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Dine & Learn 2007


This young speaker, Utkarsh Nadkarni, a recent resident of New Jersey, (married to Ruchita Lal, with 2 children Sahil, and Arav) is a passionate Indian history buff and devotes a lot of time to reading about India when he is not busy with his IT industry work area. He is firm about his Indian ideologies, and feels that India is already a super power in its entirety, what with the nuclear research goals it has met, now placing itself at the zenith of world comparability. He covered 60 years of Indian socio-political and economic growth in a short span of just over 60 minutes, and did it in a remarkably articulate and interesting manner, along with a power point presentation. Later, questions were thrown randomly at him – in which he evaded all that is controversial and responded with gentle submission, admitting that he is only a student of Indian history, not anyone with bigger credentials or stature to appease every probing mind.

In closing, Mr. JB Lal, currently visiting from India, gave him his words of appreciation whilst Mrs. JB Lal presented Utkarsh with the bouquet, a small gesture of thanks from us listeners.

The event was hosted by Subhash and Sunita Mathur, of Randolph, NJ, with great panache, in their beautiful home with an artistic Indian ambience, and with the help of volunteered cooked meals, served it in style on the deck. Meet and greet snacks were partaken of at leisure, and then as usual, Rahul Srivastava the general co-ordinator of the Dine and Learns introduced Utkarsh the speaker, who set forth to educate us about the history and growth of India – the India we all love, and from this distance too, we all enjoy every aspect of what is happening to it, every day.

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Utkarsh was able to capture the interest of the 35 old and young attendees alike, and sprinkled his talk with humorous and cute quips about Bollywood and its global effect, including how it affected his own Hindi learning process, (his mother tongue being Konkani) and a clip from Amitabh Bachchan’s short speech from Hamara Bharat Mahan via YouTube.
The open field of discussion is reminiscent of a ‘forum of the wise’ perhaps in early Greek times, and although none of us are any stand ins for those great philosophers, a replication in its plebian form today, is exciting enough. The spirit of the evening was quite like that of a painting of the great wise men of the day, by Raphael, currently at the Vatican.

Dinnertime is also a lengthy revival of the speaker’s points and ideas for later discussion and we all go home a little more learned, to say the least. We are looking forward to our next Dine and Learn which we hope to host in or around December. Please keep yourself in touch with this page so you know when to expect the next opportunity to meet and learn together – the world is so large and we have such limited time to go around it – let’s do it with fun!!

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