Sunday, June 28, 2009


the power availability today was pretty bad.
sunday. carpenters working at home.
trying to ignore the nail banging and sawing noises, i tried to drown myself in a book [on the origins of scientology and dianetics - more on that in some later post] sitting in the balcony among some plants..

so much for the preamble for the rambling thoughts this time..

first sight that caught my attention:
this is NOT one of the pictures from the recent trip to kabini. or any other wildlife park..
these are, i guess, domesticated cows and buffaloes, that have been left free to graze - encroaching on sn unprotected [in spite of the compound wall] BDA allotted plot.

so, the next thought was about other encroachments that i could spot around me..
This one, right next to where the buffaloes grazed - has been land under dispute between BDA and some other litigants.
the last court ruling was in favor of the BDA, and soon after they had also put up some fencing.
but soon after, the fences were tampered with first.
and segments began to disappear.
then, in one corder - quite a vantage point as it is on bannerghatta road and in a fairly heavy traffic spot, a small 'nursery' sprang up, with some potted plants for sale.
over a few months the business grew and occupied more and more space to cater to the increased volume.
diversification was the next step for growth - and got into selling Terra cota pots as well as cement pots.
backward integration, for this business meant making their own cement pots which needed more space.

the picture you see above shows the 'factory' and a portion of the road behind, if you look carefully.

with connections to the local councilor - who, i was told is also the supplier of water in tankers regularly, for this business, in addition to, i can extrapolate, of protection money, a couple of attempts to dislodge this activity have been unsuccessful.

talking of fences, at kabini, i saw a private farmhouse having an electrified fence. i guess the other extreme of being selfish, after encroaching on the wildlife territory.
howard hughes and michael jackson also fell in that category.

p.s. i watched the move slumdog millionaire on TV last night. i could relate to the comments made by some segments that the movie portrays some negative aspects of our society - but my comment is that we cannot ignore that under the guise of always being only politically correct.
we have our heritage as well as the successes in the modern world, but let us not simply wish away the negative aspects that need to be fixed as well.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


It is now more than two months since i started commuting to work by the company bus.

as it is getting into a routine driven by the clock, that was made me think..
in some respects, it is not very different from when i used to drive.

every day, get into the same vehicle, sit in the same place [sometimes in the bus, it might be a different seat, if my usual place is occupied, by the time i board - whereas in the car, it is the driver's seat always!].

while i was driving, the office was at a different location, that i could take some variants of the route - small detours here and there or take different by-lanes to avoid boredom or traffic. to electronics city, there is only one main road. there are some other inner roads and a toll road, but i have not tried them and the bus route is fixed.

in the bus, it is pretty much the same faces every day. it is good in terms of familiarity and also some continuing threads of conversations from one day to another.
i the car, many days, i would see other cars that i overtake or that overtake me, same traffic wardens at intersections etc.

some variability in the time of departure from home or work was possible in the car. with the bus, that is driven by the clock.
though the commute time may be variable - due to traffic conditions, it is not dependent on the work load.

the experiment i started with closing work by 6.30 has been quite successful so far. on a couple of occasions, i have had to take some calls in the bus, but by and large, i am moving to a 6.30 - 9.30 or 10.00 as a quiet time for work.

While in Mumbai, the bus timing was a great influencer on closing work for the day. but that was a very very long time ago. with the work profile changing and many of my activities being dependent on others - and having to find a common time for calls etc, i thought that winding up at the same time every day would be more difficult.

so far, touch wood, it has been possible. since i anyway catch up with work later in the evening [and my quiet time being much shorter - say between 6.30 and 7.45, as of now], it has been manageable.

i feel the most significant impact of the clock in the mornings - while getting ready for breakfast and going to the bus stop, as well as  evenings from 6.15 or 6.20, if i happen to be on a call - to see how i can finish the discussion by 6.30! that extra adrenalin is probably like the runners' high, though i have never been very fond of running or jogging. brisk walks is what i like best.

talking of time keeping and clocks, the two hand wound clocks at home have again started doing their own things - that is keeping pace of time as they choose.

i got them serviced some time back - when the horologist was very thrilled to service an 'antique' - as he felt that this was an imported japanese mechanism that might easily be almost a century old!

this clock was a gift from my father to his father - bought from his first salary!
a timely nostalgia on fathers' day!

the second clock was what my father got as a gift when he retired, from his colleagues.
the weekly wind ups, adjusting the length of the pendulum for seasonal variations and ensuring the orientation of the clock is as per the marks on the wall, so that it continues to run - are all part of the joys of having hand wound clocks.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

All they seem to do is..

a few days ago, i spent about four and a half hours in two safari rides through the Nagarahole national park.
it was a refreshing break from the routine - more so because it was mid-week :-)

though i have been on some other safaris and also seen many wildlife movies, it is always very insighhtful when i go through the experience of observing nature more closely - though under the guidance of a trained naturalist.

it was an open jeep, so the perceived danger of being 'attacked' was at the back of the mind. nothing like that happened, but i heard that others have had closer encounters.

a saying in tamil goes that one grain of rice [a sample] is enough to determine if the whole vessel has been cooked.

so, if i extrapolate what i saw, it appears that each of the wildlife specied seem to do just one thing!

like, the deer are always very afraid and wary of everything around them. [if you can spot the spotted deer in this pipcture ,that is]
we were told that the elephants need to spend close to 18 hours eating every day! particularly in the dry months, to get adequate quantities of food.

and the langurs always playful and somewhat irritated at being interrupted in their fun by the tourists!

and the moon just shining.. on the river kabini..

The highlight of the trip was the sighting of a leapord, sitting on e tree branch, after a sumptuous meal, i assume.
picture credit to a fellow-tourist who could get this shot.

i wonder if i can say something like this about me - other that what some others say - that all i do is spend time at the computer!

what is that one thing that anyone might say that you only do!