The Lapwing Incident

I approached after a tiring 10 hours journey, listening to the sound of the newly arrived visitors to our area. This time it was a pair of birds with light brown feathers, with patches of black and white on other parts of the body. Spent some time in google to find that the name of the bird is red-wattled lapwing. Reaching home, took the binoculars and started observing them for a while. Soon forgot them, and returned to the most important work of changing channels in the television from 0 to end.

After few hours, the sound of the lapwings increased. It was more like a sound of distress. Apart from me, looked like it has also attracted the attention of a old shepherd and she was doing something peculiar. She started going near the birds and kept checking the bushes. Pieces began to fall in place, and i realized that the egg or the chick is in danger. Looks like the lapwings lay eggs on the ground or depressions in ground. The eggs have very little chance of survival and the chicks little better.  I kept watching, hoping she does not get what she was searching. The birds continued to fly around making wild noises. Soon it was all over, She found the chick and its desperate attempt to escape was foiled with the long stick she had in hand. I watched!!!

She wrapped the chick carefully and left, the birds left with nothing to guard and i stood there thinking hard. The birds look better adapted than men. For the old lady it is a chance to taste meat which she may not get often. But still could not accept it. it felt cruel. Funny in a way, considering that i have no trouble in eating chicken every week 🙂 It is just like how vegetarians convince themselves that they are not killing anything. Civilization, most of times makes us forget what we really are. Most of the time the rules are twisted. Anyway, my affection towards my area grows exponentially with every incident like this. Looks like when i feel bored with Nat Geo all i have to do is come out of my house and look around 🙂

The Greener Past

 

Stood there at the terrace feeling the cool and gentle breeze from the east. It felt like a child’s light kiss. Saw a few cranes, and a peacock searching the fields for food.  Delighted, i stood watching the vast expanse of land in front of me. I wished it would remain like that forever. And i knew i would not get a single soul in that area who would similar feelings.

Anyway, quickly traveled back in time and the old memories emerged from the rusted mind. We had shifted to our home from the every crowded, ever friendly colony life. Our home looked remote and desolate, and i quickly decided that the area is lifeless. Soon i was proved wrong.  The first rainy season was special. When it rained, the area was became a scenic spot. To us it was like Venice. When we get out, it is just water everywhere. Usually the canals breach their boundaries, and it becomes difficult to differentiate the lake nearby and the area. As usual man made boundaries, wiped off by nature’s fury. To others houses floating in water looked funny, to me it was fun. For i got to watch snakes for the first time & crabs too. Anytime i was able to see around 10 snakes in water. Snakes of different colors, different textures. Remember the time, when i ventured into water and a snake slithered in between my legs.  Lost in childish enthusiasm, killed a lot when they ventured to land. Should be more than 25 i think. The only snake i have hit and left without killing is a Cobra 🙂 As myths have it, Cobra’s dont forget their offenders and take revenged and kill them. Anyway, I am Still waiting!!!! FYI, i stopped killing snakes after that. Once i saw Cobra mating with another snake in real. Early in the morning, when i am starting to school, would see Mongoose leisurely crossing the street. Everytime i wished, i would see it fighting with a Cobra, but it never happened.

As water drained, different varieties of birds & cranes used to visit the place. Few looked like they had migrated from nearby places. When it becomes dry, we get a flock of peacocks as visitors. Around 10 or 11, used to visit the fields nearby. It was here i was first introduced to Quails (Kaadai) and Grey Francolins (Gowthari). Nomads, occupy the area around the lake with their ducks and we used to visit them at times to get Duck’s egg, Cucumber, Brinjal which they grow.

Once as usual was aimlessly watching the fields nearby from the terrace, suddenly saw three dogs in a line running hard with their tongues out. Soon found a wild rabbit at the front. It was mesmerizing to see the rabbit’s effortless jumps and the agility. Had the effect of watching Nat Geo in real. After a while, they dogs came back disappointed. At times saw rabbits searching for food and hopping away, when i walk aimlessly through the fields. What i missed that time was a digital camera.

I was lost in those thoughts when sound of the bulldozer brought me back to reality. The land was being cleared and will eventually give way to some apartment or bungalow. The rabbits are no more, the peacocks have reduced, so are cranes, Kaadai and Gowtharis, snakes i haven’t seen for a long time and crabs are extinct i guess. What was once a home to snakes, crabs, peacocks, country birds & Rabbits is now an opportunity to make Lakhs & Crores.  What if a 4th grade guy shifts to a house in this area now ? What will he do ? Will he lose himself in man made toys and the virtual video games? Will he miss something ? What made man constraint himself to a walled prison and feel proud about it ? With few random crazy thoughts, i watched the bulldozer returning from work. Atlast, the area was slowly turning lifeless!!!!

FStival 2010

Note: This post contains reference to names and places, which might make sense only to TCE folks. It will be a bit long too. And at few places managed to mention about FStival, the main reason behind the visit 😛

After two years break, i was back at FStival, the software freedom day celebration organised by GLUGOT and GLUG-Madurai. Accompanied by Junior Sai went to the function a little late as usual and stayed away from the chief guest address which seemed to be halfway through in K.S. Auditorium. The chief guest was none other than our senior, Mr. Amalan Joe Steeve. When the chief guest was addressing the crowd, myself and Sai, decided to roam around the college and check out the changes. And our junior Karthikeyan, who is presently doing 3rd year gave a good company for more than an hour. In two years, college has changed a lot, but there are still a lot of landmarks left to make you nostalgic.

The CSE classes are being held in the new building in front of IT department. The open air auditorium is functioning. There is a new building in the pump house. There is some new building coming up in front of the Maths Department. There is one more new building coming up near hostel. Very few monkeys in pump house and CSE Aalamaram. Z0 my final year class room has changed. The tables where 10 of us sit in a row has changed and it is now replaced with single chairs, and the room looks clean. I think the lab which was adjacent to Unix lab, previously called as Client/Server lab is now called as IBM lab !!!! Wondering how it got the name though and whether there is a plan to change the names of other labs to HP, M$, Oracle labs 😛 N/w lab is now called as Multicore lab or something. No changes to Apple and Web Design labs. The ditch in front of the library remains occupied with boys and as usual guys were having fun.

Met all the staffs in Unix lab except for Shalinie mam, since she had a meeting to attend after FStival and went straight there after the chief guess address. Met a staff who managed to talk as though he remembered me, while i doubt whether he did really. And then a mam who was travelling in auto showed signs of recognition. Whatever it is, it was great to be in College after two years and to get a feeling few staffs still can recognize you. This FStival also gave an opportunity to meet few of my juniors. It was fun as usual talking to them.

Coming to FStival, there were so many stalls this time. Congrats to them. Also there were around 300+ audience for FStival, including people from near by colleges and schools which was good. Roaming around the stalls was fun, we had stood behind and had explained the audience few years back 🙂 One major change was that students were using personal laptops in stalls. Looked like a corporate presentation with around 10 laptops in lab 😛   Finally left the college at around 5.00PM planning to visit later when i get time…

FStival ’07

It was the first FStival i attended as an aluminus. It was a great feeling to visit the college again and meet the juniors and staffs out there. I went a little late after going to my home and i missed praveen’s speech and the installation session. Heard that praveen gave an inspiring speech and inspite of some problems with the installation, juniors managed to finish the session in a good note. When i entered the KS auditorium, Subramani was explaining some cool compiz features and 3D desktops. After that there was a doubt clarification session during which i got the opportunity to poke my nose and utter few words.

After then it was time for the demo stalls. As usual we had stalls like GCC, GDB, Emacs, Databases, CMD, LAMP, GIMP, Games & Multimedia etc. Vim and “Linux Day to day” stalls were added this time.This time Juniors did a fine job with the demo stalls and were explaining with good examples. For the first time i saw juniors explaining Blender with some real animations. Almost all of them did fine in explaining the functionalities of the softwares. Regarding the audience, this time we had a diverse crowd ranging schools and colleges in and around Madurai and from other departments.

After all this it was time for fill the tummy and we proceeded to hotel Bell for the treat that was pending for a very long time.Praveen, Subramani and myself atlast treated our juniors 🙂 After that headed back home to enjoy the remaining one day at home.

Managed to take only very few snaps. Check them out at http://picasaweb.google.com/sens2003

Bidding adieu to Madurai

Just a day more before i leave madurai to join my company in bangalore. Twenty one years in madurai has created a lot of love for the city. Ten days visit to chennai during the second year of college increased it a bit. Madurai looked like the ideal place to live. Most of them might not agree with this, but Madurai is more beautiful from one perspective. It is the city that never sleeps. Cant say that the climate is perfect here. Cant say there are many places to visit here in madurai. Still Madurai is better and more beautiful than most of the cities here in TamilNadu. Unique feature of Madurai is that there is always a hotel to  fill your tummy and it is possible to reach all places in Madurai through bus even during midnight. And Madurai is one place where you can find people speaking good tamil. May be this a one side view of Madurai, but found most of them sharing the same view. Will be missing Madurai a lot, the place where i spent the most beautiful part of my life 😦

Morons with power

“As an individual you can do something to the society, as a politician you can do anything”. This was a comment made by one of my juniors in the group discussion session during Placement training. It happens to be 100% true. Past two days in Madurai has been a little tensed due the violence that started because of a stupid poll. The tamil daily dinakaran started a poll to find who will be karunanidhi’s political heir. Dinakaran has being doing useless job like this for a long time. 70% voted for stalin it seems and only 2% for CM’s elder son Azhagiri. This sparked a lot of violence and funny fact is that it was
headed by mayor of madurai. Finally the violence became uncontrollable, as police did not take any steps to control it and ended with the death of three Dinakaran employees.

What followed this incident is something unacceptable. Police made fake arrests still leaving the one who is reponsible. Cable TV operators were afraid of transmitting, as it would spread news. People never seemed to mind what is happening and were thankful that they were spared. This makes my conclusion valid. My conclusion is that politicians = fools with power, police = mindless morons, TN people = 100% ignorant. Politics will continue to remain as a garbage as long as educated stay away from it.

An early visit to the exhibition

We went to the Madurai exhibtion last week. As hostel friends would be leaving home early we planned an early visit and ended up seeing how the shops are built. The exhibition looked a lot different with very little crowd and very few shops. It was a different experience.  As there were very few shops and entertainment aspects we were walking around the whole ground chatting and at times peeking into the shops. Usually the policemen, with the thought of being more vigilant and people friendly are usually hard on college students moving around as a group. This time it did not happen.  We ended up visiting stalls put up by the police department, wildlife department, fisheries, IT department, Madurai corporation. The stalls were informative and were the only place where one could spend some time. One interesting information is that, the road from thiruparankundram C2 police station (TCE college stop) to Thiruparankundram stands second in the road list where more number of accidents happen. Surely, it was not the right time to visit madurai exhibition but its a different exhibition i have seen. Soon it would reach its peak and would demand one more visit. Think that visit would be a lot different.