A giant screen at one of the stalls at the Chennai Book Fair, which was screening Tamil letters being typed into familiar Whatsapp and SMS message boxes, drew the attention of a number of people from the crowds browsing through the books there on Sunday.
The Tamil Virtual Academy (TVA) that has a stall at the annual book fair organised by the Booksellers and Publishers Association of India (BAPASI) have taken to spread awareness of the many Free and Open Source Tamil keyboard software available that can be used on their smartphone devices.
“On a basic Android software, many people remain unaware about the software that they can use which will help them type well in Tamil. With the majority now having smartphones, we want them to know about the methods available through which they can easily converse in the language and use apps such as Whatsapp,” said K. Sudharshan, a programmer with the TVA. Videos were being projected at the stall in the book fair, which had step-by-step instructions on how to go about with the input of the language.
J. Hari, a student who was at the TVA stall, said that knowing how to install and use such software would be engaging for people like him who liked to type in Tamil. “While we use such language input options on our computers and laptops, many of us remain ignorant about how to use it effectively on a smartphone,” he said.
Experimenting with cuisine from across India seems to be the new rage among the city youth this summer.
R. Divyatej, an entrepreneur, began his tryst with food from the age of six, and every holiday, he would make sure he takes over his mother’s kitchen. “This summer, I took on our staple spicy Andhra chicken curry and added a few spring onions to it, accompanied by garam masala and South Indian spices. It tasted delicious and it was sweeter. I try and experiment during every holiday,” he said.
Shows such as Jamie’s Kitchen, Nigella Bites, Sanjeev Kapoor Kitchen and the one by the city chef Dhamu have been the favourites of many. “This summer at home, I was trying Vikas Khanna’s recipes one by one. It is fun to cook,” said Sagar Muthuswamy, a software professional.
S. Sabarish, a student, even took up patisserie classes during his holidays. “I love baking, so I enrolled myself in several classes. I learnt to make swiss rolls, tarts and mud pie,” he beamed. “I am chalking out what to do in the next holidays,” he added.
(Reporting byS. Poorvaja and Aditi. R)