Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Survival of the fittest

The tree has already shed it leaves as a preparation towards the boiling heat of the summer. You can see that there are no big trees in the surroundings, wonderful that it survived all these years and grown up. The photo is taken from near Gundalet, on the way from Mysore to Sulthan Bathery. It was a bike trip from Bangalore to Wayanad; I started at 6:00 am in the morning and reached my home at Payyampally by 1:25pm. It was a fun to have such a long ride of 300 kilometers in bike.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Experiments with Namma Bengaloru Autoriskhaws

Before I start describing my bitter experience, I think I should mention about the article published by C.K. Meena in The Hindhu: Metro Plus Bangalore under the title “The velvet touch”.

Read the article here => The Velvet Touch

The incident happened long back ago, long back means around 2 years ago. What prompted me to blog about this incidence is an article published by Monish in his blog about a very similar kind of incidence. Read the article here ==> Solpaa egXtra egXciting RIDE and finally taken for a RIDE…
Monish is my colleague in MindTree.

Here goes the narration.

I was returning from my home at Payyampally to Bangalore after a weekend. 700 rupees consisting of two 100 rupee notes and one 500 rupee note, that was the money I had as liquid cash in my wallet. The bus ticket was 60 rupees from Mysore to Bangalore and the bus conductor gave me the ticket and 40 rupees back on giving him one 100 rupee note. Generally I am well aware of what all denominations do I have in my pocket or wallet. I reached Bangalore - Majestic at very odd time; it was 3:00 am – Monday morning.

I decided to take an auto to my house at Banashankari 3rd stage. One of the auto-driver agreed to take me there for double the meter amount. A small boy jumped into the auto after a while, from a junction, the driver said, he is his friend, and he wanted a company while coming back. The driver aged about 20 I guess.

When the auto neared my home the meter showed 70, so I asked him to stop since I had exactly 140 rupees as change and the other was a 500 rupee note. So if the meter had gone a single tick more, I will be in trouble and I was sure the guy won’t have change for that amount. I got down from the auto and gave him the 100 rupee from my wallet, and then moved a little back to get enough light to take the 4x10 rupee that I kept in my back pocket after taking the bus ticket. When I handed over the 4x10 rupee notes, he came back saying I had given initially a 10 rupee note initially and showed me one. He quickly concealed the 100 rupee note I gave.

Now no point in describing, some arguments went on, I was also little concerned, since it was night time and there won’t be any one to help me if the guy attacks me. I lost the battle, and the guy won the money.

I came to know about similar kind of incidents from my friend, and when I read Monish’s article, I understood that this is a repeated trick. I stopped going by auto at night time from then onwards.

I suggest government to look at preventing all these sorts of robbery before they start renaming Bangalore to Namma Bengaloru.

Coffee Beans

Photo is taken from our coffee plantation at my sweet home at Payyampally.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sunset of February from Payyampally

This photo is taken from my sweet home at Payyampally

49O - The Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961

49O. Elector deciding not to vote.-If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon as required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to record his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark.

Source: http://archive.eci.gov.in/manuals/part5/stat2z_2.htm

First of all when I received an email talking about Section 49O, I just ignored it thinking that it would be a forward spam mail as usual. But when I got the same again and again, I thought of verifying whether Section 49O of The Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 provides an option for the voter to caste no vote.

I searched the web for the truth and found a couple of forums discussing the same. I saw some arguments like in the Indian constitution there is no section 49O and the discussion continues. But the above quote is taken from http://eci.gov.in which should be trust worthy. I don’t believe some body will bother to host a web site in the name of Election Commission of India. The same argument is supported in Wikipedia also. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/49-O) So I concluded that there is a section 49O given in “The Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 which allows casting no vote.

In a country like India where there is a good percentage of candidates compete in election can be corrupted, 49O will be very valuable. Some articles say that if the number of no Vote is more then a re-election should be called. One good thing about this rule is that impersonation of voter identity can be prevented to some extent. The other good thing is that when the choices available for voting is note the one wished by a voter, then he can always cast his protest vote against all the candidates who are nominated.

How many of the citizens of India know about this section still remains as a question. Even if somebody decides to caste no vote, the officials sitting in the polling booth may not be aware of the procedure or even they may not be aware about this situation at all. Many times we may have seen a group of people protesting and doing a non-participation in poll for some reason. It would be a good thing if these collective strength can caste no vote, so that nobody can claim the majority just because he/she got more vote than the main opponent.

Maavu Pootha Poovanangalil...

Maavu pootha Poovanangalil
Vasantha Kokilangale Varu... Varu..
Kulireenamayi Varu
Alasam Mandamaruthante Theril....

I believe all that all Malayalees have listened to the above song at least once in his/her life. The song is composed by Mr. Raveendran Master – the great Malayalam music composer and who lives for ever in the heart of Malayalees, sung by Dr. K. J. Yesudas (Gana Gandharvan of Malayalam) and published in the album “Vasanthageethangl” (“Vasantha Geethangal”) by Tharangini. The above photo comes from my sweet home at Payyampally. This is the season when Mango blooms and it is a pleasant scene to see a big bloomed Mango Tree.

Climate Change

These photographs are taken from the plantations near my sweet home at Payyampally. Winter is almost over and the scorching summer is slowly creeping in. Many of the trees shed the leaves to survive through till the monsoon. It is interesting how tress change the colors during this time. Pictures are taken by Canon Powershot S2 IS, no digital modification done, other than compressing the image to reduce the image size and pixel size.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Illegal rock mine in Munnar

In the above picture, you can see a white patch in the top right corner of the mountain. It is nothing but a rock quarry. It may be legal mining or illegal mining. But I am sure that getting permission for mining such a forest cum mountain which holds an important role in the ecosystem of the location will not be possible by straight forward methods. The concerned people may have compromised on some offers or accepted bribe or may be neglecting the illegal mine.

Just look at the scenery and understand the impact the mine have made to the beauty of the picture. The mountain is seen from far; still the mine is seen very big. So you could imagine the real size of the mine and the impact it had made to nature.

Not sure why such people are only behind money but not thinking about the future of their kids. I got this picture while I visited Munnar on October to see the blossom of Neelakurinchi. Next time when I visit (probably after 3 or more years) the same place, I doubt whether this green lush will be visible or even the entire mountain may have mined. Oh God, please protect the nature.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Cranes - Near Kuruvadweep

Cranes flying together above paddy fields is a common scene in Kerala. After a long flight they just take rest near ponds and rivers or paddy fields where they get plenty of fish meals. Paddy fields will be filled with water till harvest, so there will be a lot of food available for cranes and other birds in paddy fields.

This picture is taken from a paddy field in between Kuruvadweep and Koodalkadavu near Payyampally.

More Snaps

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Some more Snaps from Wayanad

An unfinished sculpture
This picture is taken from Kanavu - A Gurukul style education centre meant for tribals of Wayanad, run by K J Baby; author or Maveli Muntram.

"Erattavalan Kili - A bird with two tails
This picture is taken from Kallanode. This is a common bird found in Kerala, I am not sure about the English or Scietific name of this bird. You can see the tail split into two.

1. A cat
This cat was sitting on the half place of my house and watching all of us. He is a regular visitor to our house, but never dare to enter inside.

2. The Sunset through spectacles
Picture was taken on a fine evening from MindTree Global Village, Bangalore after we had a function at the Cafeteria

Friday, February 02, 2007

Syamasundara Kera Kedaara Bhoomi....

Camera : Canon Powershot S2 IS

Date : 8th September 2006

Location: Photograph is taken from some where near Bharathapuzha while traveling from Ernakulam to Calicut by train.

Palchuram In Wayanad - A Beautiful Ghat Section

Panoramic view of Palchuram

Palchuram is new road opened from Wayanad towards Kottiyoor. My first ride with my car before I was an experienced driver was through this dangerous narrow ghat way. The drive through the ghat road was to attend one of my friend’s wedding function at Allakodu. He was my colleague at Marymatha [[link]] and there were 4 people with in the car including me. The dangerous curves and narrow road made me feel great that I decided in my mind at that time to visit this place again with a camera.

Dangerous hair pin bends at Palchuram

Before I went to this place with a camera, I had visited this place one or two times with my mother just for the purpose of sight seeing. A visit to this place is exotic, especially during rainy season and winter season. The whole mountains will be covered with snow and the chilling cold climate makes you feel wonderful.

A picture showing the depth of the valley

Near one of the hair pin bend of this ghat section there is a tea shop where I never missed to have a tea/coffee. I still remember the chilling water on my face; washing the face and hands with the chilling water brought through small pipes from some natural springs on the top of the mountain is really a different experience.

An over all view of the mountains and the valley

Some point of the road down the mountain is too dangerous that if a vehicle comes from the opposite side there is no way to give side. It becomes more dangerous when heavily loaded trucks, loaded with more than allowed weights climbs up. If they had to stop due to a vehicle coming from the opposite side, then they won’t be able to resume the drive up the mountain. Suppose such a vehicle stops in between and if the helper of the driver is not able to jump down and put a stopper beneath the wheels, then the outcome can be disastrous.

Streams flowing down forming small fall

Even though Palchuram is a narrow road, it connected Wayanad to many parts of Kannur district. Streams from the top of the mountain forms lot of beautiful small water falls here and there. After reaching half the way through this ghat section, there is a narrow mud road that leads to such a water fall, I forgot the name of the fall. There is the danger of getting bitten by leaches always, especially during rainy season.

View of the Waterfall

When I took the photos published here, it was rainy season and I couldn’t get a photograph with a clear blue sky. Some parts of this location are inhabited by humans. On the way to the water fall I found some areca nut plantations, but a good percentage of the trees were affected by some kind of disease; you can see the picture of the trees with out any leaves. The thick ever green forest makes this a wonderful sight seeing place.

Headless arecanut trees

I haven’t told by any body that there a chance of any animal attack in this location, I haven’t spotted any animals other than monkey from this location. But I am sure that the forest will be the inhabited by wild animals. It needs to be protected.