Two men and a lion cub

Posted by Anantha | Posted in | Posted on Monday, December 14, 2009


[Animal Planet aired a documentary, 'A lion called Christian' last night. Touched by the documentary I thought of sharing this with you all]

This is going to be a special one of all the tales of reunion you have heard and seen till date. The reunion I'm referring to is between a lion named Christian and two Australian men Ace Bourke and John Rendall. The two men on a trip to England in 1969 bought a lion cub (it seems it was legal in England then to buy and rear wild animals!) and gave him all the love and care 'the small cat' needed. Ace and John kept supplying 3 kgs of meat everyday to Christian; they played with him in the garden of a church after seeking special permission to use the garden as a playground for the lion! Christian started growing big and strong and was becoming unwieldy for the two men day by day. Not willing to leave Christian to the Zoo and to confine his life to the cage forever, Ace and John thought of alternatives. Then the men happened to meet Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna of Born Free fame, with their advice, the two men sent Christian to Kenya for the rehabilitation under the supervision of George Adamson, an animal conservationist. The bonding between the men and Christian was so much that the two men quit their jobs and relocated to Kenya for few weeks to spend some time with Christian before he was trained, acclimatized and released to the wild by George Adamson.

Below is the famous clip of reunion between Christian and the two men after one year of Chrsitian's release into the wild. When Ace and John flew to Kenya to see Christian, George Adamson had warned the duo that Christian might have forgotten them and could prove fatal to their lives if he leaps upon them thinking they are strangers. The video features Christian leaping upon the duo, but only to bear-hug them with the joy of finding his old pals.

Kudos to the unconditional bonding between humans and animals..

[Two young men in the video are Ace and John, the old chap is George Adamson, the commentary is by Virginia McKenna]

Find some more info here

Sshhhh... silence please

Posted by Anantha | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, December 10, 2009


The other day I was watching a lesser known small budget movie called Hulla [Cast: Sushant Singh, Rajath Kapoor et al] in Zoom channel. Most of the movie is about how the central character played by Sushant Singh is bothered and irritated by the noises in his apartment and his surroundings - the whistle blowing watchman, the loud music of the neighbor and even the lesser loud noises in his apartment. I did not watch it fully cos I found the movie quite sloppy in the direction and the acting departments (Rajath Kapoor was good, other cast members were really pathetic). It is quite possible that this movie wanted to convey some thing more than just the noises affecting a person psychologically and making his life miserable, but I am not very sure of this as I did not watch the movie fully. But in a way I could relate myself to the central character! I do not usually over react as he does throughout the movie but I do get irritated to the core by the noises around.

I wake up around 6 every day. I like calm and peaceful mornings, but my neighbor strongly feels the louder she plays Venkateshwara Suprabhaata, Lord Venkateshwara appears in front of her so sooner. I have requested her few times gently, but she turns down the volume just for 2-3 days after my request, after which the speaker gets tested for its full power.

The moment I get into train/bus, the unpaid ubiquitous DJs play their favorite music in full volume on their China Mobiles. Why can't they just burst their own ear drums with that poor quality mp3, wearing a pair of head phones, why are they all bent upon torturing people like me? It irritates me even if my favorite music is being played aloud and/or when I am not just in a mood to listen to the music. To rub salt into the wound, most of them like the Hindi songs of the period when there was a void in the music industry after the death of Kishore and Mohd Rafi, making the likes of Shabbir Kumar and Mohd Aziz famous overnight. And this time to add some lemon to the wound already rubbed with salt, there will be many times War of the DJs too, 2-3 guys playing music simultaneously! I am not exaggerating; do not take a Volvo and travel by ordinary blue bus to Whitefield from Majestic some day to listen to these DJs. While I wait on the platforms or I travel in train, I get to hear another genre of ‘noise’. It's tapanguchi jingchak Tamil songs. Yes, you guessed it right the same overused pattern of beats to which you find Vijay/Vikram/Dhanush/Bharath/Vishal dance with 100 co-dancers on the filthy streets in every other Tamil movie. I have requested, ordered, threatened these ardent music lovers to use head phones or to turn down the volume, but 99% of the time they just have not cared for my request, order or threat.

Though hardly you get these DJs in Volvos, but seems like silence will be granted to me only in my grave! Here the buses have the FM and the bus driver himself dons the role of my torturer. Why is the whole world bent upon bombarding some noises on my ear drums, why is it so much against me wanting some silence or me sitting with my favorite book open while I am traveling?

Why are 'our people' like this? Why do they play music loud? Why do they talk so loud in public places? Why do they want to let the whole world know that they are praying to Lord? Why can't they keep the volume of the ringing tone low? If at all they keep it high, why do they always keep the phone on their desk and go away? Why do they talk so loudly on the phone? (Now I even know my neighboring cubicle guy's wife is 26 years old and the couple have applied for a house loan at an interest of 12% from a private bank. And I even know what tablets are to be given to the aunty's (who sits diagonally opposite to me) 8 year old daughter who frequently falls sick). Why do they set up public festivals and orchestras on road? Why do they honk even after knowing there is a red signal in front?Why can’t they be just quiet? Why are they so uncivilized? Is the silence so unbearable for all of them? Why don't they realize that they are disturbing others?
And the last of all, am I the only one who has so many complaints about these things..?


Posted by Anantha | Posted in , | Posted on Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Mohan, my colleague and I reached Kanyakumari around 8 AM on 28th Nov. The plan was to roam around Kanyakumari that day and travel to Tirunalveli to attend my team mate's marriage the next day. We reached a hotel named Cape Residency, where Mohan had already booked a double bed room for our stay. The hotel is situated on the same single main road of Kanyakumari but away from hustle and bustle of the town. Kanyakumari is a small laid back town, more or less sprawled along NH-47, the only main road of the town.

After loading our stomachs with a delicious breakfast served in the hotel, we headed straight towards the Vivekananda Rock by walk. NH-47 diverges into narrow shopping streets leading to the beach. Frankly speaking the beach near the Vivekananda Rock and Tiruvalluvar statue could well be called as a rocky shore than a beach. Mohan said, Kanyakumari does not have a great beach and most of the tourists head towards Kovalam beach after paying a brief visit to Kanyakumari.

3-4 ferries commute from the shore to Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Tiruvalluvar Statue. We waited for the ferry in a long but fast moving queue. Those ferries had the capacity to transport at least 100 people at once. The life jackets meant for the passengers were safely placed on the rack of the ferry! I believe the ferry was not over crowded but it certainly reminded me of the recent boat tragedy in Kerala. Assuming that those life jackets were in good condition, I think if each of the passengers is allowed to wear while embarking the ferry and return the same while disembarking, it would take at least 20 minutes extra for each of the trip for a ferry. Which would mean the ferry guy is losing the business of another trip in those 20 minutes. So it was a trade off between 100 lives and few hundred bucks for the owner of the ferry, and the owner had chosen the latter!!

Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a magnificent monument built in the year 1970 as a tribute to the sacred place where Swami Vivekananda was enlightened while meditating on this rock. The Rock Memorial has a tall bronze idol of Vivekananda. This rock also has a Mantapam of Sri Padhaparai, the place where it is believed that Devi Parvati stood on a single leg for Tapasya to propitiate Lord Shiva. Going on a PradakshiNa around the Rock Memorial, it is really a breathtaking view of the confluence of Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal. But as many people had told me, I did not see the color difference in the water of 3 oceans. The wind was strong enough to sweep off any puny human being. Then the ferry took us to 133 feet tall Tiruvalluvar statue, 200 mts away from the Vivekananda Rock. The statue is 133 feet tall signifying the 133 chapters of Tirukkural penned by Tiruvalluvar. This is supposed to be one of the tallest statues in Asia. To be frank, I would have admired the beauty of the statue more, if it was monolithic and the structure of the statue had been more proportionate. Then we gave a brief visit to Gandhi Memorial. The Kanyakumari temple was closed during the afternoon.

After resting for few hours in the hotel after a heavy lunch, we caught an auto to the Sunset point. As I mentioned in the previous post, Sunset and Sunrise are special in Kanyakumari. It was really a unique Sunset of all the ones I have seen till date, because while Sun sets in the Arabian Sea, it appears so that only a portion of the horizon is set as a platform for the Sunset, the rest of the long horizon being stretched in the direction of South and East.

The next day though we woke up early to see the Sunrise, clouds denied us the sight of Sunrise :( After checking out from the hotel we headed for the marriage of colleague in Tirunalveli. After wishing the newly wed couple and having a nice lunch, we boarded the bus back to Bangalore in the evening..