Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

a new hope - kamal

i was a very keen observer of politics for many years. but not since i moved into the rural/farming life. in fact, i believe that we are always on the losing side.
even when the AAP phenomenon was developing, i remained disconnected, though marginally interested. while many may have moved on from the heydays of hope that anna hazare/kejriwal inspired, i believe that AAP phenomenon is still very worthwhile.

coming to the topic...
i am an unabashed fan of kamal hassan's movies. have been for a very long time.
since his turn into the political sphere, my non-existent interest in politics is showing signs of resurrection.
i strongly believe that kamal will be a positive force for our society.
there is skepticism and much rolling of eyes, especially from the upper classes.
i really like that he is taking his time to roll out his plans.
change needs time. we may be a society in a hurry, but speed rarely helps towards lasting change.
he is a fresh breath and i foresee his contribution to be very valuable. and i aim to be a part of this process.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

appudu has moved on

nearly 7 years ago, appudu (appu) entered our lives.
our first experience with pets. he entered as a rat-control remedy but he remedied us big time.
he was all things one has seen and read about pet cats - only a bit better on most fronts!
he taught us much and we are far better human beings because of him.

he protected his turf fiercely from others of his kind of others of the slithery venomous kind.

once, we had erroneously overdosed him while deworming. we took him to the chennai veterinary hospital and he overcame much odds to survive and in the process became a case study in the students' academic course work.

we attempted to move him from pR with us to our new location, but he moved back to his comfort zone and continued his reign over our hearts - from a little afar.

he died a couple of days ago. he will stay alive in other dimensions.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

the relentless heat and other news

since september 2016 till date - over 240 days, our area has received exactly ONE day of recordable-level rain and another 2 days of sprinkly drizzles.
during this time, cyclone vardah demolished madras in early dec 2016, jaya amma died, jallikattu protests rocked TN (mostly forgotten now, i think) and more memorable events have transpired.

the failed north-east monsoon of 2016 is already in the record books as the second worst ever in 150 years.

and through may 2017, several parts of tamilnadu have received good summer rains, but a strip of width approx 30-40 kms along the coast from madras to pondicherry has missed out.

through may 2017, we have had at least 15-18 days of very hot (>40 deg C) days.
a scorcher of a month, never before experience by us (in 8 years).
even our well shaded house with high levels of ventilation is barely tolerable.

we had a sub-par agricultural performance in our main season from aug 2016-april 2017. yields remained low for paddy, dals, sesame and abysmal for groundnuts.

through all this tough times, our well has stood strong and we have a good level of water. we are eternally grateful for the previous owners to have picked a great spot and dug such a bounteous well.

as the south-west monsoon has set today (30th may 2017) over coastal kerala, we pray that we get some respite  over the coming month(s).
otherwise, some serious tragedies loom in the neighbourhood.

we have also taken on 4 additional family members, 2 oldish cows (kamala and her daughter haasini) and one female calf (abirami). kamala was scheduled for the meat market, but the kind owner was happy to let us take her away and tend to her till her time comes. haasini still has some mileage left and will go back to the owners in some time. abirami may stay for a bit till she goes through her first delivery.
and lastly sg kittapa aka kittu, a mongrel pup walked in seeking shelter and is currently 3 months old and a tyrant in the making.

one thing that all of us are looking out for - a respite from this relentless heat.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

anupam mishra - a recollection

sometime in oct 2012, we found ourselves with time to kill in delhi. as chance would have it, we decided to visit the birla house memorial of gandhi and to our delight, shri narayan desai was delivering the moving gandhi katha series.
we took our seats and were transported to the times of the freedom struggle.
as the lecture was coming to close, i noticed a familiar dignified gent in our front row. he was shri anupam mishra, whose spell-binding ted talk i had written about.
we introduced ourselves and he was all grace. he took down our address and very soon we received a copy of his book - aaj bhi khare hain talab - a veritable masterpiece on the water management practices of our ancestors.
it was indeed an unforgettable evening to be blessed by two legends.

shri mishra recently moved address and here is ram guha's evocative obit piece.

tennyson wrote 'the brook' with the memorable line - for men may come and men may go, but i go on forever.
it has been the lifetimes work of shri desai and shri mishra which has made this line a reality.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

being on the losing side

wendell berry responding  to the US Presidential elections, once again says it beautifully and precisely, "I’m still on the losing side and that’s where I’ve taken up my residence … If Hillary Clinton had won, I would still be on the losing side. And I would just have to go to work.”

we have been racking our brains for an appropriate response/comment to the many interesting events post november 2016. berry nails it.

as we enter the eighth year of this rural/agricultural based life, over the zillion interactions we have had, we can only smilingly nod at berry's wisdom and realise once again, that such a deep understanding will happen only to those who feel the earth between their fingers each day.

the demonetisation did not  affect us directly much, but its impact in our neighbouring areas has been severe. why would the govt do something this hurtful has been easily explained in this article.

new year greetings to all.