I have had the privilege of guiding scores of volunteers from across India in kitchen and garden waste composting over the decade. Never once did I witness the enthusiasm and the spirited follow-ups that CRPF Head Constable Krishna Murthy exhibited from start to finish. He belongs to the 82nd battalion, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and is posted in Bishamber Nagar, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.Continue reading
‘If you write what you yourself sincerely think and feel and are interested in, the chances are very high that you will interest other people as well.’ – Rachel Carson.
Several months rolled by in sweet anticipation of seeing my first book in its physical form. It’s finally here!Continue reading
On this WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY…Continue reading
So many Earth Day messages and almost all advising others to “save Mother Earth”!Continue reading
WE ARE SWMRT
We think waste.
We think holistic.
We think sustainable.
We think biodegradable.
We think solutions.
Blogging doesn’t come easily to print media journalists. At least that’s what has been my observation over the years. In my case, it all stemmed from the need to create my own space to write whatever I thought was relevant. “If it is indeed relevant, it will be read,” I told myself when I registered with WordPress. Continue reading
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Hope floats in Mandur
“Yes, we are hopeful that the Chief Minister will stick to his word and we will see the end of it on November 30.”
If “Hope is a waking dream”, we saw it come alive in all its vibrant hues when V Srinivas and Mukund Rao of Mandur spoke at length on how earnestly they are hoping for an end to the agony that’s simply beyond human endurance. Continue reading
If Deepavali is all about dispelling the darkness, it must first arrive in the corridors of power, enter the corrupt vaults of bureaucracy and annihilate the callousness towards those living on the fringes in Mandur and Mavallipura. Let this light filter out into the streets, roll between the huts and the high-rises, and settle over the sidewalks. Continue reading
“Today, we were driving past this scene in a busy traffic junction near an underpass. Around five-six men were burning garbage and they had around six-eight big black bags and it looked like they came from an early morning Swachh clean-up job. Cleaning up, but creating environmental damage by burning or dumping of garbage is something that is bothering us…” Continue reading
About three months ago, we brought a Rubik’s cube home to play with, but mostly with the intent of getting our six-year-old girl interested in it. A few days ago, my daughter managed to solve the entire cube for the first time without any help! Continue reading
The unmanoeuvrability of death has taken you to a lane where no raindrop will evaporate in vain. No flower will wither in pain. No bird will sing out of season. Continue reading
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
“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.
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’.
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
Wimbledon 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.
“How do you wash your hair?”
“Hmmm… just like you wash yours, Rashmi,” replied Nalina.
“Mine is thin and short. But yours! Everyone at the wedding said it touches your bum.” Continue reading
“Long ago, I jumped off my ship which caught fire. Not a bruise or a burn on my body. I swam to the shore. But the land didn’t agree with me.”
As Khan uncle sat against the blameless blue skies on an extraordinarily beautiful sunny morning with that charming smile, it was difficult to agree with what he said. Continue reading
Food overloaded with fat can be a put-off especially when all you want is a bowl of salad and a bigger bowl of soup on a rainy afternoon. With those very few relatively healthier eating options shutting shops one after another in Mantri Mall, I had no other go but to drag my friend to Taco Bell for a fill yesterday. Continue reading
The buzz started at around 2 pm yesterday with a just few bees. In the next couple of minutes, the swarm grew bigger and bigger and the bees started piling up on each other. Eight minutes of manic activity, this massive beehive took the shape of black icicles and then, everything went silent. Continue reading
Recently, I made an early-morning trip to some nurseries around Lalbagh with a friend to buy plants for our apartment garden. By forenoon, we had done most of our work but couldn’t resist the desire to step into yet another large nursery studded with beautiful succulents. As we went around enjoying the fragrance of those green little beauties, especially gardenias, the nursery staff got busy loading the green ‘waste’ into a BBMP vehicle. Some 4-5 workers went on feeding the truck for at least an hour.
When we asked, they said it was headed to Mandur landfill. Continue reading
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.
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
Our trip to a small village near Tiruvannamalai began at the break of dawn on a weekend. I was accompanying my inhouse help Kaveri (name changed), 21, to a trip home that would have her commit to a consanguineous marriage with a man she hardly knew. Continue reading
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
Skimmed through this book all over again yesterday.This, plus the mercy showers… life is fair sometimes.
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