GOING ORGANIC-1: How dumb can we get about deadly pesticides?

A series of articles based on my personal experience of turning our manicured garden, used to synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, into completely organic with the help of like-minded enthusiastic volunteers.


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Sometime ago, a friend of mine recounted a heart-breaking tale involving her housemaid who had suffered massive crop damage in her hometown located in a neighbouring state. It was nothing to do with untimely rains or drought or any other vagaries of nature. But something purely man-made—a guided tour of disaster, planned and sponsored by agriculture experts who swear by deadly cocktails of pesticides. Continue reading

Upgrade mix from Reap Benefit turns kitchen waste into organic manure in 20 days, flat!


Kamal Raj from Reap Benefit, who made several trips from Bannerghatta to our complex to execute his theory, couldn’t believe how the microbes, handpicked in his lab, turned the messy kitchen waste into organic manure in 20 days, flat.

Over one-and-a-half years of work, six-seven disheartening experiments and still, miles away from cracking a kitchen waste composting technique that could answer all the questions. Continue reading

Delhi gang-rape: Before, now and forever…

Nothing can explain what drove those criminals to subject an innocent girl to such unimaginable violence in New Delhi last year. The nation erupted in retaliation, demanding the worst-possible punishment to the rapists. “Death to all” brought solace to some, justice to others. In some cases, both. In some other cases, neither.

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But to call it “victory” or “justice” would mean belittling the brutality that countless women suffer at the hands of criminals who walk around guilt-free in every nook and corner of this country. How do we explain the oppression Dalit women often suffer? These crimes never even find a mention in the National Crime Report Bureau. They have happened before, they are happening now and will go on forever.

Rape comes in many forms. Here’s one that happened on August 29, 2001. A Dalit woman was paraded naked in her village for allegedly encouraging an inter-caste marriage between an ‘upper’ caste girl and ‘lower’ caste boy.

Nothing has changed in more than a decade. Not even the way we define rape and the degree of brutality. Because every case is “the rarest of rare” to those who have been subjected to it. Continue reading

Saving sparrows: Dilawar’s nest box initiative has come a long way

dilawarWhen I wrote about Sparrow Man Mohammed Dilawar in August 2010 for India Together, I did not know I would take his message out of my balcony with ample support and enthusiasm from fellow-residents at my apartment complex. Thanks to these bunch of bird-lovers, our small-scale initiative has been kicked off. We are excited and are about to install the nest boxes bought from Dilawar on our premises. Hope our dreams come true!

Here goes the story on Dilawar, his commitment and perseverence… Continue reading

Dr Rajkumar and the vacuum he left behind…

Originally posted on REVERBERATIONS:

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There’s a scene in ‘Bangarada Manushya’ in which a grief-stricken Rajeeva (Dr Raj) refuses to move away from the smouldering pyre of his wife Lakshmi (Bharathi). When his well-wisher Rachotappa (Balakrishna) tries consoling him, Rajeeva breaks down pointing at the ashes—hitherto a life that meant everything to him.

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We manage 21 types of waste in Sobha Althea-Azalea, every day…

How would you feel if a housekeeper trained by you gives back lessons on how to differentiate between many types of plastic waste?

This is what happened a week ago when I went down to the basement to check if things were in order. This is where secondary segregation of our dry waste collected from each household happens every day.

When I asked Lakshmi, our housekeeper, why plastic waste was lying in 3-4 separate bins, she said type A fetches more money than type B… She and the remaining 11 housekeepers know it better than perhaps I will ever know.

The result? We are segregating TWENTYONE types of waste every day at Sobha Althea-Azalea! Continue reading