Friday, 29 February 2008

FORT-Mysore: Subbarayanakere

It is not as if the people and the establishments – such as cinema theatre, and petrol bunk - located around the park cannot be persuaded sponsor tree-planting on pavements. Students of a college across the park would be happy to volunteer labour;. . .More. . .

The African Diaries - Prologue

She gave me the look and I suddenly found that truth had vanished from my lips. "Er, Tom and George have this really important assignment in Africa and are begging me to accompany them so that I may contribute my valuable insights.".. . .More. . .

Auto's in Davos

The three wheelers were placed on the corner of Promenade and Platzstrasse, one of the busiest corners of Davos Platz, as an important element of an art installation associated to Incredible India...More...

Horoscope for a house ?

Vijayakumar told me that a house could have a horoscope which would indicate births and deaths that take place there, periods when it would be vacant, how and when the building comes to its own end, and several other things...More...

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

The Kerala grooms trade

Indrani Ghose commented that we are back to slave trade and that brought to my mind the human trading that still exists....The trading of grooms... In Kerala,I think a doctor (with specialization and not MBBS) still fetches the highest price. The only reason why some are willing to spend half a crore or more to secure admission to a medical college. But in the Middle East it works the other way round. The groom needs to pay for the bride...More...

Top US news sites

Editor and Publisher has put together has put together a list of top 30 US news websites. New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal Online and Los Angeles Times are on top, in that order. All these have gained traffic over the past year. More

Train trip to Bangalore

The return train yesterday was to start at 6 a.m. Reached the City Station at 5.30 only to be told that Shadabthi was cancelled. Informing passengers over phone about such changes is apparently not a part of the railway culture.. .More...

Aurangabad's Water Wheel

Here you will find one of the rare engineering marvels of medieval India: The Panchakki, meaning the water wheel. It is situated right in the heart of the city and will take just an hour to tour the complex...More...

Commumicate: How the bees do

A bee will tell another bee of a new food source by a special dance in which the degree to which she waggles her abdomen indicates the distance of the food supply and the direction in which she faces indicates the direction of the source...More...

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Tulips: Her pride and joy

These tulips in her backyard,says Kalyani, came all the way from Holland via a cousin in the UK, who managed to smuggle in the bulbs...More...

At the school lunch

its not the midday meal alone that draws children to school any more. Now, parents are more aware and want to send their kids to school to study - the midday meal is a help. They prefer English medium schools if they can afford it...More...

Monday, 25 February 2008

Athirapally Waterfalls

Thrissur a town in the coastal state of Kerala. From the station, I ply on a local bus to reach another small town Chalakudy. The early morning freshness, and the luxuriant tropical scenery which unfolds as the bus speeds towards the destination, affords me perpetual delight...More...

Creating heritage walks in Chennai

A group of people who are passionate about this city are firming up what we do off and on. And that is take people on walks/short tours.
This Sunday, one group will explore three old railway stations - Egmore, Central and Royapuram...More...

Our captain at Singapore air show

Some positive things about the air show. Firstly, the venue is great, plenty of space, a purpose-built indoor exhibition space, huge by any standards and well organized. The tarmac area is more than adequate. The show is very well connected by MRT/Bus...More...

Sunday, 24 February 2008

An eco-guru comes to Mysore

Sadhguru makes a lot more sense in me when he talks of the connection between trees and humans; and about the disastrous consequences of our reckless disregard for retaining the tree-humans balance.. . .More. . .

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Che, Alberto and the bike

Books do make one think about different lands and different peoples. One which is opening a door is Traveling with Che Guevara by Alberto Granada. Till now, Che has been just a name and Argentina a country somewhere there.What did I know of the exploitation of Argentina and the other South American countries by capitalist forces? And by their own dictators. Nothing...More...

Chapatti club and ‘Desi’ bacteria

Having got the kitchen in some order, and the mistress of the house settled with not many complaints, you then start to hunt for the restaurants. Within a year you would have covered all the Indian eating houses in a 100 square mile radius...More...

To his mother, with love

No it is not the Taj Mahal, it is the Taj of Deccan. I have not seen the Taj Mahal yet; probably that is why I could be in awe at this stupendous monument. Popularly known as Bibi ka Maqbara meaning Tomb of the Lady is the mausoleum of Aurangazeb’s fourth wife, Rabia-ul Durrani. . .More. . .

Bangalore airport: State-of-the-art disconnet

BIAL (Bangalore International Airport Ltd.) may well be a shining example of public-private partnership. But its benefits for airport users stand neutralized by poor-serving road connection and lack of rail link to the new airport. . .More. . .

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Windmill: Photo, Poem


"I stand here in my place,
With my foot on the rock below,
And whichever way it may blow,
I meet it face to face,
As a brave man meets his foe. "

- Longfellow

Photo: K O Issac

What shall I eat ?

Now, I have learnt to make idlis. The day before, the idlis had come out so perfectly. I felt so pleased with myself. But yesterday, when I opened the vessel with so much anticipation, they turned out soggy and so wet and a mess. . .More. . .

Going...Going...GONE...Cricket...Is it ?

auction occurred first in Babylon in 500 B.C. During this period, auctions were held annually, and women were sold on the condition of marriage. It was considered illegal to allow a daughter to be sold outside the auction method. Women with “beauty” engendered higher bidding, women without “beauty” had to pay a dowry to be accepted into the auction, and thus the price would be negative. . .More. . .

FORT-Mysore Q&A: Where to plant


My young computer engineer friend Nagendra who has made it a point to spread the tree-planting message among those he meets at work says people often ask him some standard questions such as: where do I plant saplings? . .More. . .

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Getting your house painted

Family is alway non supportive in the matter of choosing colours. Of course, they are always happy to view the end results of your deliberations critically. So I've just decided to go with the colours that appeal to me right now.. . .More. . .

Jodhaa Akbar

Ashutosh researched on his pet project for more than four years before getting down to the basic aspect of film making. It would have been easy for him to give up and proceed with the same old cliched subject of hero romancing heroine set in contemporary times. . .More. . .

Happy, happier, happiest...

This Sunday, CBS news had an interesting, report that highlights an engrossing story about the happiest country in the world. This story is covered in an exhaustive fashion in Yahoo! News 60 Minutes page.Now if you look at it, happiness is by itself very subjective and can have varied interpretations. . .More. . .

Cricket: Umpiring blunders

Yesterday at Adelaide India struggled home after the hiccups, thanks to three run outs, including the unlucky one for Jayawardane, while Sri Lanka batted, and Yuvaraj Singh’s return to form. Team India is to be congratulated. . .More. . .

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Long life costs more

Read this news a few days ago and ever since I have been thinking....This reporter seems to be disturbed / frustrated that people are living longer. So now what? Will they let them smoke and do all those things as per research one was not supposed to do? One day it is drink coffee, the next day the research says don’t. And then back to tea and tomatoes while now it is all organic and Soya. . .More. . .

Have you been here ?

One needs to be in a place commonly known as V.V. Puram, Food Street or V.B. Bakery Road to Bangaloreans, a street that has its own tenuities, and its own history. In a city, which is today witnessing a growth rate of close to 10% and is home to almost all global brands even in the food segment, this street still offers something that sets one salivating. . .More...

S-c-r-a-b-b-l-e

Life is composed of many simple things, and the pleasure of spending time on them takes you to an unexplainable high. Sometimes, on the spur of the moment, you envision something out of the blue, and you realize that you have to do it at that instant.. .More. . .

Blogging in southern languages

What's remarkable is out of the five Indian languages provided, four are south Indian ones, including Malayalam, my mother tongue. ഇനി മലയാളം ഫോണ്ട് ഡൌണ്‍‌ലോഡ് ചെയ്യണ്ട --More. . .

Our lovebirds - 2

In my earlier post Our Lovebirds, I mentioned about a big brown bird that might have attacked one of our lovebirds. Well, I captured it, I mean in my lens. I clicked the picture through the glass pane of my window, so it is not very clear. As I tried to get a clearer picture, the bird flew off. Can you tell me what bird is this… a falcon or is it a kite or…? ...More. . .

Anup's yacht

I did feel a bit like Captain Haddock but wasn't cursing like him for sure. Would have loved to swear like that, but I had guests on board the new yacht that we acquired...I wrote briefly in my last post about us acquiring a yacht on my new company called SEAJET and here I am going to crow about it a bit more...More...

Saturday, 16 February 2008

School yard banyan at the Baden Powell’s

A long-time Mysore resident, and a tree-lover, told me the other day that he had driven past the Baden Powell Public School near Crawford Hall so many times, for so long, that it had never occurred to him to stop by for a closer look at the great banyan sprawl that covers a fair chunk of the school ground. . .More. . .

Chase, Gardner & L’amour

I am not so sure that children and teenagers read so much these days, can’t blame them though, with so much of TV and outside activities, where is the time? Not only that, the amount of studying they have to do to keep on top of things is making their life, unfortunately hectic. . .More. . .

Friday, 15 February 2008

Greening Mysore's P K Sanatorium

Mysore’s P K Sanatorium, taking a leaf out of the Bangalore University, can turn its 100 acres of open area close to the sanatorium into a thriving greenland. The authorities in Mysore appear to have other ideas. . .More. . .

Kumaran s/o Kuruppan

I took this photo of Kumaran last month at Olavipe. Do you notice the thorth (thin towel) on his left forearm? That is a show of respect in the villages. Normally it would be worn on the head like a turban or kept on the shoulder...More...

Thursday, 14 February 2008

His green realisation

I have spoken to my college people. We have a group of volunteers who participate in social issues and our Director has agreed that, this issue can be addressed through them...More...

Kallu's V-Day thoughts

No one fell in love with anyone or had a crush which was amazing given the mixed neighbourhood we lived in. We had neighbourhood picnics, fetes, plays and bday parties galore. Of course Moms were always around but no one was making eyes at anyone else...More...

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

50,000 bulbs of daffodils, a lone woman

What's possible to achieve alone? Not much.That's what most of us think. Read on...She planted 50,000 bulbs of daffodils , all by herself, bulb by bulb.Alone. . .More. . .

Mehaboob - that forgotten singer

Sometimes you get drawn to a certain person, you can’t necessarily explain why, but it could very well be that it was because he was an underdog, one who was seemingly wronged, one who never received recognition that was always due to him...More. .

FORT-Mysore: On JLB Road

The company that has done up this bus shelter on JLB Rd. could sponsor roadside saplings to be planted close by and also on the road-divider. The lone plant that has survived on the road-divider tells the story of numerous others that were planted on this stretch, only to die for want of care. . .More. . .

Indrani at Daulatabad Fort

Walking through those corridors of the octagonal palace with twelve windows-the Baradari, gave me goose pimples all over. Wasn’t this the same corridor through which Emperor Shah Jehan once walked?. . .More. . .

Our Lovebirds

May be they would look beautiful outside the cage. They had been with us for past one and half years. Night we would get them inside and during day time, they were left in our balcony garden. . .More. . .

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Hospitality

Recently my daughter went to stay for a weekend with a friend in Calcutta. Not just her, but eight young people from her college. In a one-bedroom house. . .More. . .

Mahesh Yogi and the media


Devotees can’t be faulted if they did not share the media perception that Mahesh Yogi made news worldwide in the 60s because of his celebrity connection, rather than Transcendental Meditation, of which he later became the global guru . It was the Beatles who drew newspaper reporters to Rishikesh in 1968.. . .More...

No Onions nor Garlic

'no onions nor garlic' is a hilarious book with a potshot on every page at Tamil Brahmins or TamBramAss as their association is called. Srividya Natarajan must be one herself to know them intimately but holds nothing barred in exposing everything from their superiority complexes to their habits in the loo...More...

Monday, 11 February 2008

A rising hope squashed?

Dipika Pallikal is not included in the Indian team for the tournament! Players ranked much below her are in...she is just sixteen years old! Will the trauma affect the kid’s career? I hope Indian sports will not lose this rising star...More...

Surathkal's Engineer-2008

In the previous year's competition...participants were invited to create original software applications that could benefit from the use of a three-degrees-of-freedom mouse (pioneered by Dr. Tim Poston and Srikanth MB, IISc Bangalore) and Mock Stock, an online stock exchange simulation.I feel that this year’s fest, Engineer 2008 will be even better, bigger and loftier...More...

Our real heroes

What is lacking is the initiative of citizens to improve the greenary in the City.'Salumarada Thimmakka' showed what one person could do to bring an awarenes which created a revolution of sorts...There have been individuals who have planted saplings on roadside in their area and devote time to take care of them.They are our real heroes; they need to be saluted...More...

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Deepa at Kinari Bazar

I am constantly amazed by the Indian fondness for kitschy, shiny stuff. There is not a single part of India where your senses are not overwhelmed by colour and tinsel...More.

FORT-Mysore - a green blog

FORT stands for Friends Of Roadside Trees. This is about taking care of trees in our neighbourhood; about celebrating life by planting on vacant public space...View blog...

Fascination for the radio

My earliest memories record a Made-in-England 8-band Bush radio, a gift from a family friend. Almost fifty years later it remains a working model...More...

Reflections

I have been inculcated with the typical Indian middle class values, so it is not easy to lose track of the fact that one wrong move can hurt you and everyone around you. So, people around you look upon you to make the decisions, let alone the right ones...More...

High heeled shoes to up women’s libido!

Read an interesting (read nonsensical) piece of Research result, in New Indian express, Bangalore Edition(Feb 7), found out by the Italian scientists. I call it ‘junk research’ as the results of such researches do more harm than good to woman-kind!...More...

Marina Beach: How do we make it ours?

Elliots Beach and the Marina should be a hot spot of activities for children this summer. You need to pop up ideas and let them fly on the sands for children. Games, sand works, sculptures and snacks!...More...

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Mona Lisa smile

Julia Roberts becomes a lecturer in Wellesley college, a college for girls which follows a lot of traditions - the main one being that it prepares them for marriage...More...

Frozen in Mumbai

I'm a great believer in intuition and personal insight. My intuition and personal insight is that the temperature in Mumbai is -27 degrees. I know, I know, the thermometer says 9.6 Celsius but I think it is a great imperialist plot to lull the Indian public into a false sense of security...More...

Britney Spears, Bipolar Disorder

We all experience mood swings on and off. More so the teenagers with the onset of puberty and hormonal changes and changing expectations from parents, teachers, peer group etc. But these swings become a psychological disorder when the moods swing on and off...More...

Mahesh Yogi and the Beatles

Several reporters, including many representing the British media, descended on Rishikesh, a sleepy pilgrim town in North India peopled by saintly souls and yogis on a renunciation mode...More...

A Place in the Sun

Poet Adil Jussawalla's tribute to his father...More...

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Vattam's encounter with the collector

One day as I was settling down behind some shrubs the district collector, returning home after morning stroll, along with his wife, spotted me . He stopped, picked up a stone, and flung it at me...More...

AIR's signature tune

I have no doubts that some of you, once upon a long time ago, listening to the radio at the break of dawn, have heard this tune. It was a time when the lady of the house would be up, starting up the activities at home...More...

Papaya, the health fruit

This tropical fruit combines great taste and several medicinal properties. Christopher Columbus is said to have called it ‘fruit of the angels’...More...

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Leander Paes, the Indian Hero

It is difficult to say where Leander Adrian Paes would stand if one tries to rank all the top Indian tennis players in history. But one thing is certain – Indian tennis never had an icon like him. He is the hero...More...

I wish...

Let me believe in re-birth. Only this will comfort me at the moment. What else can I say after reading the headlines of today's newspapers..Saudi woman strip-searched for having coffee with a man...Read...

Celebrate life; sponsor a sapling

The idea is to encourage people to celebrate special events in their lives by sponsoring a sapling to be planted at the open space near P K Sanatorium. I nicked the sponsorship idea from Mrs Janet Yegneswaran who runs the Tree-for-free trust in Bangalore...More...

ERR on his smoking doc.

Once I went to him with heavy cold and sour throat, he said, between puffs: ‘Salt water gargle thrice a day with this medicine and no smoking till this stops!’ I asked him, ‘How come you are smoking doctor?! ’Quick came the repartee, ‘Who is having problem? You or me?’...More...

Monday, 4 February 2008

A Thousand Splendid Suns

The scenario is so bleak and the story so sad that you wonder where the thousand suns are shining. The miserable lives, women in Afghanistan have been forced to lead during the political turmoil of the last 50 years...More...

Big game hunting

The pre-Independence issues of The Illustrated Weekly of India invariably carried photographs like the one here. Usually the hunter would wait on a machan (a high platform on a tree) with a small animal tied below to entice tigers. Or a team of drummers would ‘beat the forest’ to drive the target animal towards the hunter...More...

British Council library, Trivandrum

Since no one is ready to let the library go, the idea now is for the Kerala government to take over its management. The BL has agreed to hand over the books and other facilities to the government...More...

Baghdad bombings and the Down's Syndrome

The two suicide bombers were girls with Down’s syndrome! and a person with Down’s syndrome does not have normal intellectual capacity and he/she is a mentally challenged person. How can such a person willingly give consent to be a suicide bomber? Surely, the girls here must have been tricked into it!...More...

Sunday, 3 February 2008

At the Lalbagh lake


More pix...

Spit and be fined

Shortly, our Conservancy Inspectors will be busy looking at street corners too. Once the city Corporation gives them the authority to fine people for spitting, answering Nature's call and dumping waste.They are going to have fun locating offenders...More...

Best moment of the day

Mothers - some in their nighties, some in crumpled sarees, some in old salwars - a bag in one hand, a little hand in the other, stand at the bus stop and breathe fully.
It is a look of satisfaction on their faces...More...

20/20: A clueless Dhoni

Dhoni was clueless from the beginning of the match to its miserable end for India. At least when early wickets fell he should have stepped in and taken charge. Instead he went in at No.6 and slipped into Test match opening mode...More...

Shenoy's take on b-school education

The purpose behind going to a B-school is not to land a high paying job. It is to land a high paying job with no duties and responsibilities. Alas, there are not enough of these around, and the competition for them can be intense. One of the major factors that employers consider when making such preferments is which B-school you went to...More...

The kidney that traveled…

...demand for kidneys is far outrunning supply around the world. If people could legally sell, economists argue, more people with kidney disease might be saved, and the poor people willing to sell would have a chance to get badly needed funds...More...

Krishna Vattam on the stir over a book

If only they (protestors) had gone through the book , they would have seen that their Leader, whom, they feel, was being pilloried by Mr Viswanath, was, in fact, glorified...We act impulsively, not realising that all of us are endowed with thinking faculties...More...