April 6th, 2006


some heartening things...and some not so...

Drove down to Chennai by the new road...except for a stretch near Vaniyambadi which seems to be caught up in litigation, the rest of it is excellent...since it was a Sunday, we made it in --yes--four and a half hours! And this when both of us were doing never more than a steady 120 kph in the CR-V. Now if only we could find a way to navigate through either Bangalore or Chennai during weekdays without spending hours in inch-by-inch traffic....

Went from Chennai to the outskirts of Pondicherry, to visit a factory; the place has been greened considerably. While my spouse went in to have his meeting, I decided to wander around. Saw some sleeping owls (can't identify what sort they were, though!) and saw the racket-tailed drongo with all the glory of his tail intact...quite a sight, flying through the air and settling on a nearby branch!

It was also nice to drive back from there to Tiruvannamalai, where we halted for the night and thence, in the morning, back to Bangalore...instead of the imported trees that now thrive in Bangalore, it was a change to see the "ethnic" trees, such as the ancient tamarinds lining both sides of the highway, the mangoes, peepuls and banyans...shade makes SUCH a difference to the drive!

Spent some time at our own small-scale unit in Hosur persuading the horticulturist we are about to hire, NOT to cut down ANY of the trees, but to plant a "Naagalingam" and an "Aakaasha Mallige (Indian cork)" in addition to the trees already there...he seemed so put out that flowering plants wouldn't grow...it was a job to persuade him that I knew my own mind and would rather have the existing trees than balsam and stuff like that...why does every gardener want to have a lovely lawn at the expense of the shade-giving trees?