Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Beyond BACAS: Guides and Gurus:: Installment 4

Welcome to our fourth installment of Guides and Gurus! (We're on a roll this week!) Enjoy another introduction to one of the friendly, familiar faces in the lives of ISP students. 

We're fortunate enough to be blessed by quite a large number of wonderful people!
Poornith sporting a traditional Kerala mundu, known as a 'lungi' or 'dhoti' in other parts of India.
Poornith Ninan Joboy

What does it mean?
I don’t know what my second and third name meanings are, but my first name is from a Sanskrit word which means complete. Poornima is the female equivalent.

What's your hometown?

God’s own country?
They say it’s the first literate town in India.

And you grew up in?

Does your family live in Oman?
I spent about 17 years there growing up. Now, my family is spread across- my sister is in the States, brother is in Dubai, and my dad is here in India.

What is your major and year?
BBM (Bachelor of Business Management), in my second year.

Life goal/ ambition/ what do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be a philanthropist. An entrepreneur and a philanthropist.

As a philanthropist, who do you want to help or serve?
I’d like to devote equal amount of time to ministry: spreading the word of God, and to providing people with the basic necessities of life: food, clothing, and I'd like to set up educational institutions that provide free education. Lots of children have the gift and ability to study, but have no access to education. 

Do you have any idea where you'd like to work in ministry and philanthropy?
I prefer to be a globe trotter: to travel across the world.

If you could travel to any country in the world, what would it be?
My first choice would be Germany, followed by the States.

Germany because I’ve always been fascinated by the technology they come out with. They also seem to  like having fun, and I want to see what their country is more about. They also have something called the Autobahn; something like highways without speed restrictions. I’d like to try those roads!
Pensive Poornith: sometimes he thinks sittin' on trains.
Please get that joke.
And right now you have a small business?
Yes. Flights, buses, trains, package tours. I also assist with visas for people leaving India. I like to call it a complete travel solutions provider.

What are you excited about this semester? (Anything, or something specific to ISP)
I think what really excites me about this semester is it’s the first time I’ve been assigned as a peer mentor. By nature I’m a shy person. Being a mentor helps me speak to people, especially girls. I usually don’t talk much. Through being a mentor, I'm discovering a new side, how to interact with others. It's very exciting. I used to think, "God, I won’t be able to talk to someone, until someone talks to me I won’t be able to make conversation." Now I can see I’ve been slowly changing.

What was your reaction when you were assigned as a peer mentor? 
First what I came to know was there were 10 girls and one guy. When Joanna Ma'am (the BACAS staff person in charge of the Student Services Center) told me I was assigned to the one guy, initially I was like, 'why me? the others were assigned girls!' Later on when she gave me details about Jacob, I was glad that there are some things we have in common. Now I’m really happy I’m mentoring Jacob. It as helped me interact with him as well as with the girls on an equal basis. Now I don’t feel left out! I’m able to see a lot of similarities between me and Jacob. I’d say it was God who assigned me as peer mentor!

What are your hobbies?
I like to travel. I like following technology and the happenings in the automobile world. I like experiencing other cultures. Most importantly, I like trying new foods and new cuisines!

Favorite Indian dish?
It would be chicken tikka masala.

And you mentioned that you like food from other cultures. What are your favorite non-Indian foods?
I like hummus. I love that. That’s one thing. And the other? Turkish shawarma.
Poornith looking sharp!
What about the ISPers makes you laugh or confuses you?
There’s nothing that confuses me, but what I really like is each and everyone [the ISP students] is very enthusiastic. There is always a smile on your face, you always want to learn about different things in our culture. I feel that you’re very outgoing in a sense that, personally I feel very comfortable in a sense. It’s easy for me to talk to you, though we [Indians are] usually conservative in nature. I personally feel you’re outgoing, so it’s easy for me to interact with you.

On Shamini's comments about Americans yelling all the time:
Usually people say I’m loud. Today someone asked if something was wrong with my voice- 'why are you shouting?' When Indians speak it’s little like they’re yelling at you. You usually can’t tell if they’re making conversation or shouting.

Is there anything else the world should know about Poornith Ninan?
::shakes head:: Maybe that I may not take the initiative to talk to you, but if you can start a conversation with me I’m sure you’ll not regret it.
We hope you enjoyed this conversation we started with Poornith. :) Not only is he great to start a conversation with, he's also a fantastic travel agent! We've thoroughly enjoyed his company this semester, and look forward to seeing more of him in the days and weeks to come.

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