Tuesday, January 31, 2006


On a field visit on work, I was visiting few farmers in Kittur region of Karnataka with scientists from Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) and my colleague Manjunath. So, we met this elderly gentleman whose lived 64 summers called Mutagatti. He's retired (doesnt look though) and still continues to work with farmers, guiding and encouraging them with know-how.

We were by the sugarcane field and Manjunathanna pulled out a sugarcane by the hand, broke it by his knee (even i did. The sugarcane, not my knee ;) )

I slowly start to peel of the hard outer covering of the sugarcane and there I see the elderly gentleman who's way ahead of Manjunath, the others and me... (looking at his strong teeth and the way he was eating the sugarcane, my teeth were almost falling off!) who finished the stuff before we could muster even half. Mighty teeth!

Amazing he was/is. He says, " When my father was 90 he could do it and am only 64. With generations.... the strength drops"

The point he tried to make was with generations, one has feeble, brittle teeth.

Dentures save us!

Monday, January 30, 2006

The sparrows have gone

I really dont recall the last time i saw those brown-feathered petite birds.
It must have been very long back.

They say its the waves in the air that shooed them to near extinction. The waves that keep us cellular mobility.

And another strange but true analysis goes this way:
Apparently none of them woman clean the rice grains at home anymore.
We get cleaned, pakaged rice.
And hence, the birds have food grains no more.

So they all flew away to pastures where people probably maintain indigenous practices and live more natural lives and still winnow the rice.

The sparrows are said to be with them, in a land called far far away... from the reach of marketing ( the entire gamut of it included- branding, packaging etc...)

Your Majesty...

Your Majesty, this is in your Honour!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Raft along...

Rafted for the second time on river Kali (with her mercy)
and this time i swam in the river... ah! Sheer bliss!
The previous time i'd only floated on its serene waters with the affectionate sunshine all over me.

Hmm....i want to freeze the few hours that gripped me with the raft, the oar, the team and the sparkling river, the banks of wild trees and spectrum of green, the hornbills that flew over, the spirit of adventure, the instance of being in and consumed by every mili second of the NOW...


In my ear.... 'team forward...stop. team backward...left back and right forward...stop...there we have a rapid...all forward... and inside..." (instructions the rafting guide gives u)

Been rafting before?

If not.... go for it! if yes.... go for it again ;) cos am going to.

(Hopefully this time it should be Trishuli river, Nepal).

Friday, January 27, 2006


It seems like a boomerang which globalisation and the new economy have brought about.
50 years ago, the sun was believed 'never to set' on the British empire.

Today, the world is flat. And probably economics and equality and the east will go hand in hand.

Am referring to the UK Govt downsizing and outsourcing govt jobs to India.












This... and many more are the emotions that tears sometimes express.

What's in ur eye (I) ?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Celebrating India

Here's to the country of a billion people
(but whose citizens are feeble)
Of diverse cultures
( and power-hungry vultures)
The tolerant land of many religions
(but sections that want divisions)
The sub-continent of the world- where the snowfalls, desert trails, the tiger prawls
( where diplomats and infrastructure flaws)

With all its shortcomings, its my country, its my land.
Here's to it!!
Here's to those who gave us our freedom.
Here's to the soldiers that guard our frontiers.

Jai Hind! Vande Mataram!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

From my poetry collection...

Bamboo Abode - Author Unknown
I sit along in the dark bamboo grove,
Playing the zither and whistling long.
In this deep wood no one would know -
Only the bright moon comes to shine.


Alone Looking at the Mountain - Li Bai
All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other-
Only the mountain and I.

Liberation, just as it's called...

The toughest terrains, very often leads you to the most rustic and natural splendors. (Is that also the way LIFE operates?)

Nestled in the woods of Western Ghats in Kirtigadde, the Dodmane forest range, hides a precious pearl in the deep seas of natural splendor, away from prying and lurking human eyes.

27 kms from the coastal town of Kumta, Karnataka, this four km rugged trek in the forests overwhelms the nature-bug with cool air, green facades, tall trees, small leaves, some thorns and steep paths. Some silence and some rustle of the leaves on the trees and a hustle of the leaves beneath your feet...

That unusual deep echo that swallows the enormous forest, is of the mighty 'Woodpecker' (I learn and see) pecking … The woodpecker-bugger’s deed exactly goes into five solid beak-peeks into the hollow woods of aged trees to feast on the worms inside of it. While you follow you’re the sound and your’e eyes are delirious to spot the clandestine creature, the sun manifests in omnipresence felt through every ray of light that penetrates the forest and floods it off the otherwise nescience it’s engulfed by.

Huliya, a local tribe and our very interesting guide, grew up around this forest. He knows its nook and cranny and walks the forest like its his home... he makes around 50,000 from whatever he manages to pinch off the forest- honey, curative herbs and some spices etc. Local liquor enchants Huliya’s tongue much like the addictive beetlenut and supari he chomps on. We stop by his brother's home in the middle of the forest! Its aesthetics thrill me- that thatched roof and the indigenous home paraphernalia: the rug, lamp, cot, areca nutcase, the staircase, that stack of cane (soon to be weaved into baskets), the honey-making pot hanging outside the hut… the immaculate painting around the auspicious tulsi plant at the porch of the abode and the sweet hospitality, show just what a different world the people of the wild live in.

Soaking and basking in the MOMENTS, I learn how to hoot in the forest, which is a communication protocol, letting your camarade ahead of you know that your'e on the way. He must do so if he hears it... it means you’re together and all's well.

Once you touch the floor of the forest... you see the river flowing, gracefully yet wildly.
And there starts the second lap of the trek...by the river bed... a bed of rocks.

The sound of the leaves, the beak-peeks make way for the sometimes gushing and sometimes trickling water... making you feel you belong to it. You walk against the course of the water. (So, the water runs past you giving you a surreal feeling of going against the tide, walking back in time, of turning things around, like your going back in time to find something you might have forgotten)

The walk on the rockbed... ends with the graceful Mukti Falls surrendering its course of journey to the river. And I plonk on the rock like a nomad who finds solace in the wilderness, like a yogi in pursuit of liberation.

You can sit and gaze at her, you can sleep and stare at her… she’s all over you (am referring to the waterfall, if you're wondering ;)

The waterfall surrenders to a pool that cordons the waterfalls and the rocks that I sit on.

The pool drifts to the future course of the waterfall… gushing into rocks and paths that humbly wear off, making way for the never changing, ever new, water- the elixir of the earth.

Miracle Man

He’s no magician. He doesn’t produce ashes out of thin air. He does not have a huge fan following.

He is 100 years old

Does not wear seeing aid or hearing aid

Talks for couple of hours

Reads some more

Even walks for a while

Sleeps sparse

No bloodpressure. No diabetes.

No Alzheimer’s. No doctors.

Washed his clothes till he was 95

Went to his farm till he turned 99

( He founded one of the largest business empires, one of the best known in this side of Karnataka).

What else is this if not a miracle...

He’s Mr. Bindu Anand Rao Desai. Aka B. A. Desai

Ajja (grandfather), as I call him.

I'd gone to visit him recently with my sis and b-i-l and it was heartening and humbling to see him and be with him. He hasnt changed much from what I remember of seeing him since I was a kid. Just that he is less deft.

Ajja talked about how he'd lived his life. And how he went to Bombay to do business. He would comfortable expense an entire day with two rupees. He talked about the does of 'bara annas'. He said casteism wasn't around in the early 1900's... but got worse later. He's lived one helluva life! and continues to do so. A life of SIMPLE LIVING, HIGH THINKING.

Words of wisdom from ajja:

He says, smiling, hands clasped, his face with the radiant glow of a life lived with integrity:

“So u think, so you are. Remember this always. Thought is the mother of action”

PS: His ever-smiling face is a miracle too.

Crazy is normal

I’ve deduced for now and its here to stay: crazy IS normal

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Time is not the best healer, attitude is.

questions again...

is time the only healer?
then... what about love and prayer?
and that thing called sacrifice?


(loved ones have the power of emotions vested very tightly with them...)
a big incident and a rather small one made me ask...

why does it hurt to see a loved one in pain?
why does it hurt when a loved one says a rude thing, intentionally or otherwise?

simple questions with uncomplicated answers.
yet, not all that simple at all.