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

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fast and no end to fast ones..

so one more fast..
as the elections are approaching fast!
MK tried his it is at his age he shud be fasting every other day and here he tries this to woo voters!
what a politicks these people have made out of this SL tamils issue..there people are dying by thousands not bcos of the reasons we think or these politicos tell us..if u choose between the media for serious unbiased ones, most of them are dying bcos they are used as shields by the ltte! why shud people die for them while there is no sight of any solution.
Did you notice that Sri sri Ravishankar (who visited the war zone) said the refugee camps out there are far better than the ones we have for them here! none seem to have taken cognisance of this fact!
JJ, MK & all others just play around thinking this shall help them in the elections. But why? why will any one, say like me, who is immersed in so many problems (like my access road, water, sewage, garbage, electricity, price rise and tons of other issues that affect me directly) will vote bcos of a problem of someone far away (how ever genuine the problem is!) or for some trick like this which has become so routine and boring!
add to that jokes like JJ's separate eelam! she is promising that as though she would carve it out of her house! hmm..
But still MK's attempt to give his live (one more time - 10000th time??) for such a cause is no more laughable. But iam amazed at the rate at which so many poor people fall for this trick for the nth time..
so politicos actually win, dont they?

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dr Jeeva

Jeevanandam – named after a communist stalwart. You should have guessed! Dr. Jeeva is a born communist:-) and also practicing it. But before you guess it wrong, he is not a politician. So he is that ideal marxist and sincerely wishes to make this world a better place esp for the people in the lower half.
Visiting him was my main agenda in Erode and visit I did and was overawed by his deeds and achievements.
He is a ‘cool as a cucumber’ character. An anesthetist by profession and man of extraordinary ideas and cool achievements. He is instrumental in the Green shop(s) coming across as a chain of organic shops around south.
He can just churn out project reports with detailed financials in a few minutes in just one or two one sided papers! I saw a couple of his reports, one for a coming up trust hospital at Tanjore. The details were mindboggling and the simplicity with which he talks about it or has documented is amazing.
His strength is organizing- sponsors, members, donors, etc. He is responsible for a couple of schools and many trust hospitals. Erode trust hospital is one such hospital that is not only state of the art but also cheap and functional.
In his own words- ‘ the rich will pay and get anything, very poor will somehow manage or learn to live with their problems, but the middle class will struggle. Since I hail from that class, I only think more in their angle and so many of my projects would turn out to help them and the poor’. Truly the school & the various hospitals turn out to be a boon for the poor & mids. He also has churned out some hospices (in house care for terminally ill patients). And he says terminally ill will only increase in the coming days and he already sees it increasing at such a rapid pace- what with all our chemically toasted food and indiscreet tampering of food cycle. He claims all those synthetic & chemicals remains can only whip up more cancer & other terminally ill patients. What a sad state.
He is a man of brilliant ideas, profound knowledge and network. He says he is helping lots of rich wash their sins by giving them an opportunity to contribute to various good causes like his trust hospitals, hospices etc.
He has very insightful comments that he throws in the midst of absorbing conversations like:
- Mania of white is so high for us Indians. Why will you need a white tooth? White teeth means u have a problem..
- People wont come to streets like before. So the best revolution for today is lobbying
- Education WAS a good business, it has died now. What remains for all exploiters is health sector
- Such peoples' cooperatives alone can beat the 'corporates'
It was a very interesting meet and I hope to rub lot more times and pick some of his experience and intelligent servicing and also to work together on some issues. I look forward to those days.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Traffic snarl, anger and ecology!

I was just going thru one of those narrow lanes and suddenly saw a tricycle (manual driven, front loading types usually used to deliver stuff to shops) stranded right on the road, occupying some 20% of the road. As I neared it a mini lorry too was approaching from the other side. We both were caught up and had to wait for that tricycle to be (re)moved.
Normal situation..
Normally seething in anger wud be our 1st reaction followed by some gaalis, then u try to show ur anger in any which way it fits with affecting factors being your mood that time, co-travellers, weakness of the offending party etc.
I can be really nasty at times as I have done to a lorry guy once or to a MTC bus another time. Here for a moment I just thought I should slow down my temper and immediately I see that this tricycle is filled with goli soda ( a local cottage industry made soda bottles. Btw do you know that dry nonveg joke in the rural market about these sodas?)
I saw an old man ambling with the empty bottles (not that I don’t show my anger to old men, ask my father if u want) and the very next instant there were many other interesting thoughts that came up..i just had to calm myself a bit and the whole scene was so acceptable to me.
1/ hey.. it’s a local product. NOT PEPSI or COKE! YAayy..kudos…these guys are still alive!
2/ Many wud jump on this frail man not only bcos he is old but also bcos he is not that big industry/goonda distributor backed pepsi or such like. so lemme take his side.
3/ This tricycle was the most ecofriendly vehicle on the whole area- fully manual, no dependecy on market, saudi or US. Where us all us jokers were in one gas guzzler or another.
4/ If he weren’t doing this delivery it wud have been one of those big vans packed with the MNC colas, hughhhhh
5/ an old man after all working hard in this sunny afternoon- dunno what his problems are and who he is supporting.
So from industry to MNC to ecology to humanitarian considerations in a few minutes of traffic snarl.
I told you..something going nuts are loosening perhaps..but I feel its ok..
What say u?


Monday, April 13, 2009

Piyush Piyush Piyush

I met this guy who came to demonstrate a bamboo chair at our restore. That was not a simple plain chair, it had some intelligence infused. One could fold it and carry it easily, move a couple of pieces and it becomes a high chair or rearrange it and that could become a side table. Amidst our restore Bazaar commotion I quickly asked him where he was from and where he had his farm. It was to be salem luckily where I was heading the next week, then! He also mentioned his bamboo farm was organic! Reason being economics, pure sense and enviro concern. So a day was marked immediately in my mind to visit him.
I was at salem mainly for the thalaivasal farmers meet (now that will be posted here later) and other farm visits. But one of the 1st places I visited was Piyush’s office. Office? nay industry! He had a group of bamboo experts from Tripura and was doing wonders with bamboo. This bunch should be artists and geniuses to come out with such wonderful pieces. Chairs, easy chairs, side tables, dining tables, blinds (yes beautiful ecofriendly bamboo blinds in various colours and designs), cloth racks, cot, Fridge stand, stools, book readers (keep wondering till I fish out a foto for you to grasp that!), adjustable chairs and what not! even name boards!
Ok, am always biased for bamboo and so all those articles impressed me and so am screaming..u all know..but what if u found out too, like me, that all that is only a small % and there is more in this small giant.
Hey look up in his reception and see a poster about an agri college and ask him what that is and he smiles and says, after he plonked in 12th since he cudnt go to college, hence he started his own. (ok, close your awed mouth! I did close immediately) what? College?? Yes – an agri college with syllabus, faculty and sponsors! So where is it now..hold on, it cant all be all a big time success. He is no government or rip-ur-pocket-bambanis rit? So some hiccups -like the students (who were and can only be rustic poor ones) had to spend close to Rs40 for a day to travel (by bus)from house to college to farm & back the strength dwindled, but not his dream or wish to bring it back..its still simmering and dormant waiting to burst big, soon.
Then look left: There u see some paaku mattai plates! (areca sheath round plates). Oh those eco friendly biodegradable plates that we see now replacing the Styrofoam & plastic plates in most sensible households/parties. He was the pioneer who not only cut the manufacturing cost and also was the 1st to remove the initial major problem of areca plates- fungus formation! Hmm..took a wait and look right:-)
Speak out salem! Whats that? He is a one man army who fights against any injustice and environment screwing project and succeeds. He was singly instrumental in shutting the Bauxite mine (heard of Malco of the Vedanta group?) at kolli hills. See here. I happened to independently confirm this during my kolli trip. Where ever I asked a farmer or a small potti kadai (shop) owner he wud mention a chap called piyus from salem stopped it. Phew..what an achievement! Now did u take the hat off! No, wait..he has stopped Jindals in Kanchan malai and is now up against the stupid mining orgy attempt at Tiruvannamalai.
Peep in to another room as you walk out of his office, you see an amla seed remover. This drop out, as is typical of all maverick drop outs across the globe, freaks out. Genius oozes, silently but.
I say, my head is spinning and so ask him to come outside to the porch with me under a big cherry tree to ease myself. It was really getting too much. But then I see a small stove- rugged metallic design but connected to a hose. As I ask him where is that connected he just lights it and there is strong blue flame. So I decide that shud be some LPG and so its only prolly some stove design and nothing more. But no! what the heck. How can that be only some new stove design. It’s the methane from bio-wastes that’s feeding this. So those big drums I saw outside under that tree were all not only decomposing bins but harvesting gas for this stove. He actually makes this low cost solution in toto! from kitchen waste to gas for the kitchen. A better solution than all else (like vermi composting etc)bcos the methane which will be released in all other solutions is trapped here and burnt. Then the slurry/sludge is anyways composted and used as manure.
So now slowly Iam disinterested and start waiting for something (hu)manly or simply normal. So take my eye off anything new or different. and wait for him to sound something goofy to bring me back to conversation.
So here he was falling a prey to my designs..he prolly counted a few yaaaawns and slowly admitted. This little creature confessed. Hey, he doesn’t know to make tea. He apologises he cant give me tea bcos theres no one at home then and he cant make it. Ha ha you loser..(ok I made that up) But seriously he didn’t give me tea, promise.
Where the hell does he get time for all these? What motivates him? Or what does he smoke??? He wasn’t going to tell me all that..sigh sigh..
Then it comes to the topic of that cherry tree and plants, farm we meander on such topics we reach his terrace! There so many pots & bamboo baskets full of aloe vera and many other plants. Many not in good condition. Why? W & me smirk;-) and he says that’s bcos he doesn’t have time now to tend to these terrace garden but…come on, but what? We try to be nosy.. he now slowly comes out with another venture of his..supplying health food (twice a day?) to a regular set of clients! What is that btw? Wheat grass juice, aloevera juice & such like, some sprouts, salads etc. He was forced to stop it bcos he did not get enough clients to sustain it and justify the time he had to put in. But those regulars are cribbing, but he cant help right?
There he suddenly shows us a huge tree full of yellow flowers (the big ones we see on road sides right. Poor me, dunno the name. some one out there hilfe) and his eyes bloom with pride. That’s bcos that tree fell off a few months back right on to his house’s backyard only to be supported by the back wall. The root portion is almost out and what this fella did was to cover that root with as much soil as possible and water it. The fallen tree which had shed all its leaves & flowers is in to full bloom now at that 20 degrees slant, just about held by the rear compound wall. The tree is living with just that 25% of the root now underneath! So this fella fights nature too! Doesn’t give up, eh?
Then we stroll to his back yard to inspect that sleeping tree in full and suddenly watch a few plastic bags and lays packets. W stares at those but didn’t ask him anything about lays but he confessed. That he has 2 kids and they are normals:-) they eat chips like all their classmates, unlike father..ha haa..yeah, I hate all those alu coated, glossy painted plastic packs of chips and all those unhealthy advt backed spoilers. but ,but when I see its in Piyush’s back yard I know he has some ‘home work’ to do. But we are talking Piyush here folks.. he did that home work, unlike in his school days. Every packet that is emptied by his kids, they need to fill their inhouse compost and prepare saplings ( with seeds of the fruits, veggies consumed at home or of the trees in the neighbourhood) GENIUS! Every plastic bag that one wud see, small to big, multinational to local, consumed by them or anyone in the vicinity, with some sapling or the other. These are then planted across salem or surrounds. Hats off to his kids..That was the stealer for me. numero uno in this big list of his achievements. W is yet to come out of this!
Now, am tired- of typing and remembering all his deeds.
But I shud mention here that he did take me (suddenly one of the days that week I was in salem he called and asked me where I was and said ‘wait there, I shall pick you in 5 minutes’) to his farm. That’s adjoining some dense reserve forest near dharmapuri and what a place it was! That I was totally unprepared for such a trip, was starving for water, was hungry as hours passed by, walked in fantastic moon light with no signs of civilization as far as we could see, talked so many things, has to wait for another day. Oh! As we prepared to leave and started his jeep, a sudden cloud of smoke engulfed the bonnet and we opened to see flames around the battery. (some short circuit). How we corrected it and how we managed to leave that forest in that late night also has to wait for another day.
But it was Piyush all the way. Such guys are hopes. Such guys are motivation that come my way. Such guys are real! NOT FICTION!
Thanks Piyush- for everything! For working tirelessly for this society and for achieving so much. Do more..we will all wait to follow or atleast applaud. (yes, ladies & gmen, put your hands here not to clap but comment here- that’s a way to appreciate him!)

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Will be back, soon!

Iam travelling (with very rare net access) around salem, thalaivasal, Erode, Kolli Hills and there abouts and visiting many farms, farmers and ofcourse some interesting people (activists!) bear with this absence but be prepared to read about many interesting folks and farms, soon.