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. 

Monday, February 08, 2021

RGB Monday

A colorful lane on the white town in Puducherry and aka Pondicheery.

Yesterday I traveled to Puducherry, a 150+ km ride after a year, and my last travel to Amrithi Zoo near Vellore in Feb 2020. Visiting Puducherry is an extension ride following the intention of visiting Veedur Dam, near Tindivanam. More detail about the trip will follow in the next post.

Friday, February 05, 2021

Golden Shower


The Indian rain tree opposite our house.

The ripe leaves fall off the tree

In the air, the destination undefined

Yet the infinite wind blow

To keep it ground and far.


The falling leaves seems a blessing

On anyone under its tree

Perhaps, because these are mature leaves

Equivalent to be greeted by adults.


The leaves depart on a journey undecided,

Gives way to emerging shoots. 

Perhaps, because it is called Indian rain tree

It showers in golden yellow.

Monday, February 01, 2021

RGB Monday

Let’s begin the month (February) colorfully!

My aunt’s another colorful butterfly kolam from the Pongal festival.

Kolam considered an auspicious and morning exercise for women in general, as they bend down and connect the dots, they do some math’s blending the body and mind. Due to knee problems and space for drawing, keep mom away from following the custom, so my aunt takes care of drawing kolam daily in front of the house as we share the same gateway. Lately, there was a talk of keeping a maid to do the task daily on our behalf. Not every day we drew color Kolam; so, it won't be difficult in general, and many of our neighbors have such maids, who used to draw simple and same design as Kolam.