Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Life along with monkeys

My place of residence in Adyar, Chennai, has lot of monkeys! Since my native is Adyar, we transferred to the neighborhood area (buying a ground floor flat, 8 years back) to prevent difficulty of climbing up and down to the first floor home there. Now shifted back to Adyar for the last 5 months, mainly because of the emotional attachment my father hold towards this area and having been grown myself for more than 20 years here, he is more than three decades ahead of me. Though we couldn’t go back to our native home - which remained to be first and second floors since my uncle runs a workshop at ground floor -  we had rented a house close to ours, therefore my dad don’t need to wander between the neighborhoods.

A monkey on our fence
a monkey on the fence (click any pics for enlarge)
I have seen monkeys (bonnet macaque) in my area even before shifted to neighborhood, though I had no idea about them until transferred back to Adyar. I not even thought that I would be back here like a bounced ball, but taking years to respond. For me where I reside becomes second, because I have come to believe that I don’t belong to one place. My intention was comfort and peace, and I am always open to experience new environment and ready to adapt anyplace with basic infrastructures. I dream of living in suburbs, where pollution and noise were at least. That too driven towards the southern districts rather closes to Chennai.

The monkeys here aren’t much troublesome, though they make their presence noticeable. At the rear of our house, canopy of trees (mostly large) sprawls for few hundred meters provides wonderful shelter to the monkeys from very young to aged. Also being very close to Adyar Theosophical Society and Besant Garden, which are very few patches of green across Chennai, adjacently, gives way to forest environment including number of rare flora and fauna. I’m really not sure these monkeys reside among the canopy of trees at the backyard, because they don’t make their way everyday across us. But few houses away from us used to make mild explosions sometime, which we come to know through our servant maid that they blast crackers to drive away the annoying monkeys.

a monkey perched on our staircase handrail
Mostly they come as a group or family, sitting here and there, climbing up and down and leaping through the branches of trees. But they don’t stay long into our sight, as they keep moving like nomads. There are even huge monkeys (perhaps obese) among them, which could scare anybody with their looks. Before I go ahead continue with monkey stories, I need to say my house has inbuilt something pre-cautiously to prevent monkeys entering or looting things leaving its hands through the windows grills. Or perhaps through their early experience with monkeys annoyance, the owners of the house has made additional frames of net to the existing windows, so that we could open the windows without fear of monkeys.

But the windows in the hall doesn’t have this facility, so monkeys have attempted few times entering our house and also succeeded, which we haven’t know until one night dad wake up to see a monkey sitting on my bro’s helmet left on the sofa. Once saw him it leaped through the windows but certainly scared my dad who didn’t expect a monkey sitting on our sofa, that too at mid-night. We were blaming the cats other day for coming into house and drink the milk left at the dining table. But through this attempt we confirmed it was the monkey, and not the cat. Few days back I read news in paper, that a monkey has been constantly attacking an apartment in the neighborhood and its main intention was drinking milk from the milk packets that dropped at every doorstep in early morning. Before the households collect the milk packets, the monkey empty those and also become so obese because of drinking only milk! Lol

A huge monkey
Humpty dumpty sat on a wall
A monkey here also tried to scare me once, when I was alone. I working on my laptop other day and suspect something leaps off the window before I saw it clearly. But our pet, which was sleeping near my wheelchair, alerted me by suddenly barking at the window. Initially I too thought it must be a cat, but following the incident above it sounds certainly to be a monkey. Our pet haven’t seen monkeys often, so she kept barking every time they come around and also become crazy to chase them. My mom was plucking flowers one evening (from daily jasmine vine), which has become her daily activity after shifted here, a monkey came waking on the compound wall threatened her thinking she’s having something eatable in her bowl, which she use for collecting flowers. Though it doesn't do anything, she left the bowl on the wall and moved away and it passed as well.

So far the monkeys hadn't been a trouble for us; but it is fun something watching their activities and also provides opportunity to conduct photo shoot on them. The huge ones make wonder through their appearance and they aren't active and fun making like the young and middle once. I leave the post with a small collage on the monkeys fun below, shot at various moments! Thank you 
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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Photo: Gate


A wood planked gate of one of my neighbors… actually it is a gate of a construction office situated on our house lane, opposite to our side entrance. 


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Meet my grandfather!

My grandfather (maternal) visited me yesterday on the sideline of my late great grandmother’s annual ceremony. I haven’t seen him for a very long time, as he wasn’t well to move out of his house or climbing down from his upstairs home. I was truly surprised when my grandma brings him home along with her. Since he was suffering from certain health setbacks in recent past, I didn’t expect him to visit me and for me it is hardly possible to meet him at his home in first floor and coming across their congested street in wheelchair is something quite awkward to image. Since it is hard to take a car inside their street and also post fracture last year, I am going through difficult times transferring between car and wheelchair.

My grandparents @ Kodaikanai, 2012
My grandfather and grandmother (shot at Kodaikanal in 2012)
I feel so happy meeting him and I really moved looking into his eyes that was yearning to see me… His affection and care for me is something very special and is always evident through his eyes. Though he won’t speak much and couldn’t make gestures easily, I understand him quite well and I can’t explain how much I love him and he means to me. He is our best well-wisher and what and where we are today is only because of his chief intention along with his son’s (my late uncle) hard work, and selfless being provided us so many advantages in life. Until he closed his teashop at early 20s, he has been a hard worker and active being.  For more than two decades he had been a cabs car and lorry driver, before started fulltime dairy business and opens the teashop.

My uncle’s demise in late 2001 had hit him immensely and shutting down the teashop, left him jobless at home resulted in greater drawback at health followed by a cardiac arrest due to clot in heart.  But in latter days he suffers from diabetic and nervous problem and the side effects of tablets forced him to quite depend on others. He could walk only at very slow pace and someone need to lift him from the chair to stand and being little obese it has been very difficult for my grandmother to take care of him. We ever expected him to become infirmity at this early age of 75, while older than him are progressing well. I am one of his main concerns to make him feel regret, and he had expressed his sorrow many time with granny for unable to help me in anyways.

In 2001 he used to drive me every day to a clinic in T.Nagar here, where I took Ayurveda treatment for nearly two months. Driving through the heavy morning traffic is a true venture in his way of driving, though he manages only because of the eagerness to see me as a normal being. While studying in school, he used to pick me in his bicycle if I received none.  Putting the bags on the handlebar, he pedals me to home placing me on the rear carrier, since my school was very close to their house. He had scolded me and also embraced at same, as he always had special attention towards me.

I think it is our turn to take care of him, not only because he had worn-out his life for our self but true love he has shown for others and as children/grandchildren it’s our duty to support not only physically but also make him feel happy and content. At my stand I am conscious not to disturb him anyways, but I feel sorry that indirectly I’m one of the main concerns on his drawback stream. Emotionally he has been disturbed by others, forgetting whatever he had done for them and just for the brief of ego and updating their fake statues - though they deserved to be so – makes him feel anguish. Until 2012 he had traveled with me for many places, as I love doing it so, I am helpless now leaving him at home as he finds it very difficult to travel and getting in and out of the car, and in case of urgency he prefers Auto (rickshaw) to pick and drop him at doorstep.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

World Elephant Day

On August 12, 2012, the inaugural World Elephant Day was launched to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants. The elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, yet we balance on the brink of seeing the last of this magnificent creature.
Celebrate Elephant @ Kozhikamuthi Elephant Camp, Top Slip

The escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats to both African and Asian elephants. Working towards better protection for wild elephants, improving enforcement policies to prevent the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, conserving elephant habitats, better treatment for captive elephants and, when appropriate, reintroducing captive elephants into natural, protected sanctuaries are the goals that numerous elephant conservation organizations are focusing on around the world.

dad bears an elephant trunk
The World Elephant Day stressed the need to experience elephants in non-exploitive and sustainable environments where elephants can thrive under care and protection. The intention of this day is to share knowledge and support positive solutions for the better care and management of captive and wild elephant. (Read more on elephants current status here)

Pictures shot at Kozhikamuthi Elephant Camp at Top Sip, near Coimbatore. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Photo: Stanley Reservoir

Mettur Dam reached 100ft of water

Stanley Reservoir is one of the largest fishing reservoirs in South India, River Cauvery as its main source of water. The water is retained by the Mettur Dam, which has a capacity of totally 90 Tmcft!  The creation of the reservoir means submersion of two villages, all of whose inhabitants were relocated to Mettur.  

Fishing boat afloat

PS. Right now its celebration time at Mettur Dam, hence dam has touched 110ft of water on the total height of 120ft. Thanks to the heavy rainfall across Cauvery catchment, which forced the dams of Karnataka to release surplus water from the KRS and Kabini dams to rose to nearly 1,00,000 cubic feet per second from less than 40,000 latterly. The shutters of the dam are opened for samba rice cultivation from today. ( Photos composed while the level of water was about 75ft , while taking a drive on the dam few years back)