Friday, July 10, 2020

Skywatch Friday: Rainbows

Last week the weather turned wonderful one evening and the sky formed storm clouds that almost supposed to rain.  But things turned different and surprise, when a rainbow appear on the sky.  I have seen rainbows before but I don’t remember when I saw one last in my city, Chennai. My neighbour pointed out the rainbow that curved up above the sky just outside the balcony and I was out already watching the sky and the storm clouds scattering instead gathered to rain.

First the rainbow appeared mild in colors and was difficult to notice but sooner the colors increased to look amazing and it was a nice curve and I don’t know it made quite a bow. Actually it was a double rainbow and I didn’t notice the second bow, which appeared mild, until I look into the picture. My camera couldn’t capture the colors perhaps because of bright sunlight and these are mobile shots from iPhone se. 

To say the sky's the only changing things in my life for last few months or from the time of pandemic began; sky watching has become an activity and I go out into the balcony to see the sky after I wake up and got ready and do the same before go to bed. I don’t know why I want to see the sky or at least want to see a star or anything celestial before get into the bedroom and I think it’s perhaps because of lockdown and fewer activities on road want me to look for something active even though I know the celestial activities aren't quicker.

Linking this post with Skywatch Friday

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Healing Earth and Me

Pandemic is what all about and all roads lead to same for more than last three months and we still have any idea where and when it all going to end though we know for sure it will and should be end at an end. Everyone should have gone through different experiences during this period of pandemic and lockdown and this goes like a real life drama without any rehearsals and it has affected us in no way one could imagined. But one great comforting thing the pandemic made was refining nature and environment.  Today being Sunday and final day of total lockdown the carbon monoxide level in the air in Chennai has went  down to the level of 8 what usually used to be 60+, which marks moderate air quality, makes apparent how significant the changes are. But this doesn’t going to sustain for sure when the relaxed lockdown come into force from tomorrow, however getting life back to normal is quite important while keeping the environment clean.

The lockdown really made feel secured a lot during these pandemic days as we’re uncertain who carries the virus, staying home we feel safe.   I didn’t find the lockdown a greatly difficult as my life is almost made into home  but as a travel enthuse its quite different and I live all these days with my travel memories and watching travel/food vlogs on YouTube. Nature and environment is clean making me so happy and I’m enjoying more bird sounds these days than vrooming bikes and cars. I think if not pandemic the earth wouldn’t get a chance to cleans the manmade dirt though it isn’t a happier way to support or got this done from peoples suffering and deaths. Nature is rich and it has the power to recycle and we’re same as any other living on the earth. Animals traces their roots and corridors while we shut our roads and leave no foot prints inside their landscapes, it still make  worry to hear even the predators (us) are lockdown in home, more than a dozen elephants died (including the one shot by farmers) for unreasoning in Tamil Nadu in last few weeks.

I could say the last few weeks were the worst days for me during this lockdown period and I think you people know and if not, I went through a long-time fever ever in my life and I quite terrified as you know we go through pandemic I’m uncertain and anxious what these symptoms lead to. Glad it was only a urinary tract infection and the injections worked really well and I’m out of it. But before it got over I had a severe sprain at my ankle and I am still going through the pain and swelling and if it continues few more days, I had to take an x-ray to see what really happened. My physiotherapist said nothing to worry but I go through doubts. I hope you guys continue on the safe path and stay safe at home. Wish the pandemic is over or reduced sooner to become not a life thereat. 

Thursday, July 02, 2020

How the Coronavirus Pandemic affect the Way We Travel

(First time a guest post in my blog.) Gulshan Bafna is a leading travel entrepreneur with a passion for exploring every corner of the globe. His unique approach of describing and covering tourist hotspots as well as unknown retreats alike has won him a solid following online. True to his blog's name, he believes that travel is an exciting prospect for everyone!

For people that spend their entire life travelling, certainly, 2020 has been a tough year to deal with. Still, people are hopeful about finding a cure and overcoming this pandemic so that they can start to move around soon. As we test more and while scientists are trying to find cures, there is hope that things will improve. What is sure for now, is that the life of a traveller will be very different from how it used to be. Here is a list of things that one thinks how the coronavirus pandemic affect the way we travel: 

1.   Taking a lot more precaution: Clearly, these are difficult times. So, most people would think, and rightly so, about trying to ensure that we will try and avoid touching random surfaces. They will make sure to carry masks, alcohol-based sanitizers, and wear gloves whenever required. This is important because you are not only protecting yourself but also protecting others if you are an asymptomatic traveller.
2.    Not travelling if not necessary: This is one of the most important effects that coronavirus or COVID 19 will be on travellers. People are revisiting if any travel idea is really important or if they are doing it on a whim. Most random travels will be called off. Unless really required, most people are avoiding travel. Additionally, corporates are also spending less on travel when something can be done online. The travel industry has certainly taken a beating and there will be a slow increase in the people willing to travel.

3.   Selecting places: How we select places to travel to will also be viewed differently. For instance, if a place has a higher number of cases that will determine how many people would like to travel there. If most of the exploration includes enclosed places then that will certainly be a worrisome choice. This is because enclosed places show a higher likelihood to spread the coronavirus. So, the kind of places people travel to will be relooked at and reevaluated for a while.

4.    Opting for less crowded places: With the Coronavirus, travel will be affected and most people will consider unexplored locations to avoid the crowd. The more the crowd the higher the chance that you would knowingly or unknowingly catch the virus and spread it yourself. Therefore, people will find secluded places rather than where travellers would flock to usually. A lot of the unexplored places will start to gain popularity for sure.

5.    Traveller's health and age factors: It has been determined that certain people are more vulnerable than others to this virus. For instance, little children, old people, pregnant women and people with existing diseases are more susceptible to get this infection. So, people with any of these conditions will think twice about travelling during the coronavirus pandemic times. They will try and stay indoors and postpone their trips if avoidable.

6.    No more open borders: A lot of countries, states and cities are trying to protect their own people. So, across the world, a lot of governments and people are trying to lock down their borders for outsiders that want to travel. Even if they are allowing them to enter, they are asking a lot of questions such as why they need to travel, to begin with. There are many restrictions with regards to which country or states one can travel to or from.
7.    Watch what you eat: A lot of people are going to watch what and where they eat. Many restaurants are even trying to keep an eye on how they serve up their food. Also, many people will start taking hygiene a lot more seriously as providers of food and consumers of it. If hotels take the required precautions, there will be a higher chance that they will get more patrons. People are more cautious now, may it be during visiting restaurants or ordering food in. 
8.    Hotel Rules: Post-COVID most hotels will have to relook at what they need to do to be inviting and safe. They will need to focus on constantly disinfecting and taking care of people. Apart from taking all the precautions, it will also be more important to communicate it to the guests. People will also prefer finding isolated locations such as villas so they will be able to protect themselves. That the hotels are taking the required steps to protect their patrons will be the only way to get business.

9.    Budget travel: It is no secret that the economy is in the doldrums. There are a lot of problems and a lot of people that are losing their jobs. So, travelling has become a trouble. Therefore, a lot of people will look to travel, if they have to, in smaller budgets while staying safe through the trip. More hotels and restaurants will give discounts to make their place more affordable while ensuring they are careful.

10. Travel rules: Travel industry by itself will know how to undergo a lot of changes. Just having to clean up after customers and ensuring they disinfect and maintain hygiene will all become an important way that will change travel post the coronavirus pandemic. Despite how people decide to travel, air, train, bus or cab; all transport will come under the scanner. How well they are making the effort to keep it safe for public transport will determine their profitability. 

These are hard times, and a lot of people are finding it difficult to cope. We are going through times that we are not prepared for and the economy is not looking great. However, we know that people are waiting to get out and are itching to travel. Everyone should try and remember that the pandemic is not beyond us, yet. What we need to do is ensure that while we get the wheels spinning, we are also safe. Remember, travelling is a great idea, but ensure that you stay safe while you are at it.\

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Fever Triggered fear

Two weeks passed since I blogged. Lap times turned nap times – laptop unopened in last ten days.  Anxious ran through the nerves. Mind struggled to grasp anything that comes into attention. The days are hot as ever reflected up on me and I fell into fever that lasted more than a week. First my father caught fever and we feared really but his temperature is back to normal after two days on medicine. And before he touched norm fever clutched me and refused to give up until a doctor’s intervention and strong medicine to light down the heat. Being a pandemic period it is not easy to take anything lighter and more than the suffering from fever, the fear of what it could be jammed me. I know I was cautious with my every step into the pandemic field and keep reminding my dear ones to follow the same but we can’t be certain that everything is under control.

First it was guessed as viral fever because of normal blood test report but yesterday’s urine culture report reveals bacterial infection in urinary system and doctor told to take antibiotic injections for 5 consecutive days and he’s sending his staff to home to inject me daily.  He isn’t a regular doctor I visit, but I have no option as there’s any other doctor available and small hospitals are either closed or refuse to see fever patients in my neighbourhood. After more than 3 months, I stepped out of the house to visit the diagnostic centre in neighbourhood for the blood urine test and I was allowed only after the thermal scanning, which showed fever, but still they allowed perhaps I am regularly testing there.  I expressed my anxiety of fever in facebook and the fiends there really supported me and encouraged to think positive and now I have no fever and the nausea also reduced drastically. I’m on the second day on injection and injection is something I haven’t gone through in a decade is painful to take. Hope I get back to norm soon.4

Covid is something really reaching new peaks daily in Chennai and continues to be second hotspot of India. Chennai and its neighbouring districts are under complete lockdown until June 30 and it could be extended apparently to keep down the death and spreading rate. Take care and stay safe
Thank you

Friday, June 12, 2020

Pandemic Panic

Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu has become the second hotspot city of Covid 19 in India, reaching a new peak of cases with every passing day that counts above 1.5k. Our city is divided into 15 zones and my zone Adyar is at 7th place right now with about 1500 covid cases, the situation doesn’t seem to turn better sooner unless any severe actions are taken to control the pandemic despite people’s cooperation. The lockdown is relaxed almost 2/3rd here and perhaps this could be the causes for the faster spreading of virus and we have any idea where this led so rather creating a panic even though we’re conscious with our preventive actions. We know it is not easy to put stop it’s spreading and holding people at home with no work and income at same, but still something need to be done before yet many losses of lives.

While the experts believe in herd immunity or community immunity or group protection, which happens when a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through vaccination or previous infections, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune. But it seems to take a while and before it covers a large population many lives are put at risk as the spreading become uncontrollable. So far we’re doing fine and it’s been 3 months I stepped out of home and it’s the days more than the ones I took for my femur fracture and traveling seems to be a distant dream for me, right now. The season for holiday or summer vacation is over here as the May ends, the time I dream a lot about traveling since many a tours took place during this time and this pandemic break the 7 years chain of visits to my favourite travel destination, Kodaikanal.

And this was the time the tourist hub (and all hill stations) waits for the remaining year to make a peak business but this pandemic and the following lockdown has quite blocked everything related to tourism and the revenue of the people. Though it was a great let down, the residents of Kodaikanal welcome this change or lockdown as it not only keep it pandemic free but also put the princess of hills at peace and pollution free, as it huff and puff usually during this time with lining up of tourist.  As you all know my uncle have a woodhouse and cottage near Kodaikanal and his situation is no different from the mentioned above and he too lose his business that only picks up during this time as his woodhouse is located away from the active tourism. Lately we too avoided visiting his place during the peak season time to not become a cumbersome. So we either visit earlier or later at the end of season, because the place his woodhouse is located is best at all seasons.

Uncle's woodhouse and cottages in night mood. Tried a blur effect on the image
My uncle and aunt had gone there right now to check how things are after getting an e-pass. My uncle used to visit Kodaikanal at least one or two times a month but past three months he haven’t moved out of home because of lockdown and now they got a e-pass with a condition to turn in in 48 hours. But things haven’t worked like they planned and someone locally had informed about their arrival to the health department and they have quarantined them for a week at the woodhouse and a covid test is taken. If positive they would be quarantined for 20 days but they hope for negative. While calling from there, they told us about the strange behaviour of the neighbours who avoids and stopped speaking with them because they come from Chennai – the hub of covid 19. I wasn’t surprised to hear this rather felt happy at the consciousness of the people of the Kodai hills and perhaps this makes Kodaikanal an infection-free state.

Monday, June 08, 2020

RGB Monday

A mini hotel or tiffin centre at Perumal malai near Kodaikanal. Perumal malai is an important junction about 12 kms before to Kodaikanal and the meeting point of roads from Palani, Periyakulam and Batlagundu. I remember landing on this junction when first time visiting the Kodaikanal in 1999, to call the person who invited us to the hill station to stay at their guest house.  

Friday, June 05, 2020

நிலா / Moon

பகலை வென்று இரவு பயணத்தில் 
என் வான் வழியே மேல்மாடத்தின் வெளியே.
அழகிய முகத்தோடு இரவை இதமாக்கி
வெண்ணிலவாய் வளம் வரும் நிலா.

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The moon on its night journey
After beating the day,
Outside the balcony – through my sky
Made the night with a beautiful face
came around as a flourished moon.

PS. No, this isn’t the penumbral moon. (The penumbral eclipse is scheduled to happen tonight starting at 11:15 pm to stretch out to June 6 and it is an occurrence of faint shadow of the earth engulfs the moon. Though the scientists say the eclipse isn’t easily noticed through eyes unless you are a seasoned sky watcher and the eclipse in June this year is popularly called the Strawberry Moon Eclipse. The month of June is when the ripening of strawberry crops in the United States takes place, which is why June is labelled as the month of Strawberries. And due to this lunar eclipse happening in June, it is being labelled as the Strawberry Lunar Eclipse.) But this moon shot on June 3.

Monday, June 01, 2020

RGB Monday

'I have been sitting watching that ever since I came back, 
the continuous variations of light and shadow .' -
Laurie Lee
A part of simple light and shadow and shades of red, green and blue on the porch of uncle's woodhouse near Kodaikanal
The weather turned absolutely wonderful right away, from quite sunny to stormy, it was a kind of welcome weather during this season of hot summer although the temperature is mild this year so far. Usually it’s the June turns out hot for us in Chennai and being close to sea, the breeze rose from there is a kind of relief fought over the hot land breeze later by noon.  

We’re almost 70 days into the lockdown that was partially relaxed already but still a month long lockdown is imposed across India from today till June 30. Chennai had become the 2nd largest city and hub in India with high Covid 19 cases next to Mumbai in Maharashtra and we lead by over 700-800 positive cases per day and it only seem to rise. North Chennai being a crowded residential place has become a vital part of transmitting virus in the city and it seems the people in age of 20-30 where influenced a lot to infective. The lockdown and Covid 19 awareness is well taken down into people and they mostly resist coming out after the noon, perhaps they used to the former time restriction and content through it. All evening seems Sunday here and life goes peaceful but can’t deny the fact that there’s a kind of fear of uncertain. Hope you guys take care and stay safe.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Summer Sky

The weather is beautiful and sunny in Chennai these days despite the hot summer season, the sky is pretty much in blue.  Sometimes it turns pinkish to orange in evenings and later setting off of sun. The sky and trees in the photos were shot in the afternoon, when the summer sea breeze takes off usually to shoo the hot wind and birds on their tunes.

The mango tree in rusty and green leaves is from the neighbour’s house opposite to us and amazingly the tree has shown up with a single mango this season unlike a lot last year. The tree was pruned at large last November and perhaps that could be the reason for the tree to unable to bear fruits this year except that single mango.

Linking this post with Skywatch Friday

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Behind the fence

A cat from the neighbourhood taking rest in the shadow of the Indian tulip tree, right opposite to our house and of the neighbour’s fence. This cat is active on the neighbourhood and sometime enters our home at night and trundle the dustbin looking out for something to eat and if we switch on the light it would escape through the window. Other day it caught between the window’s sliding door and cry to exit and we understand from the sound that it was him and dad went and slid the door for it to move out. 

Linking this post with SATURDAY CRITTERS

Thursday, May 21, 2020

கொரோனா பாடம் / Corona Lesson

உலகைக் கட்டுப்படுத்த விரும்பினோம்
அடங்கிப்போனோம் வீட்டுக்குள்ளே. 
கண்ணுக்கு தெரியாத கொரோனா 
கண்ணு மூக்கு வாய் என விரல விட்டு ஆட்டுது.
அதுவும் நம் கையைக்கொண்டு !

கோயில்கள் பூட்டப்பட்டுள்ளன
சுத்தமும் சமூக விலகலும் உயிர் காக்கின்றன.
மருத்துவமனைகள் கொரோனாவுக்கு ஒதுக்கி விட்டன.  
சுய கட்டுப்பாடே தடுப்பு மருந்தாகி விட்டன.
சுற்றமும் நட்பும்  விலகி இருக்கட்டும் -
கொரோனவை வீழ்த்தட்டும். 

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We wanted to control the world
Domesticated at home.
The invisible corona
Fingered the eyes, nose and the mouth.
That too with our own hands!

The temples are locked 
Cleanliness and social alienation keep us alive. 
The hospitals were allotted to the corona 
Self-control has become the vaccine. 
Let go of the affinity and the friendship - 
Let the corona fall.

Monday, May 18, 2020

RGB Monday

Colourful trays from the nearby grocery shop, left after the vegetables are unloaded.

The partial lockdown in India has extended till May 31st but the days almost sound normal until the afternoon up to where shops are opened. Though the individual shops are allowed to open till 7pm, the lack of business after 1 pm (which is a former time limit for groceries during the total lockdown period) forced them to shut down and the traders too are unwilling to go further waiting while the summer heat continues to soar.

Thursday, May 14, 2020


Time for myself is missed 
Solitude is not mine when quarantine
Became the chanting of the world;
Peace stands at a distance
When inner tries to console the conflict
outbreak during the lockdown.

Infinite is what I define
The conflicts that surrounds me
Which only rise or lower like a tide;
Sometime ends emotionally tire
Or erupt like a volcano to become a threat 
To no one but myself in this sphere.

Silence is mysterious,
In relationship it’s a hardship
To sail when sea becomes rough;
That’s a moment to realize
The wealth of words, even they’re harsh
Lease words will ease access.

Monday, May 11, 2020

RGB Monday

Few months back a small bucket truck or truck crane from the Chennai corporation drive down our street to pull out a internet pole. I liked the colors of the truck and so click before it moved.
And below is a tuck moving out of our street after spraying disinfectant few week back, but that was the last anyone drive down our street to spray disinfectant. Glad there’s no Covid 19 positive case registered in our area comprising 4 streets.

The Indian government has extended the lockdown till May 17, but gave permission to the state governments to decide how much the relaxation should be taken according to the vigour of the virus. From today, a partial relaxation comes to force in Tamil Nadu with opening of individual shops with strictly adhere to social distancing and wearing mask. The public transportations will not be operated at least until May 17 but I could see a rise in traffic at morning hours and slightly less after the noon. Hope you all are safe at your places.
Take care  

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Some Thoughts and Pre Relaxations

Even after 42 days of lockdown, wearing masks, while coming out of home has been a matter in question with many a people. People are requested to wear masks, but not to close their mouth alone! I see some wear masks that are little to close their mouth only and I wonder what an intellect one must be to stitch such a mask that looks like a bandage on an operated mouth. I noticed it is the laity who suffers lot through the lockdown has been at the risk of transmitting the virus through their indifference attitude. The government has relaxed the lockdown a little to help people at a level but i feel it’s too early to do so, and this slack will end up tightening more as there's lot chances to share the virus and I see still people are carefree and wear mask only in fear of cops and not by self-conscious or in preventive manner.

To make matter worse, our state govt. have announced to reopen the liquor shops from May 7th, following many other states that have already reopened the liquor shops and people started to throng there indifferently forgetting the situation we’re and some stood in queues that extends up to nearly a km. This is really a disappointment to see. People complain about standing in queue to buy groceries or reliefs but none bothers standing this long for alcohol! This lockdown proved that people could manage without drinking alcohol except few cases of self-destruction; there isn’t a great impact and actually people started to practice to a liquor free lifestyle and we should have maintained this structure rather get them back to the habit. There couldn’t be a better chance like this to keep them away from liquor but the govt.’s focus is only on its core income, which comes from the liquor sale, than the people’s welfare.

I wonder what kind of development is this to get money from the public, by selling liquor, what harms their immune, to spend back on their welfare. Wasn’t this sounds like wounding someone deliberately and later put medicine on the wound? I know the illegal liquor has raised heads as soon the liquor shops are closed but this couldn’t be a threat if there’s right legal actions.  But what worries me more now was, when people couldn’t be mindful on social distancing and wearing mask even at a normal state what kind of behaviours could we expect on intoxication?  

I know there are people, who would blindly follow whatever their favourite leaders or celebrities says (and sometime in different ways like taking street processions when asked to clap hands and light lamps in appreciating the healthcare workers working on Covid 19), so this could be the better time if those stars spoke on television, advising their fans and devotees to stay home or wear mask.  Lately I saw a video of a top actor’s birthday, celebrated by his fans group against the law of lockdown, and these crazy guys never seems to care about pandemic. I think, at least, if the actors with great fan followers could help these times, by appearing in media to advocate those blindfolds, just to see how well it works. Now we need more conscious on quarantine and any source of aid is resourceful this time.

Stay home Stay safe

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Clean Environment and Covid 19

Unity is what Covid 19 taught us or forced us to do so today, but the difference here’s we all have to distance ourselves to stay together in the process of defending from the infectious virus. What this unity proves is that if we decided to stand together we can bring change over anything. Though positivity in Covid is worrisome and life threatening but there’s lot of positivity the togetherness we created by staying at home in influence of lockdown. Air, an essential element of nature, and the life source of every living species, have drastically changed over this period of lockdown since the transportation and industries come to a halt, it gives a great sigh of relief and desires to sustain in this flow.  In Chennai the air quality index has come low as ever and Adyar, where I live is below 8 (of April 29, 16:00) which regularly count 60+ before.

Same as air, the water bodies and rivers too refined without the flow of industrial waste and abuse of human. Prime Minister Modi in his election campaign promised to clean the Ganges River, which become dirtier in the long run of effluent against its state of sanctity, but before he initiate or think about it corona did it on his behalf.  People in belief of overcoming their sins, take bath in Ganges and leave their belongings into the river to become a mess and threat to lives depend on the flow of river. While Covid 19 troubles people and kills many simultaneously, it also silently cleanse the environment by holding us at home, even though it’s uncertain that the recovering of the hole in ozone layer is due to the lessening of pollution levels across the globe in last few months of lockdown, it was a great news and cheerful moment for environmental activists who work on this front.

Like how in sedimentation, the solid matters settles at the bottom of the liquid in lack of motion, the lesser amount of activities on earth helped the environment to resettle things that affects nature and health. I don’t think there could be a better moment like this to look back into the future we come across destructing anything that could be possible to improve our lives and livelihoods, taking nature, the only tool in hand. Now, all taking break at home, and fighting back the Covid 19, nature took this chance to restore the environment to its pristine or close to former conditions. Animals and birds too started to trace back their roots we uprooted to develop our lives or began visiting their ancestor’s homes we destroyed to build our own.

Lately, I was amazed to see a bird picture in Instagram, captured by someone in the neighbourhood and it was the same bird species I found in Kodaikanal. The interesting thing was it was a migratory bird from Himalayas and it flew down to southern states during winter and now I found Chennai has been a stopping ground on its course up and down! Though we know we’re paying a massive price to restore the earth and of course, it isn’t the way we anticipated or wished for things to change on earth, but preserving this state of cleanliness is must when we return to new normal lifestyle. I know it is not possible to quite sustain in this state of clean environment when life kick-starts again and industries open their shutters but creating a balance between environment and livelihood could make better our lifestyle. 

Hope all stay safe

Friday, April 24, 2020

Life changing Covid 19 - 30 days into lockdown

I think the real challenges wait for us only when the lockdown is relaxed, because, so far, almost, I personally feel secure during this lockdown period even though I wasn't content with the indifference in people I connected. People talk about the difficulties of daily labourers, who survive on daily wages, forgetting their own lack of contribution in social distancing and wearing masks which is what going to improve the situation and help the poorer, quicker to get back to their livelihoods.  I don’t think we all could get back to our previous life exactly, because the Covid 19 had almost turned down or blocked the way life progressed as we exposed to rise in transmission of virus, we’re forced to stay home to stay safe and take precaution measures to prevent spreading of virus.
Social distancing comes natural to these ladies... walking back to their houses carrying firewood on their heads, after picking it up in forest near Kukkal in Kodaikanal. Image shot last year during a holiday in mountains.
We have almost used to this custom of lockdown in last 30 days of implement, throughout India, though some continue to act like breaking down the lockdown, three-quarter of people supports the system to hunt down the virus completely. Though we all know this virus is not easily destructive and it could continue to popup anytime into the future unless a vaccine is found, social distancing and masking would become a trend and necessity in our daily life. We, now, have enough time to think about the future and how to adapt to a new lifestyle we supposed to take over once the lockdown is relaxed and the preventive measures to take despite whatever the work we do further.

Lockdown or Curfew is very new to most of us but we have heard this word in news and movies and Jammu & Kashmir, the northern state of India, frequently go through this in order to control terrorism and protests and some districts in south Tamil Nadu had faced the curfew due to certain issues. Now, the entire country, and most of the countries in world imposed lockdown clearly to bring down the number of covid 19 cases and to break the chain of spreading virus and this is the only way WHO prescribed to the world, following the success of China. The earth and the air is pollution free now, but we’re forced to wear mask! See how miserable man on earth, he could not enjoy two things at a same and need to sacrifice something to get another.

Monday, April 20, 2020

RGB Monday

Half baked in light and shadow. 

All days are same these days or to say every day seems like Sundays after the implement of lockdown. Just felt it was Monday today and decided to cheer up with a colourful image while there is sadness, fear and uncertainty rules the globe right away. Here I share my aunt’s colorful Kolam drawn for the Tamil New Year (April 14) in front of our house and it was a day passed like any other day. The lockdown is extended up to May 3 here and the covid cases are only at rise but it was bit better in our state Tamil Nadu where there is good numbers of recovery and less death ratio. I see some people continue to blame the govt. for lockdown as if they purposely doing it to punish them… I wonder where they lose their senses in perceiving the fact or failed to understand the progress of Covid 19 when everything they connected speaks the same. This attitude is really bad and perhaps this makes them act indifferently and disobediently to put others life at risk. Hope all stay home and stay safe.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Silence Speaks Louder

Captured from one of my trips to mountains, staying at uncle's woodhouse in  kodaikanal
The world speaks in silence
Desert as ever before
Soundlessness is strange
Yet it is not so quiet,  
Tiny noises make sense
And annoys as well
Diverts the attention of anything
That I try to concentrate,  
Screeches and screams are loud
Perhaps we used to noises
That sustained to a level of decibel
Now, incredible low, due to lockdown
Silence reinstitutes the natural syllabus
In wind prose and bird poems,  
While the most dangerousness stays at home
The endangered are out
To give voice to their lost chord
Or shriek in restoring its space
As if they got their (last) chance
To speak, when world is mute.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Activities against Covid 19

Our state government is doing their best in preventing the spreading of coronavirus and we’re still in stage 2 and stage 3 isn’t that far, but still govt. working to sustain in current stage.  In Chennai, the corporation has hired people to conduct survive on door-to-door basis to identify those vulnerable to Covid 19 and yesterday a couple of men enquired us and we informed them and specifically mentioned about my condition (a muscular dystrophy patient and a wheelchair bound with less resistant power) so that in case anything it would be easier. Govt. had informed a rapid test would be conducted on everyone from April 10, by taking blood samples to detect certain antibodies that react with the Covid 19 protein. Today we had our disinfectant splashed through the fire engine on the exterior of all the houses and shops in our street to prevent covid 19. Already the roadsides are sprayed with disinfectant using jetting machine, the fire engine reached up to 3 stories.  

Chennai with a population of 8 million have 150+ covid 19 positive cases, including 4 in my zone (Adyar), is the maximum in the state that continue to top second in the country. The groceries and vegetable shopping time is too limited between 6am to 1pm to restrain the activities of public that often hit the roads, lying going for grocery. Surprisingly the weather turned wonderful this evening with sudden rush of storm clouds and wind, chilled down the day warm, but I wonder will this mild showering would wipe off the disinfectant splashed on the houses. With each passing day, the covid cases were only on rise so it’s sure the lockdown that announced till April 14th will be extended to few more weeks. Being stay home is something very difficult to many, but I see people got used to this difference and understand the situation better than earlier, bring hope the success against the covid 19 isn't far away.

Stay home, Stay safe

Saturday, April 04, 2020

10 Days Into Lockdown

Being a homebound, the Lockdown doesn’t make great difference in my life except that I didn’t went out for evening walks for last few weeks and I do things at leisure than before.  Usually dad used to go out for shopping vegetables (at marker) and groceries (at departmental stores) and he don’t do it daily so there isn’t a great difference here as well. And we have a retail grocery shop next to our house, where vegetables are also sold in the morning so we buy the most from this shop and only dad goes for a brief walk at the empty streets in evening as he found his blood sugar level had risen to result in mild difficulty in breathing as he stopped going walking after the execution of lockdown. He used to go for a walk on terrace but the little space wasn’t effective and being a stent patient he need to keep down the glucose level to avoid complications.

My brother’s fitness centre (gym) was closed from March 16th and he too was at home since then and hasn’t gone out rather couple of time. So we were almost home staying and it wasn’t difficult anyway except for mom who has to do the household chores herself as the house maid is unable to visit due of lack of public transportation, my aunt aid her somewhat.  I really feel sorry for many a people who still unaware about the basic precautions of corona and are highly vulnerable to caught with infection. I see more people moving into the streets with no reasons and it looks the curfew actually come into force only after 2.30pm when all shops are closed really. Govt. is taking much needed action, even though we anticipate more, and more testing, the people’s response is disappointing and minutes ago too I see three boys taking pillion ride on bike. What kind of consciousness we create has become a question. Television media, newspapers, social networks are all busy spreading the need and not things of covid 19, but still this kind of indifference, ignorance and forgetfulness are all painful and scary to see and feel.

Official report says there isn’t a community spreading of corona in India, but I think we aren’t far away from a situation that could worsen us. The causes of covid 19 continue to rise in India and we have crossed 3k people confirmed with Coronavirus of 229 recovered and 86 confirmed death. Our state is in 2nd place with number of corona sufferers. Though we continue to quote stay home, I see the social distancing is something people fails to follow or give a thought in practice. I wonder do people wash their kerchiefs daily, the piece of cloth what many tie on their faces in India, instead of surgical mask, to prevent virus. And how careful people are when washing their hands? We are staying in home but seeing people in groups or crowding our street (there’s a chicken shop two houses away from us is crowdie in morning hours) looks bit scary and likely infectious.

That’s all for now! Stay home, stay safe and hope the situation turns better for all-over the world.  Let’s wish for peace and quick recovery of people from covid 19.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Nature Heal Its Own

View outside the home... something sure to unchanged for sometime
or at least till April 14.
Nature volume increased 
As artificial noises decreased
The days become quiet
As well the afternoons are blissful,
Eventides turned pleasure
As birds sings in chorus
The days turned out beautiful
As well as sunny, expose
Nature at its fine light and shadows.
The nature would heal its own
If not man continue to dig its wound
Nature forced us in from of Covid 19
To take a backseat at home
To see how nature tackle its own
What world stumbles to reset!

Take care all 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

India Lockdown

It is the time to be conscious what we really need or need to do, when a deadly virus is spreading into our society and becoming a mass by transmitting from one person to another. To control the spreading, lockdown is implemented from today throughout our state of Tamil Nadu like many other states and districts in India. No vehicle will be allowed to move in or out of the district and state borders except freight traffic; no one would allowed to come out of their house rather than buying essential goods and the lockdown will be in exists up to April 1.

What happens in Chennai after the announcement was terrific and people were almost forgotten the reason for lockdown and thronged the bus stands and chased the buses and crowd traveling to their hometowns since the work places and institutions are closed. That one scene of chasing the buses remind me zombies! Sorry to say like that. But that much of gathering is a way, that could easily widespread the virus to become havoc. Already one case of community spread is reported in our state and what if there’s someone like that in the crowd? The covid would travel to any extreme that is difficult to tackle.

We’re making ourselves get ready to fight, prevent the virus staying into our lives and living society.  Hand wash has been enforced into our lives which i think is the only way we could do something to preserve us apart distancing ourselves from others.  At this time we have any option other than following the govt. instructions, the only reliable source to save us from covid 19. Obeying the orders and self-restraint is more important to preserve us and our dear ones and it’s time to be real responsible and showcase the love, in an unusually way of distancing ourselves and live up to their reliance. India has crossed 500+ covid 19 positive patients and 12 reported deaths so far… People have to keep in mind that we aren’t forced to stay home to save ourselves alone but everyone we have connected in our lives. Hope the numbers become stable and were stepped down to no more. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Conquer Corona

Prime Minister Modi has called for a 14 hour curfew, all over India on March 22nd to bring down the spreading of deadly coronavirus - COVID-19!  He insists for self-restraint rather than using forces to restraint. For those wonder why this 14 hours curfew and what changes would this bring in? Researches around the world have estimated that the life expectancy of the virus is 12 hours. Our curfew will be held on Sunday from 7am to 9pm, i.e. if we wait 14 hours, the germ that can live for 12 hours in public places will be destroyed in the meantime.

Then when the curfew is relaxed and next day when we go to the public places, will find those germ-free. This procedure is followed in other countries, where they have sought help from the military to confirm the curfew and those who violate this would be arrested or fined. So let us accept our Prime Minister's loving plea and support the government in a democratic way and uphold our nation's prosperity and well-being…Stay home, Save the Nation. Jai Hind

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Protect from Corona

Corona, the crown of virus, is threatening the world like anything done before. This invisible to eyes, virus, has shaken the masses of all despite however strong the countries are. No one anticipated the virus would spread at this vast but India being the second largest population country in the world had drastic control over the virus. Like any other countries the virus entered India through passengers landing from foreign countries, though the number of affected has rose to 150 now the awareness among people to hands clean had greatly turned down the spreading of virus and shutting down on places wherever people gather  should help prevent further and downstream the virus. Though the media creates lot of hype and make news’s to panic people, the widespread knowledge shared on corona is quite dynamic.

Tamils is a community where hands and legs washed is practiced on daily basis whenever someone enter the home from outside but this culture was forgotten in the urbanisation and city life where people live on apartments the most, we can’t expect this to continue  as water is not available always outside the home. Now, this corona has created an opportunity to retrace this practice and make realize people the importance of hand washing and schools in particular insisted this in kids/students which became obvious when one my nephew (age 5) rushed to washbasin when we offered him something to eat when he visited us. Still I feel not many people are fully conscious about this spread of virus and are indifference thinking it won’t affect us as the number the victims are less compared to many developed countries, but I can’t image what a similar situation could India face if the virus spread seriously.

Though the economy of the country going to hit hard due to block of trade and entertainment but in a state of life-and-death we can’t think better and it is all in our hands and limiting our activities is the only way to enhance the downgrade of the virus. Let’s stay home and watch things settle for good as we have nothing to do to stop it immediate or bring remedy, let stick to the adage  ‘prevention is better than cure’ and all work towards that.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Natural Beehive

Honey Bees have built a natural beehive in the Indian tulip tree opposite our house. Popularly known as Portia tree or Pacific rosewood, a flowering tree from mallow family, continue to bloom throughout the year but shows great blossoms in warm weather should inspired the honey bees to build their hive.

The beehive shot here was from early monsoon in Nov and the beehive disappeared later and I thought the rain and winter cold should have washed away. But again in February the honey bees started to build the hive and its bigger now than what you see in these photos. I couldn’t capture it now as the density of leaves have hid the beehive

Linking this post with SATURDAY CRITTERS

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Summer Breeze is Back

The summer breeze is back;
A favourite time of the year
Is here, and it embrace me;
The tender cool invisible wind
Inspires to take a break, to breathe
A refreshing sort of wind
Caressed me to goose bump.
While the sun shines bright
The simple cool sea breeze
Is a pleasure, immeasurable by levels;
Hold back lot in memories
I cherish solely sitting in the living room.
The trees shoot leaves outside
Brought spring in the air
Doubles the delight of summer
That ever leased alone to warm up.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Indian Black Turtles

From my visit to Amirthi zoological park last month, I took time to watch and shoot the Indian black turtles or pond turtles left in a partial glass tank. I think I last saw live turtles and tortoises in Madras Crocodile Bank, a decade back, but I continue to see these in images from blogs I follow inspired me not to miss shooting these medium-sized freshwater turtle found in South Asia.

Though it named black turtle, the colour of its upper shell or carapace can vary from reddish to dark brown and black with yellow streaks running along its length. The underside is uniformly brown and the turtle’s face may have yellow or orange marks and spots, with color varying between subspecies.

... quiet listeners
The black turtle still appears to be common in India and Nepal is classified as threatened in Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

Visit to Amirthi Zoological Park, near Vellor

Two weeks before, I visited the Amirthi Zoological Park in the vicinity of Amirthi forest on the foot of Jawadhu Hills, near Vellore.  Though the zoological park comes under Tiruvannamalai district, the Vellore city is closer by 25 kms.  I was planning to visit the park for last few years, and when I made a visit to Balamathi Hills, adjacent to Vellore city in Feb 2018, I couldn’t make up to the park due to lack of time and I too did not want the visit to be a hurried one.

I learned the zoological park is accessible by wheelchairs and visiting a park in the forest environment could never miss out of my pocket, because I’m someone always enjoy visiting forest and stay close to nature. We started the trip from home (Chennai) at 8am and get there by 12.30 pm, meanwhile stopping the car for breakfast and buying lunch (biryani) at Arcot, and the route from there was scenic and beautiful as it took us through mountains and countryside scenes.

'The Arcot – Kannamangalam is the best and shortest route to reach Amirthi for people coming from Chennai; and Arcot is the right place to buy food stuffs because there's nothing available at Amirthi, even though there’s a canteen run by the forest department, outside the zoological park, we could not expect anything surely. They don’t allow carrying foods inside the park, so we had our lunch at the parking lot and there are slabs to sit around the trees to have lunch but there’s lot of monkeys and stray dogs to cause fear.

Indian pond turtles
Amirthi is a small zoological park, developed on 25 hectares of forest land, which covers 25 km of forest, made as a wildlife sanctuary and tourist spot the other half. The park opened in 1967 has minimum number of animals and birds and during my visit I found many empty cages to make me disappoint.  The zoological park seemed to be renovated lately or the works haven't finished yet, as many cages left with a note of under repair; the park is well paved to reach every corner of the park without difficult and it helps to take closer looks at animals and birds in cage. 

Python relaxing at its room
I saw Indian pond turtles inside a glass tank and Golden fox in a den like setting, roaming alone sadly.  There’s a section for snakes with a series of glass rooms but only a python and Russell’s viper is available to see, while other rooms are empty. I saw a sign board at the park, warning people on snakes since the park is located in the vicinity of forest snakes are supposed to wander freely on the campus.  Mongooses are enclosed in a room next to snakes and porcupines in another small cage, peacocks, pelicans and herons are put in subsequence cages.

Golden Fox (see on the right) in its cage
 Pelicans and herons
There are many colourful images of animals, birds and reptiles painted on the walls inside and outside of the park captured our attention. The park, established in a forest land makes feel its presence though the number of trees that exist from the forest environment had made a natural canopy throughout the park to make feel always cool and shady. Amirthi zoological park could be a best picnic place for family and friends to spend a day on natural environment and shadows, apart watching animals.

Amirthi is a very small zoo where you could not expect more; even the children’s park in Chennai has more animals to attract visitors. Apart the park, there’s a seasonal waterfalls about a km from here which had to be reached by trekking. The best time to visit the park is from September to February to make use of more greenery and to enjoy the waterfalls and river run beside the park, but even on midsummer you won’t be feel the weather once entered the forest environment.

I really enjoyed the place despite being a Sunday; there weren’t much people around the park and only at the time of leaving found a bus full of school kids having lunch at the parking lot. Staffs at the park were kind to inquire about my convenient there, and was I able to go everywhere? The only thing that bothers me was to see fewer animals than expected. Though I don’t like seeing birds or animals in enclosed cages while they have wing to fly and legs to run… I’m at least happy to see them because even if we go to forest seeing them is doubt. 

I took many photos and I can't post all at a time here... so my future posts will carry those.