Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Covid Continuation and Personal Touch!

Covid hasn't changed its face in India and continues to storm ever stronger. Our state Tamil Nadu is increasing with cases at a range of 1000 per day. Since the assembly election results on Sunday, the yet to form new government has tightened the restrictions to an almost state of lockdown, leaving open the essential shops and limited public transportation. Whatever the government, without people's cooperation, nothing going to work out, but I could see a positive response, or accepting tendency from people, perhaps they continue to see the fierceness of covid 19 on every platform they roam and from their own circle of people. 

Last week one of our family friends died of corona. He's a barber, as well as an artist, who plays the traditional musical instrument Nadaswaram. He has played at all our family festivals, and everyone in our family circle knows him, and he's the only one who had cut my hair from childhood and trim beards once I started to grow. Since the early 90s, he owns a barbershop under the house of our grandpa's, and he succeeds the shop from his father as he becomes old and passed away later. So, until I was able to walk, I cut hair from his shop whenever I visit grandpa's house, and we never paid him, and he used to debit the amount from the rent.

It really saddens all of us, and we couldn't believe he's no more, and before the news become certain, I truly wished it shouldn't be him. I know he's somewhat indifferent wearing the mask, so I stopped calling him lately since the beginning of 2nd wave of covid, and I think now that I made the right decision. We couldn't share our condolences with their family or attend the funeral due to the covid. I wish he rested in peace.

One of my uncles and my mom’s cousin is admitted to hospital for nearly 10 days due to the covid infection, and he has been kept on oxygen. But his condition is far better from the day of admitted, and once his oxygen level becomes stable, he would perhaps be discharged. I have seen the indifference in wearing masks at both the persons I have mentioned above, and their conditions have certain created an impact on others, the importance, and need of wearing the mask.                

I think the people's anticipated price to realize the significance of covid seems so high. The consciousness is something I guess hasn't been obtained well by anyone, including some well-educated to realize what happens around them; forgetfulness is something natural, but how come one forget easily the terrific scenario taking place all over the world. Over a year, shouldn't we have learned to live with the mask? 

The health workers', doctors' lives are oscillating over life or death in preventing and curing the infection, but our roles weren't much greater, and their anticipation wasn't that much. Simple, wear a mask and stand or talk at a distance from each other is enough to improve the situation and quickly get us back to a normal lifestyle. Everyone is stuck in some cage, and liberation is a must to cheer up the body and mind that has been exhausted overseeing the destruction of lives and livelihoods due to covid 19. It's every Indian's responsibility to save our country, to act according to it.  Let's work together.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Regardless humanity

I don't think I need to reveal the situation in India as the world is watching us. Lack of oxygen, inadequate of certain medications to treat the affected, people oscillate for the second dose of vaccine and more on all, the corpses are kept burning, as the death ratio is at 150 an hour. Life seems to be beyond imagination and dreams to be dreadful, and I couldn't stop expressing my grief even I find it a bit difficult to stare at the laptop or mobile.

I realize my problem is with the eyesight, which results in a headache because of my irregular use of specs, but I would require checking with an ophthalmologist since it's been years, I'm wearing the same specs for 8 years.

Some people don't seem to care about pandemics like lockdown. People refuse to believe pandemic a life-threatening, even seeing the worst of their lifetime. Lockdowns or restrictions are unavoidable and certainly, a burden to bear, but with a social concern, we need to go through it; and we cannot be indifferent when our fellow human beings suffer and die in front of the eyes. 

Pandemic does not spare anybody, and everyone is affected in certain ways, and suffering is suffering, either it’s small or big; the path we decided to walk is our choice, and we must confidently face any obstacles that come our way. We’re too late to complain; as we have already traveled a year into the pandemic, couldn’t we have learned a bit or anticipate what could be next?

I think we keep focusing the light more on ourselves than throwing at others to see how far better we are, and anger isn't going to change anything, rather increasing the conflict. A peaceful mind, which a lockdown could abundantly provide if implemented, could unlock better ideas to tackle and improve the lifestyle and livelihood of people. Even boulders get different shapes, from the continuous flow of water, how come a muscular mass, relaxing its stiffness, with a kind of tickle, from a butterfly? The human body is made up of 60% of water couldn't the heart bears a trace of wetness, but the world is watching us with it in the eyes.

Let’s wake up and be conscious of every move we make, keeping in mind our dear ones around us. The spreading of the virus is rapid and ruthless, and if we continue with the recklessness, the result could be worse. I could not hear anything regretful from anyone around me when we're losing thousands of lives daily; it's inappropriate of them to complain of being confined and forceful to wear the mask, rather thinking about the difficulty of those fighting for oxygen. Oh my, where's the humanitarian? Please stop being senseless, and regardless even if you can't do anything.

Thank you

Monday, April 26, 2021

Hide and Seek

 
(A super pink moon from the balcony)

The moon plays hide and seek

The passing clouds like a veil 

On the bride’s face, keeps moving 

Allowing the curious eye of the moon 

To peep at the people with the same intend

The silent Sunday of curfew

Silenced the environment 

The disappeared noise and light pollution 

Helped Illuminate the night 

Ever so bright in the moonlight 

A game of high and low beam 

At the pace of passing clouds. 


P.s. I'm having some mild headaches for the last few days, and so perhaps, I would be keeping away from staring at the laptop sometimes.  Sorry if I couldn't check your blogs or post my blog. Take care

Friday, April 23, 2021

The Story of an Old Man

The oldest man in the neighborhood, and my neighbor from the opposite house, had passed away yesterday at the age of 94. I hope you guys remember the reworked garden and flowers from the house opposite us that I have posted here and here, and it was the father of the son who takes care of it all.

He's one of the oldest residents in our area and a neighbor of over 40 years.  He's self-restrained, which he seems to be maintained from his service as a wing commander in the Indian air force, continued this attitude throughout his life! During his early retirement period, he had been quite active, and he does all the garden work himself; and a member of a tennis club, he plays it every day, and drove his fiat 1100/103 until he was able to drive.

They had a long driveway, and it was fun then to see him reverse the car carefully, and what interested me was the way the car’s door opens and closes. Unlike the regular car front doors, the doors of fiat 103 were hinged to the center pillar, which is called suicide door – a slang term for an automobile door hinged at its rear rather than the front – perceived as being less safe.

I never remember seeing him speaking or smiling to anybody outside his home or family. He always stays inside the home, except working in the garden and going to a club to play tennis when he was active. What I'm saying was about 15 years ago, before we shifted home to another area. But what I hear from my uncle is that the senior citizen used to comes to the yard every early morning and then bow to the sun with few minutes of prayer and get back into the home immediately.

But I always wonder how he able to stay inside the home all day. We shifted back to the same house in 2018, but I'm not a morning person, so the time I come out, he would have gone to a day nap. The last time I saw him was after the rework of the garden when his daughter-in-law walked him up to the gate, along the driveway, to let him see his garden back in its elegant shape and glowing in the newly installed lights.

He also insisted his granddaughter drive a car and play tennis, which I heard that she still plays tennis and keeps fit like her grandfather even after moved to the US years ago. One day, I found it saw true when she was visiting her home two years back, she was returning from somewhere, perhaps from a tennis court, as she carried a racket in hand, and the way she paces in was obvious how the fit was she to fit into a teen outfit.

She's a mother of two kids, and she was back from the US two weeks before to visit her ill grandfather and returned only last week, and he's no more within days of her departure. The older man got married when her wife was 13 years old, and they moved to the opposite house purchased by him using his retirement sum, which was told to my aunt by his wife, who is age 84-85.

The family was relocated from Palakkad, in Kerala, and perhaps because of this, they had no relatives here to attend the funeral. Even their friends don't seem too close, or they haven't attached to anybody – like how they isolated from the neighbors – or because of the pandemic, they stood away, and the funeral took place with only a few people that includes my uncle and cousin, who helped them to lift the body into the hearse. 

I think the funeral was handed over to an agency, and they haven’t conducted many rituals, and only his son accompanies the hearse, and my cousin went on his bike to support him. It seems the reworked garden was one of the reasons to keep up the spirit of the older man, and watching the bloomed flowers and green lawn would certainly put him in a peaceful state of happiness. I believe he lived his life to the fullest, and from what his wife told my aunt once was that she visited many countries and have been around the world when he was in the air force, and perhaps because of this, they decided to live idle and away from people to lead the remaining days at peace. I hope he rested in peace.

No, he isn’t a covid casualty.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Random knock

Where does the human race rush? 

To wake up only for the sake of selfishness, 

To concern only when it bothers in some ways, 

Blaming others for their indifferent attitude 

And act as if they are right to raise voice  

Against not only the new norms of living 

The principles of humanitarianism 

The countless losses to covid 

Become casual and corpses as firewood 

Economy burns on the altar 

Respect, as if that belongs to ancient 

Ignoring the homebound as ignorant 

Without the knowledge that none spared 

From learning or experience life from armchair 

Is not a difficult thing in the digital age 

And it doesn't mean making money 

Is the only matter in the world?

Friday, April 16, 2021

Out of hand

Covid 19 is out of control in India, and the prevalence of the infection is twice that of the previous year! The situation is terrific to think about what next, as we almost started to walk back on the track of lockdown, with restrictions gripping around. India had crossed a record of 0.2 million per day of covid cases, which is extreme so far and unpredictable further.

Leaving the idiots, who still believe covid is a myth, how come the most being senseless to the pandemic rule of social distancing and masking? But glad to see a development in wearing masks after strict enforcement. And I'm sorry to say, how well did we educate and what kind of awareness we got to behave like deaf and blinds. I'm not to humiliate them, but I write what I thought was that the people who lack some senses are far better than the well-being!

I saw a girl kid in the news bumped on a lady cop for fining her and her father for not wearing the mask in the car, and she was adamant, despite her father's comfort, she told she didn't infect and why should we pay. I don't know should I admire her boldness or worry about her short-tempered attitude at this age of less than 10.

In Cuddalore, district people rush to a hospital to take the covid test, but they don't care about the social distancing or give a thought, what if they aren't infected, the way they throng could stick with the spikes of the corona. I think our days are supposed to be tough ahead, and despite the terrific covid, a lockdown to implement could be a difficult phase to manage on a certain level. On the other hand, the vaccination has picked up speed, and many have volunteered to be vaccinated, which is the only chance we have to survive, and whoever is eligible for the vaccine should not miss the chance.

Beautiful streaks of clouds from a mountain visit a few years back, and it's been two years since I visit the mountains, as well as taking long trips that mostly head to mountains of western ghats. Thank covid for stealing a couple of years from my travel diary.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Shimmering

 


Like an umbrella in the rain,

and shadows of summertime,

a simple breeze off the sea,

keeps out the exhaustion of heat.


I'm at home, unexposed to sunlight

doesn't mean I unaware of the trouble, 

but being optimistic keeps me forward

to seek better out of the worst.


The shimmering light reflect heat,

perhaps, because it is bright enough,

the diminished shadows couldn't elbow

like the sun pierce the skin.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Covid-21

For over a year, we have been traveling with the pandemic and have dealt with the deadly coronavirus, aka Covid-19, but it's a wonder that still, many are in the mindset of believing it to be a myth. And I could hear people saying that there's no Corona in an indifferent tone, and they further add just be deceived, while I even wonder how they could think like this when the world is at war against coronavirus. 
google pic

Perhaps to say, India is facing its 2nd pandemic war. Began March, just like the beginning of a pandemic war like last year, the cases of infection have started to rise but 20 to 30 times faster, and we're in a condition more than what we had in the middle of last year had been nearly double. If the elections were the reason for the increased spreading of the virus, why should every other state (without elections) have a similar or vigorous spread of the disease? But one thing for sure is that the indifference of the people upsurged the virus.

Maharashtra alone reported half of the country's corona infections. Tamil Nadu counts 6000 and Chennai alone 1800+ daily. I don't think there's something hidden behind the spreading or fact of covid-19, but perhaps there could be some dispute in the way it traced back then. The government showed some slack when the virus was declining, and people too shifted to uncooperative in the process, so it won't be fair to blame only one side for the spread of the virus.

Vaccination, which started in January, so far has been putting for people only above age 45, but for a population of 1.3 billion, it's not an easy task to do quickly. Only lately, or witnessing the rise of the infection, people had come forward to take the vaccination; and both my parents were vaccinated two weeks back and was scheduled for the 2nd dose in May.

I could take the vaccine once the age limit is lifted below 35, my current age. Perhaps I need to consult a neurologist before taking a vaccine since my condition with muscular dystrophy. The government is re-enforcing restriction to a latter level, allowing a partial occupation in public places such as malls, cinema halls, transportation, etc. And the unmasked are fined again, which was missed even among the cops is once again on the spree of collecting fees!  

I wish people act as responsible citizens and humans overall in the progress of driving the coronavirus, a threat to the human race; the coming weeks seem too critical for India, and I hope we all stay together in the distance and kick the covid-19 away. The caption is just for fun, and you don't be scared that there's another covid out there. Lol

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

My Voting in Assembly Election and Vote Percentage

I cast my vote yesterday (April 6) for the 6th time in this lifetime since my first voting in 2009 general election in India. So far, I have voted in three general elections and three assembly elections each. So far, I have voted in three general elections and three assembly elections each. Though I earned the right to vote in 2003 and fetched my name on the voter list the following year, I started to vote only from the 2009 general election skipping the 2006 assembly election.

I started to use a wheelchair only in 2007, as before that, I could walk barely a few steps, so in that condition, I couldn't think of voting or visit the polling booth. My first polling experience is quite vivid, and I could still catch the images in memory when I look up or close the eyes, and it's the same booth I cast my vote in all the time. Though we shifted to different houses and addresses, my voting had always been at our native address, so it wasn't a problem each time, and I still use the voter ID I fetched for the first time - a b/w photo ID of me took in age less than 20.

We usually cast our vote in the afternoon to avoid the crowd and was in the same idea this time as well, but as my uncle insists, we polled in the late morning, and our polling booth was least crowded, so we quickly polled off. We were given gloves for the right hand after sanitizing the hands and masks made mandatory, and gladly everyone followed the rules despite the social distancing wasn't that satisfying.

The room allotted for us was smaller than last time, so they had to adjust the tables for my wheelchair to get close to the EVM (electronic voting machine), but still, it wasn't in a range I could reach; so, my father voted on my behalf on the symbol I already insist.

EVMs were started to use partially in India from 1998 to 2004, and from the 2004 general election, EVMs becomes a voting system in India in place of the ballot box.

Something that always annoys me after the polling was the question of whom I voted; though I don’t hesitate to say to whom I voted, those who inquire me don't open their mouth when it was their turn; and I don't care about it either; as they have voted at least than those who laze around complaining without doing a thing for the change.

Take the vote ratio in the capital Chennai; it is much lower than other districts in Tamil Nadu. We received less than 60% of the vote in the Assembly election, while the educationally and economically backward districts received more than 75% of the vote. What this really shows me is how indifferent and conscious we are to fulfill our democratic duty.

We (Chennai people) live cozily and get all the development and priorities in the first place, but we aren't even ready to vote in the election that takes place once in 3 or 5 years. People like me in a wheelchair could easily skip from voting, but I really wanted to vote not only because I like to do something for the society and to assert my right (at least this way), but also like to be an exemplar as well! I mostly choose my candidate from the individualistic notification for the volume rather than from the general manifesto his party or organization released to seize power.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Neighbor's Garden Flowers

The temperature has started to storm us here in Chennai, and the hot inland wind blowing stronger than the sea breeze has increased the heat. Heat is a common thing during the summer, but I feel it's early for the season, and I terrific what it holds further travel into the season.  Anyhow, I wish it wasn't severe as predicted.

Coming Tuesday, we are going for the state assemble election; the propaganda by the political leaders and candidates are rocking the state at every nook and corner, as the last date for the propaganda being tomorrow. The two main political parties are scorning each other rather than announcing the core activities they supposed to do.

Like how the temperature rises, covid 19 cases in the state and country is rising to an extreme level; the election field has become a hub for spreading the virus. We expected severe restrictions to implement on post-polling, but I don't anticipate a lockdown again, instead, there would be some enforcement to bring down the virus.

Oleanders along the driveway of the neighbor

Coming to the post, I share some of the photos of hibiscus and other flowers I shot from the neighbor’s house opposite us. I hope you remember the post I did here on the neighbor's rebuilt garden, and his hibiscus continues to bloom daily from his neatly arranged pots close to the gate. I take photos of the flowers whenever I see them clearly for a shot, but lately, the neighbor's father (age 94) wasn't well, so was his hibiscus, as he couldn't take care of the garden like before.

Hope you like the photos.

Red Hibiscus

Yellow Hibiscus

White Hibiscus 

Orange Hibiscus

Some cute roses

Linking this post for Garden Affair 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Summer, why one of my favorites?

Summer is always special in many ways like every other season has its own, and ours is a tropical country, where the temperature rose high during this time turns out to be a holiday season for kids in schools and colleges. And what more special the kids could have in life to refresh from the regular institutional life?

Being a 90s kid, I know how curiously we waited for this time to make some of the best childhood memories.

Though the days are hot enough, the summer breeze is always special, especially to me, and it blows me down with nostalgic memories of the past and a boost to look forward in life. When I think back, many of my poems or inspiration to write wake up during this time, and the silent afternoons are the best to connect with emotions and thoughts.

And also, living close to the sea, the cool breeze that rose from the sea would sway me and flatten the day's hotness!

Beaches are one of the best places to hangout often during the summer, which I guess is the mindset of all over the world, but those living close to one would truly enchant the opportunity. Beaches are my favorite places, perhaps because they're easily accessed here but never close to the water. Beaches provide small amusements watching through the activities of people, stalls, and hand carts and for me, the best time to visit beaches was on the full moon day to see the silvery moon rising over the sea. There was a time where I visited the beach constantly for few full moon days, but it's been a year since I have gone close to a beach.

Summer is also a season where we get to taste ice creams, and this is the time where parents could not deny buying us ice cream when we insist on the sign of summer. On the other hand, there are watermelon, muskmelon, and mangos, the only available fruits of the season to take down the summer heat. 

The vacations are another interesting thing we anticipate over the season and planning mostly for a cold region or hill stations to enjoy the pristine nature and weather. But things aren't the same now as we started to avoid this season esp. to keep away trouble in accommodation, booking rates, and the crowd.  Still, the thought of vacation haunts me whenever the temperature takes a toll or someone reminds me of the time spent together or the mind recollects the moments cherished.

I hope, you guys too have your favorite season that connects you in one or many ways.  If possible, share few interesting things in the comment. Thank you

Monday, March 29, 2021

A walk with youthful memories...


During an evening walk in the neighborhood, the bougainvillea blooming along a street in Besant Avenue couldn't stop me from taking photos. As I cropped one of the photos, I got this beautiful frame of an older man who walked in front of me aside from the bougainvillea, charmed! 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Fields of Marigold, off Veedur

During my Veedur Dam visit in February, we come across a surprising sight of the marigold fields on the dam road, after the Veedur village; and it was a kind of loop road that goes around the backwaters of the dam and links back to the national highway.

It was a refreshing sight of yellow; though it wasn't a large landscape of yellow, I never got to see a marigold field of this much. And it was a great divertissement from the regular and boring sights of the highways and there's also a patch of mixed colors of an orange and yellow and yet un-bloomed bed of dark orange or red marigold. 


It seems it was the dam water that made flourish the marigold. Though the marigold bloomed on both sides of the road, the view towards the backwater (2nd pic above) is scenic, and the blue sky and the sunny day made it glowing. Aside from that, a kind of white wildflowers bloomed in the barren lands, but still, I doubt whether they are wildflowers or a kind of cultivated flowers.

Field of white wildflower

The field of flowers stretched only for a few km on the east bank of the reservoir, and it seems only the land around the dam is fertile, unlike its dry northern part where we drove along before drawing away to Puducherry. This reminds me of the rose fields I saw around Nagalapuram, at the border of Andhra and Tamil Nadu, had Pichatur Dam as its source.

The bed of red marigold ready to bloom

Linking this post for Floral  Friday Foto  

Monday, March 22, 2021

A year into pandemic lockdown!

A year completes today, what begins as an identity curfew on the Sunday of March 22, 2020. PM plea with the public of India to cooperate with a 14-hour curfew, and it was a time the covid-19 cases weren't 100, and we didn't realize that it was a trailer and the main picture is waiting for the release. And then came the announcement of a week lockdown, which renewed every two weeks that extended to two to three months, and the lockdown was then extended every month with some relaxation.

Lockdown is a word we aren't familiar with then but heard only through the news and films where lockdown is implemented during emergencies or violent outbreaks in an area. And 144 belong to the same category, which bans people gathering in public more than four at a time. We never thought we would experience such and had no idea how it would work; however, the solidarity we had been had no meaning today, with people's indifferent behavior and gathering at large.

At the end of the year 2020, life was almost back to normal except for wearing masks and social distancing. The covid-19 cases too drastically came down below 10,000 a day in India; our state Tamil Nadu also witnessed numbers below 500 a day had let us ease and at the same time sent an indifference tendency among the people had forgotten that we hadn't exit pandemic. I could say or see half the population had dismissed wearing masks and social distancing is like belonging to a distant land.

I believed this number would recede as we continued to stay on the line with a gradual decline, and since the beginning of vaccination in January, the belief started to grow stronger. I think this could have become possible if the state elections haven't interfered during this period, because it is time for politicians to mobilize the masses, or as people gather to listen to the campaign, it becomes a camp for the spread of the virus. 

The painful thing here is that the leaders who are supposed to be role models do not follow the rules and do not instruct the volunteers to follow. And when seeing the crowd gathering in the campaign sites without masks and social distancing proves how ignorant and crazy we are and how we fail at the root cause.

I know the elections aren't the only issue as I see students and teachers getting covid-19, since the opening of schools for higher secondary (classes 10th to 12th); it looks certain it's the failure to follow the safeguard. Already there's a conflict among the public about how these numbers suddenly go high or sustain at the same and do they really count or do it for their comfort or need. Anyhow its sudden rise from the beginning of March worries; though we all hope on the vaccine as the only weapon against covid 19, nothing could protect us unless we follow the precaution - the simple handwash, masking, and social distancing.

Compared to March 2020, we’re 10 to 20 times further affected by covid 19 now. The counting of cases in India is close to 50,000, which is the highest daily record, after months of a gap!

Saturday, March 20, 2021

In protection of Sparrows

Mom reminded me this morning that today (March 20) is World Sparrow Day; although I was thinking about this day at the beginning of the month, I lost thought of sparrows, like how they lost their habitation from our Indian cities. The song of the sparrows almost lost track from the memories; however, I try to remember their tweet, it couldn't reach my ears; perhaps other volumes have risen to deafen my ears from listening to the sound of mind voice.

House sparrow shot from an upper mountain village near Kodaikanal.

The last time I saw sparrows was in 2018 when I visited a part of western ghats but not away from the human habitat. Sparrows are friends of humans, and we shouldn't have forgotten their friendship when we technically grew and adapt to a lifestyle that snatched their lives. There could be various reason for their disappearance in cities, but we cannot deny that human mistake is a major part of the series of issues.

Until 2015, the sparrows exist in the backyard of my grandparent's house in the neighborhood. The backyard was cleared to build a home for my grandfather's comfort when he was ill, but it wasn't their intention to drive away sparrows, and of course, no one intends of destroying a habitation when bringing changes in lives. And it happens beyond our consciousness and needs.

I remember how sparrows used to build their nest in front of the grandpa’s tea shop, using the hay stored for feeding cows and buffaloes; despite the activities of people who come to have tea, the sparrows lived peacefully and reproduced. Sometimes they build their nest in the cowshed and the gaps of the planks of the tiled roof.

As a society, everyone is responsible for the extinction of the sparrow, and it is the responsibility of the same community to protect the sparrows that remain here and there. Not only sparrows, but we also need to protect all kinds of birds on the brink of extinction. World Sparrow Day is the day designed to move this activity forward and raise awareness of the house sparrows. It is an international initiative by the Nature Forever Society of India in collaboration with the Eco-Sys Action Foundation (France) and numerous other national and international organizations across the world.

Linking this post with SATURDAY CRITTERS

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Neighbor's Mango Tree


Summer has not completely covered yet, as I could still feel some cool weather in the evening and night; the mango tree in the house opposite us bears fruits, following an unusual bloom in winter. The tree went through a major cut off in late 2019, failed to produce fruits last year, but yet I saw a lone mango hang down the tree!



This time it started to bear fruits before the season begins, and it looks like it would take time to ripen.

The tree lost many of its branches to the prune, and I wasn't happy looking at the sight of a part of the tree fall. Though the tree slowly gets back to shape, the lost side facing the road would take a few more seasons to rebuild its lost limbs. The tree continues to bloom seems to produce more mangoes in the coming days and what you see in the photos were shot last week.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Country Cows

During the Veedur dam visit in February, we continued to travel on the dam road to catch up with the road that led to Puducherry, encountered a herd of country cows. The dam road takes us through lovely countryside, and before we head out of the dam area, we see a farmer driving the cows for grazing, and we slow down the car for them to move out the way.

The country cow breed is slowly disappearing from the earth, though the awareness to preserve our country species are rising it wasn't much satisfactory. The milk from country cows is unique in taste and has great benefits to health than the imported jersey cows, which is rears for the large quantity of milk production. But I could see a rise in the use of dairy products from country cows lately in Youtube channels, whose domination is high in the current situation or revolution of the Internet brings hope the future will take further into action.


I know it’s not easy to rear cattle or cows from my grandparent's struggle and commitment in taking care of the same when they were involved in the milk business. But without struggle, no changes happen, and we need to fight back to reverse the progress, at least to preserve the leftover for future generations. The world-famous Marina protest or pro-Jallikattu protest is also a part of the struggle to protect the country's cows and bulls since its population is decline.

The revolution of tractors and modern technology drastically turned down the need for cattle but still, the country cows are reared for milk and dairy products.   

Linking this post with SATURDAY CRITTERS

Friday, March 12, 2021

இளம் சூரிய ஒளி / Young Sunlight


இதமான தன் கதிர் தூரிகையால்
வருடியவாறே, ஓய்வுக்கு சென்றது சூரியன்.
இதயத்தில் நம்பிக்கையை ஒளிரவிடும்  வகையில்
இளம் மஞ்சள் ஒளியை ஏந்தியவாறு
இளம் வெப்ப நுனியில் தலை கோதி 
இரவை துணையாக விட்டு சென்றது. 

------------- --------------

Pleasant with her radiant brush

The sun caressed as she went to rest.

To illuminate hope in the heart

She carried a young yellow light,

Head stroke on a young hot tip

Left night to accompany.


Monday, March 08, 2021

RGB Monday

Every year the Pongal festival leaves me with some colorful Kolams that I could use for my RGB Monday series, but this year it left me with some beautiful Kolams to shoot from the neighborhood as well as from our home. The following collage of Kolams is from one of my childhood friend Karthik's home, and his wife drew these Kolams on the eve of Pongal.

As soon as his wife completed the Kolam, he Whatsapp me the photos of the Kolam, and what you see in the collage above is what he sent me that night.  And the following photos are of the same shot by my mom in the morning on my behalf.

My friend's house is located right behind our house and narrow by street, doesn't allow the Kolams to last long, or until the evening when I go out shooting Kolam in the wheelchair. Karthik's wife is a talented woman and does well in artworks, and I have seen a few of her's on Facebook and while admiring her work, I appreciate her patience, which I think is mandatory when creating art. I hope you guys like her elegant work in Kolam. 


Thursday, March 04, 2021

Raintree Greentree

The Indian raintree with fresh tender leaves
 after the shedding process since winter leaves. 

The raintree got a new coat of green

Grinning at me, like a degree holder

Succeeding the hard times of winter

And shedding leaves to regain a green cap.

 

The sun was shining brightly,

Contrary to the deep blue sky

The raintree lit a smile tenderly

despite being rough in tendency.

 

I want to cut off one of its trunks

For being an obstacle to the touching breeze

And views of my neighbor's rebuilt garden,

its different shades of green garnishes.

 

With few brush-like blossoms

And hanging down of dry pods

Makeup the tree, to shimmer,

Like a new bride of summertime.


P.S. Guys did you notice? I changed the template of my blog, but it wasn't quite a change, as I just retained the size and design of the blog content and sidebar; I chose the travel theme as background with simply an open book to the left side. I also changed the header after a long time with an image I capture from the pretty White Town (French colony) in Puducherry.

Monday, March 01, 2021

Can Poverty Be Eradicated?

I pondered over the thought of eliminating poverty the other night of sleeplessness and how politicians swear to abolish poverty from society on every platform they get to shout. I turned to sleep, but the thought haunted me to be wakeful, and I think, not so deep or the element didn't allow me to break as if it made of a coco de mer shell, there isn't a gingelly gap to infiltrate the poverty out of the society.

We can't say when and where it all began, and it's inevitable, and we have to live with poverty as an infinite part of the world. Like in a seesaw, if one goes up, the other comes down automatically, and if one becomes affluent and the one less possessed comes down the line of equality. Though we can't consider it as poverty, this could be stepping down the process to push one to the poverty line. The reason for poverty could be plenty, and I'm not complaining or protesting that none should become affluent, but all wealth stored under particular leaderships denies the right of people in need.

I think poverty cannot eradicate as long as there are more and more ups and downs in society. In the way, rich become richer, poverty advances to a stage of the same. So, the thing that needs to change is to create more opportunities for the poor to lift themselves the way they needed. And either poverty is removed or not, we need to make sure that no one dies of starvation.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Neighbor’s Rebuilt Garden and Flowers

The neighbor, from the opposite side, has rebuilt his garden damaged in the cyclone and monsoon. I count this house and garden as one of the unchanging faces of our neighborhood. The home dwellers are always the ones who prioritize their privacy and never socialize with others easily.  As neighbors, for about 40 years, we aren't well aware of either world. Perhaps, because we aren't in touch with them for 12 years, as we relocated from 2005 - 2018, but I don't think they would be socialized even if we continued face to face. 
The view of the house shot from the 3rd floor of our house (by my mom) and the garden view was blocked by the Indian tulip tree before the flood and rain.

Due to the rise of the road, the house and the garden went down, though they raised the driveway, long back, the garden remained to the low level.

The house belongs to a 94-year-old retired wing commander, and he maintained the garden until he was active, and later his son took over the onus. I see he inherited the interest in gardening from his father, and he even overtakes his father in bringing a lot of flowering plants to the garden. The Nivar cyclone that hit us on Nov 26th (the same day of my brother’s wedding) had flooded their house and garden, and the extended rain had further worsened the situation.

I think it's the passion that kept him in the recovery mode of the garden, and man, no one would have spent like him in bringing back the garden when the situation for priorities are different. He had dumped many truckloads of rubble and fertile soil to uplift the garden and the works were going on for weeks before he got back his beautiful garden.

I watched the entire progress of the work from the balcony and also the hall, as our door and the window opens up overlooking the garden; I entertained by the elegant work of the gardeners from the nursery in the next compound. I saw the fall and rise of the garden, and I'm glad he decided to give life to the garden instead of giving up.


After leveling the ground, the instant turf laid at the center of the garden, and many tiny plants were laid around and across the lawn beautifully.  In between this, he bought many plants, as he used to, and continue to do; he replanted them in the new and old pots and neatly arranged them in the front of the garden and close to the gate and along the driveway. I see people stop by the gate and fence to look at the plants, thinking he has kept the nursery.


He has planted different kinds of hibiscus in the pots he had kept close to the fence, and it allows me to look at the flowers and take photos in the camera. As I have only a point-and-shoot camera, I have limited zoom length to capture the flowers at a distance of 20-30 feet doesn't get me fair pictures of the flowers, but still, I feel content with the result of details.



I see different colors of flowers every day, but they last only up to a day, and the next day there's another. I don't know how long they continue to bloom, but I keep an eye on them and take photos whenever I see them bloom. And these are some of the photos I shot on different days after rebuilt of the garden. I wish I could continue to take more photos of the plants and flowers to share here as long it blooms or exists. 

Monday, February 22, 2021

RGB Monday

A couple of colorful Kolam from the neighborhood, shot on the day of the Pongal festival last month. 


Since I took this from my evening walk, the Pongal pot kolam (above) drawn in the morning was scattered a bit at the bottom as people used by.  


Both the Kolams above were from the same house in the neighborhood. 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

A cow and calf

A cow and calf drove down our street on Mattu Pongal – the third day (Jan 15) of the Pongal festival celebrated to thank cattle. Each year we find a cow or two drove down our street after the worship or perhaps to or fro from a temple visit since they are celebrated on this day. I guess the cows are walked down from a nearby slum because they could only be seen at those places in the city.


Linking this post with SATURDAY CRITTERS

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Veedur Dam irrigation and Intake tower


The 62-year-old Veedur Dam (click the link to see the dam post) irrigates about 2,200 acres in Tamil Nadu and 1000 acres in Puducherry is classified as a minor irrigation project in India.  A project designed to irrigate an area of 2000 hectares or less are classified as minor irrigation since India adopted the command area-based system of classification.



Irrigation in India is a network of major and minor canals from Indian rivers, even though groundwater irrigation covers 65% of irrigation in India. 2/3rd of the cultivated land is dependent on monsoons, which is most of the time unreliable and unpredictable.  


The Veedur dam is a major source of irrigation for over 100 villages in Villupuram and the state of Puducherry, through its prime channel and five branch canals for about 17.6 km. And what you see in the images is the Intake Tower in yellow (which drew water to the canal) and a pretty blue and white-colored staircase leading to the same. Since I focused on the left side of the dam, I could capture the open canal on the other side of the road.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

A word to abort

The Tamil word‘**tha’ is becoming trending. Those who knew Tamil will know what I mean. I don't say that the word has never been uttered in films before. Either that word would be muted or beeped. Or the user of that word will be a negative character, so it will not make a big impact. But when the protagonists themselves using that word become trending.

Actor Surya used that word in Soorarai Pottru, following actor Vijay in Master and G V too uttered the word '**tha' in his upcoming film while expressing his anger. I don't know what that means, but it's definitely an obscene word. Heroes are better off avoiding this as it may affect the growing generation.

I have heard some people speak this word casually, but since words like this come up in the films, it too will definitely affect the younger generation when great actors speak that word. I wish they do not create an "F word" culture in Tamil!

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Veedur Dam, near Villupuram

I have crossed the Veedur Dam several times when going beyond Villupuram on the GST road or NH 45 (or NH 138 according to Google maps), and I could only see a piece of the bank of the 4.5km long dam. I mostly took this national highway for long trips, as it is a prime road led to the southern districts of Tamil Nadu, and thus I never had time to stop to look at the dam as we need to cover long distances in travel.

The entrance arch to the dam
I always have an interest in visiting dams and the Veedur dam was also on my list of visits, and I found that the extended monsoon season (post) was apt. to visit. Because the dam receives water only when there is a good monsoon rain, and following last year the dam had reached its full level again, and surplus water was released into the Gingee river.


The Veedur Dam is about 150 km from Chennai on the GST road, and it is located right on the highway between Tindivanam and Villupuram and welcomes by an arch that marks the road leading to the dam and the park. Though the day was sunny, it wasn’t hot (thanks to the winter season and one of the reasons I chose to visit the dam), and the cool breeze was enough to create small waves in the water to crash like the sea.


Since it was Sunday, some people had arrived on bikes and cars, but it was not crowded enough to scare us. There is a road to climb on the dam, though the vehicles are allowed only near the shutter area, it was more than enough for me to get the view of the dam. The water level at the dam was up to the rim, and we could see water spill out of the shutters (when we cross the downstream area) when the wind blows strong.



The Veedur Dam was built-in 1959 during the regime of K. Kamaraj, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and President of the Indian National Congress, at the initiative of Kakkan, who was the Minister of Public Works Department. Kamaraj, also known as Kingmaker, constructed many dams in the state during his regime, and each one of them was a marvel in engineering. And the Veedur dam was the smallest and last dam he constructed before the end of his regime.

The 3 Tainter gates
The dam is built on the merging point of two different rivers, called Sankaraparani and Thondi, at the village of Veedur from where the dam got its name, Veedur Dam. The dam serves as a source of drinking water and agriculture for more than 100 villages, including Vikravandi, Mailam, Vanur, and Pondicherry. During the monsoon, the dam opens for irrigation of about 2,200 acres in Tamil Nadu and 1,000 acres in Pondicherry.

The view of the dam park and car parking 

The total height of the concrete dam is 32 feet, and the earth dam is 37 feet; and among the 4.8 km long earth dam, only 430 feet is a concrete dam. Besides the 9 spillway shutters, there are 3 Tainter gates - a type of radial arm floodgates used in dams and canal locks to control water flow - which is something I find new. The dam has two little parks, one at the entrance of the road, beside the archway, and another close to the dam provides some nice shadows to the visitors and play area for kids.

Driving down to downstream area through the shadowy park area
I got to see the entire dam area and was pleased by the amazing sights of the countryside while continue to travel on the dam road. We will see further in the next post as this turned to be a long post.