minds becoming filled with tasks, goals, and dreams. However, the other side of our brain also dozes off to the past, pondering over memories and replaying the good old days.

Sometimes, when I reflect upon my past and compare it to my present time, I cannot help but mutter to myself: “I wish I had known/did this when I was younger.” As much as we cannot go back and change our past, the change we wish to become lies in our very own hands.

Over the past years, I have grasped onto five ideal principles that have allowed my mind and my soul to become more wise and appreciative of life.

1) Do not give your ear to others’ negative words

As cliché as it may sound, do not care about what others think about you.
Looking back, I realize that, as a teenager, I spent a huge amount of time caring about what other people (even strangers) thought of me. This self-consciousness did not allow me to be happy with myself nor be confident, which prevented me from living life at times.

2) Always be strong

Life is not simple. In fact, it is a long learning process that is filled with spontaneous smiles and tears. However, even if your feet slip into large potholes, it is important to always help yourselves up. As soon as you let your guard down, there are people who are ready to take advantage of your weak state. Being brave in your mind and soul will allow you to feel more positive and will scare your enemies away!

3) Be true to those who are true to you

As you grow with age, you realize that it is not about how many friends you have, but how genuine your friends are.
As much as there are people out there who are dishonest and may want to deceive you, there are many individuals who simply want to be your friend! Learning to trust people and letting them in your life is a step of faith – but a step that will be worthwhile. You never know, a simple ‘how are you’ to a stranger might lead you both to being best friends for generations.