Thursday, August 28, 2014

The CBC TABLOG 2: One aspect of Chennai that I would like to change

This Post is part of the CBC Tablog 2. The Chennai Bloggers Club, who are a 270 member strong blogging community have come together to celebrate this city by what they do the best - blogging. Here is a blog tag where 25 odd people each blogs on one aspect they want to change in namma Chennai and pass on the tag to another for everyday of August.

I thank Aravind Kumar for passing the baton to me, Aravind who is a food politician, blogs about both food and politics. He is a cool dude whose post are also inspired by his travels. His take on one aspect that i would like to change is found here

There are actually two parts to this post one is a different take on what others have mentioned earlier like no proper waste disposal, absence of dump sites or bins and futile storm water drains and lack of trees and garden.
Waste Segregation - yes to separate stuff that can be decomposed and that which cannot be. Organic waste amounts to 40 - 50% of all solid waste, if we tackle this waste ouselves, its reduced by fifty percent in the dump site. Now you may ask whats the point anyway the garbage guy will not take it as separated waste but dumps them together. Thats definitely a setback, the solution is simple, compost it ourselves. You might be thinking I'm going nuts, who has got the time and energy to let alone segregate it but also compost it? The goodnews is gone are days when the stench is unbearable and its yucky, today we have trendy compost pots, stench free and no non-sense, most importantly affordable, a set of 5 cost u Rs.1000. and all u have to do is you have to do is separate the waste and keep filling the pot and once its filled completely you leave it closed for 40 days, while fill the others, end of which you get manure to have your own kitchen garden or atleast a potted plant! This year has been announced as the year of Family Farming by the UN. Yes it may all sound difficult, but what is not in the beginning? Its an extra mile to secure this planet for the future generations. Now you may wonder what has it got to do with one aspect, I know it can be done in any city or town but I want Chennai to be the pioneer in such an effort.

The other part of the post is this city is both young and old, meaning its got years behind it but all the same changing and evolving with time and the people and keeping itself young. Im sure there are landmarks to showcase its youth, but what about the old? This city is historically important but the remnants of the past are few and fading fast. The olden style houses are fast vanishing and we see only high rises to occupy the growing population. At this rate only Dakshinchithra will be there to show our younger generations this is how our dwellings used to look! I ve heard that in the Netherlands the row houses by the canal were all built in the 1600s and the government gives them some maintainence money to repair and maintain them. The people even though they own it, have no right to demolish it or redo it, its part of the keeping the heritage alive. I know a lot of it is lost here but the government can start now, creating history.

I now pass on the baton to Revathi Ram who is the perfect finish to this Tablog on Madras Day Celebrations as her blog is about Madras and Music.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sorgamae endralum athu namma oora pola varuma. Happy 375th Birthday Madras.

A seed is sown, it grows into a plant and in turn a big tree. Now the tree continues to live on with the support of the earth below it and the nourishment is drawn through the roots. My roots lie in Chennai, this great old city. Whether its Chennai or Madras doesnt matter. What's in a name? that which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet. Yes the place is what matters, but the names of Institutuions cant be changed for eg. University of Madras cant become Chennai University as in Naukri's website.

I am an amalgamation of many things but the one crucial thing is this city. Even though I was born in coimbatore, I ve always lived and loved this city. We are currently writing a blog tag on one thing I'd like to change in this city as part of the Madras Day celebrations in Chennai Bloggers Club.  But here is a list of the things I like about my city (with or without those changes), in no particular order:

  • I met my best friends and the love of my life here.
  • Right from education to marriage to work, I ve never had to travel to any other place in search of any of these things.
  • I can get to the beach (right from ennore till mahabalipuram) anytime I wanted. (yes it may sound cliched but I know how proud I am when we take our cousins from coimbatore, who have no beach! we've fooled people saying the beach is closed on sundays and such...)
  • There is no dearth for places to go for a day trip. Waterfalls (Tada and Conai), Birds Sanctuary (Vedanthangal), Hills (Pallavaram), Lakes (Chembarampakkam, Pulicat, Poondi and numerous nameless one near Chengalpet. Setha College?! (National Museum) and Uyir college?! - National Park (Guindy), Zoological Park and amusement parks, you name it and we have it.
  • Many complain about Chennai 's weather being hot, hotter or hottest. But I know of friends who've emigrated from Chennai and settled in the Northern Hemisphere for work, and long for sunny days.
  •  Entertainment - yes the world famous Tamizh cinema has its birthplace here, Cinemas, stage shows and theatre is abundant.
  • Fashion is different in Madras, folks dont go around looking for whats the latest, instead they sport anything thats comfortable for the chennai climate and become trendsetters!
  • The originally PTC (Pallavan Transport Corp) which is now MTC, was is and will be the lifeline of this busy city. I too was transported for more than half of my life in this public transport before i switched to my bike. The people who were my co-commuters and the conductors and drivers have taught many a life's lesson.
  • The Madras filter coffee cures more maladies that the medical community is unaware of!
  • People relatively live in peace and harmony.
At this point im reminded of Sorgamae endralum athu namma oora pola varuma song. I thank my God for blessing me with a life in Madras.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Lonely....? Take time.

The above picture was taken in a stationary shop near my place, when i went to buy a ball pen. This evidently is the scribling pad to check how it writes. The above lines were obviously written by a young girl was a shocker to me. While it is really sad to see such a confident person (because she has expressed that she is a thin, beautiful and good girl) to be lonely, it serves as an eye opener to all parents, especially working parents who leave their child in the care of paid help and child care centres.

Im not here to deride working parents nor say that women are essentially needed at home for the family. Im sure all the folks slog it out at office to provide better living for their family, but just giving them food, shelter, clothing and education is not going to do the magic. The next generation which mostly comprises of an only child feels lonely even in the midst of a sea of people, then is it a cause for concern. The reason can be many but ranging from no one around to share how they feel to ''im no good', so i keep to myself from being hurt. Not only children, young adults, adults and elderly, without a rhyme or reason everyone hits this spot effortlessly. The growing no.of old age homes is a true mirror of the countless lonely people. A relative of mine very well to do had holiday resorts in ooty and thriving business sent his children to the best residential school bcoz he could afford it and it was also convinient because he and his wife were tied up with work. But now after his wife passed away his three married children sent him to a an elite swanky home for the aged where u pay a sizable amount every month and where u have your own room, room service and he has his car so he drives to the church and back and yet lives ALONE.

Did God create us to be lonely? NO. He created man and women to be friends for life. Then where did this concept of loneliness creep into the society/community. When we stopped caring for each other? Maybe I not able to pin down the list but what i do know is 'What goes around comes around". So let us reach out to our children, parents and friends despite our busy schedule. We are an amalgamation of our experiences with all others. So if we are proud of who we are let us be thankful to every soul who made it possible by taking time and reaching out.