Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Bangalore Metro!

I hope desperately in my heart of hearts that the Bangalore Metro begins to unclog the roads. If people can park around the stations, then like in the west I have seen a lot of people will park and ride and then drive home. Everywhere from the UK to Europe and the US this is one mode of transport that helps keep the roads stress free. And I hope those dratted bikes and autos will thin out now cause levels had reached where the bikes ride the pavements and honk at pedestrians.

The pics of the metro are great and were sent by my friend Hema. I thought I should share them as they do look good.

Looking forward to a ride soon once the novelty of it wears out:-0 For now its a family outing like our malls were when they first began!

Paul Beaudry and troupe!

The US consulate brought in a quartet of Jazz greats from the US and they performed at a free show on Saturday 29th. Wow! it really was a super show and I learnt a lot about Jazz which I have been fond of but not really knowledgeable about.

The drummer got up and did a song which accor to Aubrey Millet is known as scat singing. Thats one new thing I got to learn! Tim on the Sax taught me that the thick brass Sax he played was called the tenor Sax and the slim silver one was called the Soprano sax! Well I thought just that big brass thing was a Sax. The slim ones were clarinets and flutes. I was wrong!

I also learnt that its tough to do 'fusion jazz' cause to please us they played Yeh Dosti from Sholay and it was hopeless! I hated it and they got a very luke warm round of applause, poor guys!

However many were tickled with their Charlie Porter number and clapped along appreciatively.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

There is hope for our lakes!

On Sunday the 23rd October I was fortunate to be invited for a Whispering Wilderness Programme conducted by the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC) Bannerghatta, on the Urban Lakes and Birdlife of Bangalore. What a great feeling to be among fellow enthusiasts cause being an environmental journalist one tends to feel isolated as 'normal' people do not feel as keenly as we do for the environment.

Over the years I have collaborated with Dr Subbu an ornithologist and scientist from IISC, Bangalore and was delighted to finally put a face to the man. Stories on everything from the dwindling Vulture population to Birding from Balconies and Bird baths in our mini gardens, I have collaborated on a plethora of stories with Dr Subbu.

He just opened his arms and hugged me when we met! It felt so good, cause he is one of the many environment voices that I use for my stories!

The whole day was spent visiting different lakes in the city. The first was Kasavanahalli lake which is fairly pristine accor to Subbu. Then we nearly died seeing Bellandur and Hebbal which are just cess pools of sewage and a so called joggers path-- see pic along Hebbal lake was under construction. Amazing how bold our municipality is to shamelessly go on with their filthy practices with no one to call their bluff.

Bellandur and its polluted froth. It was a shocker. As kids we played in the Raja Kalve and now its just pure sewage.I was depressed after that, totally depressed and there was a tired silence in the bus as all of us were horrified with what we had seen.

The Puttenahalli lake on Doddaballapur road is heading the same way as at night the huge buildings around let out their sewage which we saw pouring into the lake -- untreated please.

Do they not realise that they are polluting the ground water table? All that filth is seeping inexorably down and that is why we are all dying of all sorts of diseases.

There were many youngsters in our group. IT professionals both men and women who had given up a very sacred Sunday to come and listen to Subbu tell us whats happening to our lakes. I try by writing, but finally it is us who buy those expensive apartments who must lay down the law with the builder. Insist that he is careful with fixing proper sewage connections. Otherwise let me tell you dear reader -- it is YOU who live around and who tap the ground water who will die painfully and slowly with all sorts of diseases which our uneducated forefathers were smart enough to understand and who protected the lakes.