Crude reality

With a drop in demand for crude oil during the pandemic, the average price in April 2020 had fallen to about $20/barrel. In fact, crude oil futures fell to zero for the first time in history! Currently Crude in India is double, at about $40/barrel.

free oil

toilet paper vs oil

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The China conundrum

China = virus
China = war
China = boycott
There are lots of memes/pictures/videos doing the rounds on social media, reflecting the general mood in India – after the coronavirus and more recently, the unrest on the Indo-Chinese border and the killing of our soldiers.

Soldiers martyred on 15th June 2020

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Basketball in the ’80s at Baldwins

For some of us, basketball was an important part of our lives in school. Morning, practice on the court. In the games period twice a week, practice on the court. Evening after school, practice on the court. Saturday mornings, practice on the court. We’d even skip the mandatory Moral Education classes to practice on the court!

Good facilities offer opportunities to become good sportsmen. With dedicated coaches through the years, Baldwins was always among the leading contenders in the inter-school basketball scene.

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Different Fire Engines

We could hear sirens. These days we hear sirens multiple times a day, every day. With the increase in corona virus cases in Mumbai, they’re usually ambulances. A few days ago, it was a bit different. The sirens were sounding with a regularity that was disturbing. From the window, we could see people running out of the building across the road. There was panic all around. There were a couple of fire engines.

fire engines at Sierra Towers

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Thoughts this Father’s Day

When we were growing up in Bangalore, we were not aware of Father’s Day (or of Mother’s Day either). It was more like their respective birthdays were their special days! And of course, we would like to believe that they did feel special being around us every day as well.

Another day to celebrate should not hurt though. The more the celebration, the more the wheels of the economy will move around. In America, Father’s Day is the third Sunday of June, and a national holiday. Over the last few years, this day has become popular in India as well. I doubt Dad would have cared much about any celebration on Father’s Day, but now that we know about it, it’s a day when we wish he was around to tell him how much we appreciated everything he did for us.

Bangalore, August 1974

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Watching the Solar Eclipse 10 years ago

Solar eclipses take place every year, often more than once. The moon comes between the earth and the sun, blocking the sun’s rays. If this happens during the daytime, it becomes dark on earth, almost like dusk, confusing the birds and everyone else as well.

Darkness at noon

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The pool that changed swimming

July 9, 1976 was the turning point of swimming in Karnataka. The swimming pool in Baldwin Girls’ High School (BGHS), Bangalore was inaugurated, and looking back, it definitely impacted competitive swimming in India as well.

dedication pg1

Back in the 1970s, there were only a handful of swimming pools in Bangalore for the public. The Corporation Pool at Corporation Circle, a 30 yard pool, was one of the most popular ones. It’s gone now, and buildings occupy the place where it once stood. Kensington Pool, next to Ulsoor Lake, is another old summer time recreation spot, still a sought-after swimming space, especially because it’s a 50 metre pool, ideal for competitive training.

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PNLIT is ten

Ten years ago on this day, four people were waiting at the sub-registrar’s office in JP Nagar to get a trust deed registered. Along with them, two others, who were to sign as witnesses. Usha, Prasanna and OP Ramaswamy (who I pulled in just that morning), Sripriya and Vardhana, along with me.

We were well prepared. I had drafted the trust deed myself with inputs from others (incl Ashwin Mahesh who was instrumental in the formation of PNLIT), and had it checked by a lawyer. I also made a visit to the sub-registrar’s office a couple of days earlier to get the document reviewed by the office clerks. Carefully printed it at home, and took it along with all the papers that the clerks had told us to bring. Despite all this, given the reputation that the sub-registrar offices have, it would be wrong to say that we were not worried about being put in an uncomfortable spot at some stage. It took but an hour or so. We were done… mugshots, signatures and all, and with the satisfaction that it was a “clean” effort. Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust (PNLIT) was born! In no time, we had decided on a logo, made a facebook page and started building a website; opened a bank account, applied for PAN and started doing whatever was necessary for tax exemption purposes.

cm cover-712778

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Back to work

Tomorrow, Monday 8th June, it will be back to work in an office environment for many. Mumbai is allowing upto 10% of the workforce to be present in offices, though work from home and staggering of working hours has been recommended. Religious places, restaurants, malls are all set to open too. People are free to get back the services of their household helpers, subject to approval by the societies/resident welfare associations where they live.


waiting to go back
Waiting to go back to work!

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Elephant on the mind

The theme for World Environment Day 2020 is Time for Nature.

The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature.

Yet, these are exceptional times in which nature is sending us a message: To care for ourselves we must care for nature. 

It’s time to wake up. To take notice. To raise our voices.
It’s time to build back better for People and Planet.


In India, on this World Environment Day, it’s ‘ELEPHANT’ on the mind.

Gopalaswamy Betta, Bandipur, May 2009

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