When The Public Is Taken For A Ride!

“Beware of murky potholes on dug up roads”. The headlines of the leading newspaper today reads like a statutory warning.

Roads in many parts of Kochi, Kerala are dug up just before the elections in April and nobody did anything about it till now.

Apparently the election code didn’t allow repairs- B.S.

And nothing can be done now! The monsoon has started. And this headline on the newspaper is insult to injury.

Sadly the newspaper has chosen to come up with an eye catching news than to be the fourth column for voicing the plight of the innocent victims- the road using public.

Nobody clearly knows why some of the relatively good roads were dug up, not only on one side, but both sides! Some say it’s water pipes, some it’s gas connection and yet another say it’s digital installations. Perhaps they were looking for some previous installations which they have forgotten where they installed.

And there’s news that there are plans to dig through the middle of the road.

How can anyone be permitted to meddle with public property and walk away leaving the mess behind with immunity.

How can elected representatives sleep after causing this havoc to the people they are duty bound to look after.

The authorities responsible are quoted as saying that any restoration work would be after the rains, which is some three months. By then the roads will be rivers with deadly traps for people and vehicles.

Time for action! Or is the silent majority is destined to suffer in silence!

When The Public Is Taken For A Ride!

Green Initiative, And It Could Be Fun!

The land is cleared, but it’s not to be left like that. Our intention ought to be to see that we plant trees wherever possible. Well, I don’t have to talk about the importance of more and more trees on earth’s surface.

It’s not always easy, some people can do it as passion, some for profit and is there another way! Perhaps yes, there could be a fun element brought in to the process.

And if it’s possible, why not go for it! One thing is clear, you can’t bring in the fun element alone. You need friends, partners and some accompaniments to do that.

So, this is barren land, and suppose sufficient water is available. Then let’s see how we can fill the place with trees and make it look like the desired planet earth.

Suppose there are organisations promoting tree plantations. Well, go for support.

The location is not just outside any house. Then supervision and maintenance are to be managed. Perhaps this can be done by a group of interested people.

Are there people who are tree lovers and would get involved as passive partners. Here again, there could be many of them.

Then, if we have a number of people interested, why not some fellowship element. Yes, why not. Let there be get togethers and picnic. Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually or best, when convenient.

And suppose there are a few visitors accommodations in the vicinity! Well then even an overnight party is a possibility.

What goes with green! Perhaps wellness. How about some wellness programs added on!

The trees can be fruit bearing! There’s harvesting festivals as possibility. And of course the products fetch a price and are we looking at profit also?

Sounds like a fun plan. A feasible dream.

Green Initiative, And It Could Be Fun!

Steamed Mango Payasam

This is a traditional dish that I came across at a relations house.

Ripe mangoes are steamed and the skin removed. It is then boiled in coconut milk and jaggery. The second milk (added with some water after the first milk has been extracted) is used for this stage of cooking.

The picture shows the mix getting boiled in medium fire.

A friend gave us some exclusive Marayur Jaggery and the same is used here for the dish.

When done with the boiling into a payasam (kheer or firni) consistency, the first coconut milk previously extracted and kept is added and allowed to simmer for two minutes in slow fire.

The boiled mango payasam is ready for serving.

Ideally the small local variety of mango would make the dish better. Just that I got only the bigger ones.

It’s a pleasure to eat the cooked mango from it’s seed, and I don’t hesitate to use hand to do complete justice.

Stored in the refrigerator, it can be enjoyed for sometime. How long! well, I don’t think it ever lasted that long as it’s too good to keep.

This is very traditional and rare dish and I love it. Try it please.

Steamed Mango Payasam

It’s Supposed To Get Better

When global cab services Uber and Ola came to India, people were talking in terms of revolutions like www and internet.

It got into the killers list like mobile phones replacing most of camera based photography.

Claims like the future scenario when both the CEO and tea boy getting chauffeur driven by the same type of transport, ushering in equality etc etc.

But is it not to be! On a rainy evening in Bangalore, I waited for an hour to get a ride, having been abandoned by three cab drivers who moved up and down on my mobile screen, systematically increasing the expected time of arrival from something like 8 minuets to near 20 before cancelling the booking from their side.

And it’s there in the newspaper today. The cab services have actually deteriorated clocking just a 4% growth, with waiting time multiplying and prices increasing,

This is just the reverse of a healthy growth which ideally clocks significant growth in business with healthy decreases in cost and sharp rise in availability and reach.

Now we are not sure if a booked service will materialise and we have started to look at alternatives to make sure that important appointments are not missed.

It’s Supposed To Get Better

Beauty In Flowers

One of the blessings of a mildly cooler climate is the lusciously beautiful flowers growing in plenty.

Ooty and Coonoor in the Nilgiris of Tamil Nadu state in India, fit into the said category.

The roses in the picture collage are in the Rose Garden in Ooty. Despite or because of the plentiful flowers, flower show and beauty, Ooty is desperately crowded.

While adjacent Coonoor is different. The hilly landscape is layered with beautifully manicured tea gardens.

One of the positive fallouts of large tea gardens is the absence of intimidating crowd. And that alone makes it a better place to enjoy the beauty of nature and the blessings of mild weather.

Too much of anything is usually not good. Same is the case with weather. The moment a mild deviates into extreme, life becomes hazardous.

Cold weather slows people down, like the hot weather. And it’s interesting to see how people react in either case.

Winter is managed with protection garments making people over clothed and uncomfortable.

Similarly in hot summer, people sleep with airconditioners on full blast and then hiding under thick blankets to avoid suffering of freezing temperatures.

We do well in adapting to what nature has to offer and appreciate the positives like these beautiful flowers.

Beauty In Flowers

Hot Or Cold! Isn’t The Other Side Greener!

I like it where I am, the hot humid Kerala. And right now we are in the pleasant hill station Coonoor, wearing a jumper to escape the cold breeze.

I like it in Kochi, where the 12 sets of suryanamaskars make me sweating profusely on to the Yoga mat in the morning. And I feel healthy.

I like the pleasant breeze across the backwaters gushing into our home through the cross ventilation.

I like the swim in the pool in the evening in the warm and welcome pool.

I like the air conditioning in the car when I drive and in the room when we sleep.

I like the wellness trip through intermittent fasting when I am in Kochi and don’t have that much will power to follow it when I travel.

And here I am in Coonoor, where I don’t have the luxury of the things I do in Kochi, except perhaps the Yoga bit, which is given a pass as some basic infrastructure is to be managed.

The good thing about it is that the other side is not green, at least for me.

Well then, do we have more people migrating to cold weather than to hot climate, for holidays! Is sun better than snow!

Judgement or excuse, something to ponder 🤔

Hot Or Cold! Isn’t The Other Side Greener!

A Train Journey

We are on a short holiday in the hill resort of Coonoor and Ooty, breaking journey on way to Bangalore from Kochi.

I used to drive in some of our earlier bangalore trips but decided against it this time and instead relied on public transport.

The first leg was by train to Coimbatore in an airconditoned chair car. It’s ideally suited for the 3 hour 40 minuets journey.

But then, my usual crib! The railway management, located and dominated by the neighbouring state, puts ancient and condemned coaches for Kerala trains. And you know.

The 74 kilometre road journey from Coimbatore to Coonoor is through winding climbs and beautiful scenery. The taxi driver was excellent and came first, overtaking everybody.

We are here for another two days and then will go back to Coimbatore to take train to bangalore.

That reminds me! The road distance from Kochi to bangalore is about 580 kilometres. The straighter train tracks should cover it shorter.

But the trains from Kochi to bangalore take some 15 hours. And there are just a few trains for the thousands of travelers. Perhaps the bus lobby which projects itself as alternative to scarcity in train tickets is responsible.

I hope the recent bad press for bus lobby would result in fast trains covering the distance in say 5 hours.

I am free to dream

A Train Journey