Saturday, 31 July 2010

Homestays in Coorg

That three out of every four homestays in Coorg haven’t gone in for registration with the department conveys its own message. The tourism dept. would have us believe that registration ensures upkeep of standards laid down by the department. But then there are well-maintained homestays that are not registered with the dept., says a newspaper report. . . more. . .

Friday, 30 July 2010

Olan - A Dish to Remember

I suddenly remembered the day of the solar eclipse in 1944. My mother cooked the simplest of meals that day – but my father’s favourite one, Arachu kalaki and Olan.

The Olan I prepared today tasted exactly the same as the one my mother made that day for I have never forgotten that day or the taste of that Olan.

English translation of Gujarati gazal 'Divaso judaai na'..

It has been immensely challenging to even attempt a translation of Gujarati poet Gani Dahiwala's gazal Divaso judaai na jaay chhe. This translation is a super-micro effort to make Gujarati poets / works more accessible on the net. It was disappointing that there aren't many online archives to document Gujarati poets and authors. This observation, though, I admit, is limited to the Google search I did for Dhoomketu, Gani Dahiwala and Kavi Kalapi... But I take the risk of assuming that yes, database on Gujarati works is limited — translations rarer.

Read the translation along with the song in Md. Rafi's voice here

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Why ‘ gas- from-kitchen-waste’ hasn’t caught on

Was surprised to learn that banks don’t give loan for installing bio-gas units that produce cooking gas from household units. The govt. gives subsidy for those going in for it. There hasn’t been much demand, it appears. This doesn’t mean there is lack of interest on the the part of prospective users and business promoters. . .More .. .

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Greed and cowardice "cooked the planet"

....For a change, today's piece (a part of it placed below), "Who cooked the planet?" is more globally relevant than the other pieces in that column thus far.
" wasn’t the science, the scientists, or the economics that killed action on climate change. What was it?

The answer is, the usual suspects: greed and cowardice.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Yahoo and … cricket?

Two decades or so years ago, when I first came to the USA, not too many people here would have said that cricket was anything but an insect. I bet the situation has not changed much since then. What has changed, though, is that there is something called the internet, the great leveller, something that has flattened the world even. . .More

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Volunteering at a US hospital

” I have a singing volunteer, a couple of clowns and pet therapists whose trained dogs wear official hospital ID tags”, writes Joan Perry, hospital director of volunteers and my new-found blogger friend in South Carolina. . . More. . .

Tewari is Lucknow's 'Gurukar'

He plants on any available space. Besides, he goes door-to-door in residential localities handing out saplings and bags to residents. The cloth-bag goes with a plea, asking them give up using polythene bags.. .. .More. . .

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Should Tulu Be Made The Second Official Language Of Karnataka?

I am not a native of Karnataka, and therefore probably do not have the right to make any remark on this issue.

However, on the basis of common sense I feel that the Tulu language should be made the second official language of Karnataka. The state has sizeable Tulu speakers, mainly concentrated in the districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada. More

Key To Language Survival – Let’s Make One Another Feel Proud Of Our Native Tongues

It is a common knowledge that many languages of the world are now facing existential threat. And the reason for the same is also well known. Actually the young speakers of many languages are now more into speaking English and/or other major languages, for both professional as well as social reasons. And this is naturally resulting in a reduction in the use of their mother languages, eventually resulting in a threat for their existence. More

China’s Emergence As The World’s Top Aid Donor – Warning Bell For India?

On one hand the USA – a prominent source of international aid – is suffering from a weakening economy. On the other hand another key international aid donor Japan has decided to restraint its supply of aids to the developing world. This combined development has resulted in an ample room for China to establish itself as a top international aid donor, with the Asian and the African regions in its focus area. In fact, it has already become a key aid donor to the developing nations of the African continent. More

Thursday, 22 July 2010

At the Tanjore temple

Sang a few Abhangs and Bhajans in addition to a few Tamil compositions and somehow the locals sat through the entire rendition of about 2 1/2 hours +... I experienced the feeling that music really does not know language and the thought is communicated, regardless of anything...More...

More stuff from 'The Story of Stuff' team

...... "Herbal", "Natural", "Organic" carried on labels may turn out to be meaningless.
Beware! Be Aware!. More ....

Left Behind

I stared from my little nook, the one which wasn’t a vantage point. On the loose soil in the untamed wild, I saw a perfectly still world. Silence, apart from a few distant bird calls. Unchanging trees, that would always stay, fixed and firmly rooted. Secure and timeless. Everything that I ever wanted....More

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Pictures from/around home


It was like a punch in the stomach. My eyes widened in shock as I read the mail from a blogger friend who lives in the US. He and his family had gone on holiday and lost everything except their passports after being mugged. More here

An Engagement in the Family

It has been quite a while since there has been a wedding in our family. The last one was a nephew’s, almost three years ago. So it was very exciting when we learnt that my brother’s son Kartik was getting married soon to Danielle. More here

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Flashback: Reporting Punjab

Mr Khosla’s reporting reflected a socio-political reality in Punjab that didn’t suit New Delhi’s perspective. TOI management considered itself to be, not so much a pro-establishment newspaper, but as part of the New Delhi Establishment itself. TOI editorial writers believed their editorials and op-ed opinion columns shaped South Block’s policy on Punjab...More...

Monday, 19 July 2010

How I was startled by a Hippie

A little incident that was luckily harmless is reminisced. It happened on the Anjuna beach in Goa in 1982. That was during the time when the hippie movement was still active. See more.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Let’s Not Confuse Globalization With Cultural Homogeneity

Now it is our responsibility to have a balanced approach towards Globalization, wherein we can successfully pick up the gems of other cultures that we come across, without losing the assets of our own culture. More

Sports Tourism In India – A Seemingly Undertapped Potential

The Indian Tourism Ministry can use these sports facilities to lure a huge number of potential foreign tourists who are sports freak, and will love to practice their favourite games in an ideal locale. So the question is, does the Tourism Ministry promote and market these sports facilities properly among the potential target audience? More

The Last Day

I found I enjoyed teaching the youngsters, and interacting with them. They were intelligent, attentive, and eager to learn. But I wondered if they were happy with my methods, and getting the right learning from me - my teaching experience was dated, more than 40 years ago! Read more

A tale of two photos

The two images, from two different generations , have a running theme - of strife, sufferings and oppression. And the thread in the two situations are the Jews. Irony is the oppressed race in the earlier generation plays oppressors in the subsequent one...More...

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Flash Floods

We had a tragic reminder of the intensity of monsoon rains in the Dooars recently. A trainee assistant from Chengmari Tea Estate got swept away by a flooded rivulet. He was on his way to the bunglaow from the office on his motorcycle, and there were a few other people making their way home along the same route. All of them crossed the flooded stream just minutes before Debashis attempted it. His body and his motorcycle were found in the tea area several hundred metres away.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

It's a wet, green world

Green is my world and as wet as can be!
I feel as if I'm living in a rainforest. Everywhere I turn, Mumbai is a palette of every shade of green imaginable. But nowhere more so than in my own garden.

Growing my own food

Cucumbers, gourds, beans and ladies' fingers (okra) are some of the monsoon vegetables that grow so well in Mumbai at this time.
By the way, you don't need a lot of land to grow most of these vegetables.

The “Ideal Utilization” Of Tourism Generated Revenue

Tourism has the proven potential to usher in significant economic development for an area.

However, we can “tap” that potential only if we channelize the Tourism generated revenue in the appropriate manner. And unfortunately a gross problem with us is that most of us perceive Tourism just as a means to generate revenue, without bothering much about the “ideal utilization” of the revenue that has been generated. More

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

‘Neteracy’ for seniors, in 5 days

Their smiles triggered Vijaya to develop a five-day ‘Neteracy’ (Net literacy) course for uninitiated seniors, if only to bring smiles to some more wrinkled faces. There are hardly any middle-class households that don’t have a computer nowadays...More...

Monday, 12 July 2010

The Captivating Skyline

....gaze at the New York skyline, visible from our 10th floor apartment. The view was the same, yet ever changing. I was simply fascinated by it..... See here

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Photos: Flowers from a bouquet

House-hunting in Chennai

I even found an apartments complex with plans for a helipad on top of every residential tower. They want to transpose to Urappakkam and Siruseri the ‘gated community’ enclaves from San Francisco and LA....More...

Palace Tourism In Rajasthan

So I was just wondering whether we can cash in on this fascination, and thus boost tourism in Rajasthan? And the plan that I suggest is the initiation of a specialized “Palace Tourism” for foreign tourists.

Yes, I know that Palace Tourism is already there, wherein tourists are taken inside the ancient palaces and forts in Rajasthan (and also in other places like Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, etc.), and exposed to various traces and remnants (like clothes, utensils, etc.) of the memory of the royals who used to stay there.

But what I am suggesting is a bit different. More

High Tourist Influx In The Corbett National Park – A Boon Or Bane?

Tourism is undoubtedly a crucial issue, as it ushers in a huge revenue for the government, thus enriching the latter’s coffer to a great extent. However, at the same time we can not wish away the issue of conservation. In fact, we must remember that negligence towards conservation can ultimately threaten the existence of the National Park itself, thus resulting in a threat for the very tourism business for which the conservation issue was ignored. More

Friday, 9 July 2010

Photo contest of North East India

Beautiful tropical countryside - see entries for the contest in several categories. More...

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

BethaL on Bhopal....

The BethaL asked Raja Thrivikram.......

# Who gave the permission to fly out Anderson?
# Can Government now get back the amount for the cleanup from Dow Chemicals?
# Can Anderson be extradited from US…?

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Dalai Lama – The Gritty Peace Lover

Dalai Lama – the gritty peace lover, for whom “Peace” is not an excuse to avoid conflict and adversity

But a powerful tool to counter his adversaries with composure and dignity. More

Monday, 5 July 2010

Another bandh

In my opinion the BJP should have a rethink on its approach. They are unlikely to gain anything by aligning with the Left. There is the example of the Congress – that party moved ahead once the Left withdrew support. BJP is a party which might head the Government of India again. They should take a more objective and mature view.

'Hum Honge Kamyab'

This honge in front of a shopping block on Ramavilas Rd. has been named Kamyab. It is the only one of its kind on a row of aged roadside gulmohar and neem. Kamyab is Hindi word for 'accomplishment'.So named, because the person who planted this honge, Mr K R Gurukar, has fulfilled what many of us in the neighbourhood had long wished, but couldn't get it done. ...More...

Sunday, 4 July 2010


The other day I was watching a Food & Travel show hosted by the famous Padma Lakshmi. She was in Udipi and inside a 400 year old kitchen.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Squirrel Watching

The latest visitor to my balcony garden is a little squirrel. It is the Indian Palm Squirrel breed more popularly known as the Three Stripped Palm Squirrel. Read more...