Archive for July, 2008

Try and make out these words….!

July 31, 2008

Here’s another signboard from Hyderabad:

You can get “frock”, of course, but some of the others?

help here if you are stuck

July 31, 2008

Hyderabad and Secunderabad are twin cities, and it amuses some Hyderabadis to refer to the other city as “Second” erabad!

I have seen the usual “touristy” Hyderabad…the Char Minar, the Lad Bazar, the Golconda Fort, the Salar Jung Museum, and so on…

But on this trip, I saw more of the heritage buildings of Secunderabad.

This was the first time I had taken a train to Kachiguda Railway Station instead of Secunderabad; I didn’t know that it was a heritage building, having won the INTACH award for heritage preservation in 2004:

An old engine (I remember books full of different types of engines for locomotive fans to help with the id!) has been put on display outside:

Secunderbad Club, and Chiraan Fort…e-trip here

The Kanakabhishekam

July 31, 2008

This was the first time I have seen a “kankAbhishEkam” performed before the person (OK, man!) actually turned 100; if you have seen a thousand full moons, or if you have seen the face of your son’s son’s son, you can have this celebration.

Here’s the chirpy octagenarian (87) in his natty suit, ready for cocktails and dinner on the eve of the celebration:

Here are the four generations (men of course, do women ever get a look in?) of the family:

see the religious part of the function if you wish to

Did you figure out Hotel Hotship? Then….

July 30, 2008

Here’s the next one in the series:

That’s a “five str” restaurant, because an “a” is missing!

Executing another neat sneak to Nagarhole and Bandipur tomorrow….tra la la la…


July 29, 2008

I do love the art of “kOlam”….it’s called “rangOli” in the north, but is executed very differently, and the designs are very different, too.

In south India, we have two ways of making kOlams; the wet (izhai kOlam) and dry (podi kOlam). I am reasonably good at both, but watched someone making the second type at a wedding, and thought I would document that.

Some kOlams are very simple, yet neat and geometrical; they speak of a few minutes devoted to the art as the housewife (or the maid!) has a lot of other work to attend to…

more kOlams, and a lady creating a kOlam, here

Would you go and eat here? It’s rather hot to decide…

July 29, 2008

Still trying to figure this name out.

Are they referring to the hot food available inside? Is it a variation of “hardship” that you might experience inside? How can they have a ship in a landlocked city?

Anyone who knows Hyderabad and knows about this place…let me know!

Protected: The environmentalist/ecologist/activist’s dilemma…..

July 28, 2008

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KanakAbhishEkam, and the only birding I did in Hyderabad

July 28, 2008

Having gone for my friend’s “100th birthday” in Hyderabad …well, he is my father’s friend and engineering college classmate (Benaras Hindu University in the early 1940’s…but today he is as much my friend and KM’s, because he likes his peg of whiskey, can walk any of us into the ground with his 10 to 15 km walks…and he jokes about anyone and anything, fearlessly…”even life imprisonment or a death sentence doesn’t mean much to me now!” he quips, beaming at 87!)

Yes, of course, there will be a post on this! How many such celebrations is one privileged to attend? Not many…

We were, I think, the only non-relatives who arrived a day earlier, so we spent a lot of time with the family; hence there was no opportunity for birding at all. But the gated community where the elder son lives is green and beautiful, and another friend whom we visited in Banjara Hills lives in an apartment where the lawn has some lovely trees…

At Gunrock Enclave, I took this snap of the FEMALE PURPLE-RUMPED SUNBIRD:

And at Stone Valley, the MALE:

Those are with the MLC, and I did miss having the 20D…but I made do!

I *did* see a SHIKRA in the air above the Chiraan Fort , a beautiful, if rather scrappily maintained, heritage building where the actual celebration was held, and saw several PIED WAGTAILS on the lawns of the Secunderabad Club , but that…was about it!

ashbirder, I really missed meeting you..but a two-day visit with so much to do and several other friends to visit didn’t leave me any time at will understand if I say that we had to visit one friend in Tolli Chowk (I think that’s how it’s spelt) and then another in Dilsukh Nagar, then a third in Banjara Hills and another whom we could not visit at all, because we had to come home, pack and leave for the Kachiguda station ….

Why not the larger picture?

July 28, 2008

I had a long conversation with my daughter about blogging…and I was trying to articulate why I don’t blog about politics, and major events…and I think that the reason is, whatever it is that I want to say, I find, is said, MUCH better and in far more effective fashion, by others who are far more articulate than I am.

For example, on Friday, the day I left for Hyderabad, there were a couple of major explosions and a series of less intense ones, in my city; they left two dead and several injured, and a city which seemed to wonder if it should go into a state of high panic, or carry on like Mumbai did.

I admire the way Bangalore HAS carried on, but am not so sure I am happy with the way we don’t seem to be actively able to pin down or suppress terrorism in our city, and that terrorists seem to be able to strike at will, when and where they want to.

But all this has been analysed far better than I ever could; paragraphs have been written about it… this, for example …so what more can I, with my limited exposure, add to the analysis that would also add value? Nothing. All I can write is of my experience as we went to the station after the blasts…who would be interested in that? Meanwhile, my concern is for the families whose lives have been affected by the blasts, and how the tenor of their existence has changed irrevocably. I read that the husband of the lady who died in the Madivala explosion had just gone to the hospital and had been asked to get admitted; he and his wife were on their way home to get more money when the unimaginable, random tragedy happened, and he is still in NIMHANS, recovering from the shock. To me, the “face” of terrorism is the face of the bandaged man, lying on a hospital bed. I see the smaller details rather than the big scenario.

The same with politics…I do hate politics and horse-trading, and those who indulge in it, so why on earth write negative posts about these people and they way they hijack my country, and oppress the people, to serve their private ends? Unless I am willing to stand for election and change the system, what’s the point of just cribbing?

In the small ways that I feel I *can* protest or do something to ensure change,yes, I do take action. But…the larger picture is not for me…there are others who are better at it.

But..not writing about something is not the same as not thinking about it.


July 25, 2008

Here’s the Luz part of Mylapore, Chennai:

Let’s start with that landmark of “Luz Corner”, the Ashta VinAyakar Kovil (temple), all lit up at night:

walk around Luz with me