Sobha Althea-Azalea: Freedom from landfill, freedom from pesticides

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Our 100% organic garden pooh-poohs the superstition that it is impossible to live without pesticides and synthetic fertilisers on this earth. It’s high time naysayers and those who champion pesticides stopped rationalising the use of deadly cocktails on the soil.

The residents of Sobha Althea-Azalea, Yelahanka, Bangalore, will not forget this Independence Day for two important reasons:

  1. We are 100% successful in managing our waste. No waste goes out of our complex. All the garden waste gets vermi-composted. Kitchen waste is turned into super-rich organic manure using a simple, cost-effective composting method. All the dry waste is recycled and sent to factories as raw material. And, the hazardous bio-medical/sanitary waste is sent for incineration through Semb-Ramky.
  2. The Mysore Horticultural Society, Lalbagh, picked out our organic garden for ‘Best Ornamental Garden & Landscape” and awarded us with a trophy on August 14. Continue reading

In this little republic, change is inevitable

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(Clockwise) 1. The grama sabha ‘katte’. 2. The change-makers led by GP president Mahadevi Vali. 3. The GP office in Gummagol.

Waste-wise, water-wise, solar-powered roads, a composting yard, a nearly foolproof sanitation scheme and willingness to achieve a lot more by involving everyone in the village, especially children. To top it all, its Gram Panchayath (GP) is headed by a woman.

If I ever want to live in a village, this would be it. Period. Continue reading

Devastated by floods, but drowned by corruption

“When we tell them that the ration card was washed away in the floods, they say, ‘what can we do? If you want rice and kerosene, you have to show the card’.”

Bureaucratic response can be so downright callous! No wonder the scene was awash with such experiences when North Karnataka suffered the worst ever natural calamity in 2009.

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Continue reading

Everybody loves a good flood

The torrential rains battering Shimoga district have had parts of Hampi and surrounding towns and villages submerged. The Tungabhadra is in full flow. So is the suffering of the poor. It brought back the bitter memories of covering the 2009 North Karnataka floods. For those interested in reading first-hand field reports, here’s a series I wrote for ‘India Together’.

Cooking must go on even in this messed-up, roofless kitchen in Hiresindhogi of Koppal district.

Cooking must go on even in this messed-up, roofless kitchen in Hiresindhogi of Koppal district.

When all hell breaks loose, make merry.

This is exactly what some flood victims in Koppal district resorted to once they were distributed compensation for partially damaged houses—not because it was plenty, but too paltry to be put to good use. In the worst-hit Hachcholli of Bellary district, many poor people hit arrack shops or gambled away the relief fund. Paradoxically, amid its ruins stands a wine shop—all intact. Continue reading

The pleasure of an image called ‘Roger Federer’ & why it ain’t over yet

fed3Wimbledon is over and hard court season has set in. The ‘write-off Roger’ brigade seems to have suffered a setback after his heroic 4th set comeback at SW19 a few weeks ago. It will resurrect itself if he fails to float above the fray in the upcoming US Open.

I am presenting excerpts from my writings for Bleacher Report and it will tell you why for fans like me, it ain’t over until the man hangs up his boots and calls it a day. Continue reading

Deleting non-recurring older calendar items in Outlook 2010

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Deleting/Archiving older outlook calendar items in Outlook 2010 is a bit hard to find. Of course, you want to delete it as the expired appointments end up taking a lot of space on the folders. Especially, when people attach large files in the meeting request (which is extremely annoying!). Continue reading