Showing posts from May, 2015

To Ma, with love

Dear Ma,

First of all, let me assure you that your grandson had his glass of milk and he is cheerfully playing with his friends outside. And no, the gate is not open – he will not be running across the road.

There, now you can breathe easy.

I realize now, Ma, that it is not an easy job – of being a mother. I don’t blame you now for all the frenetic calls you had made to my PG accommodation in Delhi to know if I was back from college safe, after reading a terrible incident in the newspaper. You would listen to every bit of news about the city I resided in. So much so that I would turn to you to know if the autorickshaw strike had been called off and I could go home in one. I chuckled with mirth as you rattled off transport statistics in one breath. Then, it struck me that you had gathered all information regarding my daily travel - just because I was your child.

You were the first one to call me and warn me about the Mumbai local train bomb blasts just as I had approached VT station, leadi…

Book review: Ramayana The Game of Life - Shattered Dreams

One of my earliest memories is of poring over a thick book, its cover worn out with the vigor of the reading sessions. My first ‘big’ book as a child was Valmiki’s Ramayana, translated into Assamese. I had forgotten most of the tales in the book till I picked up this book for review. 

Ramayana The Game of Life: Shattered Dreams is the sequel to the series being written by Shubh Vilas. The author is himself a spiritual seeker and a motivational speaker while holding a degree in engineering and law with specialization in Patent Law. He also helps individuals deal with modern-life situations by applying the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and other dharmic traditions. Taking support of Valmiki’s Ramayana as its guiding light, the author strives to entwine poetic beauty from the Kamba Ramayana and Ramacharitramanas, as well as folk philosophy from the Loka Pramana tales, to demonstrate how the ancient epic holds immediate relevance to modern life. 

I have not read the first part. A…

Book review: Capturing Wildlife Moments in India by Ashok Mahindra

The first thing that strikes you as you pick up this book is the steely, if slightly contemptuous, eyes of Ustad (T-24), the largest dominant tiger of Ranthambhore. At the time of writing this post, Ustad’s life hangs precariously for killing a forest official and he may be declared a man-eater, if proven.

Ashok Mahindra, by a chance of fate, had chosen to keep this magnificent yet notorious beast as the cover page of his coffee table book. It is almost as if he knew Ustad was to become infamous for his deeds.

The book is a riveting collection of the author-photographer’s best moments spent in the wild, right from the rolling dales of Valparai in the south to the tall elephant-grass strewn swamplands of Kaziranga in the north-eastern part of the country. He has rightfully dedicated the book to the young adults, beseeching them to take care of the threatened species before it is too late. His passion for wildlife is evident in the ‘Thirteen ways forward’, brought about by years of observ…

Rainy afternoons at Devigiri homestay, Chikmagalur

This in another of my long due posts. In the meantime, the husband lost his stash of Chikmagalur pictures and so what you get to see here are my poorly taken clicks. I rarely use my camera ever since the husband decided to don the role of photographer. Thankfully, I had clicked these on a whim, so at least I have something to show now. In case, we are able to retrieve his folder, I shall update this post. 

We had visited Chikmagalur almost a year back in July (2014). Monsoon had set in but the magnitude was relatively lower. The heat made us look towards the hill stations near Bangalore and without much bickering we settled on Chikmagalur, although we had visited it once briefly. I browsed through the net searching for a decent accommodation, but somehow the ones that I liked the most were full. A foreboding thought crossed my mind that I would bump into half of Bangalore’s populace in Chikmagalur. 

Then I came across Devigiri homestay and it seemed to be a quiet place. Still, as is my …