Archive for March, 2008


Today is unique; as my friend put it, it is “Amar Akbar Anthony” or “Ram Rahim Robert” day. Holi, Milad-un-Nabi (the birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him) and Good Friday are all being celebrated today.

It is probably simplistic and idealistic to wish, as someone I know did, that each community feeds sweets to the others; but I do think that’s such a nice thing to wish for, anyway!

Having been born a Hindu, I have been privileged to be exposed to Christianity and Islam as well. We lived near two churches where I would visit very often; they were quiet citadels of peace where one could “recharge one’s battery” as it were. I would attend midnight Mass regularly during Christmas; the service on Palm Sunday, when everyone would walk out of the cathedral with candles in their hands, is still etched in my memory.

When I moved to this city, I lived within walking distance of two mosques, and learnt to understand the call of the muezzin to prayer; and realized that the words addressed to God mean much the same no matter what the religion. I also had a neighbour who was very knowledgeable about Islam and the Quran, and shared some of that with me. On Muslim festival days, I would get kheer (specially prepared for me as I was a vegetarian!) from her home, and I would send across “payasam” and “vadai” on Hindu festival days.

And since I grew up in the north of India, Holi was also something we celebrated though we hailed from the South. In fact, being in a land different from one’s own meant, to me, that one had more festivals than just one’s own, to celebrate!

So, for me, colours have a special meaning. Like the rainbow, I strongly believe that humanity comes in all colours of beliefs, and each of them is as valid as the other, provided each does not hurt anyone else. To me, the Festival of Colours is not just a Hindu festival, but a secular one, celebrating differences.

Today as I went about my shopping chores, I watched so many children drenched in many colours, dodging about happily; and I thought I would like to share, not the colours created by human beings, but the colours that Nature herself has created and shared with us.

Here is an image from Biligiri Ranganna Hills, about 4 hours’ drive from Bangalore:

rangeela k gudi jlr 180308

The blue of the sky, the red of the new leaves, the greens of the older ones…Nature indulges Herself in colours, variety, and differences, too.

And Bangalore has also been experiencing the colour of green because of the rains:

rainy day casa ansal 210308

The raindrops fall, and they dance at the tip of the palm fronds; they bring life to the trees and the plants of Bangalore, and bring a reminder that green is a colour that seems to be fast vanishing from our environs, and being replaced by the grey of concrete.

So as we celebrate one or more of the three festivals of today, let’s remember two things: One, to respect our differences…it takes seven colours to produce the beauty of a rainbow, and two, to protect the colour green in our city!

In Flesh & Blood – A memory of actor Raghuvaran

Some of them may ask what the fuss is about. It’s no big deal really. But for those of us who get a little excited when we see TV or Film personalities in flesh & blood, this may make sense. For most of us the TV or the Film world means a different world altogether. It communicates glamour, money, fame, popularity & power. Our TV shows & films create a dream and we lap it all up. I suppose the impact that they have on our habits, our looks and our dreams is enormous. Now what happens when you see such people in person, in flesh & blood? Most times you are in awe. You pause. Give a second look. Stare and then you move on having that memory registered forever. Below is one instance of seeing an actor in flesh & blood right here in Bangalore

It involves Raghuvaran. Raghuvaran is a popular actor who has acted mostly in South Indian films. He plays the doctor who saves Sivaji in the movie Sivaji starring Rajnikanth. This incident happened on Brigade Road. The swanky car was driven by a chauffeur & Raghuvaran was seated backseat & was smoking. I was directly behind the car riding my bike. There was no give away of course that it was him. Just a nice car in front, that is all. But check out the drama that followed. This swanky new car crosses the traffic signal at the Mota Royal Arcade junction & proceeds straight towards sulay circle. Here this swanky car brushes the car in front. So you know what happens in situations like this. Out hops the driver, ready for a duel & collect the damages. The swanky car driver talks/shouts to the affected car’s driver. No resolution in sight. And this is where Raghuvaran steps out from the back seat. He walks to the front & confronts the affected car’s driver. The only thing Raghuvaran does on getting face to face with the affected car’s driver is to raise his hands & point all his fingers towards himself & shake his head as if saying, “Its me. Do you recognize?” He repeats the action once again, when he doesn’t see any reaction. The affected car’s driver recognizes Raghuvaran & smiles. He shakes his head & smiles some more. His intention to duel completely disappears. Raghuvaran shakes hands with the affected car’s driver & walks back to his seat puffing his cigarette.

I have shared this incident with a lot of people. It just goes to show the love & admiration we have for people in the TV or film world. It is anybody’s guess how that argument would have proceeded had it been someone else.

It is sad to know that Raghuvaran is no more amongst us today.

The Sacrifice…

 The Sacrifice

New Metro for the city is taking a big toll on the environment, Inevitable yet sensitive fact that in the name of development many old trees are getting sacrificed. This is a picture from the CMH Road where metro would pass taking a detour.

The garden city is witnessing this challenging situation to try and achieve rare balance of modernization & nature….

The Glow-Worms of Nanda Road Park!

While many of us rush off to the parks and the jungles, hoping to see birds and mammals, there are quite a lot of creatures all around us, which are, quite literally, underfoot and often not noticed.

Karthik , the Chief Naturalist of Jungle Lodges and Resorts, who conducts the Naturalists’ Training Program that I attended , had mentioned that he had been seeing glow-worms in a park near his home. Each year, for a few days around this time, he has been seeing the glow-worms in his own garden; but this year, he didn’t find them there, but in the park where he goes for his evening walk.

Since I was interested, I called up Pallavi, Vittal, and Anush. Vittal brought along his wife Santrupti and son Adu (dare I call him very cute?!) and we all trooped off to Karthik’s place where he gave us delicious Darjeeling tea, and we then walked (risking life and limb in the traffic, may I add) to the Nanda Road park.

Here’s a picture of a glow-worm in Adu’s hand:

glow worm in Adu's hand 190308 nanda road park


Vaishali Bisht Theatre Workshop at Ranga Shankara

Vaishali Bisht, and her Theatre Workshop from Hyderabad, came to Ranga Shankara last week. to put up a small series of skits followed by a play of 50 minutes. (more…)

Exploring new horizons in Kannada blogosphere

On Sunday, 16th March the very first Kannada bloggers’ meet took place at Indian Institute of World Culture, Basavanagudi. The event was organized by Pranati team. The motto of the event was to bring all Kannada bloggers under one roof to discuss about various issues faced and the future course of action.

Four prominent personalities associated with Kannada in Computer/Internet addressed the gathering.


Saturday morning at Eagleton


Last Saturday, I drove down to Eagleton golf resort with a friend who was playing
in the Mercedes Trophy. I just went along for the photo-op and my camera did the rest.
Can’t believe I shot these pictures :)

While the big boys went out to play, I spent all my time with these beauties
that were on special display.


Let’s nurture Lalbagh

In the light of the recent spate of tree felling, it’s even more important in this scenario to at least preserve the existing parks and green spaces we have (or soon we won’t have much left).

There’s a “Lets Nurture Lalbagh” cleaning and Awareness Program being held on March 16 morning. Do participate if you can!

What’s being planned:

# A run from Vidhan Soudha or Cubbon Park to Lalbagh

# 5000 volunteers show their sensitivity to nature, love for Bangalore, clean Lalbagh

# An Antique Car Rally inside Lalbagh and onto Raj Bhavan

I don’t have details on the exact time yet and will update as soon as I get it.

Spot Puncher Services?

Stuck because of a flat tyre?

Don’t know where to go, whom to call, what to do?

Well, not to worry anymore!

Here is some useful information.


 Here are some more details.


An excellent initiative indeed!

Isn’t it?

Three kinds of flowers….

This photograph shows the three kinds of flowers that most Bengalureans are used to….

three kinds of flowers btm layout 110308

On the extreme left is a florist. Floriculture is a major business in Bangalore, and indeed, of this part of Karnataka. Cut flowers are exported to all parts of the world from here; and one can get excellent Dutch roses, for example, or even exotic-looking orchids, for really very reasonable rates here.

The pavement stall, of course, deals with the traditional flowers….marigolds, roses, jasmine, and such flowers, which are either sold loose or strung together to form garlands, and are sold for city-dwellers to use in worship.

And above the little stall is a wonderful heritage that we have….that’s the Tacoma Argentina, whose leafless trees are a blaze of yellow at this time, and whose carpet of yellow on the road heralds the arrival of summer. Dr Krumbiegel, the German botanist, was responsible for the planting of trees in Bangalore in such a way that there is always some variety of avenue tree in flower….the African Tulip, Akasha Mallige, Jacaranda, various kinds of Tabebuia, the Gulmohar, the Copper Pod….

The way we are losing trees in Bangalore, I wonder how long we will enjoy this third category of flowers…..!

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