Friday, January 29, 2016

Pinkish Orange Flower


Parents brought some flowers for worship at home and with that I find one of the roses prettier and picked it up for shoot. Being Friday (a day considered as auspicious for those believe in religion) and flowers interaction with the day seems to be abundant, so I decided to share many of my flower photos on this day, while linking it with Floral Friday Foto theme. I have many photos on flowers, shot during my various travel to mountains/hill station and from the flowering plants around the home and in neighborhood. I will make a weekly post with one or two flower photos. 

Pics shot with galaxy S4 mini
Linking this post with Floral Friday Foto

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Surprise Inlet


During last month’s outing on ECR, we were redirected through Kalpakkam Township perhaps due to some road work on ECR. But I was really glad for this diversion that takes me around the beautiful and peaceful environment of the Kalpakkam Township – which was created for the employees of Madras Atomic Power Station, and this is the second time I come across this place after 2012. And what I find wonderful this time was the exit of a backwater channel into the sea.


During my former visit (click here), the backwater lake come channel was disconnected from the sea by a sandbank and viewed pretty clam in absence of anyone, even being a noon then but the place looks like a mini beach now. Perhaps because of the diversion, many people pass the way stop sometime to enjoy some gentle moment around the bank. Few locals where fishing on the mouth of the channel, using a fibre boat and some throw bait from the bridge along the channel.


I was surprised by the sight of sea waves flowing into the channel and this is first time I was very close to an active inlet where sea merges with a river/channel. I also admire the beautiful curves created by the sea waves on either side of the shore and looks like this change was due of recent rain and flood that let more water into the channel to break away the sandbank and other barriers. The tree roots and barks on the shore make certain it was the cause of flood.

Beach front

The mouth area also has a small park with benches to sit and relax by watching the seashore or emerged beach. This place had already impressed me and I wanted to go around the backwater area in my wheelchair (on the platforms laid around) and also the ambiance of the township with number of trees for shadow is a delight to pass. With the new park setting and the opening of channel into the sea want me to go there again and inspires my already existed wish. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Birds inside cage! And creating an environment for birds


My cousin had adopted these birds, which was given to my brother by someone. I denied allowing him to grow these birds – Budgerigar – at home, not only that I don’t like to see birds in cage, when they have wings to fly, it also used to smells foul and tiny hair of their feathers spread around and infectious. It seems these birds don’t know how to survive if uncaged and let fly into the environment. I remember once a crow was chasing a budgie (also known as common pet parakeet) in our neighbourhood which was supposed to be escaped from a cage and these birds seem to breed as only pets and caged birds, so there experience on the environment is none. These birds are scared being and the couple of days they had been at our home, made outcries when cats arrive close to the cage and they all hide inside the pots.

Perched upside down

Many misunderstand these birds as lovebirds, including myself until revealing it (as Budgerigar) through Google search. After I started to show interest on bird watching, which began with the place/house I shifted ten years back – with open vegetation in front of the apartment home – though we aren’t staying over there and the vegetation also turned into an apartment complex now, I love to see birds in their natural state and environment. My many visits to the Western Ghats (the second largest and continues range of mountains next to Himalayas in India) inspired me to look for birds and I have shoot some of them including the endangered bird species – The Great Indian Hornbill – which memory is still vivid and I consider it precious!

Being enjoying birds in the natural environment, couldn’t able me to appreciate birds in cage. I think many buy these birds are not in state of loving the species, but to maintain a status and showcase an illusion that they love birds. I’m not complaining, but expressing my thought and anxious about the birds in cage. There’s a house at the rear of us, holding couple of cockatiels in cage (the second bird species that popularity only to the budgerigar as a caged bird) and after shifted their home they left the birds in charge of following tenant. During the recent historic rain, the birds were left alone and perhaps suffered since the resident were out of city, we had no way to check their need but just watched through the window the bird are alive. I heard the birds where bought to exhibit to the child of the former whose age was about to be 1! I wonder what the kid at that age would know about birds.

Birds together… But inside a cage!

I think it’s better late than ever and to preserve the birds left in our environment, the only option is observing or looking for birds. The tiny species House Sparrows are almost exited the city, though we complain about mobile towers and others, I feel we haven’t consider them as a member of our house and we build home for the comfort of our lives alone leaving no favourable place for them to nest and feed on grains. Perhaps many of our food habits are transferred to what birds eat – millet – and the price of them have also risen. Although it doesn’t sound logic, in some way we rejected birds for them to disappear from the sight and what we really need are not birds in cage, but to trace back the environment where birds enjoyed the freedom at cosy and a backyard with chirping birds. Let’s begin with the kids, teaching them how to enjoy birds in natural state and surroundings. 

Linking this post with SATURDAY CRITTERS

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Fence and gated field

Gated Field

Last month I went for an outing with family on ECR (east coast road) and came via GST (grand southern trunk) road and during the ride across countryside, I find some gates and the above one was opposite to where we had our lunch (that we brought from home) beside a village pump set and well.


The closed gate seems to be the entry to the paddy field that was fenced around, perhaps to protect from cattle or marking their plot and field. The gate with lush green paddy fields inside insist me not to miss the opportunity and being a devote of Good Fences meme, by Run aRound Ranch, wants me to capture it for the series. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

RGB Monday


Mom’s colorful Pongal Kolam (included red, green and blue) drawn for the harvesting festival – Pongal! Kolam or Rangoli is a pattern drawn (in different forms) in front of the houses, which is a traditional custom followed by the people of India esp. the Kolam is a cultural identity of Tamil people and drawing colorful Kolam in front of the home is considered as auspicious and a sign of welcome during the festival seasons and events. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Jallikattu, should be banned? I don’t think so…

Though Deepavali is my favourite festival, and I simply loved it for fireworks and sharing of sweets and snacks, Pongal is an occasion I quite admire for its significant phase on life. Pongal is a grand festival in Tamil Nadu that celebrates the thanksgiving of nature and harvesting season. On this time, farmers set to harvest their fully grown crops and make Pongal (a dish made by boiling of rice) out of it and dedicate it to the sun, which is the source of energy for all.  Pongal, which celebrated for four days (Jan 14-17), also worships the cattle – which supports human in cultivation for great productivity – and celebration of bulls, for their endurance and mighty on tillage. Though tractors and harvesting machines have replaced the man and animals lately, the small scale farmers are still depend on cattle and I could see bulls ploughing lands, even today at the outskirts of Chennai. This is the time people has to understand, however mechanism has developed to help humans and throw out cattle’s from field, they (bulls) still need to be involved in farming and cows for milking to sustain them from decline.
Pic courtesy: wiki
Just like bulls used for ploughing and bullock carts, Jallikattu is a traditional sports (conducted during the festival of Pongal) where bulls are let loose into an open space (one by one) and man has to control the bull or grasp it for some time. The sports has been banned by the Supreme Court for last couple of years, following the complaint filed by animal welfare activists that bulls are ill-treated during the training and the event. Even though few days back, the central government gave a green signal to conduct the sports played according to the regulations the Supreme Court has formed in its former reports. The Apex Court has once again ruled out the decision of the central govt. to conduct the event and the people who have been in great delight (followed by the union govt. consent) had been disappointed now. I know everyone has an opinion on the sports and reason to support and oppose and for me this is not just a sports, but a way to keep alive the bulls and sustain their relationship. Because I believe, only until the sport is here, the bulls (that are specifically breed for the event) will continue to exist.

The time I appreciate the animal welfare activists, for bringing out the cruelty behind this sport and ill-treats while taming the bulls, upon which the Supreme Court brought some restrictions in conduction the game in 2007 and until 2014 the event has went formal, taking a dramatic change in the pattern of its conduct. The event has been captured in videography thoroughly – to keep certain the rules are followed and bulls aren’t harmed, and the players, who are subjected to catch the bulls, have given uniform and are forced to take physical test before entering the ground. Unlike earlier, where the players and audience are blend with crowed and many who aren’t fit enough are injured through the cause, and  to prevent this the players and onlookers are separated by a strong fence now, and the age is also restricted to be between 20 and 40 for those who like to play. The game’s rules have also been simplified from being insane, where too many hold on a bull and pulling its tail… the players are allowed to grasp only the bulls hump and holding there for 30 seconds or run 30 feet from the entrance (called Vadi Vasal) where the bulls are let loosed.

When things being right and conductors and players are conscious about the rules, what makes the animal activists asking for a ban? I am not supporting animals being harmed in anyways, but I strongly believe without hard work and struggles nothing survives.  Bulls are hardworking animals and if we haven’t let them play and treated in right manner it will becomes weak. Experts believe that a bull with full vigour breeds strong bovines, and for that these animals has to be active and endure.  And only till their need is there, the people will keep support the bulls and for those bovines were the livelihoods keeping them alive and healthy is much needed. Beside these what bothers me more was the survival of bulls! A question rises in me, what is the state of bulls if the Jallikattu is prevented? Or any kinds of activity that involve bulls are restrained? Just being conscious that no animals (the domesticated) are harmed is enough to preserve them? The noted cattle species Kangeyam, an indigenous breed of India, is on the verge of life along with many other species. It’s easy for us to support animal’s welfare and look after our job, which does not involve cattle and it won’t going to bother us further. But for farmers, the animal’s welfare as well the survival of bulls is very important on the race.

The tradition and culture can be transformed according the comfort of life, unless it has nothing meaningful. I don’t see Jallikattu as just the traditional courageous sports, but ways to keep sustain the bulls and active their breed. According to Kala Karthi, Jallikatu is created not for the sports, but for training the users in controlling their bovines. Though I am not sure about the tradition behind it, the Jallikattu is perhaps created to showcase manpower and used as a platform to marry the virgin by taming the bull that reared by her family. Today it is played (maybe) to sustain the practice/tradition and existence of bulls! 

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Flood relief or payment to vote?

Why should everyone get flood relief amount when really haven’t affected?  Life get affected during the season of rain is normal, though the past season had been terrific and almost everyone undergone an experience on first, but there are certain areas and people where the affect has been least and at some places there was only power cut and was back to normal in 2-3 days. Are they (the govt.) conducting survey on really who are affected? I think two third of the relief amount goes to unaffected and those experienced trouble are still in need. There are places on the bank of rivers, canals and lakes lost away nearly everything and how come this minimum amount of Rs.5000-10,000 is enough to bring back their lives to normal? Govt. should cut off giving relief even to people staying above two stories with no record of flood in their area or home and the amount should be added to those severely affected.

Though we are one of the affected houses, experienced flood or water entered the home, we haven’t received the relief amount yet when many went through plain power outages used the opportunity and acquired the money. Not that I am envy or against their attitude of getting money when really haven’t affected, and what affected us is nothing much compared to those living in low lying areas and on the bank of rivers. When people make amount like this, the true cause of relief becomes incomplete and those affected continue to wade through post disaster and distress. The govt. and officers in charge should understand who really needs relief and how prior it should be. I just wonder what’s in the mind of government and although it’s obvious that the relief was given in mind of upcoming assemble election; this is how people are measured even at the critical situation like this?

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Couple of balcony rails

From the houses of neighbors


During my staying in the upper portion of this house when the torrential rain and flood struck here in the beginning of December, last year, I got to shoot some photos on the surroundings and find some baloney rails on the neighbor's house and I shot to share on Good Fences meme, at Run a Round Ranch.


The first one was inspiring to shoot on, as I find the design and coloring of the rail prettier. The other one was shot from the house opposite to ours, though it was attractive alike the former, I like the black rails in backdrop of coconut palms. The resident of the house has put to dry clothes on cords tied across the railing. 


Sunday, January 03, 2016

Grandfather passed away…

The year had end for us with greater destruction and sorrow sent down to heart. Missing someone who’s dear, when we’re looking forward with hope and improvement in health is something painful to bear.  Although my grandfather wasn’t well for last few months, he continue to show hope through his little gestures and when the force inside him decides to stop, no one could do anything and at least he exhale at peace (just like his desire to go home) is consoling. As you all know my grandfather has been with us until three months back, though it was for a short term, the time spent with him and grandmother was precious and never going to replace anything. He’s someone great at expressing through his eyes and I always see a yearning in his eyes for me. His affection and care is something very special for me and is always evident through his eyes. Though he couldn’t’ speak more and make gestures easily, I understand him quite well (I guess) but I can’t explain how much I loved him and mean to me. He’s been our great well-wisher and what and where we are today is only because of his chief intention and selfless being provided us so many advantages in life.

With my grandparents
With my grandparents, during one of our traveling to Valparai
He had been a hard worker and active being until he decides to retire from his dairy business. But what brought him more down was the demise of my uncle in 2001 and just being idle draws greater setback at his health and a cardiac arrest in later years and expose to Parkinson’s put him out of action. We never expected him to become so infirmity as early as 70s (though he died at the age of about 77), while many older than him were progressing well. I’m one of his concerns to feel regret and many a time he had felt sorrow for my state of unable. Though the memories of him are immense and certain things are impossible to forget, and during the days of school, he used to pick me in his bicycle if I received none. Putting the bags on the handlebar, he used to pedal me to home taking on pillion since my latter school was nearby his house. In later days he used to drive me daily to a clinic in T. Nagar here, where I took Ayurveda treatment for some time. Driving through the heavy morning traffic is a true venture in his way of driving, and he managed it only because of the eagerness to see me as a normal being.

He had scolded me and also embraced at same, as he always had a special attention towards me. Until 2012 he had been traveled with me for many places, as I love doing so, he and granny had been great companions for us and moreover I enjoyed taking them along and I also thought they deserve going out, as they spent most of their lifetime for others comfort and prevented to be outside. Though his bad health condition is the cause for his loss of life, he has been emotionally disturbed by others or changes in their attitudes, forgetting whatever he had done and just for the brief of ego and updating their fake statues, made him feel anguished. If there’s something to exhibit purity, I think grandparents love and affection has a large space to accommodate. What the old age people anticipate from their children, as well as the grand ones was to make feel comfort, which I think, exists only by reflecting what we receive from them and that happens through sharing. Though my grandpa’s demise left a deep sadness and hollow in our lives, the consoling thing was that we had been around him and also got to spent time back at home (when he was staying with us) before the unexpected blow.

I know he lived a content life and his death was also peaceful and concluded without pain. But grandma’s state really makes us all worry. She has broken down quite when let know grandfather is no more and also become fragile weeping all the time from the moment doctor declared his death. Grandfather got a severe heart attack on 30th night and become unconscious when transferring to hospital where they told he has died on the way or at home. After years I visited my grandparent’s house to pay my respect for the grandfather, who was kept at his newly built home, which was constructed mainly for his comfort of living and grandparent’s moved to this house only 3 months back. Grandma couldn’t console the loss and the struggles she took to make certain he’s well and his needs are addressed to become nothing now make her feel lost. I don’t know how to console her and seeing me she burst into emotions as she knew how much I love him and they petted me. Wondering what would have been filled in his mind during the last moment of breath, which I believe, perhaps, how granny going to accept his destiny? I know it’s impossible to anticipate feeling better soon from granny, but I do hope she come up from his loss and lead her remaining life at peace in the embrace of his dear ones like us.