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

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

வண்ண விதானம் / Colored Umbrella

ஒரு வானவில் நடந்து சென்றது 

சாலையில், வண்ணத்திருவிழா! 

கோடையில், ஒரு வண்ண விதானம் 

மழையில் நனைகையில்; வண்ண நிழல்குடை   

வண்ண இழையில் நெய்த வானவில் 

மடங்கிவிடும் கைப்பிடிக்குள். 

A rainbow walked

On the road, color festival! 

In summer, a colored canopy

When soaking in the rain, a colored umbrella; 

Rainbow weaved in colored fabric

Folded into the handle. 

Sunday, October 03, 2021

Human-Animal Conflict and The Man-Eater

Tiger - the national animal of India - spread all over the country from the foothills of the Himalayas to the southern tip of India Kanyakumari. India has many National Park and Tiger Reserve. It was Project Tiger - a tiger conservation program that began in 1973 to prevent the animal from becoming extinct and preserving its natural habitat - the tiger population in India has increased to nearly 4000.

Tiger wall painting from Amirthi zoological park, near Vellore

There are five tiger reserves in our state (Tamil Nadu), and the Mudumalai in the Nilgiri District is the oldest National Park and Tiger Reserve. Nilgiri is the largest biosphere covering about 80% of the forest, and Ooty, a popular south Indian hill-station, is the administrative town of the district. And Nilgiri being a great forest terrain with widespread tea plantations and small towns and villages,  the human-animal conflict has been a common thing, and sometimes it costs human lives. 

Most of the time,  elephants cause damage to materials and lives of people, and seldom tigers or leopards, or bear cause death. Human-animal conflict is mainly because of humans occupying forest space and interfering with the path of animals. Human encroachment and building of houses and cultivation on the migratory path lost track of animals to invade human habitation and confront lives. 

Now coming to the man-eater that has taken away the lives of four people in the last few months in the Nilgiris has become a threat to lives adjoining the Tiger Reserve. The higher officials have issued an order to shoot the man-eating Tiger against the initial decision of capture it alive using the tranquilizer to sedate. The decision to kill the Tiger was taken based on 4th victim, who was killed and ate by the Tiger,  while in the other incidents, the victims were just stroke to die. 

Tiger is said to be a shy animal and mostly seems to avoid the human presence and stay away in the dense forest area, infiltrate the human habitation only when it was unable to survive in the forest, due to wound or aging. The case of the man-eating Tiger, which caused the death of 4 people, has taken place in the buffer zone - an area adjoining the forest, where people drive cattle for grazing. 

We can't justify here where the villagers would go - who lives inside or adjoining the forest - to feed their livestock.  I think it's the human mistakes that we can't blame animals, and they don't know the boundaries, and deforestation has shrunk their habitation.  So the only way to protect their existence was by giving before animals and staying away from the forest. 

They say, once the man-eater would always like to taste human flesh, and driving it away could never be a solution than hunt down or cage the Tiger at some protected place. I watched a Bollywood movie lately called Sherni - acted by Vidya Balan as a woman forest officer - trying to catch (believed to be) a  man-eating Tigress and create peace in a remote village adjoining forest. But the movie ends with Tigress falling prey to human pride and official injustice, leaving back its cubs. 

The targeted man-eater seems to keep moving since the victims don't come from the same place, and the last man reported to die was from Masinagudi, about 30-35kms from the previous victim. Masinagudi is a small town located in the middle of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is one place that greatly infiltrates the forest land by building plenty of resorts in the buffer zone. Due to strict action lately, many resorts built on elephant corridors were closed.

The latest update was the man-eater escape the official surveillance! And a search operation is launched with the help of Kumki elephants - trained elephants to trap and rescue wild elephants. As a piece of good news, the Tiger will be caught alive, said the officials. 

 (sorry for the long post) I just went with the flow of thought and info. Thank you