Archive for May, 2008


May 31, 2008

Very unusual state of affairs for me. I have no thoughts, I have nothing that I feel like recording, I don’t feel like uploading any pictures today….so I am posting THAT as a noteworthy occurrence! 🙂

Oh, I do have a thought. I am very impressed with a newspaper headline today that says that the Government has *agreed* to set up a panel to handle the rehabilition of the victms of Bhopal Gas Disaster . which occurred in 1984.

Oh my, how fast our Government can *agree* to act!

The presentation went well, thanks for all the heartening messages from all of you….

May 30, 2008

Here’s my account of the Clean and Green presentation for WIPRO (does anyone remember that they were once Western India vegetable PROducts, and once sold vanaspati?)…

“The very nature of voluntary work is
that it has to be…voluntary, so sometimes, finding the time and the
effort become difficult or even impossible….so even being a part of
the egroup and trying to help out occasionally is fine! (This is the
kind of reasoning *I* shelter under, for all the voluntary work I do!
😀 )

Today, Anush and I went to Wipro, at one of the their campuses at
Electronics City. Alas, the Wipro shuttle bus that was supposed to
pick us up at Silk Board junction sped off without stopping, but we
got into a nice Volvo bus and phoned back and forth, and prevented
Sandhya, our contact person at Wipro, from having a proper lunch, poor

Wipro has something like 20,000 employees at the Electronics City area
alone, apparently…but no, not all of them turned up for the
presentation 🙂 There were about 40 or 45 people, though, which I
think was the right number! I went through the slides of the
presentation, and talked about what we are doing and how we are trying
to do it.

I was really happy that there was a lot of questions and interaction
from many members in the group after I finished speaking…and I found
that many of the members of the audience were brimming with ideas, not
only to partner with Clean and Green, but also about trying to make a
difference in small ways on their campus itself. One gentleman, Mr
Bharat Padiyar, had, indeed, come prepared with some pads that he had
made out of the one-side used paper that was not collected from just
one building on the campus! There was a group of people which
included Rohinik Sawant, and Akshit Jhaveri, who are already doing a
fair bit on trying to improve the communication skills of various
lower-level staff on the campus. Another young man, Ankit Khaitan,
spent a little time with us after the presentation, and said that he
didn’t ask all the questions he wanted to. I was very happy to see
that we were addressing individuals who are already pretty socially

Sandhya had, with short notice, done a good job of mobilizing so many
people to come and attend, and indeed, a larger gathering than this
would have been more difficult to manage.

I am very thankful to Anush for being with me throughout…when my
screen blacked out and I didn’t know what to do, he helped me out! I
was in such a hurry to make sure we didn’t miss the Wipro shuttle that
I prevented him from having any lunch too…I think it was Lunch
Prevention Record Day for me!

We can now take this forward with Sandhya, and work out the modalities
of the first cleanup with Wipro as our partners. I feel confident that
we will have a good turnout. I pitched the cleanup as a kind of family
outing, where, instead of just having a good time, the volunteers
would be doing their bit.

I took a few pics, and they are:

Alas, I couldn’t take a pic of myself giving the presentation, but
perhaps that is just as well!

And I got a good laugh when someone asked, “Can we bring our spouses to the clean-up?” and I said, “only one per person allowed”….yes, stale, but it got a laugh..!

But as we were waiting at the Electronics City Main Gate for Sandhya
to come and pick us up, I took this not-too heartening picture of the

So..I am looking forward to the next meeting and the next cleanup, this time
with Wipro.

Another Citizen Matters article

May 30, 2008

When constipation clears up, there is extra output. 😉

Another of my articles, this time about kalyan‘s photography workshop, “went live”…

you can see it here

And since we are on the subject of photography, let me include this lovely scene at the Kodai Golf course….I have never seen dogs huddled up like that before…

I did, however, see macaques like that…must try and find the picture that I had posted earlier!

Citizen Matters article

May 29, 2008

This time Citizen Matters took a little while to get the article to “go live”…I guess they have a lot of material to manage, now!

click here for the article

I am giving a presentation on behalf of Clean and Green about plastic and its management…. at Wipro, at their Electronic City location, tomorrow, with anushsh. I have never, ever, done a powerpoint presentation before….am somewhat nervous, hope that my tongue doesn’t get entangled in my tonsils!

The Private Detectives’ Diet, and Very Rare Birds in Kodai….

May 28, 2008

Have you ever wondered what snoops have to eat?

And do you know that I really, really, DID see penguins in Kodaikanal? Here they are:

The camera never lies!… But it need not show you the entire back of the Volvo bus where the birds appeared!

Some more (common) birds of Kodai….

May 28, 2008

It was fun watching bird behaviour rather than looking for new birds; and here are some more photos, which I warn you are of variable quality (it’s all the birds’ fault of course.)

Here’s the VELVET-FRONTED NUTHATCH; they are quick, restless birds and it is very difficult to capture them as they flit about on the tree-trunks, now in sight, now not….

velvet-fronted nuthatch on branch of tree kodai 240508

more birds…click here

The Second Bangalore Photo Walk

May 28, 2008

This is organized by skthewimp…..

and I just posted the details at

Promises to be an interesting experience; the account of the first one is by harithekid (what interesting LJ names these people have, to be sure!) at

Some of the flowers of Kodaikanal

May 28, 2008

I know it is summer because the electricity (and, therefore, the net connection) keeps coming and going….!

Here are a couple of unidentified flowers that I snapped in Kodai, which has a great profusion of both wildflowers and ornamental ones…

unid ornamental red star-like flower kodai 230508

and this very pretty one….

blue and pink raceme un id kodai 210508

Though these are common wildflowers, I liked the backlight:

backlit wildflowers kodai cottage carlton 240508

Lilies bloom all over Kodaikanal Lake:

lily in the evening kodai 240508

For other flower pictures, click on any of these photos and they will take you to the Flickr id where I have uploaded other flower pictures….That’s the trouble with not having a net connection; the photos pile up and become too many to post about!


May 27, 2008

Raindrops themselves can be inverted image-makers of the world, instead of blotting out the world in a sheet of rain…

raindrops on leaves kodai 240508 S3

I loved the rain in Kodai, and the mists and clouds that it brought, as much as the sunshine:

mist on the lake kodai 240508

The mist on the lake takes the images back to the sepia era of shadows, not colours.

There was an “almost rainbow” that formed in the rain-bearing clouds while I was walking around the golf course (with MLC of course) on the Kodai golf course.

almost a rainbow....kodai golf course 240508

Water and sunlight..together, they produce magic…and life.

Back Home… here are some bird photographs

May 27, 2008

Feels great to be back home though I am dealing with a flooded bathroom. Our friend went to have a shower at 5.30am, before leaving to take the flight to Mumbai….and the bathroom, in true Murphy style, developed a huge leak from the pipes…. AND the control valve, which would shut off the water to the bathroom, is also broken) and a mass of contusions and bruises from three falls in Kodaikanal (alas, I wish they were waterfalls, but they are my-body falls to the pavement or road!)

Looking at my friends’ list in between the cooking and the firefighting, er, waterfighting,…. and what a lot of interesting stuff there seems to be, to read and digest….I do miss LJ when I am out of town, though I can do without email or anything else…and I do miss being able to post my pictures “as and when”…I don’t want to sit in some parlour, so I end up having to wait till I get home.

Here are two birds that I loved watching in Kodai. One was a mother PIED BUSHCHAT …here she is, flying off from the rubber tree near her cottage to find food…

bushchat flying off to find food kodai lake

I enjoyed watching her and her baby, very near our cottage; here’s the collage of the bird, the baby asking for food, the mother going off to get it, and coming back to say, in typical “Mommy” style, “now open your mouth, for goodness’ sake!”

pied bushchat mom and baby kodai 230508

And here’s the LITTLE GREBE…a single family, with two chicks, which managed to find food even amongst the crowds of tourists on the lake.

Here, first, are the beautiful babies, swimming along…

grebe babies kodai lake 230508

Here’s the adult, catching a fish on the lake, you can see the war going on:

grebe actually catching the fish kodai lake 240508

And here’s the successful predator:

grebe with fish kodai lake 240508

And here’s the adult with the baby nearby, I posted this to INW with the title, “Put breakfast on our bill”….

grebe and chick with fish kodai lake 240508

I managed to see both the Kodaikanal-famous birds…..ORANGE-AND-BLACK FLYCATCHER and the LAUGHING THRUSH on the last evening, quite close to the lake, but when I had no camera with me, and to use the golf jargon that I have been exposed to for the past week, that’s par for the course!

Next, the “paravai kAvadi” (the penance of the bird) festival at the Kodai mAriamman temple….must upload the video to Flickr now….