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

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

When doctors themselves become medical tragedies…

English: MedicineMedicine is perhaps the only sphere where we forget our social conditioning about shame. This is where secrets vanish. Morality dies. Theists find new gods, atheists turn agnostic and agnostics turn theists.

Some of these are possibilities, if not certainties.

Beneath all such life-changing events lies pain, something nobody can define convincingly. If you look up dictionaries for the meaning of ‘pain’, you will know what I mean.

We go to doctors with this indefinable pain, looking for a definite solution, succour and what not. But a lot of anomalies can happen in between because very few doctors admit their fallibility and thus, refuse to grow beyond generalisations to offer anything called diagnosis. Continue reading

High time we loved our own bodies. From a different angle.

Animation of the structure of a section of DNA...I thought I wasn’t someone given to numbers. What always interested me was how we interpreted these numbers, statistics. After all, aren’t facts a matter of interpretation? Do they even exist unless we put meaning into them?

But I got deeply influenced by numbers and size, both big and small, ever since I started digging into Bill Bryson’s writings. I do not know how other readers read him. But with me, each fact told through a number/size was a revelation of its own kind. It often felt as if the truckloads of information Bill dug out through mind-numbing research made my mind hurtle towards one deeper realisation: we humans know so little about our own bodies! Well, almost nothing.

This post will fall miserably short if I get down to describing what I exactly mean by that. I would rather take you through a few of them that prompted this post. Continue reading

Of friends and friendship and friendlessness


I happened to meet a person recently who was thus far just an acquaintance. A beautiful person with a beautiful mind and beautiful thoughts.

Everything fell in place like magic: the time, the meeting point, the logistics—all this conjured up over a rather simple pretext of exchanging a book for a hard disk full of movies and music. Continue reading

Dumbing down: Reducing our children to a bunch of box-tickers

It’s out: Some Oxford University students cannot spell ‘erupt’, ‘across’, ‘illuminate’, ‘blur’, ‘buries’ or ‘possess’ correctly, said a news agency report recently. It was quoting the examiners’ reports who termed it a “worrying degree of inaccuracy”.

Sounds bizarre, doesn’t it? Well, they can’t even get ‘bizarre’ right! Continue reading