Monday, January 23, 2012

Beyond BACAS: Guides and Gurus

For those of you reading outside of our fair city, we wanted to take some time to introduce you to some of the folks who teach, love on and help our students adjust to their new homes here. Most of them are from Bishop Appasamy College, or BACAS. They'll range from professors to peer mentors to student guides, as well as neighbors and other familiar faces around Coimbatore. We're calling this series "Guides and Gurus", and we hope to make it a regular feature here at Riding in Rickshaws.

 Each of our students at ISP is paired up with a peer mentor for the length of the semester; someone who shares lunch at the mess, introduces our students to local restaurants and shopping hot-spots, extends invitations to clubs and other events and is generally just a friendly face with which to share in different aspects of life in India.

The black text is Kandyce, ISP Program Assistant speaking, while the grey italics is Fabian. 

Enjoy our first installment!

Oh come on. Fabian Percival Netto.

After my grandfather, Thomas Percival.

Hometown: where are you from?
Podanur, Tamil Nadu

What are you currently studying?
Social work, 3rd and final year. I'm aiming to study at BACAS for my masters in social work because I love the college so much! 

What do you want to do with the rest of your life?
Social work + singing. I want to use my talents in singing and also somehow use social work. I love performing!

What are you excited about this semester? Are you graduating? Is that exciting?
I'm actually not that excited about graduating. I'm quite sad. I love this college. I'm really looking forward to all of the shows and cultural programs this semester. I have a lot of chances to sing!

Why are you a peer mentor?
When I was assigned as a peer mentor, I was really excited. Really excited indeed. I love interacting with people from different states. they find it more comfortable to speak to me, probably because of my knowledge of slang. I also love to entertain them. I also wanted to make new, real friends.  We don't many western people, here so I wanted to get to know them. I also am excited about hanging out, showing them cheap shopping, and learning more about their culture. 

Singing, listening to music, writing songs. I'm also the chairman of student government at college. I also love to travel to the hills and go hiking. Shopping. Exploring new places.

Who's your musical idol?
You know who my idols are. 

OK, but for the blog? Can you give me names so I'm not just making stuff up?
Mariah Carey, Celine Deon, Akon.

How did you become interested in singing?
My mom was an inspiration. She always used to encourage me. I was definitely more of a bathroom singer. No professional classes, nothing. But mom sings well, so had to follow in her footsteps. I got good genetics! My sister, younger brother and dad dance, so I can dance a little, but I'd definitely rather sing!

One last question: would you spend your life savings to attend a concert by anyone in particular?
Celine [Deon.] NOT Justin [Bieber]. Definitely not Justin. Also, Whitney Houston.

Ok. And one more. I know I said that was the last one, but what's your favorite Indian dish?
Basically, dosa. 

What kind?
Ghee roast. The big ones they make. ::Fabian launches into a description of how to make a stuffed ghee-mushroom dosa, while we look on pretending to understand his instructions:: MMM. They're my favorite.

Now I have a question for you: Why did Jon, Kandyce and others become such a great fan of Fabian? Probably because the Titanic song is my specialty. 
Thanks for reading. We hope you enjoyed getting to know Fabian via this interview even just a little bit as much as we've enjoyed getting to know him in person!

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