Sunday, May 30, 2010


When you take a drive from Coonoor towards Ooty, we have the Pine forest somewhere in between. Take a walk down through the trees and you will reach this beautiful piece of still water you see below..

The snap below is that of another spot closer to Ooty, the Pykra lake. We missed the boating stint out here, but enjoyed the view from this height. You will notice that the banks are plain, slopy and smooth and there is a kind of emptiness lingering all over here.

And the rest are that of the Ooty Lake. We had a boat ride here. The banks are full with green growth in total contrast to the Pykra Lake. We spotted more birds here and the emptiness was never there.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


In Coonoor, in the little space of a small guest house, we spotted this beautiful garden. It's gardener Munnuswamy is a very diffident and unassuming person, known may be to a few in and around that place. But his enthusiasm, hard work and commitment is very much out here for all of us to see. Munnuswamy's garden bagged the trophy for the first prize again this year, at the Ooty Flower Show, and he has been consistently winning the same for the last 4 years under more than one prize category.

Often I analyze, to understand, if a human can generate hard work and commitment on the fly. The truth is that he can't. The main fuel that generates these two, is the interest and enthusiasm. We all have to enjoy what we do, and only then will our outputs reach higher planes of quality.

Many times I read about our great national leaders, sportsmen, business leaders and draw inspiration from their lives , from the way they carry about themselves, and from all the things they are able to do as though it happens with a wave of a magic wand. But we have ordinary humans in the small corners of this earth, who are never in the limelight, who are unknown to most of us, but still generate work and outputs of such high quality.

And Munnuswamy is certainly one of the very few, who have grabbed my attention, giving me a high and an inspiration in what I do everyday.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Atleast thrice every week, I spend some time watching the Pallikaranai marsh from the top floors of my office building. This wetland is part of the Pallikarnai Forest Block in Thoraipakkam. This is a wonderful swamp with bio-shield reeds that saves Chennai from floods. It has been declared a Reserve Forest and approximately 114 bird species have been recorded.

This is the remaining part of the huge marsh that once existed and where a large number of birds flocked. A large part of this marsh got eaten up, by the dumping of waste and the still unquenched real estate thirst of real estate heroes that hit the city years back. Birds still flock this wetland and the surrounding trees in huge numbers during the seasons.…

An aquatic ecosystem is an ecosystem located within a body of water. Here we have communities of organisms that are dependent on each other and on their environment.

The Wikipedia states that the topography of the swamp is such that it always retains some storage, thus forming an aquatic ecosystem. It has been a home for naturally occurring plants (61 species), fish (50 species), birds (106 species), butterflies (7 species), reptiles (21 species) and some exotic floating vegetation such as water hyacinth and water lettuce, which are less extensive now and highly localized.

Recent reports of the appearance of the White-spotted garden skink which belong to the family of lizards, for the first time in Tamil Nadu, and Russell’s viper, the largest and the most widespread among Asian viper snakes, confirm its invaluable ecological status. Fish such as Dwarf gourami and Chromides that are widely bred and traded worldwide for aquaria, occur naturally in Pallikaranai.
Besides, the Windowpane oyster, Mud crab, Mullet, Halfbeak and Green chromide are some of the estuarine fauna present in the marsh. Birds like the Pied avocets and the Greater flamingo also frequent this wetland.

The pictures below are a proof, of the extremely bad situation of a part of this lake, lying on the opposite side, of the road that cuts across this lake. The city's garbage dump is growing in size out there and right now it's almost the size of a small mountain.What is seen as greyish stretches beside the water is the garbage slowly attaining mountainous proportions. We can see almost a small road running through this garbage mountain.

The waste and bacteria that seep out of these dumps, have started slowly polluting the water in this lake.

Extracts from an article published in the HINDU on the 6th February is below:
“Chennai is running short of dumping space: The Chennai corporation area has a population of 4.2 million people. The solid waste generated in daily is 3225 tonnes – ends up in dumping yards in Kodungaiyur and Perungudi. This is excluding 400 tonnes of construction debris generated daily. The city is running out of dumping space and fast. According to Chennai Corporation’ s estimates, the capacity of the dumping yards will be exhausted in eight years.
The non-composite waste like plastic has increased from 10 per cent to 30 per cent of the total garbage in recent years. The corporation should dialogue with ragpickers and recyclers, who play an informal and insignificant role in waste management.”
The Hindu, 6 February 2007, page 3.

The situation is so grave. I am still carrying on with my life......but am not sure what I can do to see some good things happening here for the birds, the flora and the fauna...not sure whether I can do anything at all..........


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