Ananthoo's updates

When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Thursday, May 31, 2007


In my series of interesting people I have been meeting, this is another amazing gentleman..a near saint now..I had mentioned of his book here and so my interest grew more..Its only recently I could manage to meet him and least I cud say is I was maha impressed.
This man, who had come back after a short stint, from where else but the west, was an active part of PPST (Patriotic and People-oriented Science and Technology) and contributed heavily there. One such activity was his series on the ery (tank irrigation) system of south India. That is like a big research paper talking of the advanced but traditional system of ours. He has also done more work like this – about ancient iron smeltering ways, cow slaughter etc.
Now he leads an almost saintly life teaching yoga and carrying out ayurveda practice along with his wife in adayar. He was very concerned about the decline of traditional medical knowledge and how the villagers these days are pushed to depend on allopathy docs and so are pushed unnecessary, unwanted medicines.
Oh, what a man..i am so happy my list (to meet and have met) is growing and what optimism it infuses in to one on hearing their involvements and achievements.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

How about some poison for dinner tonight?

Have you ever wondered why some one you are sure never smoked, did drugs or consumed alcohol was diagnosed as having some serious illness like cancer? Have you ever pondered over the fact that you encounter more and more cases of tumors these days? Till recently I attributed this to improvements in medical diagnosis and early detection rather than increased incidence. Until the fact dawned on me, that is.

Most of the food we consume today have dangerous levels of chemical residue from indiscriminate use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Careful washing or even cooking cannot completely eliminate these chemicals from the food we take. We are being poisoned in small quantities every day and this is the root cause for a lot of diseases that are prevalent today.

So where did all this start? Like most things gone wrong in free India, the arrival of the Brits and our formative years. They had to dump the left over chemicals after the 1st world war and what better way? Before the green revolution our farmers were self sufficient. They recycled material on the farm and never needed to acquire anything from outside. Cows played a hero’s role on the farm – they ate whatever the farmers did not need and gave back manure.

Then came the Green revolution and of course greed and farmers drifted away from nature and their tried and tested old ways. What they are left with now is a thoroughly depleted soil, and have to depend on someone for fertilizers and someone else for seeds and striving for economic viability. What all of us are left with is a water table polluted by the chemicals the farmers used, food with harmful levels of pesticides in them and the soil stripped of its microbial life. What nature took millions of years building, man with his short term vision and greed has undone in the last century.

So is there a solution to all this???
YES – Organic food.

Organic food is food grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and is therefore healthier and sustainable. That the organic food is rid of the allergic and toxic chemicals is not the only advantage but they are enriched with nutrients that these foods were meant to supply us. In other words these are foods produced the way nature intended them to be.

Unfortunately, Organic food is not in high demand today – one of the reasons is that it is more expensive than its “poisoned” alternative. This additional expense is an investment towards the health of you and (y)our planet. One shouldn’t really mind the extra investment for a healthy life. If the demand for organic food increases, more and more farmers will switch to organic farming collectively contributing to the well being of our planet.

Quite a few of us know the personal and environmental effects of this “inorganic” synthetic farming but find no alternative. Some others argue that if this was really “poison” they don’t see a drastic reduction in overall health conditions. This is because they are slow poisons. When you find you have cancer you don’t realize that the root cause is all the food you had. You only focus on medication (another range of poisons), medical bills etc.

This is a never ending cycle which will become worse for the next generation. So lets understand the veracity and act maturely.

If we don’t take corrective actions NOW, We have bigger giants like GM, newer chemicals, newer diseases sitting pretty to conquer. So ACT NOW!

Note 1: When I first heard about organic/bio products, my reaction was – its another fad - Some goofs are going to take advantage and hike the price. Then some introspection led me to read and google more about them. I was engrossed and taken aback by what I came across. Meeting many interesting people who are on the organic path already made me realise that the least I could do was contribute to the increase in demand for organic produce by becoming a consumer and spreading the message.

Note 2: If this stirs enough interest next I shall touch- what it really means to be organic, where org products are available, how easy it is to switch, certification, interesting people who are doing it in our neighborhood etc,.Meanwhile, feel free to pose any questions or pass feedback here. I need to see more comments here bcos that can tune me up. This is the first time Iam attempting something more formal . so hit back with your comments folks.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

CMC vellore- an unique project

Amidst so many jokes like the fight within a family- between thatha and grand nephew, blessing of another new channel (hey, what else do u think they can contribute?) to the tamil speaking good world, a rowdy sheeter’s wife made a central minister (ofcourse w/o portfolio), bangla and India playing cric on level plane, selection of coach drama, great international sop operas of perverted mushy and bushy, there seems to be no end to all this drama..
There are guys who are unmindful of all these distractions and doing some phenomenal works for the society. One such gentleman is Srinivasan of vellore who has done so much to revive greenery in vellore- esp on the hills and to recycle and handle solid wastes. In an unique tie up with CMC, vellore he has devised an excellent and innovative way to handle all the wastes generated within the 5 campuses of CMC and is converting them to a zero waste community, what more as money!
From all the 5 campuses of CMC (incl the college hospital, docs quarters, hostels and the separate eye hospi) the waste is separated at source by collecting the organic and inorganic wastes separately. (The human parts and other biomedical wastes and instrument wastes are handles separately). Some 8000 people generate about 8 tonnes of garbage each day. The organic wastes are put to aerobic or wormi waste treatment and what one gets after a month is organic wormi compost fertilizer which is in good demand these days. The inorganic- which will not decompose is segregated (manually) in to some 180 items (for eg. Diff grades of plastic, pet, paper, cardboard, pin, alu, glass etc). The whole set up needs to be seen to believe the immaculate work carried out. The ladies (from self help group) are carrying out a phenomenal job and keep smiling. Hats off to them! There are many places where the zero waste management is in action these days (ok ok..not in as many as I wud like, still) but what this place scores on is its innovation!
Innovation in segregation and various actions. One such is the way the sewage waste (ya, excreta and such like) handling. All that is pumped to an open area – pond like lagoon! Then some step like gradation separates in to 4 more squares. They are all connected but there is a small level difference. Some 100 ducks have been introduced in to this lagoon which eat off all the wastes one can see that the water is almost fresh at the last square. One can notice the water being very dark and thick in the point of entry and fresh enof at the last point and then is used to recharge the water table! Sun and ducks act here free of cost and convert waste to useful water!
Did I mention of the 30 days taken for organic waste to decompose? Here srini’s unique and innovative idea comes up, esp to treat the plantain wastes coming in loads from hotels, messes and marriage halls. These typically take >45 days to decompose. He buys off the cows that are taken to slaughter houses, thereby saving them from being killed for food sake and feeds them these plantain leaves. So u have cow dung which is the main ingredient in wormi comospting! The dung is also used (gobar gas) for the stoves in the canteen. Enviro friendly in every possible way! Hats off to such guys that some redemption is happening inspite of the reckless garbage generation and the damage done to the ecology by majority of us. That I shall be associated in some way in this project and try n add value is another matter, another write up for another day..

Sunday, May 20, 2007

vellore, yelagiri..

The heat is really driving me crazy..inbetween had to go to vellore CMC (christian medical college - for a noble happy that i had a small role to pitch in to a very Noble project going on there..more on that in the next days)..since i went all the way up to vellore, tagged along with a few schoolm ates and went to yelagiri to spend the weekend. The proximity to blore and madras shud have yelagiri in a big advantage position as the nearest hill station, but for reasons unknown it doesnt look that big a hit. But we enjoyed the place and the trek thoroughly. The place we stayed (Taj gardens) was a fantastic place too. so the reason for no updates in the last days..wait till i come back with 2 interesting ones..till then imagine me being fried in madras..(hey am i getting old? did i not play bare foot in the summers all day long? and here iam really cribbing. believe me everyday i feel i have ben roasted, no exaggaration!)

Monday, May 14, 2007 in a furnace

ya, in an oven called chennai.. its HOT..just too much to venture out in day times..really too hot..those age old sentences of solace like " last year it was not as bad as this.." or " oh man, last year was better" etc is not working..its planning to plant more creepers on all sides and pack my 'mottai madi' with many plants..lemme see if it helps..
meanwhile this forced house arrest means some time to read..though am not able to read at the sooper pace of my wife, am slowly completing some very interesting books like - T.M.Mukundan's "Ery system of South India" then Indukanth Ragade's " Self reliance in water" ; Masanobu Fukuoka's "One straw revolution"... these are must have and must read books..put ur hands on them if u can, asap..
may be i shud sit and write about these books soon, but now i better go and finsih them all. (yeah, I read a couple of books at a bad conc and fone calls is not letting me finish at one sitting..also i read more than a couple of books so that i can switch when i feel enof of one subject how ever good it may be)

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Saturday, May 12, 2007


hey..there was this guy in our street corner in our small ooru, who was doing some mediocre photo framing and other kadalai mittai business..then he GREW, slowly..then became a big a rowdy sheeter naturally entered the process became a heavy weight and as was the norm, slowly occupied more 'occupations' than his modest needless to say, everything increased in numbers - the vehicles he possessed, the no.of employees, his kids and even the wives..he increased the last to 3 from 2 (or atleast thats what we all thought..)
so what? u say, but.. there is some poetic justice time- the immemorial healer came in to act-his kids fought..his party split..his wives fought..the illegal ones surfaced..their kids attcaked the the offsprings of the 2nd hurt the other..confusing, eh?? but those of us in the neighbourhood who all had to live thru the 'growth' and lotsa nonsense surrounding it had something to smile..they - all his clan hurt each other and slowly they all marched in to oblivion and our colony limped back to the sweet peaceful normalcy.. someone whom none of us in the society had the guts to hurt or question or bring down to earth or pour justice, it happened, somehow..and it was worth the watch? big time entertainment added with poetic justice..
and iam reminded of that in the last two days..and iam smiling inside and waiting to have a last laugh along with scores of folks, with the impending break and riot in a family..welcome good days, soon..
(got it??)

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Friday, May 04, 2007

more fotos

as promised!
its all here :
have a look and comment there r here..


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

more on munnar, kerala..

Am back..
It was a great trip, nice in many ways and lotsa interesting things..
Udumalpet is a nerve centre in the western ghats..proximal to many peaks and surrounded by quite a few dams and water such peak is munnar.. after the ‘must do’ sight seeing near u’pet we drove to munnar (via maraiyoor) and it was a pleasant drive in the mountain ranges..munnar is a beautiful setting with very fotogenic hill ranges and tops, packed with tea plantations everywhere..even the dot like tops, cliff ends etc were packed with tea plants..add to this mist and clouds at various times of the day..streams of water and falls every now and of the dam back water had speed boats too! Weather was very nice ..add to this nice variety of tea u get everywhere..lemon tea tops my list! (one of them while educating us how to make one said if u put more than 2 drops of lemon it becomes lemon juice, mind u)

Did u know??? That tea plant lives for more than 100 years (or they do not know its lifespan yet!)..the tea plantations one gets to see all along have been planted ages back in the brits regime and have never been replaced..they are still there yielding them nice tea leaves every 10 days..only the top 3 leaves are plucked..what a revelation!

Then we drove down thru iduki dt., to thekkady and then to kottayam from there..all along it was like dense forests, variety of tress and infested with creepers..pepper, teak, oak, palm, rubber, papaya, cashew, what not.. we stayed in a small village (vechoor) near vaikkom- what a pleasant village and highly hospitable family that hosted us..went arnd the kerala villages, back water and thru the rubber forests to hearts content..the back water, the huge (48km long) lake in sun rise and sunset times was so refreshing..
then came the fitting finale…a sooper stay in the boat house in kumarakom/alleppey..what setting..comfy stay in floating 2 bedroom houses called boat houses with just about everything..rides thru back waters and dense forests and cruise on the huge lake, crawl along the bird sanctuary..that was great..IMHO a not to miss ride..
what was more heartening was that most part of kerala was very nature friendly (by choice or by way of life or by just aadat)..cud not find litter as one wud in most touristic/crowded the no.of trees per head was amazing, no wonder so much rain…even this lake/back water setting loaded with so many boat houses had strict norms – like bio treatment of the fecal matter collected in the toilets! Most places were rid of plastic wastes..

a satisfying trip, educating too..had lotsa of very good experiences and learnt some good new stuff and was impressed with an insight in to new urge to cover more northern states is even higher time for longer hols soon;-0