September 19, 2010 § 2 Comments
September 14, 2010 § Leave a comment
Thursday, 9th September 2010
05:00 PM: IRCTC comes up finally and I print my train ticket to Cochin. Looking at it, I suddenly realise my train is at 05:15 from Majestic and not at 6:50 as I was telling everyone in office. Note to self: (That you are going home does not always mean it’s a Friday)
05:10 PM: In one last ditch effort to catch the train from KR Puram, my team-lead drops me at Silkboard and I hop on to the first cab. The driver boy does almost everything except driving on two wheels, but flyover constructions all along make sure we take a good 40 mins to reach KR Puram.
05:50 PM: The inevitable happens! I miss the train by some 3 minutes. Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, it starts to rain. I board a bus back to silk board, more to escape from the rain than with any clear plan. And it takes a full two hours to get back there.
08:00 PM: Silk Board V.2.0! I try stopping all SETC buses to Salem side. Not a single guy is interested.
08:30 PM: Plain Dosa and Double Omelette from a roadside redi. At 22 bucks, this is the best dinner I’ve had in a while. Back to the hopeless task of getting a bus back home.
09:00 PM: In what seemed like my 100th attempt, a tourist bus driver decides to stop. I run as fast as I can, overtake some 5 other hopefuls and ask in the most pathetic sounding tones: “Anne, Salem?”. In heavy Kannada accent, he replies: “Kottayam, Cheta. Cabin.”. If words could be music to ones ears, this one was a full rock show! The next second, I am in the cabin, still unable to believe that I have found a ride all the way back home.
09:05 PM: I look around. It’s a brand new Leyland, on one of those lucrative ‘special-trips’ to Kerala on a long weekend. I settle on top the the bonnet and with it’s sponge lining, it’s a warm cozy bed!
09:30 PM: Bus passes Hosur. Driver Manju and Madhu in the cabin, Jack Johnson, John Denver and Dolores O’Riodan in my music player. Excellent company, I say!
11:00 PM: I don’t really know if I was beginning to get bored. Anyways, I take out my cam and start doing random experiments. And get interesting results like this:
06:00 AM: Dawn breaks and we are near VaLayar. Hazaar trucks causing frustrating traffic jams. One can say from the look on the drivers’ faces that they’ve been there for hours. We even had to wake up a couple of them who had parked their trucks in the middle of the road and had fallen fast asleep, completely unaware that the traffic had started moving again.
08:00 AM: Home Sweet Home! And it’s sweeter this time, as at one point of time, I had given up all hope of getting there!
September 3, 2010 § Leave a comment
There are times I go completely blank in office, forcing my manager to ponder why he recruited me in the first place. Today was one such days; I had messed up the code yet again and got stuck with that for about a week. So finally, as usual, he comes, sits beside me and inspects the code in my vi editor. And after a couple of minutes, he tells me that I am not taking care of all the signals in all the else statements. While am still gaja-busy drawing blanks, he points to the screen and tells me:
“George, just yank this line from over here and p here, here and here.”
This tops the one where my friend misspelled ‘disk’ while mailing “Disk Programmer not working properly in Lab <EOM>” to our group and the lone software guy who was working his ass off in the lab wouldn’t talk to him for weeks 😛
September 1, 2010 § 8 Comments
“Perhaps, you would like to come with me on one of my night prowls into the jungle. I am taking you to a place called Kundukottai, where there is a nice forest. Two ranges of hills converge there; and two streams coming from different directions join to form a large stream called the Doddahalla, but I have called it the Secret River…”
From A Night by the Camp Fire by Kenneth Anderson
Anderson goes on, takes his reader through Hosur, Denkanikottai and Anchetty into his favourite forests of Melagiris. He lights the camp fire and lies listening to the language of the jungle, sharing with his reader, all the gyan he had acquired over years. As much as 20 of the 57 Kenneth Anderson stories are based here in the Melagiri hills, nestled between the Cauvery and Chinar rivers. It is elephant country and contains two traditional elephant corridors. But today, poaching, cattle over-grazing and lantana have driven out most of the wildlife including the tiger from Melagiris.
A group of readers of Kenneth Anderson met at Aiyur, Tamil Nadu in June 2008 and formed Kenneth Anderson Nature Society (KANS) to explore the various ways in which they could contribute towards conservation in his favourite forests. KANS decided to take on the task of restoring the erstwhile glorious Melagiri through a mix of passive and active conservation activities like community interaction programmes, equipping the ground forest staff, field work to control man-elephant conflict, removal of invasive species etc. Also, in order to regulate cattle-grazing and poaching, KANS has been working hard along with the Forest Department and ANCF to get this region declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary. Scientific biodiversity surveys are conducted to gather solid proof to substantiate this sanctuary proposal. Lying in the vicinity of Bannerghatta National Park, Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, Sanctuaries of BR Hills and Sathyamangala and forest patches that join the tiger reserves of Nilgiri Biosphere, Melagiri holds a very good potential for becoming a tiger habitat yet again.
To learn more about KANS, see the short video (in 2 parts) below. If you would like to join us, see our website. And I can lend my Kenneth Anderson omnibus if you want to read some awesome jungle-lore 🙂