Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Monsoon memories...

My paternal grandparents’ house was made entirely of wood. It still is. Only the four walls of the home are made of brick, unlike the imposing structure I call my maternal grandparents home. The house is very old, built by my great grandfather, who was into the wood business too. He was a pioneer of sorts, who knew that wood would be worth its weight in gold, in a few years to come. People laughed at him when he started a small wood shop as a side business. They laughed louder when he loaded the wood into Lorries and sent them off to far off markets. They stopped laughing when he leased his own fleet of Lorries that took wood from Kerala to Chennai and from there on to, buyers distributed it around the country. Perhaps they went out of the country too. I am not sure...more.


I wanted to post this recipe since a long time. Gol-kaanda-keri is made in Gujarat a lot when summer is at its peak. The ingredients are a combination believed to safeguard from sunstroke and dehydration. We use it as a chutney, but there is no grinding involved, so I am not sure if this qualifies as a chutney.This is one of the few recipes from my mother whose taste we can reproduce quite well.

For more photos and recipe, read here

Sunday, 27 June 2010

India’s “Palace On Wheels” Declared To Be The World’s 4th Best Luxury Train

It was a moment of extreme pride, glory and honour for India’s rich hospitality legacy, when the country’s mind-blowing luxury train “Palace On Wheels” was declared to be the world’s 4th best luxury train by “Conde Nast”, the prominent global travel magazine. More

Kachi keri ni chatni / Raw mango chutney

Read here

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Two in the Bush

There was no way I could sleep. It felt as if the bird was crying inside my head. By morning, I thought I'd gone mad. The bird didn't stop. It became clear that it was saying, 'Brain fever! Brain fever!'

We hear another bird now, one that sings sweetly. It is the Indian cuckoo, called the 'Bou-Ko-Tha-Ko' bird in Bengali. Tea planters say the bird is calling, 'Orange Pekoe', 'Broken Pekoe' or 'Make more pekoe'!!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Apologies for AWOL, rains in Cochin

For a few months now I have not been paying due attention to my blog. It has been a kind of absence without leave. Some of the regular readers have been kind enough to write to me about it. My apologies to them, and to those who made comments on my posts and did not receive any response.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

A Cup of Tea

Each and every tea drinker has her or his own way of making that cup of tea. The English people were (I am talking about those good old days – I do not know about these days) very particular about making their tea. First wash the teapot with hot water, measure three –four (as need be) cups of water to boil, put three or four (again as need be) spoons of tea - that is one spoon for each cup and one for the pot....More here

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Bt Cotton Can Not Beat Nature

.....This means that Bt-cotton can not kill the bollworm by itself and hence still needs pesticide application. With the spread of Bt-cotton, previously harmless insects called mirid bugs have now become major pests. To control the mirid bugs, Bt-cotton farmers are now using more pesticides than farmers growing conventional cotton and their profits have disappeared. (read more)

Sunday, 20 June 2010

The First time..

There is always a first time for certain experiences.

Some of us here in Kuwait experienced the worst power outage since 1995. (the year I landed here in Kuwait and for others they may remember the period during the invasion)

Coconut Oil May Be Good For Health

It is commonly believed that coconut oil, if used in cooking, is bad for health. It is a saturated fat which is supposed to increase LDL (bad) cholesterol in humans and thereby increase the incidence of heart disease. To get authoritative information on other health benefits of coconut oil, Mysore Grahakara Parishat wrote to the National Institute of Nutrition in Hyderabad under the Right to Information Act.... Read More

Saturday, 19 June 2010


I arrived in Sundarbans, the World’s largest mangrove forest, famous for its chief inhabitant – the Royal Bengal Tiger, on a hot morning in April 2010. Now, getting here can be an adventure and perhaps a challenge in itself, because of the remoteness of this place.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Do Nice Guys Always Finish Last?

.......This is like Robin Soderling, helping Roger Federer in his Wimbledon match against Rafael Nadal; along with inputs from Andre Agassi. It is really unfair to compare this to any other sport, but I gave this example in case you are not aware of the chess scenario.. (read more)

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Educating the educators

Corporal punishment is in the news again. We are a country that needs laws to curb grown up men and women from hitting kids. In fact we need laws to ensure we behave like a civil society. But let us not go there for now. Right now, I want to talk about teachers hitting kids...more

Monday, 14 June 2010

Meet Yahoo

Drop in to my blog to meet Yahoo, a clever African Grey with an 'O-so-charming' personality...

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Law, Sex and Ass

When I first came to know that there was something called “Interpretation of Statutes” in our Company Law syllabus, I was very curious as to what it could be. And according to our text book, interpretation is required because "…the function of the court is to ascertain what the parties meant by the words which they have used; to declare the meaning of what is written in the instrument...” There started my problem...... (read more)

What Type Of Tech-Savviness Is This?

What type of tech savviness is this? Probably I am not modern enough, but I feel that we must learn to differentiate between tech savviness and tech mania. Being passionate about something is a healthy habit, be it music, sports, books or tech gadgets. At the same time addiction to anything is highly unwelcome, be it movies, smoking, drugs or tech gadgets. Am I right? More

Saturday, 12 June 2010

The Primus stove and Gandhiji

It was Maaji’s nostalgic article on the Janata Stove that took me back to our bachelor days and some connections between Gandhiji and the Primus stove.

I remember that mom had the same green and red Janata stove and as a kid I used to play with the lever that raised the wick up and down up and down till I got a sharp whack on the back of the head and was shooed away from the kitchen. But it was a big relief for the women from the smoky adupu’s (even though the sawdust ones we had in Calicut were virtually smokeless) or fireplaces and the ‘kozhal’ that was used to stoke the flames. I used to blow (plooom – that was the sound) and blow through it when I passed the kitchen, for the fun of it and as usual got a crack on the head from any elder in attendance in the kitchen for destroying the peace and getting on her already strained nerves. If I remember right, there was a circular thing that you had to lower from the top to shut down the flame, by pressing on the wick from the top. ...........................

Thursday, 10 June 2010

The Bhopal heat-and-light show

Isn’t Union Carbide liable to the charge of willful disregard for human life ; shouldn’t it be penalised for witholding, nay, refusing to divulge to doctors MIC chemical code that could have saved lives in thousands? ...More...

Still a long way to go...

Continued from previous post...


Year 1961, 2003 & 2005

As you can see, some states in India have come a long way but as a whole India is yet to tackle hunger and poverty.

The following are the states which are showing an upward trend and it seems to continue in year 2008 too.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Bhopal Gas Tragedy Verdict – A Stigma For The Indian Judiciary

7th June 2010 will be remembered as a Black Day in the history of the Indian Judiciary. The laughably paltry punishment awarded to the accused is an ultra cruel joke that the honourable Indian judiciary has come up with, rubbing salt into the 25 years old wound of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy victims and their kin. More

Wildlife Lovers Of India – Let’s Unite For The Elephant Reserve Of Hasdeo Arand In Chhattisgarh

As many of us already know that increasing mining in Jharkhand and Orissa has made a huge number of elephants to flee to the forests of Sarguja, Jashpur and Korba in Chhattisgarh. Now, in 2002 the Chhattisgarh Government sent a proposal to the Central Government seeking permission for notifying over 384 sqkm in Hasdeo Arand forests as an elephant reserve. More

The Tale Of Two Cities !!

I was in Baroda recently, I just couldnt help but notice how similar this city is to our very own Mysuru ! with so many connections it could just surprise you !!

The Mahrajas

Sayaji Rao Road, the main thoroughfare in Mysore is named after the Maharaja of Baroda, Sayaji Rao Gaekwad, The legendary Maharaja is said to have been adopted by the Royal family. The story goes that as a young boy he was asked by the queen as to why he was called to the Palace and the boy grandly announced with confidence , ‘I have come here to rule !!’

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Bhopal: A look-back

I was then 45 , a newspaper reporter looking at every happening as a story, to be hyped, if need be , to claim a Page One treatment. Every event , as a newsworthy opportunity to prove myself . Wars, floods, quakes, air crash or train smash have helped many to advance their reporting careers. The calamitous Bhopal leak in 1984 was, in this sense, a reporter’s dream story...More...

Monday, 7 June 2010

Verona, Italy

Driving from Venice to Verona took us slightly more than four hours. It shouldn't have taken that long, but getting accustomed to the left hand driving, sign boards, GPS instructions and distracting scenic sights(for which we stopped often), delayed us considerably. Read more...

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Global Survey Exposes India’s Pathetic Broadband Speed

A global survey conducted by broadband statistics company Ookla has found that India is in the 133rd position in terms of download speed, thus being in the same league with highly backward countries (including countries of sub-Saharan Africa). More

Toyota Plans R&D Centre In India

If one such centre really comes up, then it will understandably create a huge number of jobs. So let us keep our fingers crossed that the plan materializes. More

AI Grounds Pilots For Hard Landing – A Highly Unjustified Decision

Personally I feel that the decision to ground those two pilots is completely unjustified. It has already been proved that the Indian airlines’ over obsession with soft landing entails strong threat to passenger safety. It is this attitude of airlines that forces pilots to go for soft landing even when they know that it is risky. In fact, as everybody knows it by now, that one possible reason behind the Mangalore air crash was the pilot’s desperation to avoid hard landing even though it seemed to be the only way out. More

Manipur Government’s Remarkably Strong Handling Of Muivah’s Unacceptable Demand

And I am genuinely happy that the Manipur government has managed to stick to its decision instead of buckling under the huge pressure that it has faced. Rather, the government is countering all those pressure tooth-and-nail, with sound determination. More

Britain Declines To Return Artifacts That It “Stole” From India

One of those artifacts that India was unfortunate to lose was the world famous “Koh-i-Noor” diamond, which today embellishes the crown of the British monarch. More

Solar Powered AC For Leh Airport – An Appreciable Step

There is simply no doubt that the initiative is really an appreciable one. It is high time that everybody – ranging from organizational entities (both government and private) to individuals – focused more on renewable energy. Over dependence on conventional energy is not only causing a gradual erosion of the same, but is also causing inconveniences for us on occasions when the sources of conventional energy become temporarily inadequate. More

Congrats To The Times of India For The Dramatic World Environment Day Gesture

I simply felt great. Such an innovative gesture, that too by my favourite newspaper, was something that I really loved to experience. It was undoubtedly a great way to send a strong and effective message highlighting the cruciality of renewable energy. And it was also an example of “walking the talk”, wherein my favourite newspaper itself did something that it has urged its readers to do. More

Friday, 4 June 2010

Bellary Investment Meet

Karnataka’s development agenda smacks of economic adventurism, for which future generations may well have to pay a high environmental cost. A mitigating factor is that expectations built up at international investors gatherings are never fully realised. MoUs that are signed with such media fuss and fanfare do not translate into reality...More...

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Six Months Old Girl Married Off In Pakistan

A 6 months old (yes, 6 months, not even 6 years) girl has been married off to a 25 years old man in Pakistan. Terribly shocking, right? But it is true. More

Solar alternative to Chamulpura

Would the city mayor use public support and media goodwill to take up the case of solar power plant for Mysore?....he can surely move party leaders and the bureaucracy in Bangalore...He can Google, and connect with the company executives for details on the proposal,...More...

I Fleetly Flee I Fly....

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehn goodbye.....Only for several weeks, dear readers. I will be away for an extended period of time this time, back in Croatia again, to teach once more at the International Vocal Arts Workshop.

The last (and first) time I went there, two years ago, I had no idea what to expect. I was filled with the excitement and anticipation that come before an adventure that is a glorious mystery, a journey into uncharted waters. I was nervous, and terrified that I would not live up to what was expected of me, that I would not enjoy myself, that I would spend my days wondering, "what am I doing here?"


Tuesday, 1 June 2010

US Tamils aid panchayat schools

Organisers have decided to use the proceeds, by way of delegates fee and donations, for school education programme in Tamilnadu. TNF runs a pilot project in six panchayat schools of Madhurantakam taluk near Chennai. . . More...

Who is guilty?

Should I write about Canada’s high-handedness or about the Maoists?

The Canadians have apologized and I found another blogger who has shown her angst pretty well.