My views on environmental protection
and awareness!
A very selfish step to
have a clean, green and safe life for
my family!

The weekend that was!

It was a great weekend! After a long time, V and R took time off to relax and enjoy and the weather cooperated. Warm days just the way I love it. The weekend highlights are as follows

V’s cooking marathon:
V enjoys cooking and baking and on Saturday V put on her chef’s hat and started experimenting. New recipes off blogs gave way to everyday Indian food with a twist. Dips and cheesy spreads that usually are not a part of our meal at home were made. Tex-Mex favorites in a healthier, no cheese and sour cream version were prepared. Mango being the fruit of the season took the honors in the form mango kheer and mango lassi. Bliss! Fine-dining at home!

R’s photo trip:
We headed out early Sunday morning to High Island for some bird photography. This was my first time at High Island and the place is absolutely divine. I never knew such a place existed near the concrete jungle aka Houston I call home. There were hundreds of Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills, Cormorants, Ibises, Tri-colored Herons around the lake. R has captured some great pictures. Do drop by his blog he’ll load the pictures there soon. And if you have not been with R on one of his photo trips well check out the pictures. R with his big lens, tripod and the backpack is indeed something to look at. R goes to a different world when he is photographing. He talks to himself (he’ll deny that), draws figures in the air (another denial) and is oblivious of his surroundings. Check out some pictures from V’s camera phone, capturing R unaware as he clicked away.





High Island is a small village some 80 miles south of Houston and is just another dot on the map. The place is called High Island due to some salt deposits underneath that make the area higher than the surrounding places. There are some man-made lakes where migratory birds nest and are a wonderful sight.
We ended up at the Smith Oaks Sanctuary in High Island to discover the gates to be closed and we went around trying to find the other entrance to the park and bump into not 1 or 2 but hundreds of vultures on a vacant field. We stopped on the road and clicked some pictures of those great birds and believe me they are ugly.
Once at the Smith Oaks Sanctuary, we trekked through the trails, enjoying the early morning peace disrupted by birds and the rabbits frisking around. The air smelt of magnolias and wild jasmine - sweet and rich. While R photographed, V was content to take in the pretty sight (all the while keeping an eye for alligators and snakes!)

Good food, a wonderful trip and what follows is nothing but sleep. Weekends are meant for lazy afternoon siesta, naps whenever you feel like and more naps. We did just that. We did do some chores around the house, washed the cars, did some shopping, people watched at the Village enjoying ice-creams, watching parts of the NFL draft, Iron chef America, bits and pieces of Kovai brothers, Mujse Shaadi Karogee and Yejaman (we still have to learn how to be patient enough to watch a movie). R did head out to work for a while and V went for her dance classes, caught up with the gals and did what gals always do – Gossip! And here we are Monday morning and wishing for the weekend again!
Have a good week everyone!

Baby steps towards a eco-friendly life!

There are small steps everyone can take, wherever you live, to make your environment clean and green. Do it for yourself and it will sure bring a change in your life. These are not big life-altering steps; they just mean you have to make an extra effort, like the time you spend 5 minutes bargaining for something you like, the 5 minutes you spend waiting outside the theater to watch your favorite star light up the screen. Just a little extra effort and you can do it.

• Start with reducing your use of electricity. Turn off fans,lights, AC's and heaters when not needed.
• Change to low watt bulbs. You need to spend a little money for this but it does reduce your monthly electricity bill.
• Take your own bags when you head out to the store. Remember the days when you carried your bags to the market? Before the era of plastic bags? It is really simple. I do knows, plastic bags are extremely convenient at instances but other times carry your own bag. In the BHEL, Trichy campus there is a board that says “Carry your bags and not plastic carrybags” a good advice to follow.
If you live in the US, at your grocery store, please ask for paper bags. Most grocery stores have a plastic bag recycle program. Instead of throwing away your plastic bags, let them be recycled. Collect some bags and the next trip to the store remember to take them. Yes a little extra effort but worth it.
• If your destination is close-by, walk down or drive a bicycle. If you can use the public transportation system- please do. But if you live in a city like Houston where the public transportation system is somebody’s weird idea of joke, you really cannot help it. Try a carpool. Yes it means on some days you end up staying late at work or going early to accommodate your carpool partner but I am sure you can work around. A little extra effort!
• Plant some trees around your house or if like me you live in an apartment or a flat, a patio/ balcony garden works well. Grow a few flowering plants, few herbs and vegetables. Use natural fertilizer instead of chemicals and enjoy an organic garden.
• If you live in the US, join the recycle program. Most cities offer them free for residents. Houston has a recycle program once every 2 weeks. If your area does not have a recycling program find out where your closet recycle center is located and go ahead recycle your paper and milk and detergent containers. It costs nothing.
Try starting a recycle program in your neighborhood. Collect newspapers and other dry paper and sell them to a recycler.
• Try to use less of hot water. Invest in solar power heaters they work great.
• If you want to go one step ahead, think about eco-friendly natural materials for your carpet the next time you replace them, say no to latex paints and go for eco-friendly but more expensive paints.

No! We are not there yet. We are still at the baby steps stage. I am not even sure if we’ll graduate out of the baby steps stage. But I know we are doing our bit and it gives us a satisfaction. Think about it! And like those weight-loss programs ads on TV, “If I can do it, so can you”

A better environment, for you and for me and for the whole universe!


Dreams of Chennai!

Let me start with a disclaimer!
I am no Chennai resident. Never lived there. Been there for V’s shopping trips or should I call them emptying-the-wallet ritual? I have no idea what is where but V knows exactly where she wants to be. R lived there during his undergrad days and every trip to Chennai he says the city has changed tons. I believe him! V’s parents now live in Chennai so every trip back to India I spend some time there. I am not sure if I like it, it is a far cry from the village next to the suburb where I grew up in rural Trichy ( Trichy residents please don’t take it against me)
Now whether I know Chennai or not, I know it is over-crowded and there is water shortage. And so when you dream of Chennai after 20 years how will your dream Chennai be? Chennai residents your take would be great. Let me dream, lots of shopping malls (that’s V), lots of migratory birds (that’s R) and now let me be practical and dream, lots of restaurants?
Okie timeout!
Let us be practical, in 2026 I dream Chennai, to be cosmopolitan, with lots of sky-scrapers, bustling city with a great public transportation system, good water supply (well this is a dream) and lots of green pockets - small parks, a cluster of trees at the corners to give shade for those hot Chennai days and purify the air.
Take a look at the proposed land use pattern map for 2026 in Chennai. There hardly seems to be green pockets except the big Guidy Park, Velacheri and some along the coast. As I said before I really don’t know Chennai much but to my untrained eye, the master plan land-use map seems to be for the lack of a better word- unplanned. If plans for more greenery are not made now how are we going to have a sustainable and cleaner and greener Chennai? Development is needed and necessary, no denying that but to see no plans for more environment-friendly Chennai is sort of disappointing!
The report says environmental deterioration is not a necessary or inescapable result of urbanization; what needs to be done is striking a right balance. Truer words never spoken!

Here are few tit-bits from the report for you to chew on

• Approximately 72% of Chennai’s pollution is due to vehicles!
• Groundwater is brackish in most of Chennai and pH is around 7.8 to 9!
2% of Chennai is declared park area and 54% of Chennai is residential in nature.
• Tamil Nadu is the 3rd largest economy in India and Chennai accounts for 1/6th of the state’s income
• Chennai is projected to be one of the mega cities of the world by 2016 with a population of 10+ million
• Chennai ranks 8th in population density in the world (Mumbai and Kolkata are other Indian cities in the top 10)
• The 2026 proposed plan expects to increase open and park area from 2% to 5%

Land-Use Map

Source: The Hindu


Open it Wide!

Well when growing up V’s mom dreamt that she would be a doctor and V said no and mom agreed after all being a doctor means 5 years MBBS and then specialization and then V’s mom looked at other career choices for V and made a suggestion... V screamed her head off and said “I never will spend my life putting my hands into someone’s mouth” Well you guess it V’s mom wanted her to be the much dreaded dentist!
Today, both V and R are not dentists and both of them do not plan to make a career switch and get into dental school in the near future. Then why write about dentist now you may ask. Well V had a much dreaded dentist visit yesterday to fill up some cavities.
She had been putting it off for a while citing school and exams as an excuse and finally she ends up under the lights, on the reclining chair with her mouth wide open .(Lucky for me V’s dentist doesn’t treat bears!) V, the smart one opted to sleep instead of watching a movie and with lavender filled eye mask in place she tried to forget that there were 2 people digging into her mouth with instruments that look like construction equipment(which she knows all about! she spent four full years trying to learn how to construct building! the civil engineer V) crowbars , plyers, spades, drills, soldering iron, vacuum pumps all playing merrily in her mouth. Numb and trying to relax V mentally rehearsed the dance item she is currently learning, she even went over her research plan (something she never does) and all the while the dentists kept digging. They assumed V to be asleep and I wonder how anyone can sleep with their mouth propped open by a jaw pillow (or whatever it is called) and the sound of a vacuum sucker motor right next to your ears and two people discussing if the cavity was in the gum or the tooth. The radio cooed some song I never have heard and V kept her eyes tightly closed under the eye mask for 2+ hours willing the process to get over and her bladder to wait a few more minutes.
V is not the one to be scared of dentists, afterall she has a history of dental problems be it being a calcium-deficient baby with bunny rabbit teeth till she was three (for more details contact V’s mom, she sure loves telling all embarrassing stories about V’s childhood and talking about how her baby has grown-up and from there she’ll jump over to how she wishes for a grandkid!!) or the crooked teeth that need braces when she was 13. She has visited a wide range of dentists and their clinics and witnessed their techniques and tested their patience. She is a seasoned veteran to dentist visits but she still hates it!
And after yesterday’s episode, V is left with a sore gum and hungry. Drinking soups for lunch and dinner is no fun believe me! Well nothing against the dentists, they did their job and I hate their profession and not them personally! I wonder if they have friends outside their profession.. hmm thinking about it we really don’t have any dentist friends…

And just a note – this is another attention-seeking rant from V... ;) and remember to brush and floss regularly guys


Look at me! I am the best!

There are numerous things in the world that need attention and the past posts have been on environment that needs our attention but this post is going to be about a different type of attention-seekers.
Remember your cousin’s wedding when you were 8 years old, the videographer was your guru, you kept running in front of the camera hoping to be there on all shots and at the same time trying to act cool! Remember when you were in a minor accident and blew it out of proportion when you were in 4th standard? I am sure everyone of you has had such moments (V included! Yes she was the one who wanted to be on all photos during her uncle’s wedding!!) but at some point of time you grow over it. Was it at adolescence? teenage years? When did you realize attention-seeking was bad and tried to behave? How did it happen? Did mom and dad give you a big lecture or did your friends say what a big show-off you were? When did you realize the world does not revolve around you and your so-called success stories? It just happens and I guess it is tough to pin-point a time or incident that changed.
Well this post is not on the lil ones that seek attention but the rather grown-up attention seekers. I am no psychiatrist but I do recognize symptoms of attention seeking when I see it. Attention-seekers (henceforth called AS! Well just add another ‘s’!) are going to love this as I am doing what the AS’s really want - giving them attention in my blog!Believe me acting coy and putting up a drama when you are a grown-up looks bad. Yes we’ll need a bit of attention and pampering from friends and family, but there are limits to which you can seek attention. Strangers/acquaintances will not put up with your attention seeking tactics. And when there is one AS in a group of acquaintances there is an underlying tension you wish to get away but cannot, you look at each other in uneasy comfort while the AS goes on! Interrupting conversations, acting all-knowledgeable, being rude come easily to such people and causing discomfort to others. Do AS’s realize what they are doing? Do they know how unfriendly and unsocial they become because of their behavior?

I did a bit of googling and found some interesting facts. Attention-seekers are mostly females! And there are many methods AS’s use to gain attention, like acting as a sufferer, the savior, the rescuer, the drama queen, the busy bee, the victim and the list goes on. Hmm sounds familiar?
Now how do we deal with a grown-up AS? Any suggestions?

Blog entries - 2

And then there are few people who have taken time to think and write about the environment. Thanks a bunch!

Here is Lavs take on environmental law and spreading environmental awareness in India by means of cinema.

And Kavi’s Green Card payments post is here!

And here is Siva's concerns as an Indian

The non-resident Indian replies...

"I think its better the people of India decide on whats best for their environment, not a bunch of people sitting in front of their computers half way around the globe.As far as i know, the "buzz words" as you call it, namely global warming,carbon di oxide and
sustainable development in the US's environmental law is just an eyewash. currently, US is responsible for 25% of global CO2 emission.Please refer "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions"
if in doubt.Considering the data was collected by the US gov., the percentage is obviously more. And India contributes just 5%. I see it more as an imperialist propaganda to curb the rapid development which most 3rd world countries are going through right now, than a genuine concern for global warming"



This is a comment by one Mr.Ashwin Hariharan on my Earth Day Competition details post.

Well let me make one thing clear, I sit in front of the computer, halfway across the globe as mentioned but I still am an Indian and I unlike some people care about my country. Global warming, sustainable development do not figure in the US law system and I tell this as V is an environmental law student. And also as an environmental engineer she knows they are not eyewash. I can give numerous proof of various research work done.
I never said US is pollution free and I don’t doubt you, infact I live in one of the most polluted cities in the world. And thanks for taking a couple of minutes to find out facts. That is what I wanted. A small awareness amongst everyone. I just do not want my hometown to be the most polluted city. I live in Houston for a number of reasons and I don’t have to justify them, but to me home is always India where I grew up.
I am not against development of 3rd world countries and never against development in India. After all like every Indian, I too dream about my country being a superpower, but at the same time, when India becomes I superpower I don’t want to live in a bubble to protect me against the air I breathe and the water I drink. I want India to develop but at the same time retain its diversity. I still want to see the peacock as the national bird and the tiger as the national animal, free and roaming in the jungles and not just textbook images of them.
I am not out to change the world, India or US. I am out to encourage people to think about the environment and if inspired change their lifestyle a bit towards a cleaner world.
I don’t want to shut down power plants, chemical industries and leather industries, I just want people who are reading this to turn off their lights when they go out, change to low watt bulbs, plant a few trees, reduce use of plastics and especially not dump garbage on the road. These will not stop India’s growth; it will just make your home a little better. Small contributions from everyone can make a difference and that is what I hope to do.
I am no social-worker. I am no saint preaching on clean environment in India while living a luxurious life in US. I am just another person who dreams about a better life, for me, for my family (yes I am another selfish person!) and my friends. I am not bothered about others, but I as a selfish person want the space I live be it in India or in US to be clean and green and unpolluted. Am I asking for too much? Don’t I have so much rights as a human being?


No.1 Polluter

Are we next? China will bypass US as the highest emitter of green house gases this year. It was earlier predicted, China will overtake US in 2010. Unprecedented and unexpected levels economic growth has propelled this. Is India on the track to win the race? I am sure this is one race most of us don’t want to be winning. Is it not time we act?

Source: Time

Are not poverty and need the greatest polluters?

In the global level, environmental protection started gaining attention in the early 1970’s with the UN Conference on the Human Environment at Stockholm (June 1972). The then prime minister of India, Ms. Indira Gandhi was the only national head of a guest country to be present at the historical conference. The other head of state was the Swedish prime minister-the host. At this conference, Ms.Gandhi shocked the audience to attention by asking Are not poverty and need the greatest polluters?” She had forcefully stated that "the environment cannot be improved in conditions of poverty".

Here is an excerpt from her talk, "Unless we are in a position to provide employment and purchasing power for the daily necessities of the tribal people and those who live in or around our jungles, we cannot prevent them from combing the forest for food and livelihood; from poaching and from despoiling the vegetation. How can we speak to those who live in villages and slums about keeping the oceans, the rivers and the air clean when their own lives are contaminated at the source?”

So what do you think about this? And as Indians where are we today, 35 years down the lane? I would love to hear your take on this.

Party time folks

I am taking time off my environmental posts to rant. Well if you know us, you sure must have been invited to one of our parties, diwali or new house or something. You see we love to entertain. We love playing hosts. We love designing invites, choosing the menu, cooking and having a fun time with friends. Our parties are not ones with loud music and everyone trying to shake a leg, it is more of companionship, a group of friends catching up and talking about anything under the sun. We plan weeks ahead, clear out our weekend, clean the house and get the food ready. Our parties are totally informal, food spread out on the table take your pick and relax. We do have impromptu parties and for those we choose a restaurant we have been meaning to try out and hang out. And there are a few friends who have an open invite, they give a call and come home anytime. So now you know how we party. Let me get to the issue.
We take the efforts to plan a party, send out invites and ask people to RSVP and why on earth do they not do it? Is it so tough to RSVP or are they so busy? How are we supposed to plan things out? And then there are people who send out a lengthy mail about their life history and schedule, but don’t say yes or no. I never thought RSVPing was a difficult task, check your calendar and make a decision. After all you know your life and priorities. Every one of our parties has such characters, they just can’t make up their mind and there are attention-seekers who are on a roll to prove that they work hard. And believe me to host a party at our place we work hard, V and R have careers and to plan something is work. We do it so that we can have a break and enjoy some time off with friends.
Then there are people who always point their fingers at you. We choose a date and time for our party according to our convenience and schedule. It will be stupid if we choose to host an event the day before V’s finals or a week before R’s deadline at work. Makes no sense. And there are friends who demand we plan a party to suit their plans. Well, the truth is our parties are flexible, we decide who we plan to invite and work out a date and time according to everyone’s convenience but there is limit to how much we compromise. You can not expect us to throw out our plans and work around your schedule.
And okay you bring in a small hostess gift. Great of you to think about it! It is a small gesture to appreciate the efforts taken by your hosts to have you over and feed you and entertain you. And above all it is a sign of Indian hospitability and courtesy. There are people who come to every one of our parties (well we thought they were our special friends!) and come empty-handed. But always criticize openly and publicly what we get for them, be it the goody bags or the food or the hostess gifts we take over.
And there are people who make a big fuss about the gifts they bring in. You hand V a card or a gift bag or flowers, she knows you got something for her; she’ll smile and thank you and will mean it. R will do the same. Later the day after the party is over, we’ll send out a thank you mail. But what more do you expect? There are people who keep emailing asking twice, thrice (save me!) if we liked the gift? Comeon guys! Get a life!

Here is a list of small rules you need to keep in mind if you are invited to a party

• Please RSVP atleast 2-3 days ahead. The hosts need time to plan and get set. And remember it is very impolite to ignore it.
• Try to be on time. If the invitation says 7pm, it means the same. The hosts will feel bad about going ahead without you and it sure causes big confusion. Also try not to be too early, for one the hosts might not even be ready to welcome you.
• Please try to bring a hostess gift. This doesn't have to be anything expensive or elaborate.
• Please do not monopolize. Try to engage everyone in the conversation and desis out there please don’t keep talking in you mother tongue when there is a bunch of people who do not understand it.
• At the end of the party, thank your hosts and please do not engage them with a conversation at the door. If it is private, call some other time and talk else talk when you are inside never at the door.
• A thank you note/ email for the hosts is sure a nice gesture.

Here is a list of small rules you need to keep in mind if you throw a party

• Send out an invite atleast a week ahead. Your guests need to plan. Be sure to include the venue and time of the party.
• Please be ready on time. If you say the party is at 7pm be ready to welcome guests by 7pm. It is not fair to leave the guests to tend to themselves while you get ready
• Greet your guests at the door, thank them for coming and introduce them around if they don’t know the others.
• Offer them drinks, appetizers or whatever has been planned.
• When the guests leave, thank them and see them to the door. Keep your conversation at the door short and return to the others.
• Remember to thank your guests for the gifts and for coming to your party. Send a thank-you note or card.

Happy Partying everyone!

Earth Day Competition entry - 2

Entry from KS,
Thank you!


We must stop squandering nature's bounties - for example why shouldn't we abolish Car Racing and Bike Racing?
We can save some Oil for our posterity.
The 3 R's of Green Earth: REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE - must be popularised.
Go back to Gandhian Philosophy of Simple Living

Project Switch

We switched to energy efficient 11 watt bulbs. Are you with us? Make the move now!




Details about Project Switch are here
Home Depot is giving away 1,000,000 free CFL bulbs today for Earth Day! So if there is a Home Depot in your neighborhood, go ahead get a free one and pick up a pack to replace all those 60W bulbs at home. They also have a list of ways to make your home more eco-friendly!

Earth Day Competition entry - 1

Here's Hema's entry for the Earth Day Compeition!
Thanks!


"What do you think needs to be done to get Indians more aware of their environment and how do we go about protecting it? What in your opinion will be the ideal law to get things moving in the right direction?"

Go Green!!!!! That's the need of the hour! Environment Awareness is getting more and more attention these days… and it's quite time too! Issues like Global Warming, Ozone Depletion, CO2 Pollution, Loss of Biodiversity, etc. are hogging the limelight, silently screaming at mankind to take action before Mother Nature is forced to take severe adverse measures.



In a vast country like India, where many people are uneducated, we actually need a revolution to create awareness. But mere awareness is not enough. Isn't it true that many of us, educated Indians, would sit for hours talking about these issues and blame the government for taking no steps. And yet, we don't mind cutting down a few trees to beautify our homes or buy expensive cars and bikes for every member of the family unmindful of the high level of pollution we are contributing.



How can we spread awareness among the masses? How can we get people to fully participate? How can we save our Mother Earth? Well, here's my suggestion. Let's take a note from our history. During the Freedom Struggle, a group of like- minded youngsters all over India joined hands to drive away the British. What we need now is YOUTH POWER!!! Let a group of youngsters come together and form a Committee. They communicate to their friends in other cities who form committees there. Like this, through word of mouth and through fast reaching media like the Internet, we can get committees of sincere, hardworking youth in each and every city of India.



Now we have formed a committee. What can we do? There are so many things we can achieve. First let's start at individual houses. Let's spread awareness among family and relatives. Then, the neighbourhood level. And then the city level. Let's start with planning a lot of trees. Let's visit schools and colleges and get the young minds to work on debates regarding the environmental issues. Encourage them to plant trees. Educate them to save water. Its easy to mould young minds in the right direction. Give them brochures and pamphlets giving simple suggestions that one can follow to save our earth. They'll spread the word among their families and friends.



Lets educate people about the concept of the three R's – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Let's provide separate bins for recyclable wastes in every neighbourhood. And we need to work on Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation. We can put up large banners and posters in many places and have ads in media like TV and radio to tell people to switch off lights and fans when not in use, not to waste water, to go for renewable sources of energy like solar water heaters, solar cookers, PV cells, etc. In a tropical country like India, there is vast potential to tap natural sources of energy. But many people hesitate to buy these products on account of their high cost, without realizing that its going to save them lots of money in the long run and they are also cutting down usage of fossil fuels that would have emitted lots of CO2, the major gas contributing to Green House Effect. Rainwater harvesting should also reach every home. Harvested rainwater could be used for a number of domestic purposes like toilet flushing, in kitchen sinks, car washing, evaporative coolers, etc. In regions struggling for water, it can also be used for drinking.



The government can do its bit by encouraging use of renewable energy sources like wind energy, biogas etc. for large-scale industrial purposes. They can bring down the costs of solar products so that many people can buy them. They can encourage innovative eco- friendly alternatives for automobile fuels by funding them. They can improve the present public transportation and encourage people to use them.



Well, if each and every individual take little steps in the right direction, I am sure our Mother Earth could be saved!!

Earth day Competition deadline extended

We are extending the deadline for the competition to May 5th giving everyone a few more days to think and pen down something. And to those who do not blog, do email your views to poohsden@gmail.com. The rest of the details remain the same and here they are.


“What do you think needs to be done to get Indians more aware of their environment and how do we go about protecting it? What in your opinion will be the ideal law to get things moving in the right direction?”


You can post your views in your blog and email a link to poohsden@gmail.com. or if you do not blog email your views.

The winner will be decided by a poll starting from May 5th. The winner gets to choose a 16x20 enlarged, mounted photo by R (from his blog), shipped anywhere in the US or India. We can work out something for people from other countries.

Earth Day Competition

Shruthi has posted on how to create environmental awareness amongst kids. You can read it here


Balu's views on making Indians Environment Friendly is here


Kavi's take is here

Arun's views on the spreading awareness to kids and adults is here

Thanks Shruthi, Balu ,Kavi and Arun!

Learning about the Environment

There was comment to my Earth Day Competition post (the one which no one is participating!!!) that environmental awareness should be taught to kids, catch them young the person (who happens to be V’s mom!!) says.

Remember there lines
Bits of paper, bits of paper
Lying on the ground
Makes the place untidy, makes the place untidy
Pick them up, pick them up


How old where you when you learnt those lines? 3 years? And then came science classes where we learnt about pollution, environment and its protection, all the way from 1st standard till about 6th. And then the syllabus turns from real-life to scientific, all the tricks of trigonometry, the permutations and combinations of chemistry, the history of the world and slowly we leave track of the happenings and awareness that needs to be cultivated in young minds. After the 10+2 years of rigourous schooling, the young minds spread out their wings in the world of engineering, medicine, law and whatever and in these colleges they dig into an age-old curriculum that has not seen any changes. The basics are forever the same but they need to be molded to suit the changing world.
Currently there are numerous law institutes in India, but surprisingly only 2 places offer something relevant to environmental law. The engineering colleges teach environmental engineering and on ways of treating waste-water but there is no protection of environment taught.
Imagine a scenario like this, one of these sewage cleaning trucks dump their waste every night in the vacant land owned by the sewage company owner next to your house, what do you do? First, fight with the dumper guy, and then go ahead and complain to the local municipal people or whomever and then what next? Complain to the police station? And incase you want to go to the courts you need to be represented by a lawyer and I bet you don’t want the black-coat guy defending the local rowdy to represent your case, or do you go to the guy who represented your friend’s cousin’s divorce? Or the person who handled your grandfather’s estate? You need someone who knows the environment and is passionate about it to represent you. So where are these environmental lawyers to fight against the big time polluters in our country? Or do you let the bunch of learned men at the panchayat let companies like Coca-Cola continue exploiting the groundwater? The panchayat needs the money and jobs companies like Coca-Cola bring to the neighborhood but do they know about the effects of groundwater exploitation in a fertile land, in God’s own country? Does anyone know it? Is anyone bothered? Or are we too engrossed in the growing economy that we turn a blind eye to the environment?
Educating people is sure a must, and it is done at the young ages and all we need is a curriculum for continuing the teaching and learning process all through and specialized programs for the same at college level. That is my take.

The River Story

Let me tell a story,

Long long ago, in the days when man decided to settle down, put down his roots, a group of people come across this piece of paradise, wonderful weather, chirping birds, flowing water, greenery all around. Well every paradise had its ugly spot, and these parts had some big swamps and tons small canals and lakes allover and man, the determined creature he was, decided to dry out these swamps and make life in paradise. And life bloomed on paradise, more swamps were drained, more lakes filled, more home built and more families lived in paradise. Well if it were a fairy tale, I need to conclude it saying happily ever after. Unfortunately, there was no happily ever after. And the story goes on.
Years rolled by, more people moved into paradise, and then there were politicians who came in, every 5 years they visited their constituencies and promised to drain the swamp and have more schools, more parks and work for the betterment of the society. Well as you know no politician delivers his promise but everyone did help in draining the swamps. And then rolled in disaster, thunder, lighting, heavy winds and severe storms, flooding paradise and killing people. The surviving residents of paradise were heart-broken, distressed and begged for help. And there stepped in the Government, they send out the agency (henceforth referred as GA). The GA raring go and solve problems of the public, claim to control flooding and supply drinking water for the ever growing population of paradise. The next 20 years GA builds countless dams, canals, drainage ditches creating a network. Their policy was simply dig, ditch, drain, and dam, and to hell with everything else. They changed the course of the flowing river and built an enormous reservoir to supply water to the residents of paradise. A mighty fine job, they called it. The GA was praised and felicitated. Paradise residents were happy and more residents from other parts decide to move to paradise, after all it is paradise.


Is this the end of story? Happily ever after? Unfortunately no, the story goes on.

Fifty years later, there was trouble in Paradise, the chirping birds were no longer around, there was no water to drink, and paradise was turning into hell. And again the residents of paradise went running to the GA. And another major study resulted, man now equipped with radar and enormous databases and amazing scientific knowledge learnt that unless the dams were broken and the river made to flow in its natural course, paradise will of course turn to hell. Man realized that there are certain rules of nature, which he cannot change. That meant another big effort, and years and money into restoration of paradise. It meant houses built along the natural course of the river had to be relocated, dams broken, and in short a waste of all the efforts put in years earlier. Today paradise residents teach their kids, never mess with nature, develop your lives around it, you can not change the course of nature.


Unfortunately this is a real-life story.Paradise is the Everglades natural system in the state of Flordia, USA, the flowing river is the Kissimmee River, the chirping birds are the ergets and other wading birds, and GA is the Army Corps of Engineers. Today a major Everglades restoration project is underway and is one of the biggest environmental projects in the US. People have realized changing nature to suit mankind is not going to work.

Now coming to India, the Ganga flows in its own course, floods the Northern plains with fertile alluvium. There are numerous rivers all along and each has its own course. Are we going to do the same mistake the Army Corps did in US 50+ years back? In US, the damage was limited to one state as the river flowed there, but in India’s ambitious project, the whole country is under the axe. Legally, environmentally the hazards of such a project are going to be enormous. Has the Government studied the impacts of the 200+ billion US dollars project on the environment? The Government calls the interlinking of rivers a brilliant and innovative idea, it would surely seem so to the layman, but as an engineer I am taught to be cautious, look at the impacts and after the example of the Everglades I feel the project will be a disaster to the environment and the nation.

What is your take?

Stop and smell the ????

Starting our series on environment with a small comparison between the 4th largest city in the US and in India


Houston, USA

Chennai, India

Population

2,016,582

4,352,932

Area

1,558 km²

174 km²

Elevation above MSL

13 m

6 m

I have lived in both these cities and been in tune with their respective environmental issues for a while now. The quality of life in Houston is said to be bad, reason – the air is one of the most polluted air in the whole of US. Houston has a big belt of chemical companies and oil companies, along its ship channel. The big factories share their pollutants free of cost to all Houston residents and I breathe some of the nastiest air in the US says everyone. And every time I hear about the air pollution levels in Houston and their control measures discussed, my mind inevitably goes back to air I used to live on, 3 years back. The air mixed with black exhaust gas, dust, fine particles and whatever lies rotting on the road-side. I have heard people complain of air pollution, seen people tie a piece of cloth around their noses and advertisements for emission checks at petrol bunks but never bothered beyond that. It was a way of life, the so called mystery and charm of Incredible India and as a responsible citizen of India; I have done my share of whining and complaining about the quality of air, the exhaust gas, and the compulsory emission checks. But never have I thought of taking a look at what the Government says regarding the air pollution issues, so I decided to take a peak into the different laws regulating air pollution in India and compare it with the US laws.

Well I half-hoped (rather expected) that India will not have any air pollution rules and regulations and I was mentally reviewing a India needs to improve, the government has to think about the environment post. But I did find some interesting facts, here they are.

a. India does have The Air (prevention and control of pollution) act, passed in 1981 about 11 years after the USA passed the Clean Air Act of 1970. The first three chapters speak about very important issues like the constitution of the air pollution control board. And the final board looks like this, upto five people representing the State government (well so it varies every 5 years doesn’t it?), upto five people from local authorities functioning in the State (???), upto three non-officials representing interest of agriculture, fishery or industry, upto two people from corporations owned by State and 1 full-time member-secretary having qualifications to be called a air quality engineer!!! So it is a bunch of politicians and their followers who constitute the air control board with just one engineer who also works as a secretary framing the rules? Yes ofcourse the law does talk about members being of sound mind and not convicted of any offense!

b. This board’s major function is to advise on any matter concerting improvement of quality of air and prevention, control or abatement of air pollution and to plan and execute programs for control of pollution. Sounds like letting a layman perform an open-heart surgery!!

c. There is next a chapter stating the boundaries of the State Government and the State pollution Control Board, something substantial in nature and then a bunch of mumbo-jumbo.

I am no law expert, I am just another person who can read a few lines and interpret the meaning of words. And I find the act really doesn’t speak much about pollution control. It talks more about being politically correct and finding loop-holes to get a job for the jobless nephew of your twice-removed aunt’s husband’s niece. The Act has not been amended since 1987 and we still are stuck with the same rules and policies and you think the air we breathe is not getting fresher?


NAAQMP, India

NAAQS, USA


Industrial Areas

Residential, Rural

Sensitive Areas


Carbon Monoxide

5.0 mg/m3

2.0 mg/m3

1.0 mg/m3

10 mg/m3

Sulphur Dioxide

80 µg/m3

60 µg/m3

15 µg/m3

80 µg/m3

Nitrogen Oxides

80 µg/m3

60 µg/m3

15µg/m3

100 µg/m3

Lead

1.0 µg/m3

0.75 µg/m3

0.5 µg/m3

6 µg/m3

Particulate Matter size less than 10 microns

120 µg/m3

60 µg/m3

50 µg/m3

Revoked in US



(pollutants in India’s list don’t figure in US list and vice-versa)


I found that there exists a National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Program (NAAQMP) which was started in 1984 and the program monitors the air quality in India. The program seemed quite similar to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) established by the US under the Clean Air Act of 1970. A quick comparison of the two


A quick look indicates that India has stricter air quality standards than US does. I was surprised and I would never have believed if someone told me that. I realized I always expect the worst from India.

Taking my comparison of Houston and Chennai to the next level, I found Chennai has 4 air quality monitoring stations and Houston has 40+. The ambient air quality data for monitoring stations in Chennai are available till the year 2003. There is no data for the current years and I wonder why? For the year 2003, all reports seem to indicate that all pollutants studied (Sulphur dioxide and Nitrogen Oxides and Suspended particles) are well below the NAAQMP standards. Only 2 stations of the 4 in Chennai have data available.

Another search and the new information show 5 monitoring stations in Chennai and have data available for January, February and March of 2005. This report indicates very high levels of respirable particulate matter of size less than 10 microns (a maximum of 108 µg/m3). It makes me wonder what is really happening. Why is the system not transparent? Why can’t I access these data and know the current scenario. Why can’t I as an educated, interested Indian citizen not contribute or comment on one of the major problems the country faces today?

I am yet to discover acts/laws/policies that discuss control measures for different pollutants. This might hold the key to a lot of answers I am looking for. Do we really enforce the strict and state-of-art pollution control techniques? I am also looking for laws/policies for specific industries, like the thermal power plants, the chemical refineries which are known to be big time air polluters.

We live in a world that is taking baby steps towards developing an environmental friendly sustainable attitude. India as an important global player and as one of the fastest growing economy in the world needs to be heard and taken seriously. The quality of life of an average Indian is not just the money he brings back home, but having an environment that makes him more productive and happy. Is it time we thought about these aspects of air pollution and find ways to enrich our lives?

I’ll keep looking and keep posting my learnings.

Earth Day Competition

April 22nd is Earth Day intended to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the Earth's environment. The environment has been a source of inspiration for all of us. And currently V has been motivated by Mr.Blackburn to take a look at environmental law. The buzz words in the current US environmental law scenario being global warming, carbon dioxide emissions and sustainable development. But I know it and you know it, India has a long way to go in protecting its unique, diverse environment and it is the duty of every citizen to take small steps there.

And for the next week, our blog will discuss a lot of environmental issues, global and local. Special focus on issues pertaining to India and how we can go about doing the same.

And to get everybody thinking and spread awareness, we at Poohsden have decided to have a competition. Here are the details,

“What do you think needs to be done to get Indians more aware of their environment and how do we go about protecting it? What in your opinion will be the ideal law to get things moving in the right direction?”

You can post your views in your blog and email a link to poohsden@gmail.com.

The winner will be decided by a poll starting from May 5th. The winner gets to choose a 16x20 enlarged, mounted photo by R (from his blog), shipped anywhere in the US or India. We can work out something for people from other countries.

It would be great if you can spread word around, might be a link in your blog. All entries will be posted on the poohsden.

Do you bit, for a greener, cleaner earth for the future generations

Tragedy at Blacksburg, Virginia

It is scary. Imagine being a student in the Virginia Tech. Yesterday was indeed a sober day and incase you haven’t heard the news, a senior at Virginia Tech, shot dead 32 others in the campus. Initially I did not comprehend the scope of the disaster. After all, the media is known for making mountains out of molehills. The first news I read was around 7.30am about couple dead at a shooting in the dorm. I attributed it to one of the millions of random shooting cases I hear about. After all, you hear your local news reporter say a 10-year old was caught in class with a loaded gun, a 15-year old arrested for smoking pot. It is the society I chose to live in, a conscious choice I made and I go on.
But later the news of 30+ people shot dead because of the crazy functions of one 20 year old? And at a school campus? in a classroom? V goes to school and I know how 8am on a typical Monday morning is. You are beating your Monday morning blues, hoping the caffeine kicks in, and mentally review all the week has to offer. It is finals time at most schools around US and half the students are in a zombie mode, working to get things done on time. They just think of deadlines to meet, excuses to make and dream of the summer vacation. And 32 people lost their dreams and hopes to a lone gunman…
I read about the students who were trapped, who lost their friends and their loved ones. It is heart-breaking. Accidents happen, life is precious but a massacre at a school?
Imagine parents, family members, loved ones miles apart waiting for news, calling up friends, checking updates hoping to hear a word, a glimmer of hope. I bet this was one day when parents hoped their children had overslept, bunked class whatever to keep them safe.
Our prayers are with everyone at Virginia Tech.. I hope everyone affected in anyway finds the strength and will to go on.
And to think people in India are burning effigies of Richard Gere for kissing Shilpa Shetty? And the medias coverage just because an actress was involved?

R, the sports fan

R is a sports fan - always has been. Growing up, cricket was THE sport, watching Kapil and Sunny, debating the exclusion of Jimmy Amarnath, he was a typicalIndian sports fan. Coming to the USA, he added more sports to his collection - College football, NFL, NBA and finally college basketball (As A&M started gaining prominence). Sports provides the passion for your team bundled with the thrill of the competition and is a good emotional roller coaster for the heart!

However, he keeps sports in its perspective - after all its just a game! He sees fans cross the line and become fanatics - It amuses and sometimes scares him. The reaction in India during cricket matches (students lighting camphor in the hostel TV room when Tendulkar comes to bat!! ) is over the line and so is the backlash when the team fails! Similarly in the college sports world fans fill forums with hate message when a coach doesnt perform well or leaves to go to another school - Thats what happened when the aggies coach Billy Gillispie left suddenly to University of Kentucky. R knew that another good coach would come along and take the job as Mark Turgeon has. Life goes on.... sports is an amazing ride for the heart - Live it - dont live for it!

environment

My views on environmental protection
and awareness!
A very selfish step to
have a clean, green and safe life for
my family!

Puthandu...

A wonderful beginning of the new year...


















And guess what I found in the temple?? A different species of the neem tree with purple flowers.


The Story behind the neem trees at Trichy

The summer post did bring back a lot of memories… and after reading this post.. V remembered this and here’s her post…

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I loved the big garden at my grandparent’s place in Trichy.. growing up that was my haven.. my own corner… I loved the fragrant jasmines, manoranjidams (Artabotrys uncinatus) and shenbagams( Michelia genus) in bloom, I loved the tall coconut trees and the fresh tender coconut they yield, I even loved the spinach (I hate spinach!) beds (the creeping spinach had these purple colored fruits and squeezing them gave a red/pink dye using which I marked every single tree at home with a big V).. I loved climbing the low branches of the mango and guava trees.. Infact I spent the March of 1998 swinging in a hammock in the garden preparing for my all important board exams…I loved the way the thunder lilies opened up after the summer rains; I loved the way the front yard was filled with fragrant mahilam poo (Mimusops elengi); I loved it.. it was home and it was me. I loved the garden fresh after the summer rains.. the fresh smell of flowers, the land, the bright green leaves, the rain droplets clinging to the leaves, big drops dripping down.. splash on the head…I love turning my face to the sky and enjoy the feeling.. fresh and clean!! Nature is amazing.. a great healer!! I loved every inch of the garden…

but there was something I hated…

the two big neem (Melia azadirachta) trees flanking the gates of the house…and the reason I hated the neem trees? Their flowers and fruits messed up the yard in summer and they stink especially after the summer rains… the neem fruits fall all over the driveway and when the cars run-over them they stink and leave a sticky mess behind.. I hate that and the flowers smell.. the neem trees spoiled the fresh garden smell I love and filled the air with the neem smell…and every summer I complained to my grandpa and every summer he patiently used to tell me the benefits of the neem tree.. I knew all about their medicinal value and how they provide shade and blah blah blah… but I still hated them… The neem trees stood next to the compound wall at home and as they grew the roots spread below the wall and started cracking up the wall and the driveway and I started the movement to cut the trees… I put on my ½ civil engineer hat and spoke of IS 456 (the Indian Concrete design guide) rules and whatever trying to win back the garden.. but it never happened.. We always found ways to stabilize the wall… I fought with my grandpa and this was one of the few things he never supported me on.. even the only granddaughter pleadings (the one I reserve for special occasions) never worked…and it made me hate the neem tree even more.. more than the arguments I remember one conversation very clearly.. every year, around Tamil New Year (April 14th), the summer temperatures soaring, the rains providing a much needed respite, my usual ranting about the neem flowers, my grandpa used to reminisce his childhood memories of Tamil New year and it was something I never got bored listening too.. he used to say how his mother used to make the best vepam poo rasam (neem flower spicy tomato soup?) and how much he misses it.. and guess my reaction! Yuck! Well and then my grandmother joins us and every year he'll asked her to make vepam poo rasam and every year granny refuses. No amount of cajoling and convincing will work..

This is will be my 4th summer without listening to the story and I am ready to plant neem trees all over my garden just to have that conversation one more time… to relive the memories…

And yes the neem trees still stand tall and one of the last conversations I had with my grandpa the January before he passed away was ways to stabilize the compound wall yet again.. this that I put on the I am almost a civil engineer airs and said.. the trees need to go before the summer rains start… and like every year he laughed away and went ahead measuring the gap on the wall with a faded yellow ruler that one of my cousins had discarded.. I have that ruler with me today safe… one of my most treasured processions… and yes the breeze from the neem trees still continue to provide us the much needed respite during the hot summer months in Trichy….

** UPDATE** V's mom and granny reminded me that the neem trees are no longer there..the house is flanked by Ashoka trees (Saraca Indica)
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And on that note, wishing everyone a Happy New Year from V, R and Pooh! We hope the சர்வசித்து year will fill everyone with joy and happiness. We are planning to start our சர்வசித்து year with a visit to the Meenakshi Amman temple. And like every year V vows to by-heart the order of Tamil calender months and like every year she'll forget it by April 20th..

Fire in the house! run! run! run!

I have lost count.. guess it is the 4th or 5th time V tried to burn the house down... and ofcourse this is the first time in the new den!! And another thing for the record this is the first time she tried this out so early in the morning!
5.00 am V decides it is going to be "black bean wrap" (recipe below) for breakfast. Humming to the stains of Kanda shasti kavasam she turns on the grill, and goes around doing the usual stuff, bring out the flat bread, take out cookie sheet, hunt for the new can of PAM, spray flat bread, open fridge, pull out tomato, wash, take out chopping board and knife, remember hummus is in fridge, remember it is time to put the bread in, into the oven goes the bread, open fridge, hunt for hummus, find pickled jalapenos, black beans, chop onions and tomato, humming along.. Suddenly!!! remembers flat bread in oven, opens the oven... first sight blackened flat bread and cookie sheet, the opening of the oven results in oxygen supply (hmm my science is getting better right?) and flames shoot out! V has sense to close the oven door, scream out for R, turn off the grill and turn on the vent fan all at the same time.. takes out the fire extinguisher, looks for instructions, doesn’t know what to do, calls out for R then runs up the stairs calling R and then back to the kitchen, opens the oven and mercifully the flames are out, pulls out the blackened mess from the oven (she remembers to put on the glove), beats out the flames from the bread and breathes a sigh of relief.. R is down, shaving cream still on his face... another adventure...fortunately nothing serious.. just hope V does burn the place down!
V calms down to make another flat-bread wrap for R and here's the recipe..

For 1 wrap:
1 pita/ flat bread (can substitute tortilla or chapatti’s)
Couple of slices of onions, tomatoes, pickled jalapenos (can be substituted by green chilies)
2 tablespoons of cooked black beans (red beans work equally well)
shredded cheese (V uses sharp cheddar)

For spread
Hummus: (My favorite spread, works well on bread and is healthy!)
1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas, cooked)
Couple of pods of garlic
Toasted sesame seeds soaked in milk
salt and water
Blend everything together. Can be stored in fridge for a couple of days.

For Filing:
Spanish Rice:
Olive oil
A table spoon each of black beans, corn
Cumin seeds
1 cup short-grain rice
Salt
Grind together 1 onion, 1 tomato, 2 pods of garlic, 1 inch piece of ginger, 2 green chilies
In pan, add a little olive oil, add cumin seeds and let it fry. Add the blended mix and let it cook. Add rice and enough water and cook.

Assembling the wrap:
Spray the bread with oil (butter tastes yummy too!), put it in the grill (please don't burn down the house) for a couple of minutes till the bread turns crisp at the edges. Turn off the oven. Easy way out, toast the bread in a tawa. Spread hummus in one half of the bread, add rice, beans, onions, tomatoes, green chilies (be sure to keep them on one side), sprinkle some black pepper and cheese. Roll the wrap. Sprinkle some cheese on the top and put it inside the oven. The oven will still be hot and the cheese will melt forming a yummy top layer!

Enjoy!

Summer mornings

I am a warm weather bear. I love the hot humid summer days. And that is the best thing about living in Houston, you get to enjoy the hot humid days… it takes me back to the days in India when summers meant time off school, time to be free and time to catch up with friends and the latest best-sellers! There are such wonderful memories associated with summer.. enjoying sweet, red watermelon and having a seed spitting competition while sitting in the backyard, the mud-pies baked under the hot sun as kids, the imaginary trips to lands unknown on the enormous outdoor swing with numerous cousins and relatives, the peaceful afternoon siesta, the cool cucumbers, the vacations and the thrill of visiting new places, the visits to the library to pile up with books, summer camps, computer lessons, watching TV… the pleasures of childhood and summer are never- ending.
Probably the best part of summer is the mornings, the air is cool and the world is silent, waking up to the sounds of nature… waking up, the first thing I used to do was sit in the front yard or the balcony and take a look at the outside world.. at 6am most of the world is still asleep and no hustle and bustle. In the small corner I call home, there isn’t a major road close enough to disrupt the peace of the summer morning.. and there I sit smelling the intoxicating scent of pichipoo wafting in and half listening to the subrabadam playing somewhere… there over in the house at the yonder, Mrs.G cleaning the front yard and drawing an intricate pattern with rice flour.. I sit there admiring the ease that which she draws the kolam... and there’s the paper guy with his perfect aim, The Hindu and Thinamalar flutter straight to the front yard and I hear the rustle of the papers being opened…. I look at the paper lying in the front yard and am just lazy to pick up and the morning quiet and silence is quickly fading away…I hear voices discussing the merits and demerits of the studying abroad and look up to see old-timers briskly walking and getting their daily exercise. The sun starts rising and soon the morning peace will disappear… and there I hear the bell in the milkman’s bicycle… ladies cluttering around talking and gossiping about everything in the 2 minutes they get to spare.. if I pay attention I can hear all about Shailu being sick all night or Geeta’s success in USA or how exciting the mega soap opera on SunTV was…Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! and that’s the alarm.. it’s 6.30.. time to be out of bed….hmmm the smell of freshly ground filter coffee is in the air…there I hear.. Mr.P trying to start his Bajaj Super… kicking hard.. and a roar as the engine comes to life… then there is the morning silence….someone turns the radio on loud and I hear the Akashvarni news.. now I smell the exotic delicacies concocted in the kitchens…breakfasts and lunch being cooked, packed….more scooters and mopeds come alive.. the screaming children waving off moms and dads to work…amma kai kai, kai venuma!! And that’s the vegetable vendor at the door…women rush out… debating over valakai (green banana) and pudalangai (snake gourd), complaining over the raising costs of veggies, bargaining for freebies, konjam kotamali, karuveppilai poodu (give some cilantro and curry leaves).. and again silence... the sun is up and I know it is going to be another scorching hot day….and head inside the house a smile on my face.. summer mornings are just the best!
Today in Houston it warmed up after an unexpectedly cold weekend..I opened the patio doors at 6.00am hoping to enjoy the summer mornings… the air was cool with promises of a hot day ahead.. but the sounds were missing.. I heard the screeching tires and blaring sirens from the ambulances but I missed the voices I had always associated with summer mornings…But summer does put a spring in my step, as I walk to work, the world seems so much better coz it is summer…the slight humid wind on my face, the bright sun, the green leaves, the smell of flowers in the air… Summer is here! And I am one happy bear! (ah that even rhymes!!)

Friends atlast!

There are friends who have been always with you, you click off the minute you meet them, some people walk into your life and leave an impression and there are people who have been always around and you never got around knowing them better and suddenly one day you get to talk to them and realize what a great friend the other person will make and then blooms a great friendship. This post is for the latter category of friends. Friends who were just acquaintances and latter became V’s best friends.. HP, VR, and KK this post is for you guys!

HP!

Well I am sure he will be fuming mad at me. He would have been expecting a sure mention in my blog long long back but I never got around doing it. Well I knew HP from V’s high school days and they were never friends. They were in the same class and knew each other. And I bet at some point of time they even hated each other. Then somewhere along the journey of life, emails, phone calls and today they are great friends. They have been through each others ups and downs. Heard each others sob stories and happy endings! Here’s wishing HP a very happy ending in his love story!

VR!

He is V’s college friend.. hung out with the same group, knew each other and then the final months of college got to be great friends. They can talk for hours without worries and would discuss anything under the sun. There are times when they have spoke about not taking the time to get to know each other better long back. But as I always felt, atleast you are friends now and you have the whole lifetime ahead! VR is now in the US and enjoying life with his family and fiancé.

KK!


KK and V never took the efforts to get to know each other during the month they spent on the projects at IITM. Mainly coz of the surrounding group of well-meaning, fun-loving friends. (Sapians you rock! Another post about you guys coming up soon!) But after the month at the jungles of IITM we moved on with life and now KK is in US pursuing his higher studies and V and KK are great friends. Long talks, teasing each other and just having a good time the way only old friends can. KK here’s wishing you a great future in whatever you decide to… and good luck with your numerous dates ;)

There are special memories about each of these people and a place in our lives. Thinking about it, there are quite a few friends I still haven’t spoken about! There are people whom we have lost in touch with and hope to get in touch with them soon and there are people who are always around keeping abreast with the happenings! And as you read this take a lil time off your busy schedule to catch up with your friends and memories! It is a great trip down the memory lane and believe me your day will seem amazingly better after one short trip!

and To all our friends!! We are so glad you are a part of our lives and we hope to catch up with ya guys soon!