Thursday, December 30, 2021

Welcome 2022

The sun, setting between the row of trees in the neighborhood, Besant Nagar. The sunset here to rises somewhere as a brand-new morning or a day, as well as a year, to dismiss is impossible. However, let wish and welcome the new year to bring a lot of positivity in lives (better not to be covid positive); cheers to mind, the goodness of health and prosperity for everyone to sustain and progress in life. Wish you all a Happy New Year, 2022.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas décor 2021

Last year covid has spoiled the mood of celebrating or decorating for Christmas. Though this year also the situation isn't far different. The practicalities of the mask and the vaccine have allayed concern. But still, we aren't coming out of protective wear as Omicron is speeding up in the country. I have done a simple tree decoration and put some serial lights over the balcony and indoors - the LED light from Deepavali retains the living room.

As usual, mom decorated the Christmas tree on my behalf, or to say, she did everything, on my instructions. To add fun, I bought a set of Santa caps, specs, and a band for my nephew Jeswanth to dress like a Santa. He already has a red dress to match the accessories, but he is interested in playing with those rather than wearing them for the poses.  

A candid of dad and mom with the little one

I share some photos of the decor and Santa Jeswanth here. And I wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Let the new year brings hope and ways quittance of the Covid. Stay safe and celebrate safely. 

You can see the gingerbread house and birth of christ I made with popsicle sticks in 2018.

Tree in the living room, before it put on balcony.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Prohibition to Laughing

If there is something unique that belongs to the human race is laughter. Though animals do laugher sometimes like the simian, it's the sense of humor that enriches our human lifestyle. Insisting we love and care and bring happiness to others and relieving stress like us. Life isn't and shouldn't be serious always; to keep it away, laughing is a great gift the human could have. 

(My happily laughing nephew Jeswanth)

They say there is no better medicine than laughter and that laughter is scientifically proven to help release certain hormones and help reduce stress, the leading cause of heart disease. And prohibiting such great cause laughter is an inhuman act and the prevention of natural ways of treatment.  

I think you have now guessed what I am talking about, yes North Korea's ban on its citizens from laughing, drinking, and shopping for 11 days! Drinking and shopping can be secondary, but laughing is a basic sense of being human, and banning it can not be brought within any definition. Simply a foolish act of inhuman. 

There is no wonder the announcement coming from a country ruled by a dictator, although I feel sorry for the plight of the people of that country and would like to condemn this act. What is worse was they also banned crying loud (and moving out the body) if anyone dear to us dies during the 11 days - the mourning period of former Korean leader and father of President Kim Jong Un's 10th death anniversary. 

Laughing is a natural tendency towards anything that moves us in a light-hearted way and an emotion that infects anyone (in good nature) who comes across. Banning laughing is a force you could not implement at all; since crying and laughing have been the only acts child could do, and prohibiting it is quite an offense against natural law and the pinnacle of oppression. I wish the lifestyle of North Koreans changed and they experience freedom from the stubborn kid Kim! lol 

Friday, December 17, 2021

Do people care or advise?

I observe most of the time, people advise rather than show care. I do not complain here, and my concern was that in place of care, why do you do log advice. For someone who suffers, only kind words and emotional support would comfort, in the first place, and that does not mean you shouldn't advise; there are places, where rather than being wise, warmth upholds life. 

I believe advice helps in the development, and that comes along with the experience is worth listening to, and care is what reassures our presence and those in need, often those in distress. But in the name of advice, some criticize people when they are in difficulty -  piercing the existing wound rather than applying a gentle ointment over them. 

For a crying child, the mother's warmth is the first and best thing to console; an adult is no different from a child when he broke down, and his anticipation is a few comforting words, and after that, any kind of advice would be appropriate. In the world, there isn't an easy thing as advice - a thing that everyone gives us, or we give others either we or the other like it or not. 

In place of emotion, how could you place knowledge? There should be advice based on improving one's condition rather than worsening in a tone of accusing someone. There are ways to measure or test one's mentality, but the level of emotion is relevant to heart and love, and your intelligence does not work when looking for relief from the thing that clings to your heart. 

Some people anxiously wait for someone to fall to make fun of them. Finding fault in everything someone does could be a disease, and nothing is possible without a failure; just because you are right in a few instances does not mean you should always be, and those who make mistakes will do only that. 

I think love is the basis of care, and no one could care without the same. Even those who advise us, have based on our care, the way they express themselves can also be harsh at times, as pointed out before comforting the person listening. I think this from the point of most of the time because someone needs or anticipates care when they feel down, our words and comforting should raise their spirit and courage to stand up rather than fed up with our advice. 

Take Care

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Natural Leaf Art!

The last trace of green illustrates a Christmas tree before yellow cover.

A ripe leaf from the Indian tulip tree (opposite our home) bears a design inked in green, which gives me an illusion of a Christmas tree in an outline of green. I hope you guys agree with my perspective.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Breezy Afternoon and Bird Watching at Kanyakumari

(a following of previous post)

The afternoon and sea breeze always move me, and how could I miss the pleasure when it blows from three sides of the sea; Kanyakumari bestows me the same when I stay back in the garden of the guest house after lunch; the wind was enough to send for a comfortable and lazy sleep. I never take a nap in the evening, so to beat time before we get ready to visit other places, I chilled under the shadows of trees, and in one corner of the guest house complex, cops were relaxing from their parked vehicle and on the park benches. 

Garden space of the guest house complex.

The place we stayed was very close to the center of the tourist destination. The junction from where the roads lead to the beach, boat deck, and other monuments line the shore. The paths further from there are congested by shops; all the buses and other vehicles parked near the junction create a roar. And besides that, the cops on the microphone occasionally blare, controlling the crowd and vehicle. 

Clock tower at the junction.

The rooms allotted for us were a little further from the noise except for the cop's alarm; it was quiet and peaceful to let everyone relax around. By later afternoon we moved out to explore other places, leaving mom and grandma, who were to board the cruise to the rocks of Vivekananda and Thiruvalluvar. 

I visited the Vattakotta fort, a beautiful square-shaped fort on the shore of the Bay of Bengal - 6km from Kanyakumari in the northeast direction. Vattakotta is a conjoined Tamil word of  Vatta and Kotta, meaning Circle Fort. But in my observation, the fort looked more square than a circle! I will make a detailed post on it later, now leave you with a couple of birds shots. I shot it along the driveway of the guest house.

The mynas and egret were foraging along the driveway of the guest house. I shot the birds before checking out the guest house the next day. I did not mind leaving that place; the majestic monuments along the coast and the grand view of the three seas fascinated me. I want to come back one day, but that day is still away.

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

December and My Trip to Kanyakumari (10-year completion)

December is a cold month in India, and post-monsoon, the earth is so wet, and the winter adds coldness to the season. December is my favorite month and season to take outdoor trips due to the coolness that prevails during this time and the following month of January is best to explore and experience places in light warm weather. 

Rather than saying December, it's the winter that makes things work for me and keeps me at a pace than lazily cuddled around, which many generally prefer during this time of cold.  The trips I had during this time were remarkable and memorable, and one such trip was my trip to Kanyakumari in 2011.  Ten years have passed, and December always reminds me of that travel, the longest one I ever had. 

We then fitted our SUV with new tires. We even serviced the vehicle - as we were going on a long trip - it started to wobble when we went for a 100 plus km and further driving up, we even decided to give up the trip or stay a night at Pondicherry and fix the problem, then continue the journey. Because the way the vehicle shook scared us. 

Our SUV, Mahindra black Scorpio, parked aside the guest house in Kanyakumari overlooking the sea. We bought the vehicle the same year as a 3-year-old then.

But we managed to drive to Trichy, slowly at 80kmph because the wobbling starts, only when we cross 100kmph. Our actual plan was to halt a night at Trichy before heading to Kanyakumari as we took our grandfather along with us - who could not sit long. We have already booked rooms at Trichy, so we decided the fix the vehicle while staying there.

But still, we couldn't fix the problem, and the mechanics did some work, and it felt better, but the wobbling happens occasionally. Finally, in Madurai, we checked the wheel alignment and solved the problem. It was about 9.30 or 10pm when we reached Kanyakumari - the southern tip of India - traveling about 700kms; my cousin arranged two rooms in the government tourism house there, overlooking the confluence of three seas, the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean, and Arabian sea. 
The guest house, and the elegant door of the same.

The morning was like never before, and waking up to see the sea was the first time in my life and was too special. Kanyakumari is renowned for its sunrise and sunset; since we traveled the previous day, we were too tired to get out to watch the sunrise. The next day, my mom and grandma went to the terrace of the building we stayed to watch the sunrise. But they were disappointed to see the cloud covering up the magnificent sight. 

Sunrise obstructed by the clouds. Mom captured the view from the terrace of the guesthouse overlooking the Thiruvalluvar statue and Vivekananda rock.

The guest house we stayed has located close to the beach - the convergence of three seas -  and despite the slope, since the landscape of Kanyakumari has slightly elevated from sea level, I easily accessed it in the wheelchair. Thankfully they had laid ramps till the pillared hall and the rocky shore that marks the southern edge of India.

At the convergent point of 3 seas along with dad, mom, and grandma.

I enjoyed watching the waves crashing the rocks - and some daring guys confronting the rushing waves against the forbid - and also the much-awaited view of the majestically standing Tiruvallurar statue on the rock offshore. At 133 feet height, the stone sculpture of the Tamil poet (the tallest statue of India, when erected on the millennium day of 1 January 2000) and author of the classic Tamil text Tirukkural stood facing the Indian subcontinent like a sentry of Tamil Nadu. 

On the rock beside the Vallurar statue is the Vivekananda Rock Memorial (the rock where Vivekananda meditated or have attained enlightenment). The monument has built (in 1970) in honor of Swami Vivekananda, who swam across the sea to reach rock against the threat of sharks to meditate for three days. 

We thought of trying the cruise ride to the Vivekananda Rock before getting down to the shore. But climbing the cruise boat doesn't seem a good idea for a wheelchair person; when it is a challenge to ordinary people. But my mom and grandmother took the boat ride to the rocks in the afternoon; while I went on exploring other places with my cousin, grandpa, and dad.

While being on the shore, I could not stop thinking of the 2004 Tsunami, a deep wave that wrapped the coast of South Asia, killing thousands of people, and the towering waves that rocked the Tiruvalluvar statue. The roaring of people (that time) echoed through the rocks with each crashing wave, and that being a December month - that tsunami shook the coast on Dec 26th - grief the heart further.

Sculpture built in memorial of victims of the tsunami, on the shore of Kanyakumari

That evening I visited another area in Kanyakumari that faced havoc with the tsunami, which I think of making another post along with other places in Kanyakumari. I like to stop here as the post grow bigger. 

Monday, December 06, 2021

RGB Monday

Some colorful houses

"Methai Veedu" or "Maadi Veedu" is a Tamil term used in village sides of Tamil Nadu to call houses with terraces, and these are a few such houses I shot at Palamathi hills near Vellore. 

Palamathi is a small hilly area located to the southeast of Vellore city, and a beautiful winding road leads from there to a renowned temple known as Balamathi Murugan temple. 

Saturday, December 04, 2021

Sheep Farm and The Sheep

Kodaikanal upland villages bore a lot of grasslands and sholas around them, providing a great feeding ground for cattle. So, sheep rearing is a natural habit; and to enhance the custom, the Central Government has established a sheep farm in a village called Mannavanur to produce wool from the sheep. 

Recently, I watched a video on youtube on the real purpose of the wool produced here: Sheep farm set up after India's defeat in the war with China in 1962. The main reason for the loss in the war was the cold that prevailed at the India-China border. Indian soldiers couldn't bear the cold because of the lack of woolen cloths available at that time, and keeping that in mind, the government brought the sheep farm on the 1340 acres of rolling grasslands at an altitude of 2000 meters MSL.

I visited a part of the grasslands during one of my trips to Kodaikanal in 2009 - that time, I came close with a herd of sheep from the farm. A little boy was driving those sheep, and they were simultaneously grazing the ground (heads-down like new brides) and kept moving that way. 

I captured the sheep (in the picture above) in 2019 on the roadside near Poombarai. One of the scenic villages of Kodaikanal, on the way to Mannavanur. A rope and bell tied to the neck of the sheep show it belongs to a villager, and the sheep was munching on cabbage leaves from a sack left beside. 

The sheep was cute and dirt as well and smelled not good. Its fur was a tangle, perhaps because of that, because it smelled, or due to the munching of cabbage. Anyway, it cooperated with shots. 

The sheep in the farm produce wool once a year, and every year in March,  the sheep goes through fur removal after growing enough of the same. After removing, the fur transports as a raw material to a place (I forget) where the fur collected from elsewhere goes into the process of making woolen blankets for soldiers defending the country against cold. 

The view of the sheep farm and sheep enclosures

Each sheep produces 1 to 3 kg of fur each year, but in the process, they are halved. The Sheep farm (Southern Regional Research Centre)  in Mannavanur is a regional center of the Central Sheep & Wool Research Institute, a premier Institution of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi. (source wiki)

Monday, November 29, 2021

RGB Monday

 Umbrellas from different walks.

November 2021 had come to an end. The entire month has been raining for us despite the rainy season, and this is a repeat factor of 2015, and Chennai needs just 5 mm of rain to defeat the same. And to beat a 100 years of record, we need another 39 mm in less than a day. 

Typically, the northeast monsoon begins in mid of October lasts up to mid-December, but this year it was raining on and off from late July - at the beginning of November, we have achieved our share of rain already. We have overdone our season by 80% of additional rain, and yet we haven't completed it, and the meteorology has forecast a couple more depressions in the sea. 

Heavy rains over the last two days have caused floods in Chennai and its suburbs.  The 3rd week of November saw a terrific rainfall over the north Tamil Nadu and southern Andhra, which had flooded all the rivers and riverbank towns. And before we all come out of the disaster, the easterlies (or trade wind) took hold of the situation;  still, many parts of the region have no power. It's 3rd or 4th time our street flooded; gladly, it didn't take days to recede. 

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Crested Serpent Eagle

The first bird I shot from my first time stay at my uncle's woodhouse in Thandikudi, near Kodaikanal, was the Crested serpent eagle. The bird of prey came very close, perching a tree in the backyard of the woodhouse, and I shot the bird from the balcony that overlooks the coffee plantation and wild vegetation. 

I already stayed at Thandikudi twice then and have seen the serpent eagle in one of my trips, but that was the first time I encountered at the close, and the bird was looking for prey - perhaps a little bird that was flying around. The bird flew later with a great swish-swash of its widespread wings. 

My uncle constructed the woodhouse and cottage in late 2015 in the coffee estate he bought lately then, and we have been visiting the property (Smokey Havensince 2016 until pandemic blocked any course of travel. Glad I hold many photos from the trips to the property to unfold any time to travel back in memories and thus a moment shared with an eagle.

The Crested serpent eagle is a medium-sized bird of prey found in forested habitats across tropical Asia. Like its broad wings (with which it flies over the forest canopy), the bird's range is widespread across Asia, with variations within itself; some treat several of its subspecies as separate species. The bird with long feathers on the back of the head (apart from having a look of a large head) give them a maned and crested appearance, and hence feeding on snakes often, gave them their name and are placed along with the snake eagles in the subfamily Circaetinae. (source wiki)

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Do age define all?

Do you think age defines all? There's wording in Tamil "Sathikka vayathillai"  to achieve, age is not a barrier, and the same goes with anything as you can't decide what your heart desires despite the health condition and age. Though I know fatigue is not only for the body but for the mind as well. But many a time, the body could not cooperate with the energetic mind or interest level; it is perhaps because of weakness or illness, not age. 

Age, in general, is considered to be a part of the time or phase that takes place in the body and mind as well, but what we have done is define things that have to be done at specific age only. I'm not going to deny that because things generally work adjutant with that, and true to an extent. But this is not with all the cases - some exceptions have the right to think out of the box. It is possible or not is up to the one who tries, and we should not deny it generally because of age.

Like the time that does not wait for anyone, age keeps rising every year either you consider it or not; our body keeps worn out as we used to it, our mind may also feel tired, but we can't say it is the state of mind with everyone. I see many young people feeling lazy and lacking interest/energy to do things; at the same time, I see brisk elders walking thousands of steps daily, working hard, and reading a lot to keep them at a steady pace even though they can't work beyond a limit. What I see is the way they try and experience life despite their age. 

Is there anything that only kids should enjoy these things and adult these and olds that? You can't refine or define your mind as it is beyond your reach, and it consists of many other things than age. Someone in mid-age who loves to wet in the rain would hesitate to step out of the home thinking what the society would say? Of course, are you a kid to play in the rain? Is rain belong to kids? If you are good enough with resistance power (desire sees that?) or ready to face the illness that follows, go ahead and enjoy the natural showering. 

I would say kick away the age barriers. I hear many opposing it and have reasons to argue, like is it ok for kids to explore adult things?  Those who turned age 18 considered adults because 18 is a general age or stage where individuality happens. But is it questionable whether everyone over the age of 18 is mature enough to handle their uniqueness? I have seen people below the age of 18 being responsible and acting consciously and those aged to behave ridiculously. 

Some hesitate to treat the child hidden within them, thinking about society and stuffing themself in a stressful mood, and act as if they lost interest in the childish things. How many adults play video games on the smartphone, and isn't that kids' stuff? lol 

I'm not complaining but want to encourage you to explore things that were fair, lawful, and harmless to the circumstances - that society put behind the bars of age.  If someone feels young at the age of 60, let it be, and age is only a number, and it counts only on aging and never reads a mind. Our life is surrounded by a lot of little happiness, and we should not miss those just because it is not related to our age. 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Outcome of Rain

The day is quite Drizzy and breezy with cold 

Rains for the second consequent week 

Chills down to nerves, to seek warmth  

A cup of tea worked well at this point 

To pull out the numbness through its brew;  

The weather could not be the same for long 

Cheers before it is too warm or cold 

The rain washed away the hazards in the air 

Like a mountain breeze its refreshing to breathe 

Compensates the desire for travel to mountains;  

The street full of shed leaves from the raintree 

Resembles a glimpse of the fall season 

Like the tiny leaves, life spread with happiness 

And collecting it as a pile is a mounted joy.  

P.s I share below a short photo video of recent rain and flood captured from the balcony. 

Monday, November 15, 2021

My Deepavali celebration Video 2021

I share here a short video on my Deepavali celebration of fireworks. I like fireworks from childhood, and my favorites are night crackers and sky shots. Deepavali is the only time we get a chance to light and watch fireworks; though I only hold up to sparkler, I buy sky shots and fancy fireworks to let someone light on my behalf, and I watch and shoot with interest. The same applied this time, and for a change, my childhood friend (from the neighborhood) lit up the sky shots instead of my cousin, who used to do it yearly, had gone out on a trip. I added some mild 3d effects available with the video editor to make this photos/videos show.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Monsoon Air

The flooded street and neighbor's garden from this week's rain

The walls feel cold 

As earth feels colder 

Taps run mountain stream 

The wind blows its chillness 

Want no air conditioner 

Depression departed

The water recedes, yet wetness 

The monsoon isn't over 

And we already overdone; 

The excess goes to sea, flooding shores

And stagnation troubles citizens; 

Unnoticed critters come out 

Defines life and trouble

Media scares what was normal 

Too much is human desire; 

And he falls prey to his own error.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

The Rain and Flood Seems Unending to Chennaities

Deepavali passed away quietly, literally, due to the less noise of crackers. Buying and bursting of crackers have come down this year, and there are reasons for that, which was the loss of interest and laziness, and beyond that, the court restrictions and weather, Diwali demanded fewer crackers. I think the Deepavali post can wait sometimes - I'm working on a short video on fireworks - and before that, the rain takes away the charm even before the festive weekend conclude. 

There was rain often around the city for the last few months has filled the reservoirs with enough water, and the saturated earth stopped quenching water has resulted in a flood following the Sunday rain. It was moderate to heavy rain begin from the night of Saturday to Sunday evening has left Chennai city flooded. It was a  heavy downpour recorded in a short period of 12 to 15 hours, reminding the citizens of the 2015 historical flood

I woke up in the morning to see our street (pic above and below) turned into a river! Since we live on the main road, the water from every other street (in our area) has to flow through our street and the stormwater drain. The rainwater kept flowing fully throughout the day till night since the stormwater drain was insufficient for the abundant water. 

The Sunday rain measured at 13-24 cm in less than 24 hours. Thankfully, the rain took some break later that night despite the red alert from the Meteorological department; there was some moderate to light rain yesterday and today.  Due to the formation of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal,  the rains will continue over the next week.  

Even before the northeast monsoon began a week ago, it rained sufficiently all over the state, and this monsoon rain will only be a bonus that cannot enjoy, rather people suffer and the water to the sea. The rainwater flooded my neighbor's house and garden opposite to us. If you remember, it was the same neighbor who reworked his garden damaged in last year's Nivar cyclone, who faced a similar situation on Sunday. Though he worked swiftly in pulling out the water, the prediction of rain going be distress to him. 

First time I hear the loud noise of frogs after shifting here. Frogs croak wasn't new to me, and I have listened to their chorus siren plenty in our former apartment with an open plot in front of the house. Now I think I miss many a thing related to rain after moving out from there, but that high-pitched croak reminded me a lot, and I'm glad at the same time we have moved to the first floor, which is pretty safe (during this time) than staying at the ground. 

Let's see what nature held for us, and whatever wish people have the ability to face the crises.

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Time to Light - Deepavali

The thought of just a day left for Deepavali brings excitement within. Though the weather wasn't that favorable to celebrate Deepavali - the festival of lights and fireworks - as it kept raining for the last few days and a warning from meteorology that there could be rains across the day of Deepavali. The covid has its share already in defusing the light of Deepavali; the supreme court's guidance has gripped the firework sale, but at masses, these don't matter when purchasing things and celebrating the festival. 

I love rain, and it must keep away drought, but never during the festivals, especially Deepavali. 

I hung rice led serial in our living room for Deepavali 

I see a general feeling of excitement of Deepavali is missing among the people; perhaps their lifestyle changes and influence of gadgets has kept their interest away from the festivals and celebrations. I have fond memories of Deepavali, the most anticipated days of our life - from childhood till now - an inexplicable feeling embraces. Since I grow up lighting fireworks, it has become an inseparable thing during Deepavali, and every year, I buy some fireworks as I enjoy the same. 

During childhood days, we begin celebrating Deepavali a month early to the festival. We buy crackers loosely from the nearby petty shop and burst one by one during the weekends. I recollect how joyful the days are then - with our neighborhood friends, we go for cracker hunting on the day of Deepavali, picking up the unburst crackers on the road to burst. Roaming the street is my favorite pass time, then, and it's fun as we keep talking and walking around the streets in our area.

I miss so many things right away, and when I think back, I feel the pleasure and pain equally. Not only that I miss those days, but I also couldn't make up with the contemporary world, even for the smallest desires and right to be human. Though I buy a variety of fireworks, what I could light was only a sparkler. My world is little with endless vision and works to do, but being a dependent, I could not achieve anything without aid from anyone. 

Hope you all have a Happy and Safe Deepavali! 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Indian Golden Jackal and Its Relevant!

Foxes and Jackals have become an endangered species in our  Indian subcontinent, and I remember seeing a Jackal (in wilder) only once in the Kodiakkarai scrub forest, aka Point Calimere.  I have been to many wild forests, but nowhere I could see a Fox or Jackal. It seems the foxes have almost lost their habitation, and who could be responsible for that other than us, the human beings? 

Man hunted foxes/jackals for their skin and flesh - believing to have medical values is used in traditional medicine is one of the reasons for the foxes to disappear from the forest. And those who hunt foxes are called Narikuravar (fox tribe) in southern India, and they sell things made of fox body parts, esp. they make necklaces with fox tooth hanging.

But they stopped hunting fox/jackals after the Indian Wildlife Conservation Act (1972 as amended to 2005) forbids the hunting of all wildlife; they were prohibited entry into the forests; thus took alternatives such as selling beaded ornaments to survive. But beyond that, habitat loss is the main reason for the fox/jackal to become endangered.  The conversion of grassland habitat to agriculture, industry, and increasingly bio-fuel plantations have drastically affected its population.

There is an attitude of comparing fox/jackal trickery and ingenuity with people among us, who are very sharp, specific, and self-centered. There's a famous story of The Fox and Crow told in various versions (and ours was "granny's vada"); to praise the trickiness of fox, but the moral of the story was to never deceive anyone cunningly for our benefit and don't believe everyone's word.

There is also a superstition in India that waking up on a fox face or hearing a jackal howl means good things will happen. And there are much folklore, mythology, and literature relevant to the jackal's cunningness and religious beliefs.  So whatever it is, preserving a dying species is everyone's duty, and those living around the forest need to be more responsible, emphasizing the same.

The golden jackal I shared here was shot at Amirthi Zoological Park, near Vellore. The Park has a nice set of dens, that too a colorful one - paintings of trees resembling the walls of the kindergarten - covered by a partial dome-like cage. When we visited, a lone jackal was roaming outside the dens - there are two separate dens, what I guess was there must be at least a pair of jackals -  right now, only one is available.

The Golden Jackal, believed to be a social animal that lives either as pairs or packs like wolves, is native to Southeast Europe to Southeast Asia. Comparatively, a small size wolf, "the jackal possesses shorter legs and a shorter tail, a more elongated torso, a less-prominent forehead, and a narrower and more pointed muzzle. The golden jackal's coat can vary in color from a pale creamy yellow in summer to a dark tawny beige in winter."

"The genetic studies indicate the golden jackal expanded from India around 20,000 years ago, towards the end of the last ice age. Golden jackals' habitat in valleys and beside rivers and their tributaries, canals, lakes, and seashores feed on foods ranging from fruit and insects to small ungulates."  (courtesy wiki)

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Signs: MGM & VGP

MGM Dizzee World

The VGP Universal Kingdom, aka Golden Beach

You guessed right; these are the signboards of the most visited amusement parks in Chennai. And these theme parks are located on the scenic ECR (east coast road), and among the two, VGP is the oldest amusement park come beach resort popularly called VGP Golden Beach. 

It's been ages since I visited these parks. I have no desire or ability to take rides inside the park but would love to see the VGB Universal Kingdom and the New Marine Kingdom to enjoy the underwater world and fisheries.  I have crossed these places many a time but still couldn't stop for a visit.

Linking up with Tom's signs2

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Nephew Jeshwanth and the New Arrival

My nephew Jeshwanth is almost six months now - by November 3rd, he completes the same. His activities have enhanced now, and he flips, frequently lies on his stomach, and tries to crawl at a snail pace. And it is funny to see him move forward by lifting his butt up and down. 

Jeshwanth from sister-in-law's baby shower last month.

He approaches and tries to grab things with his tiny hands and tries to feel us by touching our faces. He's quick with his gesture, and at a glance, it looks like he is hitting us, but the next second he shows tenderness and smiles that are so innocent to sense. He tries to mimic the words or sounds we emit (by twisting his mouth) though only air exits his mouth the way he observes us amazes. 

He screams when his happiness rose, and giggles when we make funny and silly sounds. And he's quiet other than those and uses wakeful eyes when watching television. But we never encourage that habit when he comes to our home, but his eyes go over it due to colors, and his favorite is the bright yellow of Chennai Super Kings (IPL cricket Team). My father used to watch IPL, and whenever he sat on his lap with a match at the same time, join him to watch colors. 

I added a short video below on  Jashwanth giggling and flipping. 

To add joy to the same track - to add another boy to the family, my sister-in-law delivered a baby boy (today). The family goes through an overwhelming joy, and on the other hand, we anticipated normal labor but had to go through cesarean since the baby turned overweight. The baby and the mother are doing well. And they are expected to be discharged in a day or two. The baby and the mother would go to their maternal home directly from the hospital to stay there for a few months before coming to our home, so we had to wait sometime to see the baby. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Smartphones and Contemporary Kids

Smartphone, the word has become a heartthrob of man, particularly the younger generation, and each whining of the smartphone is a stimulator on the veins. The smartphone has created a global revolution in telecommunications in the short time since the introduction of cellular phones in the early 90s. Smartphones have become inseparable and mandatory power of the human race in their daily life. 

Like everything that has a plus and minus, negative and positive, good and bad, smartphones do their part of the sum. Every instrument, device, and gadget made possibly good purposes, and it is up to us to use it in the same way. And I think it lies in understanding the invention of the device and its use. 

Smartphones are for adults, and I still believe even after the pandemic situation had become favor against my thought of kids using smartphones, for online classes, except the occasions of emergence, kids don't have any business with smartphones. A consoling thing (this time) was kids using smartphones in the right way for education rather than gaming. Though kids and games are inseparable, let whatever the purpose for you to hand over the smartphones to kids, their gaming intend is indispensable. 

image courtesy

Leaving that apart, let us move into the intention of the post that handing over the smartphones to little ones and infants. Let's say it has become a trend or newfound custom by the young mothers to feed their children by playing something on the smartphone for the little ones to watch to take a mouthful. Perhaps, smartphones are handy, and the young mothers who always hold to them entertain the child by showing something amusing on the screen to feed the stubborn instead of heading out or relying on something real for amusement.

And what this shows is their laziness or lack of time (if she's a working mother) to use smartphones this way to quickly and easily feed a baby. (The young mothers in the blog world should forgive me if I'm wrong in my perception.) The young parents see if the kids trouble them, and if so, they give away their smartphones to the kids to sit quietly in a corner to allow them to do their chores. And this is where the trouble begins. 

One of my uncle's daughters, less than the age of 3, was in trouble when she allowed watching the smartphone continuously. My uncle had another baby when the elder daughter was a year and a half, and to look after the 2nd baby, they gave the smartphone to the elder and made sit quiet. Since the child keeps looking at the smartphone is not able to focus on anything other than staring and smiling only at the smartphone screen. She is still under therapy and is recovering at a good pace. 

I think the young mothers feel trendy to say that they feed their child by showing smartphones. I saw a mother trying to feed her child by playing a youtube video on the phone, but the child wasn't interested, and she was forcing him against his will to play, but not on the phone. On the same line, my cousin also tried this way on my newborn nephew Jeshwanth, and we have warned her not to follow this route, and I hope she listens to us. 

(My little nephew is now flipping and started to lay on his stomach. The boy began to take solid food like our traditional idly and biscuits in creamy form. His activities and naughtiness have increased, which needs a separate post to show off his actions.)

I fear smartphones would steal the children's childhood because friends and games (not online gaming or gambling) are a vital part of the period that lasts as evergreen memories of our lifetime. If they miss this chance, there isn't a chance to get back things, and the virtual world will end in a flash of great disappointment. 

The children's world is big, their imagination is boundless, and it is unreasonable to shrink it with a small device called the smartphone. We should make understand kids that smartphone isn't the world, but a part of it. I agree smartphones are essential in today's online education and communication, and it is better if they stood with that for the kids.

Thank you 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Signs found on road

 Internet Inside

While waiting at a signal in the neighborhood, I find this SUV (MG Hector) with the 'Internet Inside' badge on the tailgate indicating the feature. When I googled on the sign, it says the Morris Garages (the manufacture of the car) calls it iSmart connectivity and brings a host of features that connect to the internet via a 5G ready M2M SIM. Further, the next-gen i-SMART technology in the Hector promises to provide a safe, connected, and fun experience with a big touch screen at 10.4 inches.

A chilly food court sign at ECR.

Kovalam junction toll gate. The sign indicates the lane for bikes to pass freely in contrast to 4 wheelers and cars that need to take toll tickets to take ECR.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Crossing sign

Signs of direction and Hatsun curd banner at Chennai OMR on an elevated pedestrian bridge.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Deepavali Shopping

Deepavali or Diwali - the festival of lights - isn't far away! There are many reasons to celebrate Diwali traditionally, and we aren't going into it, but it is one of the grandest festivals celebrated in India. And illuminating lights, which means hope, in other words, is showered all over our lives. 

Festivals are usually associated with people and celebrated together. But being a pandemic time, we are forced to work against that practice of what I believe festivals are. Festivals open doors to new things, like buying new clothes, sweets and anything associated with the same and where could we buy those other than in shops. 

Diwali, being one of the foremost festivals, shopping is unavoidable all over India, and for people living abroad, the shops come up with various discounts and varieties to attract people. I think my last shopping for a festival was perhaps Diwali that was more than 20 years back. I could still remember holding the hand of my parents rush out of Ranganathan street, a shopping street in T.nagar, Chennai, famous for clothing, jewels, and home appliances. 

The popular stores in Chennai like Chennai silks, Pothys, and other parts of the states had already started to rock the television channels with their glistering ads to attract customers. Only Super Saravana Stores Annachi is missing! FYI November 4th is Diwali. 

Today as we complain about seeing the festival rush in the news, we forget we had been one among them then. My parents take new dresses for us only during the festival of Pongal, Deepavali, and Tamil New Year other than the wedding of my uncles and aunt. But these days we avoid festival shopping, and parents visit the stores when they are free, and we need a new dress.

Usually, we don't purchase readymade outfits then, and even today, I wear only stitched clothes according to my comfort. I prefer light color clothes, so I go with any patterns and colors my parents chose. Contrary to me, my brother and other cousins buy banded or trendy clothes. 

Every year for the Ayutha pooja festival - this time October 14th,  my late uncle used to purchase a bunch of clothes for his workers, and it was my mom and aunts do it on his behalf, and it was the big purchase we do. After new clothes, sweets, and snacks, lighting diyas, Diwali is incomplete without fireworks or crackers. 

Since fireworks are my favorite, people who disagree on using fireworks should spare me. These days my only purchase for Deepavali is fireworks. Thanks to the availability of crackers online, I could easily choose the firework I like from the laptop/mobile; the firework is either sent to the home or a nearby freight warehouse where we collect in person.

Many YouTubers these days are busy making fireworks reviews and promoting stores that sell crackers at discounted prices; I chose the most reliable of them. I purchased crackers from Modern Crackers, which sell fireworks online at an 82% offer, but I don't believe their words, and for me, the price was fair enough to purchase. 

The first-time purchase with them went smooth, and they were kind enough to answer the queries and delivered the parcel to the nearest freight warehouse. From there, dad picked it up. As usual, I avoided loud crackers and went behind the cheerful fancy fireworks that emit less pollution than before, known as green crackers. Some crackers bear that symbol on the boxes, and some don't, but they seem to belong to the same. 

I hope you guys have a safe purchase this Diwali season following all the protocols of wearing masks, social distancing, and sanitizing. While celebrating the Deepavali happily, we should not forget those making this possible - the doctors, nurses, and frontline workers with whose cooperation the covid had brought down to the least affected. Moreover, with many sensible people and followers of the rite of the covid protocol.

Thank you


Friday, October 08, 2021

Skywatch Friday: Sunset on ECR

Sun setting behind palmyra trees of ECR 

I witnessed a beautiful sunset when I drove to Mamallapuram (on ECR) last month. Around six o'clock in the evening, the sun was setting down the west in bright red color or almost looked like a crimson sun. But since we kept moving and with the trees' interruption, I couldn't capture the sight of the sunset.  

We moved further on the road, and while coming into a clear view, the sun went below the horizon, leaving some lovely hues across the sky. As I was sitting in the front passenger seat, I could only capture through the windshield, and when driving over the bypass road, I got a broad view of the twilight sky. 

I shot many photos with the mobile, and many of them have similar views. So, I am sharing some best photos. I hope you all enjoyed these photos, like how I enjoyed shooting. It's been a long time I watched a sunset because only during travel or visit to the beaches in the evening offer me the sight of sunset and fantastic twilight sky.  I'm happy watching the sunset or its remanent hues. 

A panoramic view of the road and sunset.

Linking this post with Skywatch Friday