Archive for January, 2012

To breathe better…

January 13, 2012

Overlooking facts and hoping for the best is a human trait….both D and A have breathing difficulties, and, indeed, A could never live far away from her inhaler, when she was in Bangalore. But of course, I was hoping that KTB would not develop any breathing issues….well, reality supervened, and they had to take her to the doctors’ to help her breathe a bit better.


She’s having albutrol to help her breathe easier.

It was heart-wrenching to see this photo, until I thought of the children whose health is far worse than just an attack of asthma…that helped me put it in perspective, and today, on G video chat, I was able to laugh and talk to a perfectly-normal (except for the occasional cough) grand-daughter.

Parents bring up their children through gadzillion tense moments like these….a healthy and happy child is nothing short of a series of miracles!

Film producer to dentist to doctor….

January 12, 2012

I got this leaflet with the newspaper a day or two ago (I think the reason why newspapers are delivered late is because the newsagents need time to insert all the various leaflets into each copy!)

arun prakash dr 100112

At the top, it talks about Dr Arun, B D S, who runs a dental clinic, but midway through, he mysteriously turns into Dr Prakash who can carry out “rejuvenation treatment of mind, body and soul through herbal medicine”.

The clincher, and the point that will drive us immediately to consult this person is, of course, that he was a Film Producer earlier! What better qualifications could a doctor need?

Bangalore, 100112

The moon….

January 12, 2012

When I was about to go to my tent at JLR Bannerghatta, I looked up at the full moon, serenely riding the night skies.

And the next night, when I looked out of my balcony, the moon was rising, still looking full:

fll mn 100112

Having taken a zoom shot, I got the moon through the palm fronds:

mn palm 100112


is my entry about the moon, some time ago. I promised that I would post the Tamizh film song about the moon….alas, I cannot find the original video anywhere on Youtube. The only video which has the original soundtrack does not give me a URL to post….can someone help me? The song is “andru vanthathum athE nilA”.

A song from the heyday of Tamizh film music…

January 11, 2012

\Here’s a video of a lovely song, from the movie

Server Sundaram

a melodramatic tear-jerker from 1964.

It shows the prolific and prodigiously talented music director,

M S Viswanathan

(click on the wiki link to see what kind of adversity he has battled in life…it’s amazing!)

…why he is wearing a suit in the hot and humid Chennai weather is a mystery!

actually conducting the orchestra, and the equally prolific singer,

T M Soundararajan (TMS) ,

The translation of the lyrics in this video are hilarious… so are the antics of the hero and heroine….but the song illustrates the great talent in those days of Tamizh cinema, and the innovative use of western instruments.

Both Hindi and Tamil film music from this era are superb.

Wildlife rescue…not black-and-white…

January 10, 2012

Quite unusual for me to be off the blog for three days, as I subject myself (and the rest of you!) to the discipline of an entry a day. But it was a full weekend…Saturday morning, to Hessarghatta, getting back only by 3pm and then having visitors…Sunday morning, to Valley School, back at 1pm, and then off to JLR Bannerghatta (where neither mobile phones nor 3G seems to work) to volunteer for a nature trail with 49 students of Vidya Niketan, on an overnight camp. Got back yesterday evening, and was rather tired…and today all the home chores demanded attention, so had to turn down an invitation to go on an overnight visit to Chik Yelchetti for Junglescapes work.

My photographs from Hessarghatta are on my FB album


My photos from Valley School are


And my photos from the JLR camp are


But meanwhile…I’ve been having regular conversations with a very impressive schoolgirl, Anvitha. She often raises very valid questions about wildlife conservation…and our last conservation/rescue conversation went like this:


” I just wanted to ask you this question which is haunting my mind from many days. When I was coming back from Konark temple, we were passing by a sanctuary. Our auto would have run over a turtle trying to cross the road but fortunately it did not happen. After lifting and seeing it, I was ready to leave it back but the auto driver told that he is gonna keep it along wid other animals he has. I tried to convince him n leave the turtle in so many lakes we came across and even in the sea which was opposite to our guest house but he did not agree. I sometimes feel that the turtle can have a better life by being in the fish tank but at the same time I also feel that it has the right to live in wilderness. Which is correct ? and also do people eat rufous tree pie coz i saw and talked to a family who had caught it.”

My response:

“Regarding the turtle (which was probably an Indian Pond Terrapin)…it is definitely better off in the wild, than in some chlorinated water tank…but then, you really had no control over what the auto driver was going to do. Frankly….I have my doubts…it probably wound up as food for him and his family…and you have to consider that as part of the natural food chain. Anyway, fresh water turtles might die in the salt water of the sea and vice versa, so probably putting it into the sea without knowing exactly which turtle it was might not be a great idea.

Alas, most birds and animals provide a good source of meat and protein for people. We can only try and prevent its happening…very often we have no say in the matter. Once I rescued an injured Pond Heron which a family was eyeing. The bird died in the rescue shelter the next day…I wished I had at least let the family eat a proper meal. So…one has to accept that rescue is not always possible, or even the best thing in the circumstances. Life teaches us some hard lessons sometimes….difficult for a soft heart like yours to accept.”

And her reply:

“thanx for the advice. Actually I told the family to leave the poor bird n they left it once but just when we were returning a small gal from the same family again easily caught the bird and so I thought the bird was used to the family or something like that.”

I do wish there were many more Anvithas around! A child so sensitive to the beings around her…may her tribe increase!

The Winnie-the-Pooh squirrel…

January 7, 2012

We had a wonderful outing at Hessarghatta today…16 of us…but this post is about something I’ve seen for the very first time.

I was watching an


eating a bee in the Banyan tree:

drngo sqrl   hsrgta 07011

(don’t ask me why, then, it cannot be called a Bee-eater)

when I realized that high up within the branches, there was a Rock Bee hive, and something very interesting was going on.

3 sqrl   hsrgta 07011

We know of many animals (bears, cf. the subject-title above), ants, buzzards (indeed there is an Oriental Honey Buzzard) who love honey, but I suddenly spotted a squirrel slowly going over the hive, looking for honey!

2 sqrl   hsrgta 07011

We all watched the squirrel for a while, wondering why it was not getting stung badly; there seemed to be no bees around, even though the hive did not look abandoned, but was quite fresh.

sqrl 1 hsrgta 070112

This was the first time I’ve seen an Oriental Honey Squirrel! I wish he’d broken off some honeycombs and thrown them down to us, too…

The photos from our outing are on Facebook albums are


Art and signs…

January 6, 2012

It’s been quite a long while since I posted some of my sign collection on LJ…I’ve got used to posting them quickly to albums on Facebook. You can see them;

Set 1,


and Set 2,


But I think, today, I’ll post some photos on our recent visit to Kerala….

What do you do if the whole family wants to drink?

htl tipsy ettunanoor 191211

Well, if you are teetotal, you can still dring….

cl dring ettunanoor 191211

What if you are at the end of the queue, and want to buy clothes?

txtails ettunanoor 191211

And….where could you buy all these things?


You cannot accuse me of not being sincere in my effort to entertain you:

sincere ettunanoor 191211

Kenneth Anderson Nature Society (KANS) and Tamil Nadu Forest Dept, 281211

January 5, 2012

The official report on the trip we conducted for the children of various Government schools of the Hosur/Denkanikotta area is on the Kenneth Anderson Nature Society blog,


and the more personal account is


Am going to help out with some children at JLR Bannerghatta on Sunday. I do enjoy their curiosity and questions…I learn a lot!

Allergy in the letters of the English alphabet….

January 5, 2012

Allergy in the Letters of the English Alphabet

September 4th, 2007

Feeling rather down tod-A
My ear looks as if it was stung by a B
Out of my right eye I can hardly C
Normally my health is robust and har-D
Health issues don’t normally trouble m-E
Today, though, I feel blind and d-F
All because of this aller-G
Which, in Africa, I seemed to c-H
Sometimes it’s itching of the I
My mood is just as blue as a J
My spirits on the floor along with the par-K
This allergy seems to have come from L
With sneezing, and lots of phl-M
I wish the doctor would tell me wh-N
I will be myself again! O,
That I could be bright once more, and hap-P
The doc would get a big than-Q
If I could keep from sneezing for 30 minutes…or an R
That would make me happy,I conf-S.
I would behave with sani-T
Instead of hiding from people’s v-U
As I scratch and look comtase and hea-V
(Hmm..I don’t know how to write the W
In my literary muscles I don’t have fl-X!)
I feel so dull..I wonder Y
I have to struggle with this aller-Z…
(Oh, do you pronounce Z as Z?
OK, there’s that pronounciation, instead!)

English pronouciation…

January 5, 2012

To my American Friends, this is in British English, so clangour and colour are not typos 🙂

English Pronunciation
If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.
After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud.

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Fe0ffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!
English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité

(Source: Source: )