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Showing posts from September, 2008

Happy Dusshera / Navaratri

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Season's greetings - it's festival time.

If you'd like one of these handmade (fabric paint on silk/cotton base), please leave a comment, or visit Kalasaras. These are offered as wedding or house-warming gifts.

For the country - different shades

"An ace shooter wins gold and the Govt gives over Rs 1 crore in awards. Another ace shooter dies fighting terrorists and Govt pays out Rs 5 lakhs."
Somebody initiated that thought through sms.
The two had similar skills; the targets were different. Each did his bit, contributed his might (mite) for the country. But how very different are the consequences and after effects!
Even as I pondered over that, I came across these verses.
Dear Madame President,

Should I severe the ties that are almost a decade strong?
Should I chew my words and call my decision wrong?
Should I return the trousseau that my mother chose?
Should I turn all the festivities into an affair morose?
Should I go and tell him that I love him no more,
Shattering him again and making his heart sore?

Whose fault is it, dear madame, that I decide thus?
Would you say that it's personal and I should not fuss?
Nothing, my dear lady, is personal about a soldier's life.
For when has he thought of his mom, dad, kid and wife?

'Green Earth Machine'

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The newspaper today featured the efforts of Foundation for Greentech Environmental Systems at providing viable sustainability solutions stemming from deep concern for the environment. To one who swoons from despair over fellow citizens' non-green attitudes, especially towards their own garbage, the services offered by Asit Nema's team are like the smelling salts.
Among several answers to problems of municipal and domestic waste management, the GEM 'Green Earth Machine' is one that can easily and immediately be used by bungalows, apartment complexes, and even eateries. All you need to do is "sow" kitchen waste into the bin, throw in a few dry leaves or pieces of paper; you'll soon "reap" enough manure to sell or to use in your own garden.
At about Rs 2000/ per bin, your enjoy several returns - you have taken care of your wet waste, you have produced organic manure, and best of all, you return good earth to the Good Earth.
Fingers crossed, I now proc…

Redefining Growth to include sustainability

Agricultural growth rate: 9%
Economic growth rate: 3.5%
How perfect, if the growth rates read like this, and not the other way round.
Across nations, economic gurus, governments, media, news-makers - all bask in an artificial glow assumed from the near-double-digit rates.
Over the last year, when the economic growth figures read upwards of 8% and agriculture sector just over 3%, one wishfully thought - "If only they were the other way round".
Today, finally, at least one major TV channel focussed on the issue of redefining growth. (Rohini Nilekani's 'Uncommon Ground')
It is time humankind redefined progress, prosperity and growth. Economic indices will have to include only sustainable development factors as asset-creators, in any and all spheres of human activity. Our very existence entails environmental costs, and add to this each person's (thoughtless) actions, the environmental costs increase several-fold. As of now, very few persons are likely to listen to, l…

Happy Onam - Onaasamsakal - ഓണാശംസകള്‍

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Onam - 12 Sep.
King Mahabali is welcomed warmly with colours and designs in the traditional Onam flower patterns - Pookalams.
Here's a visual treat of designs and colours.

Cold comfort, but the Problem is Inexorable Warming

"Madam, you are the first person to bring your own bag."
This, as I buy a few apples from the fruit vendor and place them in my shopping bag.
To me, this 'award' / 'title' / 'compliment' has been frequent, from greengrocers for the past several years, through my stay in localities in Bangalore, Coimbatore and now Delhi.
As I walk away, a thought occurs, and I turn back to enquire, "How long have you been fruit-vending in this locality?"
"About 5 years..."
"And in all this while have not customers brought their bags along?"
"No madam, they start to argue if I do not offer the the plastic bag..."
To say I am appalled or aghast would be to overstate feelings... 'sad' better relates to what one feels. But the ubiquitous colourless p.bag is evident all over. At the weekly vegetable market, "Bhaiyaa, give me another carrybag...", can be frequently heard while grocery-shopping.
Sprawling malls, wide roads, an…

Aum Gurubhyo Namaha!

It's Teacher's Day today. (Read about Dr S Radhakrishnan, India's second President whose birth anniversary is celebrated as Teacher's Day every year in India)
When we were seniors in school, we always looked forward to this day, when senior students conducted classes for the rest of the school, while the teachers enjoyed the (much-needed) respite.
The Olympics just went by, and I remember one of my teachers - Mr MTW - the PT master of our fledgeling school in Chennai in the '80s. He is Discipline personified, and expected, encouraged and trained excellence in his students. He easily identified talent, and set up a morning regimen for atheletes, and his perseverance consistently paid off - the school performed well at several sports meets. He was also the teacher incharge of the Road Safety Patrol. Looking back after 20+ years, I wonder at the dedication of most teachers of that age, and earlier. (At that time of course, any kind of efforts at discipline seemed '…

Jai Ganesha!

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Can you make out 15 names?