Monthly Archives: May 2012

Babycakes – A short story by Neil Gaiman

Here’s a short story a friend shared with me around a month back.
I just stumbled upon it again, and thought I’d share it.
When I read it first, I was quite disturbed. No doubt though, that he’s a brilliant writer.

Babycakes

A few years back all the animals went away.

We woke up one morning, and they just weren’t there anymore.  They didn’t even leave us a note, or say goodbye.  We never figured out quite where they’d gone.

We missed them.

Some of us thought that the world had ended, but it hadn’t.  There just weren’t any more animals.  No cats or rabbits, no dogs or whales, no fish in the seas, no birds in the skies.

We were all alone.

We didn’t know what to do.

We wandered around lost, for a time, and then someone pointed out that just because we didn’t have animals anymore, that was no reason to change our lives.  No reason to change our diets or to cease testing products that might cause us harm.

After all, there were still babies.

Babies can’t talk.  They can hardly move.  A baby is not a rational, thinking creature.

We made babies.

And we used them.

Some of them we ate.  Baby flesh is tender and succulent.

We flayed their skin and decorated ourselves in it.  Baby leather is soft and comfortable.

Some of them we tested.

We taped open their eyes, dripped detergents and shampoos in, a drop at a time.

We scarred them and scalded them.  We burnt them.  We clamped them and planted electrodes into their brains.  We grafted, and we froze, and we irradiated.

The babies breathed our smoke, and the babies’ veins flowed with our medicines and drugs, until they stopped breathing or until their blood ceased to flow.

It was hard, of course, but it was necessary.

No one could deny that.

With the animals gone, what else could we do?

Some people complained, of course.  But then, they always do.

And everything went back to normal.

Only…

Yesterday, all the babies were gone.

We don’t know where they went.  We didn’t even see them go.

We don’t know what we’re going to do without them.

But we’ll think of something.  Humans are smart.  It’s what makes us superior to the animals and the babies.

We’ll figure something out.

By Neil Gaiman

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Birds in Bangalore

Bird watching is something I miss doing a lot. Back in school there were plenty of opportunities where we could go out wandering in the campus at almost any time of the day, sit in a place, walk around and just be. I did that a until last year. Now, staying in the city and having the kind of schedule I have with college, and now my internship, the chances of my getting out of the city is lower. However, when the opportunity of getting out of the city is there, I grab it!

Right from when my internship started, I knew I wanted to be writing about something connected with the environment. And here it is, my next published article. This one’s about birds we can see in the city, especially at this time of the ear. Click here to read.


Swarathma’s ‘Topiwalleh’

This post has been collecting dust in my draft box.

Almost a week back, Swarathma, an Indian folk-rock band performed in Bangalore, and it was a brilliant brilliant show! I always try to catch their shows in the city. The music, the energy, the lyrics, and the sounds are always so lively! I usually never listen to Hindi songs, and don’t listen to Kannada songs either (the language in which this band sings), but somehow I’ve taken a deep liking to the songs they sing. I’m not very good at Hindi, and neither in Kannada, but the feelings the songs evoke are many.
Right now, Swarathma is launching their second album ‘Topiwalleh’ and they’re doing a tour around India, and they’re half way through. Tomorrow they play in Mysore!

Vasu Dixit, Swarathma

The first time I ever listened to Swarathma was about two years back at the Hard Rock cafe here in Bangalore, and I was mind-blown by their energy and performance. I hadn’t even heard a recording of any of their songs before that, and I had no clue what that evening had in store for me. After watching the six of them play live, listening to their songs on Youtube, or on the computer was nothing like listening live, clapping and moving and jumping to their music, right there with them.

Pavan Kumar on percussion, Swarathma

However, some of their songs I listen to over and over.
Here are a few songs with good recordings on Youtube:
Pyaasi:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCii9Pmjxho
Duur Kinarahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR9H5iZ-l1I

Here’s a site with some of their other songs.
Here, I’d recommend: Pyaar ka rang, Sur mera, Patte Saare and Ee Bhoomi.
http://www.in.com/music/swarathma/songs-52957.html

Oh, and I almost forgot. My next article was about their concert in Bangalore.
Click here to read my article and get a sense of what their concert was like!

Enjoy!



The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Here’ s a poem by Mary Oliver. I really enjoy reading her poems, and do it over and over again.
This is the first poem of hers that I read over three or four years back.

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

by Mary Oliver


Elephant dung and Monitor lizards

The day before yesterday, my friend Chayant, his friend Xan and I went to Savandurga. We left early in the morning, and the air was still chill from the previous night’s heavy rain. We set off on two scooters, and stopped for breakfast four kilometers away from the base. After eating hot idlis, pakodas, and drinking a cup of sweet coffee (Xan had three!), we continued up to the point where our bikes could go no further. Then, we started climbing.

It usually takes about an hour and half to climb up the path that lies behind the hill(including stopping and resting). All the trees, plants and grass around looked so fresh and green. Amazing what a couple of showers of rain can do! Going up, we saw a lot of elephant dung. I’m no expert at telling how fresh or old elephant dung is, but I’m guessing what we saw was around a week old.

On the top!
Pic: Chayant Gonsalves

We had trekked up for about 20 minutes, and then I heard something that completely changed my thought processes for the rest of the trek. I heard elephants! Whether it was one or more, I couldn’t tell. All I knew was that it was an elephant. I like elephants, but encountering them on foot in the wild, that’s a different thing. Chayant heard it too at that moment. I panicked. Quietly at first. Then I said it. “Guys, I think we should go back down”.
Honestly, I was confused myself. We heard the elephant(s) from the valley below, and surely they weren’t that close, or that’s what I chose to believe! We sat there for 10 minutes wondering what to do. Chayant was pretty confident it was okay to go up, and Xan was hearing for the first time about how wild elephants can actually be dangerous. At the end of this, we decided to hike up anyway. Better to go away than towards! As we went up, we saw less dung, and the terrain started to look more like the kind of place an elephant couldn’t get through or across. I was relieved.
We had walked for a while longer and just when we arrived at a clearing we saw a monitor lizard on the flat rock, and then Whoosh! Before we knew it, it was gone! We ran after it, but there was not race of it. That was the second time I had seen one in the wild. We saw yellow-throated bulbuls and white-throated bulbuls, and a couple of raptors were circling high above us.
When we had almost reached the top, it was starting to get hot. Chayant tried to reach the top of the rock which has the pool through a  different way, and got stuck on the rock. It’s a pretty steep rock, and the grips are few. Finally though, he did make it down. We went and sat by the pool for a while, drank lots of water and ate some chocolates. It was hot, and there was hardly any wind. We couldn’t see very far as it was quite hazy. Even then, it was lovely to be on top.
The lovely school I studied in from my 7th to 12th grade is on the way to Savandurga from the city, and we decided to stop by there for lunch on the way back. We called a teacher and informed him that we would be coming. It was already 12.30, and we decided to head down. Heading down meant one thing, at least for me. Elephants! This was the first time I was genuinely scared of something in the wild. Well, apart from snakes actually. I did have a phobia for a couple of months, but even that passed! Before we started to head down, we called our teacher again and told him, that we were coming down, and that we heard elephants. “Okay, come down safely”, he said. What else could he say?
Going down, we didn’t hear anything, but that wasn’t enough for me. Until we reached the fort wall which runs at the foot of the hill, I couldn’t stop thinking about elephants and that they might be on the path. And when we ultimately did reach, I was so relieved, and so happy that we reached the entrance.  I didn’t want to think about this for this for a while. In a way it was exciting, but I was still shit scared, and I wouldn’t want to be in a situation like that again. At least not for a while!
We got on our bikes and headed straight towards school, and away from the elephants.
While riding back I was thinking- This is something I’ll never forget!

When children’s drawings become paintings

My mom showed me this yesterday, and I thought it to be extremely interesting!

Here, the artist began with a question “What would a child’s drawing look like if it were painted realistically?”

Take a look here: When children’s drawings become paintings


They danced all day

On the 29th of April, it was World Dance Day. Another intern (my classmate) and I went to the Alliance Francaise here in Bangalore, and were there the whole day, covering the event! All the dances performed were Indian Classical
dances and they were beautiful! The event started at 10, and went on till 10 that night!
We did a whole detailed write up about the event, but due to some delay, the article did not get published on time, and by the time it did get published, the info wasn’t as relevant. This event however, did get published in the magazine, and not everything under the sun does!
Below are a few pictures I took.

Click on the link below to see what we managed to get published online, and it has a few more I took pictures (not my best!).

Click here to view: http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/view/4132-world-dance-day-at-alliance

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Dance form: Kathak

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Dance form: Bharathanatyam


When it gets too hot

Click here to see what to do When it gets too hot in the summer.

So, with summer here, I had decided to write an article about a few indoor sports arenas one could go to in Bangalore. Here, even with the sun blazing, you can enjoy a good game of football, cricket and a whole lot of other sports! Read on for more details.


Trekking the Monolith

So, here’s my second article. Got published in the newspaper today!

Click on the picture to read, and see the article enlarged. This the printed version.
Click on this link to read what got published online:  http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/leisure/article3400265.ece

This one’s about something I really enjoy doing- trekking! A little more than a week   back I was asked by someone in The Hindu to write an article about trekking on Savandurga. I said yes, the minute I was asked if I’d write about it.

Savandurga is a beautiful place to go to whether you’re a trekker, birdwatcher or historian. More details and descriptions of this massive monolith in the article!

Those who haven’t been here, please try to make a trip to this place. It’s certainly worth the long-ish trip from the city. And once you’re on top of that hill with that fantastic view, trust me, you wouldn’t want to make the trip down.

Hope you enjoy reading this!!


My first published article

Click here to view: My first published article

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This summer, I’m doing a six-week internship at Citizen Matters (Bangalore) and here’s my first article. This got published a week back. Citizen Matters is a Bangalore based citizen oriented news magazine which encourages citizens to write for citizens. This internship is a compulsory part of the three-year Communications course I’m doing.
I’m enjoying and I’m learning a lot, researching, speaking to a lot of new people, and always trying to write about things that both interest me, and hopefully will be of interest to the readers. I also see this as a chance for me to learn about Bangalore, and what’s happening here wheather it’s social, cultural, environmental or political.

Two weeks over, and four more to go!

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