Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rare Shades of the Evening Sky

This evening I happened to witness the beautiful strokes of some rare colors. There was a patch of fluorescent green and violet in the twilight sky. Call it art, call it science or call it miracles it is spread all around the world and every moment something completely delightful keeps happening around us. But in the midst of the entire conundrum we are missing some precious moments called marvels in our life. In the golden hour I witnessed the magical and colorful sky in the city of Chennai. I was amazed and awestruck with the magical shades of green and violet.

If I talk in scientific terms, it is the reflection of sun rays at the sunset. But these colors are of rare occurrence in the equator. Kept looking for the angle of reflection and refraction but there are something which the human being still can’t imitate.

If I talk art, the colors blended in such a smooth fashion that even artists would just stop and admire the sheer beauty of the magnum opus of the almighty.

Nature is full of mysteries and miracles. And the ease with which things occur and co-exist in nature is a mystery and miracle in itself. No words can ever do justice to this master piece which we call the Earth.

For instance, we admire the beauty and strength of the huge rivers and waterfalls. Ever wondered where they originate from? How does water reach that height? Is the mountain high at some place than others? No human can ever be able to replicate any of this enchantment.

“There is a thin line of difference between fantasy and reality.
 All depends upon what you believe.”

If one wants to enjoy nature in HD then he simply needs to embark on his own journey. Nobody can own or possess the nature. We all need to just simply exist with it in our own space and time. Only then can this everlasting beauty can be enjoyed peacefully. I must say I enjoyed my HD nature moment today. Such little moments brightens up the life every day. Just keep looking.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ainthinai Tree Plantation Drive

Since childhood, I have always looked at this world completely awestruck because it is so beautiful and abundant of riches. Used to wonder how long we are gona keep developing and why to develop so much?  What are we finally gona receive after development? What is the ultimate goal? I always found the concept of development quiet bizarre because we develop to save time and end up thinking what to do with all the free time. Time passed and I too became a part of this system. Working and walking aimlessly, looking for comfort, taking a refuge to the tasty junks available all around. Villages and farms had become childhood stories to me. Then finally I ended up living in one of the most beautiful cities, Chennai. It used to be my dream city with all the trees and temples around. But it became a nightmare when I saw the filth around. All I could hear was the noise of horns. The city's lifeline, one of the best public transport system in the whole country, getting stuck in the middle of a mindless traffic. There was no escape from this concrete jungle. Went to St. Thomas Mount and saw the massive city. It had expanded beyond boundaries. This was actually a heart breaking sight because the whole city was nothing more than a pile of bricks.

Somehow I found my way to CTC and ended up working in a farm in Mailai. Met many likeminded people and the day started with the traditional Tamil breakfast of koozhu. Instead of having it in the modern mans instrument made up of metal, had it in the palm leaves. Felt that in the name of recycling we are still just using papers, rather than looking at the marvelous ways of nature for recycling and reusing its waste. Went ahead and saw many varieties of plants and trees. They are the habitats to so many different creatures. Man has built his habitat taller than the trees and yet it’s not self sufficient. Dug the pit, mixed the manure and fixed the sapling. Such a small gesture to Mother Nature. She was doing all this by herself till we poked our nose and tried replicating nature’s model to build a new habitat in the name of development and making this a better place to live.

Its ridiculous that people find it weird to live in villages nowadays. India is a rich land meant for agriculture but no. We want tar roads, glass buildings, pollution spewing vehicles all around. All the modern man inventions were made to make the life easy and not lazy. Going into economical language, the human life is following the famous bell shaped curve [Ref. – The Third Curve – Mansoor Khan] Development had made the life style reach the peak long back. Now we are the beginning of the unfortunate generations where all these riches are gona decline. Statistics show that how on the name of development we are successfully creating new diseases.

Oops. Too many thoughts shared by my fellow mates. But when we went for our lunch we all had the sense of satisfaction of having actually earned the meal that day. Not to forget our little star Jishnu who was a part of all the action and captured all these delightful moments.

With all these heavy words am just trying to convey that we have done enough damage to earth already. What we are doing now is just a little bit of effort to make up for the huge damage we have already done. If one wants to see the Jesus Christ mentioned in the Bible, then please look around. We have poked so many nails on the body of Earth and yet it is giving us more than we can ask for. If you want to see Lord Krishna for real, then look around for shower of all the riches in the world upon you from Mother nature. Take any other mythological character and you will find that it was all just our very own Mother Nature described in human form. Because it is always said that God is always around us and if we take a look it’s just nature.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


On Sunday, I was a tiny part of the 5th Phase of the massive cleanup drive, The Chennai Coastal Cleanup 5. That’s when I realized that the biggest bio-hazard on earth is the human race. Marina Beach is the world’s second largest beach. We feel so proud hearing these words, but how does it feel to have these beaches completely filthy?
That’s how I felt when I was ready with my gloves and bag in my hands. I and 6500 other volunteers were all set for today’s cleanup. I was a part of the group cleaning up the Ashtalakshmi stretch of our beloved Bessy Beach. A beautiful temple on the sea shore is what we picture. But just look a bit down and you find plastic bags, bottles and fishing nets. Brush aside the sand a little more and you can find the little treasures we have left for our future generations – Plastic spoons, Paper dishes, Rubber balloons, Thermo cols, Bottle caps, Oh! The list goes on and on. Public started coming and sat around watching the day begin at the beach and I found them strangely staring at us. That’s when I felt reassured to what I have always thought –
We all are literate but not educated. The ability to read and write is just not enough if you can’t put your knowledge to a good use.
In the school days we all have studied a compulsory subject called the Environmental Studies. Am sure all of us would have found it to be the easiest to pass. But the question is what have we learnt? People have happily made the sea a dump yard. We are the creators of our own doom. We have not discovered enough cures to the number of diseases we created on the name of upgrading the lifestyle.
With all these revolutionary thoughts I filled three big bags of garbage and went to the dumping point. We all were finally able to clear 50 tons of garbage in those few hours. Well this is not a matter of pride but shame. Just imagine if we were able to collect this much rubbish in those few hours, how much is still lying there. God knows how much debris is still left behind.
What we have done is a very small part. It’s high time we mend the damages we have done or else nature has its own way of clearing the environment in a jiffy. People who believe and worship god should start respecting the nature, which is God. God is here there everywhere right? So all better show some respect and stop offering dirt and filth to the sea. It is time we co-exist with the nature.

This is not an event. This is how beaches should always be – CLEAN!!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Stepping out

5:30 am IST. All assembled at Guindy. I was rushing from home thinking that I am the only one late. Reached the spot and the first person I met was Nambi, a guy whom I knew only by his name. This was my first trip with CTC and didn’t know anybody here. Was to spend the whole day with complete strangers. But my head was completely blank at that point f time. Went ahead and met Kumar sir. There I saw a girl coming. Looked a lot like school girl but later realized that she is a school teacher, Archita. Well a close guess. Then came a voice from behind introducing herself and meeting us. Gayathri, a very warm and friendly person who knew how to strike a conversation. These were the first set of people I met that morning. This eased me a little. The dawn broke and world started shining and my eyes went to the clock and it was going to be 6:00am. I was wondering why weren’t we starting now and suddenly we started. We were told that some 6 people are yet to come from Tambaram. And in no time we reached the first destination. There I met Nandhini, an amazing lady who defines what is being young at heart. Seeing such people makes you realize that age is just a number. After that I came to know that 3 people were late. This gave a window for a biscuit break (a break even before getting started) because the breakfast was going to get a bit delayed. But as always the journey is the fun part. I was enjoying the scenic road to Madhuranthagam. We had a little halt for tummy refill and again back on the road. When I turned around I saw half the crowd drowsy. Even though it was a bumpy ride people managed to dose off and their bags seemed to be good cushion to them.
Finally we reached our destination at 10:00am and it was already hot outside. We all marched inside the farm which had trees of all sorts. Never thought that these many different varieties of trees existed right next to me. As kids we learn about flora and fauna in science and we learn how many different species are there. In those days I always felt that these all exists only in forests but I was proven wrong when I walked among the most exotic trees of the world. Let me name a few like the – Fox tail palm, The Golden Palm, The Seashore Paala, The Breadfruit Tree, The Galabash Tree, The Kadamba Tree, Ebony, Bitterash, Ashoka Tree, The Sand Paper Tree and so on. All had their own peculiarities and were amazing in their own way. Never knew Palm had so many varieties. In fact the farm had 21 varieties of Bamboos alone!!! To name a few – Golden Bamboo, Vietnamese Bamboo, Bengal Bamboo, Chinese Bamboo, Red Shoot Bamboo and the Tripura Bamboo etc.

We are so busy earning a living that we forget what is living. When we go away from the commotion of the city we realize what we are from the inside. One never grows up in life, they just adapt to the situations. But once we are put into a place where life is all about having fun we actually start living and breathing for a change. Taking a step outside the easy life we live gets us to go around the world, meet new people and make new friends. Have you ever wondered how much fun the people in the channels like NGC and Discovery are having? Ever wondered how to get that kind of living? Well, I have wondered and the secret is simple – STEP OUT.

As the sun started going to the top few of us (including me) rushed to the pump shed to have a shower. After ages did I go to such a place and all the suppressed craziness jumped out. Suddenly all were not a stranger anymore. Felt as if I had known them for ages. I guess that’s what happens when liked minded people meet. Never thought wavelengths can match like this. After having fun in the water we turned around to see when were the others gona come and within the blink of the eye the power went off and others missed the fun.
This is one of the major problems faced by the farmers – power supply. They don’t have enough access to electricity. They get power supply only for 3 hours a day. They are unable to draw enough power to water the trees. This is an issue that needs to be resolved so that the lives of these trees are kept safe.

All were worn out after a hot day and were eagerly waiting for lunch. And at dot 1 lunch came just as planned. Went and sat under the shade of the paradise tree. It surely was paradise beneath it. It was huge enough to give shade to all 35 of us. Tummy savored the simple delicacies like sambhar rice, kaara kozhambu, rasam, moru and not to forget the applam which all were snatching from one another just like school kids. Well this made the Hindi phrase come true – Dil toh bachcha hai ji (Heart is still just a kid).
After resting for a while post lunch, we proceeded towards the next farm which was supposed to be a mangrove. But instead we ended up in a Coconut farm. Again our exploration began and we found a huge well. The perfect place for an ultimate dive. When I realized the height and depth of the well I decided to be a spectator. One of my biggest fears is snake and this makes it easier for me to spot one very soon. I spotted a beautiful golden colored little snake happily slithering in the well. This made me double sure not to get inside it.

I started hearing loud noises. When I looked around I saw the guys getting ready for the dive. I was surprised and shocked at the same time. I had seen such things only in cinema. Before I can even process these thoughts guys started jumping. Then came the amazing lady, Chitra, the only lady who dived. This made me feel why not try the jump but then I said to myself, “please remember, you are just a beginner level swimmer. Don’t you dare put yourself and others into trouble.” So silently I rush down the steps and demanded for the tube. I somehow gathered enough guts to get inside the well even though I knew a snake is lurking around. Wasn’t even able to swim, Rajsekar had to push me to the other side. But even this little thing felt so damn amazing that I don’t have enough words to describe that feeling. When I came out of the well I was having new set of friends, new nick names, lots of giggling and fun. I don’t know about others but surely did find my wishing well.

Then we all gathered and introduced ourselves and talked about our experience. This session helped breaking the ice between all and we found a part of us in each other. A flame of greenathon was lit among all got and got all of us much closer than what we were in the morning.

In the return journey I was back in my talkative mode and the people who were complete strangers to me became people whom I can call buddies.

So, at times you just need to step out of your home and see the world around. Its full of wonders and amazing people. One doesn’t need to be hero to go for adventures. All one needs is passion towards life and the world is with you. Hakuna Matata.