Ganeshas and lakes

Eco-Ganesha kai hote? (What is Eco-Ganesha?) For sixty year old Savitri, who has lived all her life in a village in Maharashtra, the only Ganeshas she knows are the ones they make with the soil from the beds (and surroundings) of lakes and ponds in her village. Her first time in the city, Savitri is astounded by the size and the variety of Ganeshas she sees in the shops and Eco-Ganesha is a word that has got fixed in her memory forever.

Like many proud Marathas, Savitri says that the Ganesha festival itself originated during her ancestor Shivaji’s time, or so her grandmother told her. She is happy that the festival is celebrated so grandly in the city, but little does she know that many city dwellers are trying to emulate her and her village mates today.

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Subramania Bharati, now in English

In the trilling and warbling of birds in the forest,
In the music of the wind as it rustles through the leaves,
In the laughter of the rippling river and cascading falls…
In the melody that is heard all day long,
In the teeming city and in the natural wild,
In all these notes I have lost myself.
                – Subramania Bharati, “Kuyil Paattu”

The book “Selected Poems” – poems of Subramania Bharati translated from Tamil into English by Usha Rajagopalan was released in Bangalore on 14th September 2012.

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Retrofitting RWH in houses

The Nagarajan house on Sarakki Main Road, JP Nagar 1st Phase, Bangalore looks just like any other house we commonly see in Bangalore. Built in 1981, on a 60 ft x 40 ft site, the single storey house was, at that time, at the southern most end of Bangalore city limits.

While building the house, no provision was made for rain water harvesting (RWH). “We built the house as economically as we could. I was working in HAL Hospital (located near the HAL Bangalore Airport at that time) so we did not need to worry about accommodation as we had the doctors’ quarters, but we wanted to build a house where we could live after my retirement. I took loans to buy the site and build the house.”, said Dr Nagarajan. The rain water from the roof and compound flowed off into the storm water drains which in turn flowed into the main canals and finally into the lakes of the vicinity. “Many people dig wells before construction of their houses, but we didn’t spend that extra amount on a well either.”, said Dr Nagarajan.  Continue reading

Real people please!

Movies for children with real people in them. Is this a thing of the past? TinTin, The Lorax, Brave, Madagascar, Ice Age.

Though I appreciate the story lines and messages conveyed, and the technical skills displayed in all these movies, I realized that something was not quite right when the most enjoyable part of Ice Age for me was when the credits appeared. The end of the movie? Yes! I realized that I would not be able to sit through another of these animation films, 3D or otherwise, in the near future, when the highlight of Ice Age was the credits … where one gets to see the voices behind the characters. You get to see real people!  Continue reading