Chinmayisk's Weblog

{March 17, 2013}   Water and Birds

Every year i travel to various parts of the country to observe the winter migration of birds. During my travel this year I observed some  ground realities . I had heard several people talking about India  facing huge water crisis .There had been reports  of severe water scarcity in several regions of the country . But nothing prepared me for the stark reality I saw in various places.The lakes and rivers which were  full during my earlier visits had completely dried up this year .This was the situation in January. One can only imagine how harsh the summer is going to be .The issue of water shortage is likely to become more prominent over the coming decades as the world’s population rises and economic activity increases.

water and birds 1

Our reckless usage has not only created trouble for us.The birds and animals are also at the receiving end of this crisis. These creatures who earlier turned to rivers, lakes and ponds to quench their thirst , breed and feed have no where to go. This has led to a lot of changes in animal behavior  .

rosy pelicansfb

India is a home to a lot of winter migrants  who fly year after year to  breed and bring up their young ones. Due to the changing global temperature the migrants have started coming in late and leaving early leading to lesser breeding and dwindling populations. According to a report by BNHS and BirdLife international a shocking  45 to 88 percent of bird species are expected to decline in the near future.Birds act as seed carriers and  natural insecticides.They are an integral part of our  forests ecosystems , urban ecosystems and the farming communities . The decline in their number  have frightening repercussions like huge food shortage .

Unfortunately , the solution to the  problem of water shortage is highly complicated and requires regulation of water usage at various levels. The saying in hindi that goes as “Boondh Boondh se sagar banta hai” ( loosely  translated to an ocean is formed by collection of droplets of water)  makes sense here. Each one of our efforts makes a difference to the situation. India’s per capita daily consumption is around 135 liters now and is expected to grow to 170 liters.With conscious usage  and adaption of  methods of water reuse and recycle (read more here ). We can do wonders .

There is one more small gesture we all could do this summer. Place a bowl of water on your compound wall , terrace or window sills .

bulbul by waterflycatcher by waterorange headed trush by water

( the images of these birds in water bowl were taken by my friend Raj Mohan M R .This was shot at his house in karkala , India  .)

This  will not only function to quench the thirst of these birds and animals .It  will also create a vibrant environment around your homes.This will  ensure  your mornings to be filled with colorful birds and their melodious songs.

I spent my last weekend in a very interesting fashion.A friend and a mentor of mine  Rohit Rao (A wildlife conservationist told me he was organising a  clean up in Kudremukha .I said yes to the mere temptation of an opportunity  to go to  Kudremukha National Park (Kudremukha is part of westren ghats and was recently awarded world heritage site status) .

one of the  views of kudremukha

one of the views of kudremukha

The plan was to clean up the entire 62 kms stretch . Around 8 of us started  working in the morning  after    loading our tummies with yummy mangalorean breakfast. For the next  2 hours or so we managed to clean only 200 mts such was the plastic accumulation .We filled around 8 gunny bags of plastic which included 300 plastic bottles and around 70 liquor tins/ glass bottles.This was a major realization to all of us. The rest of the sacks were filled with items of everyday use the biscuit packets of the biscuits we relish every day , the chips packets  and the chocolate wrappers we crave for ever so often, and the take aways boxes from our favorite restaurants. I began wondering how much of burden we add everyday to earth with these little plastic packets.Even so in the recent past with those enticing ads and all the talk about consumerism benefiting our economy. Ever major company has started selling affordable little packets in the name of boosting economies but, what we are not realizing that we are loosing our real wealth our environment. We all need to consciously put in more efforts to reduce our plastic consumption. Even if we did, we need to ensure the recycling of this plastic.

There is a reason why plastic is banned in National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries .They are  inhibited by various animals  and anything  that associates with a  human being  is foreign object. The animals being curious do not understand the implication of consuming plastic leading to suffering and death.


What puzzled me the most was we who cant tolerate our kids to cry can inflict such cruelty on nature.We encountered atleast during our work.

At the end of the day we were able to clean a 6 km strecth and we had around 77 kgs of garbage which included 1000 + pet bottles.This was around 10% of the plastic that was visible on the roads. The amount of plastic that lays burried in the leaf litter ( since it is a semi ever green forest there is a lot of undergrowth ) is a scary to even think of the amount that remains in the park.
It is none but every one of us reading this to blame for this .We want a mineral water bottle every where we go , we feel it is ok to throw away litter outside a travelling vehicle, even more we feel this green heaven is the only place to intoxicate ourselves.
Its a shame that we claim ourselves to be the most intellegent creature yet we dont spare thought before destroying something we dont have the ability to create.I wish we all realise this because at this rate there is not much time remaining for us to loose our planet.The drought , the heat are our big warning bells.Its time to Wake Up and Act !!!

{August 2, 2011}   The 24Hrs

There are some things which you would love to do more than just once.And yahoo open hack definitely qualifies to be one of those.All you need is a jacket , some good friends,a laptop ,some chocolates and a idea( The rest is off course taken care thanks to yahoo! :P).
I was soo fortunate to have all these
A good jacket- off course i had my camouflage jacket the best ever.
Some Good Friends – i am soo happy i met derick at RHok.He brought along Dan and Joanne for open hack.well thats how derick introduced me to other ppl.I met chinmayi at RHok and these two are my friends (its packback time !!!).
A laptop-my awesome laptop was there
Some Chocolates-well derick got an oreo and i got some alphenliebe so i guess we could make do with that ..

Now the big thing IDEA : well we spent a week on this racking our brains , rather those three raked their brains i left it completely on them 🙂 .I did expect a great idea. But,when the timer showed 24:00:00 we did not have a big idea we had a fruit salad though.It was then when i pitched in suggested lets do a cartoon maker.Being a supportive team my team mates said why not..So we stuck to it.When i thought it though i was
thinking of it a phone application written in Qt so thought of all the flashy stuff like gestures.
When the timer showed 22:00:00 or even 21:30:00 we were still thinking if it should be done it Qt or should we do it in some other technology we explore html5 , explored js and jquery and guess what we found gesture support.It was when we decided to go ahaed to do it html5 with yui , jquery and js :).we divided our work derick and dan doing the sketch part and me and jo doing the gestures , menu and saving part and later the slide show.That was the maximum break through until timer showed 17:10:00 derick did some amazing stuff with sketch.Me and Joe were stuck with the network sluggishness and non-availability of network.We has a sumptuous dinner where me and Dan had 3 gulab jamoons each (well i wanted to eat more but Dan said he would have only one more so it would have been odd for me to have more..) .With our dinner started our break through with joe working with the menus i was stuck with the swipe gestures and the html canvas showing up on my desktop but not on phone so had to bug pradeep(is a awesome hacker now working with yahoo) at 3 in the night finally got the gesture working :).by then Dan and Derick had finished the sketch part 🙂 and were racing bean bags(lol and were thinking of getting Douglas Crockford to race with them :P) and playing foos ball ( well i and joe played it too me playing miserably :D) and not to forget the elaborate midnight snack yummy food thanks to yahoo!.It was 4 in the morning when we went back to work and we were damn tired pushing each other to do work
and debating as to why bangalore doesnt have tech groups when ppl around us had crashed on the bean bags :P.
At 5 we had pushed some part of our code on the server and bang we had two issues seems like my gestures code and derick’s drawing were clashing with the same mouse event :).We finally got that solved and joe worked on her menu and Dan worked on getting a fast slide show.And i found out the converting from canvas to picture was not properly working on the phone.Well we spent the last two hours working all this out.
And then we were just pushing our code when the servers refused to take file size greater than a certain point.Wow we battled this out in the final few mins when the timer went 0 we were still stuck with it.Well we then decided to go ahead with whatever we had as presentation.Though we werent the winners the 24hrs taught us a lot a bit of teamwork, loads of fun ,loads of learning and ample amount of confidence that we could pull this through we can be the best pretty sooner .:)
thanks derick , dan and joe for making it soo special 🙂

{September 7, 2009}   The nagarhole jungle story

after the bandipur experience i can hardly resist going back to the jungle.I even forgot i was a fresher in a company and ran to ask my manger for a weeks leave which he so sweetly obliged (good bless munish:) ).so started my jouney to nagarhole. i travelled with natasha (such a sweet little kid she is )  the journey was so unplanned of it wasnt for hey we would be stuck in hunsur for the whole day thankful we caught up with vasu and the prashanth ‘s (the first two of the lot). once we reached we were asked to head to some homestays to interview them..i expected a rather dull amount of wildlife sighting but the rain made up for all that i thought i lost.The next day i went to one of the most beautiful part of coorg and apparently butterflies seem to accompany me everywhere i spotted beautiful southern birdwing,pansies and orange dip and offcourse the mormons. I also had the company of someones  honey colour labrador in those deserted but beautiful country roads .The work ensured that i got one of the most tasty and fresh cup of coffee from the places i visited  from the hospitable coorgies .This work showed  me a lot about my country we had to travel to all sorts of places .we got to go to the the most beautiful country side one talks about in books. ( if i get some amount of money and a partner i would go hitchhiking through out the country  there is so much to see).

The trip also was good in terms of loads of wildlife..we got to observe a pack of dhol for an whole hour playing .we also saw another pack hunting chital ..speaking of which i also got to see the rutting of chital which i so wanted to see some day (the chital make a beautiful noise during rutting it was soo beautiful to hear)..i got to see both crested serpent eagle and changabale hawk eagle.saw an shikra and a oriental honey buzzard  catching a cobra and flying damn cool.saw a line of swifts on the country side saw a lot of weaver bird nests 🙂 …offcourse painted strokes in kabini and the coracle and the ducks ( i got to learn a few more bird calls).. we saw flying squirrels too …the high points were offcourse spotting a leapord  and being attacked by elephants 😉 ..(u can read more about it here  the part of gangotri and the gajagaminis 😉  ).

{September 6, 2009}   trip to andaman and nicobar islands

One of my long standing dreams was to dive in the andamans.finally with my last bit of suns intership money me and mom headed to this heaven on earth.I could easily describe this to be one of the best places one can ever go to.the journey consisted of train journey to chennai and then a flight to port blair .flight journeys somehow excite me more not that trains dont but the flights have a very special way of showing u the world it is always beautiful from a flight window.This was offcourse a very special sight even with regard to my other flight journies we moved out of mainland and flew over the sea and the unlimited streched of clouds over it .until suddenly we saw thick  lush green patches approaching us . On landing in port blair the first things i noticed where colourful butterflier somehow those mormons,crimson roses and yellow pansies seems far richer than their counterparts in the main land. every part of this island was filled with greenary and the sea seemed so pure. The best part we only go to reach on the second day when we sailed to havelock island .This even though isolated holding one of the best and most prestine beaches had some of the most hospitable ppl i have ever met .

Havelock was like a paradise in heaven with such pristine beaches and vast amount of corals in the ocean bed .I finally got to take two dives in the ocean.The veiw of the corals the schools of fish were breathtaking i saw some amount of starfish,urchine,sailers,razor fish ,nemo and carrot fish apart from all other colorful fishes  i couldnot dive in the night though(which i wish to go back and do something) .I also got to see a lot of colorful coral ..(i could go on with the list 😉 )..

It was a pain to say goodbye to but i am sure i would go back there pretty soon 🙂


{September 6, 2009}   bandipur march 2009

I can easily tell this to be one of the turning points in my life.It all started with emails of camp being held and a hazy confirmation of letting new commers to joing the camp.Finally , i was informed one week before the camp that i could go.This was my first real trip to a forest until then all i had was interest but never really was exposed much .The travel plans were confirmed one day before  😀 thats how planned it was.But nevertheless it was one of those camps i can never forget because i earned a lot of friends from various backgrounds all with the similar cause.This was my first proper understanding of wildlife.

It started with me,sahana,prakash,anoop and anand pooling in anands jeep to head to our destination .The journey itself was an experience with prakash and anand spotting birds (trust me it was greek and latin to me )on the way.On reaching we met amit and poornesh.we spent a great deal of time on the stream where anoop tried to frighten me with the possibilty of an elephant and leopard little did he know that it excited me more. we had kunal who had come all the way from mumbai and spent 6000 on a taxi to reach bandipur(lol!!!) ..we ended up spending the remainder of the day the stream since the jeep that was supposed to transport us went away for repair !!!

Though i dont regret it cos we ended up studying birds getting entertained hearing their calls from anoop and then observing  malabar gaint squirells like for 2 hours caught all possible shots of them jumping,eating,fighting and even named them 😛 .The jeep finally came in the evening where atleast 10 of us plus our luggage had to fit in.prakash and kunal had a great time sticking there  necks out of the jeep the rest ous were almost dead with that 20 mins ride with luggage all over us and amit try to put ur hopes up on seeing the tiger while all that we saw was hare :P.Once we reached the camp the first thing i saw was my boyfriend the tusker jaiprakash .wow he was so magnificant it was love at first sight . The first night was a sure surprise with alarm calls and these so called bavehearts flashing their torch lights everywhere like the would find a predator 😛 .

The subsequent morning was worst cos i did not get to walk as a punishment to getting up late after 4:( ..The evening line was good though had first encounters with sambar,gaur(which i almost called bison ) and the lantana(which i called thorns :D) .The  camp was fun with ppl exciting at sighting animal from so ppl were lucky to spot dhol , elephants( which somehow never crossed my path even thought i went into elephant infested line 😦 ) where as other ppl like amit got to see loads of them .sahana was probably the luckiest to spot leopard,tiger,dhol,fha,mating bears(which even i got to see  🙂 ). I enjoyed the camp the most i got to see the proper moon set and the sun rise (the way i had never seen before).i even got hear ghost stories from bhiswanath ( who apparently sleeps after getting dropped at the start point in the forest until its time to start really terrifying for new comers who are scared of elephants 😀 ). we also had the episode of  amit showing us a chital and making us believe it was a tiger for which 15 us went in search 😀 .and  btw i also got time to have two dates with jai prakash who was very patient enough to listen to me and all blabber while prakash was trying to click snaps of us together 🙂

one other memorable thing i will never forget is i got enjoy the hospitality of forest gaurds who cooked the best ever lemon rice and the lemon tea in a anti poaching camp which was just a elephant proof trench and a small house (i seriously salute these ppl they put their life in danger and stay away from human habitation with no defense except a stic to gaurd these animals there hardly get any good salary or even facilities we talk about the armed forces but these gaurds are also the unsung warriors of our country and our planet).

This the first time the understood in full scale the importance of conservation and got to learn about a lot of ppl who have dedicated their life to it .like   x who headed the bandipur camp his diligence ,sincerity put all of us to shame.he single handedlt worked the equivalent for 5 ous.i seriously fell more of us should start working for the cause that concerns each one us cos without these forests and animals we wont exist for long .

I wish to play an active part in thi s goal .

{March 16, 2009}   anu the princess

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forest of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And, when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?
What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?
Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

– William Blake


i met this incredible tigress cub through one of my friends amit  stories of her and pics of her have turned me into a huge fan of this kiddo.she seems to be the most cutest tigress i ever come across.and from the stories from the press she is the most playful kiddo.(but the sad part is she will have to spend the rest of her life behind the cage in a zoo.)

{March 2, 2009}   an post mortem on my trip

i know its kind of too late.. but still it was such an adventureous and exciting trip i want to share it.

every place i visited was obsolutely unique come to think of it i visited eight states 😉 .

mangalore was awesome i got to spend my time on surathkal beach  and guess what i spent a lot of time on the light house it was absolutely fantastic watching the sunset and the view of the beach and the vast ocean . oceans and seas drive me mad i can stay there my entire life 😛

a few lines i wrote on the beach describing what i felt when i faced the sea:)

”  I have heard a thousand sounds but nothing as welcome as the fresh tide a ocean brings so fresh so young a welcome change for a traveler indeed but also a gentle reminder of how the best things need not be fierce .strength in mildness is what it says. The fresh breeze speaks soo enthusiasticly of the all the world it travelled yet so mild is it approach. the basking sun of the ocean warm enough to say fear not when i am here ”

well unfortunately i could not visit st.marys island but apart from that i had fun spending time on the beaches and bowling 😉 and offcourse hogging on ideal ice creams  and the delicious maharastrian and guju food which ashish bhais mom prepared 🙂

my next stop and major challenge was goa i was meant to be staying and travelling alone here ..but it seemed much easier than other places .goa was exciting offcourse i had beaches all over 😀 and guess what i got a few sponsored lunches  and offcourse lonely walks at 10-11 pm by the beach and loads of window shopping.

the high points of my goa “adventure” were offcoure my scuba diving it was an amazing experience.the first few mins i went inside water in a scuba gear i had problems breathing with it (like a fish) later i had problems breathing like a human being 😛 ..i had two amazing dives the first one was a ocean bed with a few corals . i got scrapped by at rock at the bottom 😦 .. but the excitement of being in the ocean was great responding to ocean life an excitement of it own. the second dive is something i will always remember my whole life it was a ship wreck a very beautiful site with a huge school of fishes so colorfull i had seen it only on nat geo and looking at it was so unbelievable ( imagine having fishes of yellow and blue swimming and fishes hiding inside the ship it was so exciting to see them )i made some nice friends with them though one of them even kissed me and my instructor burst out laughing (though i couldnt hear it 🙂 ).. the other high point of goa was para sailing offcourse i have parasailed and paraglided (in manali its a different experience will tell someother time )before  but this feeling sailing over water was amazing esp i was lucky enough to spot dolphins jumping during my stunt 😛 was great being over the massive ocean being in the middle of it the adreline of comming down was so unmatched if u go to goa or anyother place in season pls try atleast this for once . i can go on and on the time i spent in goa it was amazing

my next journey was to Ahmadabad from goa .i particularly chose train ( instead of plane)for this journey  you have got to travel this root the vindyas and their beauty is something u shouldnt miss also the travel by the sea and mandovi river( on those bridges on mandovi)  offcourse lotus ponds   near karamalui station that isbyfar the largest lotus pond i have seen (been to a lot of places but this was real huge) there is a lot of bird habitat u could observe as well very different birds than what i have seen around mysore 🙂 and the tunnels whoa there are soo many i loved screaming at the top of my voice 😉 ..

ahemdabad was a duller place though but i got to spend time with priti which i was soo longing and i understood one thing gujus love kite flying :P.. nevertheless i got to see IIMA and the gagras i soo wished to buy ..

my next stop was jaipur  this city is by far the richest city i saw in terms of colors and traditions and the monuments.since i was in the city only for a day i decided to skip city palace and go for the best the fort of nargad,jaigad and amer it was the best decision. the view of the city and the fort were nevertheless beautiful with rich and vibrant colors and strength depicting rajputs but the the fort of amer shined like a jewel seeing the fort light up with the show and the soothing rajasthani music felt like a dream.topping the day was the exclusive rajasthani cuisine i got treated to and offcourse the beautiful jewelery and clothes i bought..and guess what i found ccd in the fort i had an amazing view (offcourse i had coffee there lol) ..

my next place was dehli (tachnically  i stayed in noida in a house that was in a terrace with a huge garden and a swing in it and glass courtyard thanks to neha 😉 and with an amazing group of friends ) it was two days of non stop fun  shopping,eating and visiting awesome places.I shopped till i dropped and hogged like hell at chandni chowk (paranthas , sweets,chats everything i hog ).visited amarjawan ,birla temple,qutub,rajbhavan best part was walking bare foot on rajghat 😛 i went to presidents house in socks (lol) u should have seen the diplomats staring at me it was awesome fun..delhi rocked !!!

the last destination was nagal i boarded a train from delhi to chandigarh (which apparently reached there about 3 in the morning 😛 in the freezing cold morning god then i had to travel for 2 more hours in the dense fog to nangal by the time i reached there i was frozen to death 😀 thank god to heaters and razai i came back to life at vineets place.)nangal was a very special destination in a lot of terms it was  vineets place one of my inspirations in life. this town made me remember of y.n hoskote and those evening walks with grandpa to the ganesha temple.a simple little twoen with soo much peace and belongingness i spend time cycling then walks with uncle and offcourse eating sooji wala golgoppas and gulab jamoon and gajar ka halwa and parotas and sabjis made by saurabh ( nice punjabi food i had) and offcourse i learnt how to make masala wala chai which i drank all over the north 😛 .. we also went out to the anat pur sahib a beautiful gurudwara where the sikh religion was founded and had a trip naina devi and bakhra nangal dam one of the beautiful i have ever visited the canal in the midst of those hills wow its was simply beautiful even to describe. you have got to see it yourself .offcourse i even had an ropeway trip ..

it was by far one of the best trips i had ending with my very first self paid flight from delhi to bangalore ..

i learnt a lot of this during this trip:

how to be humble ,

pickles in north india arent hot

how to dress well,

where theres a will theres a way,

life is beautiful ( lol)

and there are loads of amazing people out there and loads of ppl to love you the train trip made me meet loads of nice sweet people who shared their meals with me , woke me up 😛 , chatted away with me ..helped me out when ever a problem arouse. i met people of all kinds some even translated gujurthi to me :)..

and offcourse travel in ac whenever u are travelling in the north.. 😉

{January 16, 2009}   my current state of mind

well  jordin sparks depicts my current state of mind so well when she sings the song so well

Hurry up and wait
So close, but so far away
Everything that you’ve always dreamed of
Close enough for you to taste
But you just can’t touch

You wanna show the world, but no one knows your name yet
Wonder when and where and how you’re gonna make it
You know you can if you get the chance
In your face as the door keeps slamming
Now you’re feeling more and more frustrated
And you’re getting all kind of impatient waiting

We live and we learn to take
One step at a time
There’s no need to rush
It’s like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It’s gonna happen and it’s
Supposed to happen that we
Find the reasons why
On step at a time

You believe and you doubt
You’re confused, you got it all figured out
Everything that you wished for
Could be yours, should be yours, would be yours
If they only knew

When you can’t wait any longer
But there’s no end in sight
It’s the faith that makes you stronger
The only way you get there
Is one step at a time

i know that i am good i am almost there making it to my dreams yet it seems so far away .never is excellence near it always seems far.all i continue to do is have faith and work . i would say she depicts the state of a lot of dreamers like me  the best way 🙂

{January 10, 2009}   my great trip


i am heading on my first  trip with my money

like some one said a picture speaks a thousand

words  here is  what i plan to do

et cetera