GOING ORGANIC-2: Outsourcing lung space

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.

Frangipani Flowers

In a majority of cases, apartments sprout on what was a cultivated land or a lakebed or both, previously. Thousands of trees are uprooted to make way for a gated community. This is happening at an alarming pace especially in green areas like North Bangalore. Relatively green, that is. Continue reading

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.


bird nest 9

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.

English: Edited version of File:Indiagatelight...

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:

Dr RAjkumar_small

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

Is Federer the only sustainable solution to injury-ridden men’s tennis?

Originally posted on REVERBERATIONS:

Some players like Djokovic and Nadal make news about pullouts as much as they do about their wins and losses.

Djokovic has been off-colours lately. We have seen him struggling hard to catch a breath especially after long rallies in recent tournaments. And then came his loss to Nadal at Monte Carlo, putting to rest arguments about the likelihood of his continuing dominance.

Click Bleacher Report for the rest of the article.

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Savita Hiremath:

Skimmed through this book all over again yesterday.This, plus the mercy showers… life is fair sometimes.

Originally posted on REVERBERATIONS:

Siddhartha Mukherjee

Reading Siddhartha Mukherjee’s Pulitzer-winning The Emperor of All Maladies – A Biography  on Cancer is like observing a massive river overflowing, but one that is kind enough to leave its embankments unharmed.

That’s because despite the richness of its content, most often purely scientific at its core, the book is anything but esoteric. Any other writer would have turned it into a drab non-fiction on cancer—one that is inured to death, not life.

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Jew hunter or bounty hunter, Christoph Waltz shines!

English: Christoph Waltz on the red carpet of ...

Great writers can bring a story alive. But it takes great actors to help us see the truth in a different light. I wonder if things would have been what they are if Christoph Waltz hadn’t played Col. Hans Landa, the sly Jew hunter in Inglourious Basterds, and the antebellum bounty hunter Dr King Schultz in Django Unchained. Continue reading

Waste management: How we did it at Sobha Althea & Azalea…

It took a lot of brainstorming, planning and a little bit of crisis management to put an efficient waste management system in place at our apartment in Bangalore. Almost two months since we kicked off this exercise, the collective efforts of some committed residents have only reaffirmed our faith in the fact that those who generate waste are capable of managing it at source.

Our housekeepers are busy doing secondary segregation of dry waste. It takes not more than 15 minutes every day to segregate dry waste into 5-6 further categories like plastic, paper, metal, etc.

Although new problems crop up every day and we are anything but perfect, we are proud because we took our civic consciousness to a new level and are not contributing to the garbage crisis dogging Bangalore.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how we went about achieving waste management at Sobha Althea & Azalea, Bangalore. Continue reading

‘English Vinglish’: Aren’t we permanently colonialised?


A script freshly out of the oven, albeit peppered with its own set of stereotypes. A beautiful cast spearheaded by an actor with gigantic acting prowess. The coming-together of a debutant director and a comeback superstar…

English Vinglish was set for an all-out success when Gauri Shinde’s keen observation of her mother’s predicament of being a non-English speaking woman began to verbalise itself. It seems the rest was all bound to happen: Gauri’s meeting with Sridevi, the latter falling in love with the script and the resounding success that should shame half-baked, dim-witted multi-crore and multi-starred melodramas into submission. Continue reading

Oh, Bangalore of yore!

South Parade, Bangalore.

First came the plague, then pride and then ‘progress’. That quaint, obscure village where rural air refused to settle now wears a façade of inexorable modernity. Long back, behind this façade stood a different kind of past. Ducking under the mystic clouds of nostalgia is perhaps the only way to enjoy it. Continue reading