Monday, January 29, 2018

Pongal Kolams for RGB Monday

Here is mom’s Pongal Kolams that she drew for the Pongal festival. As I told in my previous post mom took enough diligence to make all the 4 kolams, two at night and another two in morning along our courtyard and gateway. I know I was pretty slow with blogging these days but hope to be active in coming days and for RGB  Monday, I think this post had more  than enough colors to keep  away the Monday blue, but I know Monday is gonna end in  less than an hour. lol

The rose flowers kolam was put on the ramp in front of the house
The Pongal pot along  with sugarcanes and turmeric plants upon which we made pongal using firewood stove.
Peacock drawing/kolam at the upstairs door front
Pongal pot and flower Kolam at our doorstep
The same Pongal pot and flower Kolam (as seen above)  before added colors

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Pongal Post

(Click pics for enlarge)
I don’t think it’s too late to post on Pongal, held last week. As always it was three of us (me, mom and dad) celebrated the harvesting and thanksgiving festival by making Pongal (boiling of rice and milk) at the courtyard using firewood on bricks stove. My brother was out of town, though he isn’t interested in festivals general, I love the tradition of making Pongal esp. in mud pot in open space as a sign of thanking the foremost nature source sun. I always feel festivals are to celebrate and it’s an occasion to be happy, at least for a while keeping away things that put us down or race life. Pongal isn’t a religious festival to celebrate independently at home and some are so reserved to come out to  show up cheers while sending greetings and I believe it’s celebration of nature and thanksgiving the farmers and cattle’s in supporting the production of food crop.

IMG_9565 BeFunky Collage

From night to morning mom drew 4 kolam along the courtyard and gateway, two before went to sleep and two at early morning. I will make a post of it later and here you could see the Pongal boiling/overflowing out of the pot. The days of Pongal passed by watch few movies and TV shows, and alike last year I went around our streets to check neighbours Kolam, but couldn’t see many unlike previous Pongal. The first photo here was the Kolam of my nearby neighbour, though it’s not a colourful kolam, I like the beautiful pattern and neat finishing from this young lady. The backstreet boys conducted Pongal festival contest, just like last year on Mattu Pongal day instead on Pongal and being a weekend along with festival many were out of town and it wasn’t interesting though and contests also went on untimed for people to participate. 


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Kolam Critters

Kolam is a south Indian tradition and Tamils made it an everyday custom to draw patterns in front of the houses and Margazhi is a Tamil month (between Dec-Jan) where Kolam takes special attention and ends with Pongal, the harvesting and thanksgiving festival of Tamil. Pongal Kolam is popular during this time and many put great efforts to make it look wonderful and colourful including drawing something relevant to the festival. Today marks the first day of the Pongal, called Bogi Pongal, and it’s a favourite festival among kids till late 90s where people light fire in front of the house and kids sit around and enjoy beating little skin drums, heating up from the fire.

Cute Cat Kolam by Grandma

Usually it’s the worn-out things (from home) that put into fire, like rush mats, winnows and broomsticks the most. It’s a festival adapts nature way of celebration and what we fire is all natural elements, that carries less evil to nature. But it wasn’t same in later years, when people started to fire anything from plastic to tyres it becomes a cause for concern. Apart that, Pongal is an auspicious festival that bring hope to life and being a harvesting festival, nothing could bring hope and cheer to life when farming is the base of food and we couldn’t stop thanking the farmers and natural sources that help us living, healthily.


Coming to Kolam, I always admire the art made on the floor and apart my mom, aunt and grandma also make lovely designs and the critters (cat and peacock) here was drawn by grandma. Though these are simple ones it bears a cuteness I loved. Every year mom draw one or two colour Kolams for Pongal and I have no idea what she planned to draw this year and I would post that after the festival. I wish people a Happy Pongal!  

Linking this post with SATURDAY CRITTERS

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Amaravathi division

Back on my travel experience to Munnar, and like I told in my earlier post on same it was drizzling or slowly showering as we moved out of the Udumalapet guest house. As we loved the taste of the dinner from Hotel Ariya Bhavan there, we hadn’t anything to choose for breakfast and as I want to be around the Tiger Reserve as early possible we took parcel from the hotel and ate before we enter the forest area. The Anamalai Tiger Reserve here comes under Amaravathi division, which is a part of the Anamalai Hills, a range of mountains in the southern part of Western Ghats.


I have been to the other parts of Anamalai Tiger Reserve, including the tourist attracts Topslip and Valparai and I have even went to Amaravathi Dam and Crocodile park adjoining the Tiger Reserve. A ranger whom we met here took us on a brief ride into the forest when checking Amaravathi Nagar in 2008, but since I know the road from here goes to Munnar, I wanted to take this road when I travel to same. Actually it become a dream for me to take this road, as it passes through two wildlife sanctuaries, it would be a great opportunity to see wild animals at their abode.

Herd of deer staring at us through bushes (all pics can be enlarged)
I want to be there early in morning so that more animals could be sighted, but we couldn’t make up before 9 am, the time we reached the forest check post. While dad went to sign the register, the guard who came checking the car protested for taking our pet dog into the tiger reserve and he insist for veterinary certificate to give permit. We are told that allowing outside animals have a risk of spreading disease to other wild animals, if the one have any and the veterinary certificate is must to ensure the dog is healthy. But his higher officer just instructed to not let down the dog anywhere until moved out of the tiger reserve.

BeFunky Collage
The traffic free forest road though Anamalai Tiger Reserve, and the border check post near Chinnar wildlife sanctuary
We could understand why they are strict with outside animals but we haven’t faced anything like this earlier even though we have stayed in Topslip (one of the core area), Valparai and Cloud Mountain with high fauna. We aren’t complaining anyway but rather happy that forest department is conscious in preserving the wild animals and this would help us be cautious in future travels with dog. The entire stretch of tiger reserve was wet and drizzling with haze, though the weather was pleasant it don’t give hand in spotting wild animals, perhaps they too don’t like dampness or hideaway in absence  of sunlight.

They told only in evening animals come into sight mostly or should be early in morning, but this unusual weather of showering and fog kept away the little opportunities. We encountered only couple of vehicles in opposite and few overtaking us, as we drove slowly, the road was far empty. The Anamalai Tiger Reserve is a blend of wet evergreen forest, marshes and grass lands covering a total area of 1479 sq. km includes a core area of 958. Sq. km and Amaravathi cover 172.5 sq. km.


Within few kms into the forest we saw a herd of Chital, aka spotted deer, staying and staring from the thicket. My cousin has keen eyes for deer, and alike many a time; he spotted the deer which could be easily missed. It looked like a family of deer, from fawns to well gown with big antlers. They stared at us for few seconds before turn their attention somewhere and marched forward. Where there’s lot of deer means a favourable circumstance for tigers, while deer’s are there favourite prey and according to the census the tiger reserve is home to 32-36 tigers. 


Few kms from there the backwaters of Amaravathi reservoir come to sight. Perhaps due to less water, it looked like swamp and guess animals would come visiting this place to drink water or feed on vegetation.

Vultures on prey

Our next stop was an encounter of vultures prey on some flesh at distance. First thought it was peahens but they haven’t look alike and this is the first time seeing vultures in wild. As we near the border check post (between Tamil Nadu and Kerala) found some peahens around grazing buffaloes, which we though was wild ones but realized soon it should belong to the people around check post. The Chinnar River that crosses here marks the border between the two states, from where the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary begins – which could be my later post. 

Monday, January 08, 2018

RGB Monday

Festival Flags


Picture shot at neighbourhood. And these kinds of flags are tied during social events and festivals to create a celebration mood and to  mark the event.

RGB Monday is a meme created to keep away your Monday Blues and make feel colourful and yet cheerful! 

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Fan of Visiri

The release of Visiri, a single video song from Tamil film Enai Noki Paayum Thota, has quite mesmerised me and to say I was addicted to this song or fell in love from the first time listening, it keeps going still. Already two songs from the film were released at various dates last year, but Visiri was simply breezy and has beautiful lyrics to be murmured. The music director of the film was kept secret until the Visiri released. Darbuka Siva has been a new comer composed these awesome songs. Moreover one of my favourite singers Shashaa has lent her voice to top notch…

Though GauthamMenon decided to give chance to a new comer rather following his usual Harish and ARR formula, the songs carries a similar scent or accent (which seems to ever wither) bearing the stamp of formers. More than watching the video I love listening from home theatre. 

Maruvaarthai is another beautiful, excellent foot tapping song and gives a feel of classic touched by stylish rhythm. Megha Akash, paired with Dhanush, is very pretty and admirable to watch ;) 

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

On New Year Occasion

A year has end and begin peacefully with great joy spread across, though nothing turned significantly different, a refreshing feel enters the vein as we accelerate into a new year, wishes and hopes bring new cheers into the life. The New Year eve was spent as usual in front of television; apart checking my cousins in next-street to greet on the occasion and receiving calls from other dear ones as we were awake till 1 am. News channels were live from different places on the sprite of New Year, and the beaches in neighbourhood (Marina and Elliot) was thronged by people and being a resident of Adyar, we could clearly hear the resound of rushing vehicles, blasting fireworks and aloud greetings   of New Year.


The colourful peacock Kolam in the picture above was drawn by my aunt in front of their house (and also our native home in next-street) which I shot at the New Year night. Due to very low light I couldn’t get clearer picture and I also used flash which went over exposed I feel. My mom also drew Kolam in front of our house but it was a simple one and uncoloured. For those unknown, Kolam is a pattern drawn in front of the houses, a traditional custom followed by the people of India and 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.

Sunset at Kovalam beach

On January 1st I went for a short ride on ECR (east coast road) and checked the Kovalam beach in evening. ECR being a scenic stretch of entertainment, there was heavy traffic on the road because of New Year and all entertainment hubs were crowded includes the toll gate with longstanding queues.  While parked at the beach, I find the sky beautiful and took some photos using the iPhone and I tried panorama and was really amazed by the light and colors of the sky. The setting of sunlight caused a great effect on the image, to only find a glowing sun as we moved out of the beach area and it continued for some time on the ECR before we took turn to The Great Salt Lake area, off the ECR.


It was such wonderful to see sun setting on the west and moon rising on east at same time. Being a full moon day, the moon was also at its full glory just like the reddish sun. Though I was taking photos on iPhone, I couldn’t get great details on both and the mild hazy winter weather took control even though the twilight sky was interesting watch throughout. Hope you enjoy the photos above and below on full moon.