Archive for August, 2007

Whoa, Rohan!

August 31, 2007

Here’s rohan_kini‘s entry about an initiative by two young men to publicize the merits of cycling, and the dangers of global warming:

I was typing out my comment to him, when I decided that I would make a post of it:

Well, Rohan, I am not belittling the effort of these young men, but I do take issue with your assumption that only if you do something oriented towards publicity are you doing your bit. What about the rest of us, who walk and cycle wherever we can, who take our own bags to the market, who make sure our neighbours don’t litter? I do feel that PR seems to be the name of the game…you must do even good things in a “cool” way in order to be praiseworthy!

Not all of us stop at cribbing, you know. Many of us try to do whatever we can; but few of us are articulate or vocal about it…especially since we feel we are in a small minority.

When I had started cycling, (I don’t cycle for weekend trips, but do so for all my daily work, instead of taking the car), I phoned up the number that had been given in the newspaper about a cycling initiative (which Bob Hoekstra had joined). I was told I was too old for the campaign, and that they wanted only “well-known” people, for weekend cycling. Humph!

What I appreciate about people like you, Rohan, is that you cycle DAILY to work, and also do your weekend leisure activities without polluting the environment.

Yes, many of us in the city may be apathetic.

But- don’t dismiss the rest of us with one line–“But have not seen anyone do anything about this” –just like that!

And…I want you to keep in touch with these people …two years later…are they still cycling? Are they still following the same precepts? That would be a sustained effort, after making a good start with the run/cycle trip. Sustained effort is as important as the first keen beginning…that’s where many of us falter.

But perhaps I sound graceless..actually, I feel that there is so much to be done to change people’s mindsets that each and every initiative like this is just great. My best wishes to the duo, I hope their effort is successful.

When I am gone…

August 31, 2007

When I am gone…
Several people will gather.
Lovely words will be said about me…I may not even recognize myself as this paragon of virtue.
There will be a few genuine tears, I would like to think.
But will all the mental words be as affectionate,as charitable, as full of praise?
There may be a few less than loving thoughts..that’s only too likely.
But the definite fact is that
After the initial gathering and the talking and the discussing
The waters will close over the fact of my departure
And the world will get on, as if I never was.
And what I *was*, will exist only in what I have created…
And soon, all of that will pass into oblivion, too.
I know all this, and yet here I am,
Making a noise as if this noise has any meaning!

No,no, I am not feeling morbid, in fact, I am smiling as I write this!

Not in the news…

August 30, 2007

I have, for a change, been watching TV (usually I tape a couple of programs like the Tonight Show or Thein KiNNam and watch it at some point, that’s all) and had tuned into NDTV…and I feel so bad…a teacher is accused of making a pornographic movie with her students; a child dies because the ambulance is stuck in a traffic jam on the way to hospital; a mob rampages because some youths were killed, and that results in yet another death; and so the gruesome news goes..

NOT being in the news is something I am profoundly thankful for. My life goes on its even tenor; everything is well, and small troubles are just that…small troubles.

I am incredibly lucky to be a person to whom things DON’T happen. “May you live in interesting times” may, or may not, be a Chinese curse but it is a curse nevertheless.

Oh well…here are two pictures from my trip that I really like; the first is sunset on the evening of the 26th, in Kochi, on the backwaters:

sunset with the chinese fishing nets kochi 260807

Behind the fishing nets, the rain is still coming down…

And the second is the early morning sun from my aircraft window as we flew over the Western Ghats, towards Bengaluru….

light over the mountains

Both these are for asakiyume, who opened my eyes afresh to the beauty that the sky can bring. (In fact, I think you should change your name to “askyume”. OK, O.J –Orrible Joke– over.)

And…let me mention once again how MUCH I enjoy that Canon S3….!

To mark someone’s time in rhyme…

August 30, 2007

Here lies John Bunn;
He was killed by a gun.
His name was not Bunn, but Wood;
But Wood would not rhyme with gun..
But Bunn would.

For those who asked….

August 30, 2007

I should have known that I could not post a pic of a yacht, even in the background of a picture, without getting requests to post photos of it, too! I got one request over LJ and several over for those who want to see the yacht, the “Taj Cinnamon Coast”, riding at anchor in all her beauty…here’s a pic of the hotel with the yacht, from a distance:

taj malabar, with yacht and landing jetty kochi kerala

The hotel is NOT that high-rise building on the left that’s a public building,which I should remember from all my visits to Kochi…but don’t!

(Update. Srikrishna, a friend who reads my blog-but never comments!- says that it is the Kochi Port Trust Building, which of course I should have remembered! Thanks, Sri.)

… the heritage part of the hotel is hidden behind the trees, and the small tower block is to the right, not in the pic at all.

And here’s a close up of both the yacht and the powerboat that the hotel uses:

Yacht and powerboat,Taj Malabar,Kochi Kerala 260807

Of course I took a guided tour of the yacht, though we didn’t have the time to spend one night on it, as was advertised! We also didn’t do this because the rooms at the hotel (well, at least the ones facing the backwaters, I presume) had a very intriguing feature…the bathroom had a blind that could be pushed up, so that whatever it was you were doing in the bathroom, eg soaking in the tub, shaving, or merely reigning on the throne, you had a view of the outside!

Here’s the view OF the bathroom from the room itself:

details of bathroom-with-a-view

And here’s the view FROM the bathroom, you can see the tub in the foreground:

details of bathroom-with-a-view

and for those who are curious about that elephant backside I had posted earlier, here’s the outdoor pavilion with one corner showing a sitting elephant ( a most awkward pose to depict, I thought!)

detail of building and elephant statues taj malabar260807 kochi kerala

We did wish we could stay a day more, at least, at this place!

What’s the difference…?

August 29, 2007

The hotel we stayed at in Kochi had life-size models of elephants sitting all round a central building in their front lawn…and this angle to one of them was too good to miss….

sitting elephant taj malabar hotel kochi kerala

And the post title?

Q. “What’s the difference between a post-box and an elephant’s backside?”

The answer is usually, “I don’t know”, and the response to that is,

“I’ll never ask you to post a letter for me…”

Protected: A friend…

August 29, 2007

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August 29, 2007

Another confession, another “uncool” thing about me…I am a cryptic crossword fanatic!

Here’s my post about cryptic crosswords in Bengaluru newspapers…

I do love cryptic crosswords, and do any crosswords that I come across…from the very Brit crossword of the Statesman, to the sometimes-ok-sometimes-awful Hindu, to the tickle-my-wits Indian Express or the Deccan Herald…but the Saturday crossword remains my favourite!

It’s a lovely brand…

August 27, 2007

How do you think Erode Textiles (Erode is a town in Tamil Nadu) would label the very nice textiles/towels that they make?

Here’s the label

Kochi Visit 260807

August 27, 2007

The quality of the light during the monsoons is really magical..and more so when it is raining at dusk.

I enjoyed the evening so much, doing nothing but sitting at the edge of the backwaters, watching the ships.steamers,tankers and fishing boats go past,and enjoying the light…

Sunset 260807 Kochi Taj Malabar buoy and chinese fishing nets

On the right-hand-side of the photo, you can see the famous Chinese fishing nets of Kochi…they are still used, not just a touristy attraction! They always make a beautiful Japanese-style picture…

The lights twinkled on in the passing ships, and reflected in the choppy water…

ship moving into harbour at dusk kochi 260807

Making a living in the rain is hard.

Fishermen in the Rain Kochi Harbour 260807

chinese fishing nets kochi kerala 260807

And of course, when I went back into the hotel (took the lift this time!) I couldn’t resist that age-old photographer-trap, the self-photo!

Me 260807 Taj Malabar lift Kochi

Sorry, aaskie!! You can skip…