A delight to see Jungle Nightjar (though not able to manage the shot of this lovely guy) and Plum-headed Parakeet. Enjoy some of the pictures taken.
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Does it move?
Does it sting?
Does it grow?
Cut it down!
Done with it?
Throw it out of your window!
Need to go somewhere?
Take the car!
Have some money?
Then, have plastic posters printed, saying, “World Environment Day”, with the photos of prominent pols, put it up in a public place, and feel happy that a praiseworthy effort has been taken.
When I returned from Delhi by the Karnataka Exp (train no. 12628) on the 30th of May, 2014, I left behind the cordless headset that I use for my laptop, packed in a brown cardboard box, probably between the bedsheets on my berth (Bogey H-1, Coupe “G”, Berth21, A/C 1st Class). I realized this only when I was unpacking at home, and after wasting a little time trying to locate a number where I could file a report, I went back to the City Railway Station.
Mr Manjunath, the Addl Station Manager, was quite helpful, and directed me to the office of the Junior Engineer (Maintenance), on Platform 4 of the station. There, Mr Ramesh was also quite helpful, but told me that the contractors (two or three sets of them) who came to pick up the bedsheets would be the first people on the train. He called in a junior, who said that nothing had been reported found. I told him that the headset would not be useful for anyone else, and that I was willing to give a reward for it if found.
He then told me that it would be correct procedure for me to file a complaint at the Railway Police Station, situated on Platform 5. I went there, and wasted my time for 45 minutes with a very slow constable, Mr Venakta Murthy, who was tersely directed by the Sub-Inspector to ask me to write a complaint in the approved format in duplicate, get it signed by me, and enter the details on his file. Insterspersed wtih efforts to provide a security escort for Mr Yediyurappa who was travelling to Shimoga, the simple writing of the complaint took a lot of time, and it was made very clear to me that nothing would come of it.
I posted about my problem on FaceBook, and was given this link:
and I called the Public Relations Officer’s no (no response). The other numbers also went without being answered. I then called the office of the Divisional Rly Manager and his secretary gave me the no. of My Jois, Complaints Officer, 8861309473. He was kind enough to call me back just now, and told me that he would make enquiries tomorrow and get back to me.
There seems, alas, to be no system of Lost Property or Lost-and-Found for the Railways. I feel that given the fact that passenger would be losing many items, such a system should be instituted at the earliest.
However, I am still hopeful that I might see my cordless headset again, and hope that Mr Jois has good news for me tomorrow!
As we went around the grassland landscape during the Volunteer Training Program, Kiran spotted this large Scorpion, and I took a short video of it as we slowly passed in our vehicle. The creature was on the banked slope of the hill, and it was both rainy and late evening.
I am not sure if this is the Emperor Scorpion, which is the largest of scorpions, but not the longest. The emperor scorpion (Pandinus imperator) has a dark body ranging from dark blue/green through brown to black. The large pincers are blackish-red and have a granular texture. The front part of the body, or prosoma, is made up of four sections, each with a pair of legs. Behind the fourth pair of legs are comb-like structures known as pectines – these are longer in males and can be used by man to distinguish the sexes. The tail, known as the metasoma, is long and curves back over the body. It ends in the large receptacle.
Well…it certainly was a sight to see, in the misty, rainy dusk on the grasslands of Kudremukh!
You can click
for the photos of the first day from the VTP, which was held at the Bhagavathi Nature Camp, about 20 km from Kalasa, Karnataka.
The residents of Casa Ansal, in J P Nagar 3rd Phase on Bannerghatta Road, have been suffering from the shifting of the trash area from the Mini-Forest area to their southern wall, where it was both an eyesore and a major health hazard.
On the morning of the 17th of May, with the help of
a group dedicated to clean-ups, the residents took up the cleaning of the area.
The cleaning program was announced on the Casa Ansal FaceBook group, and several volunteers turned up to help.
Two garbage lorries were positioned, one at the southern wall, and one at the corner of the southern and western walls.
It was surprising to see a lot of waste that could be salvaged, such as this mass of metal wire.
Implements such as shovels, trowels and hoes, and aids such as gloves and masks were used.
The collected waste will be carted away to a landfill in Hoskote.
The volunteers worked enthusiastically.
The walls were then painted with freshly mixed whitewash, to discourage others from dumping litter there.
It was wonderful to see some children, too, taking part.
Even as the residents were cleaning up, they had a few people coming up and trying to dump waste in the area, and also urinating right in front of them! They went with the servants to the owners’ houses and explained that trash could not be dumped in such a haphazard way, and must be given to the trash trucks when they come every morning.
Residents hope that this is the beginning of a cleaner boundary wall to the northern side of the building. It made them think, too, of the difficulty of the task that the garbage collectors have each day, to shift the smelly and ooze-filled garbage out of the area.
Casa Ansal thanks the Ugly Indian for its guidance of the initiative.
In several years of visiting the Valley School area, I’ve passed this abandoned house so many times…but it was only yesterday, when we did “waiting” birding instead of “walking” birding, and when Mark went into the house to explore, that I also decided to walk around and in it.
I do not know for whom this house was built. It seems a roomy, spacious house. The rooms seem to be of gracious proportions. The arches outside the house look lovely:
In fact, with the date palms they give a slightly Islamic look:
Were these sheds, next to the huge banyan tree, meant as outhouses? They also lie abandoned:
I googled for information, but there is nothing about it. the best guess I can make is that this was built, like the earlier (and now demolished) Art Village, on property that belonged to the Karnataka Forest Department, and was therefore abandoned.
The windows gape open, with a ghostly look.
And yet, after all these years, the house looks quite inviting:
But the only residents there today are the various insects and rodents, and the nests of the swifts in the eaves of the roof. Oh, abandoned house…what is your history? With what hopes and aspirations were you built, and with what frustrations and sorrow were you left, with the construction nearing completion, to deteriorate on your own….with such good quality of construction that today, many years later, many of the panes of glass in your windows are unbroken, and the whole aspect is not that of a ruin? What a mystery!