Saturday, May 28, 2022

Nap Time

The cheerful child becomes grumpy 

when sleep catches up;

He rubs his eyes and nose 

Whine, uninterested in anything. 

The wailing child becomes silent 

When placed in the cradle to sway; 

To sing a lullaby, the baby sleeps. 

The entire house falls silent.

Amid the outer world's din, 

The tinkling chimes at intervals 

Make the baby feel calm. 

An hour and a half passed that way.

Before an alarm blares, 

The child begins to cry and moan,

With all chors come to an end.

(my nephew Kavin quietly sleeps in the cradle)

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Signs2: Tea County and WVS

Tea County, I believe, does not require a description because anyone can guess it's a tea/coffee shop, and if someone wanted to know anything else, it would simply be its location. Of course, the area has a relation to the word "Tea" because the shop is in Kotagiri, in Nilgiri county (district), one of India's major tea-growing areas. 

I captured the shop when driving back from Ooty through Kotagiri but could not stop for a cuppa. Perhaps next time. 

WVS stands for Worldwide Veterinary Service, an international training center for veterinary students, and a hospital on the Ooty Coonoor main road near Ketty.  Maya, our companion dog, developed breathing problems during our vacation in Ooty in 2017, so my brother took her there for treatment. He later appreciated their service and told us that they took care of our dog very kindly and treated her like a baby at no cost. They also refused to accept money for medicine. I am pleased to hear it and wish them the best. 

On our way to and from Coonoor, my brother slowed the car to show us where Maya was treated, so I snapped this for memory. 

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Signs2: Hilltop

When we first traveled to Kodaikanal in 1999, we had our dinner at this restaurant after arriving at and checking into a guesthouse managed by a friend. It was around 10 p.m., unlike today when practically every restaurant was closed, and only Hilltop was open. I recall what we had; it was chappati and green pea masala at its spicier peak, and I was hissing after two mouthfuls. The cold temperature contributed to the increase in alkali.  
The hilltop seems to be the only cozy restaurant then.

The Kodaikanal I saw then was far different now; there was no traffic, even though it was the end of summer vacation; the air was pristinely pure, and all of the views weren't blocked by the shops that line all of the tourist attractions, and visiting any viewpoint required walking between the gaps of shops. 

My physiotherapist, as well as the renter at my grandfather's house, guided us on the trip, and his assistance was invaluable since he carried me at several locations on his back when I sprained my ankle. I feel grateful when I think of them. And I'm still in contact with him, and none of our phone talks have ended without us discussing the trip. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Summer Special

 (I wrote this poem on May 10) 

Overnight, the weather turned cooler 

Shawarma exhausted news channels

Refreshed through the shower-ma

Because of the bypass of Cyclone Asani

Chennaiities experience the weather in Kodai 

In the season of Kodai (summer), 

The moister wind blows to cool everything down.

The wind chimes ring cheerfully 

As the chilly air enters via the window, 

Excitement mounts in the body 

Meet the cheerful memories at the summit 

As is typical during the summer 

The summer rain churns it into something even more special.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

P.s. If you are unaware, "Kodai" is a word that refers to summer in Tamil, and the same word is also the abbreviation of Kodaikanal, a hill station in South India. 

If you're from India, you might know my reference to Shawarma. The issue refers to the same following the death of a student in Kerala after she ate Shawarma, a renowned Levantine cuisine consisting of meat chopped into thin slices, stacked in a cone-like structure, and roasted on a slowly revolving vertical rotisserie or spit.  All shawarma restaurants are now subjected to rigorous testing by the health authorities to ensure that the food preparation is hygienic. Some southern districts have prohibited selling Shawarma. 

Sunday, May 08, 2022

Misleading Ad

There was a television commercial in which a family was traveling through the mountains, and the elder of the family sought to inhale the fresh breeze, but before he could fully breathe in, the family hurried him to another location, and this continued till they arrived home. The father complains at home that you didn't even let me breathe. The son asks his father where else he might go to breathe pure air.  We could be at home, and as he says, he turns on the A/C (a brand that comes with purified air), and afterward, the father stood in front of the A/C and breathed.

I was like what the heck! Actually, it was wtf, that came out unmindful. 

I was uneasy from the time I watched it, and I was like, how could they think of replacing nature and its breeze? I wonder if they realize what they are conveying through this commercial. The world is already descending into hell as people seek the artificial lifestyle and drown in a virtual world, disrupting their relationship with nature and fellow humans. Such commercials will be pushing into the abyss.

The growing generation, particularly children who are unaware of the commercial aspects of the AD, will believe that the air from the air conditioner is as good as or better than the pristine air that oozes from the natural environment. And this will encourage and induce them to use air conditioners frequently without realizing the harm they cause to the environment - and using excess a/c is also one of the causes of global warming. 

The gadgets had already held back kids inside the home, and the COVID came as an advantage to the younger generation, which was more than enough to keep them at home. Online education has encouraged the activity. The youngsters who come out to play have declined, and with such advertisements, it deteriorates! 

As a nature lover with a social concern, I condemn the commercial's creators and the concept of bullshit. At the same time, I am never against the comfort of people and in today's rising temperatures, normally in summer, the air conditioner is a boon, but we should know when and where to use it.  Sweating is not a curse, and there's nothing wrong with sweating unless it's extreme to dehydration.

No parent wants to see their children suffer during the summer, and the air conditioner has become such a necessity that we cannot stop its growth. However, sticking to limitations will benefit the environment. There are various ways to promote a product, but using nature as dice and creating an illusion against the natural elements would result in future generations being distracted and held captive within the home. 

As a believer in life outside the window, this ad made me endlessly sad. I wish the promoters realized the ad was misleading and changed its course before it reached a large number of people. 

For your reference here is the ad

Wednesday, May 04, 2022


The stone slab outside the Koyambedu Bus Stand in Chennai, one of the largest bus stations in Asia, commemorates the day the foundation for the Chennai Suburban Bus Stand was laid. 

The engraved inscription on the stone slab was beautifully embellished with illustrations that highlight the landmarks and cultural symbols of Tamil Nadu. On the left stood the saint, Tiruvaluvar, and on the right was the stone chariot of the Valluvar Kottam in Chennai. The top line includes the rock-cut temples of Mamallapuram and the statue of Kannagi from the Tamil epic Silapathikaram. 

The foundation was laid by the late former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, M. Karunanidhi. 

A warning sign or message to drivers on the east coast road, abbreviated as ECR.

The government renamed ECR Muthtamil Kalaizar Road two days ago (after the late Tamil Nadu chief minister, M.Karunanithi); however, I believe that the original name (ECR) was more appropriate and easier to pronounce.  Even though the OMR (old Mamallapuram Road), the IT corridor of Chennai, was renamed  Rajiv Gandhi Road some time ago, people still refer to it by its former name. Similarly, I expect the ECR will continue to spell the same