Monday, August 29, 2011

almost there

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Monsoon in Manchikeri

It was a long pending trip to the Uttara Kannada (North Kanara) district of Karnataka. My crave for visiting this land of scenic beauty during monsoon was persistent. Thanks to the long weekend, a spontaneous plan of visiting this place during the peak monsoon became a reality. Without any second thought I took one more day off and set myself for a 4 day trip. There was no schedule decided and there was no plan on how to move around. On a beautiful Friday morning, the red bus dropped me off at Manchikeri. It was since a long time I visited a typical 'Malenad' house and we were fortunate enough to become painful guests for Ajith and his parents for 4 days. Ajith and my friend TS work together at ITC in Bangalore. And it was Ajith's recommendation that we visit his place. Manchikeri is 37 km away on the way to Yellapur from Sirsi. 

Since we had no specific plans for 4 days, we were free to go anywhere we wanted to. And we decided to not worry much about visiting all the places around and instead spend some quality time seeing some beautiful waterfalls. Uttara Kannada is the home for many such beautiful waterfalls, perennial rivers, moist deciduous forest and abundant flora/fauna. And over the next 4 days we got to see some stunning creations of nature. Thanks to Ajith and his friends, we even got to travel around on motorbikes. And not to mention the food at his place, it was a delightful Konkan feast on all 4 days. His mother took so much trouble and introduced us to some authentic Konkan dishes. I have to write a separate blog post altogether to explain all those mouthwatering stuff. 

Worrying about my camera equipment in the heavy rain, I could somehow managed to capture some photographs. It was a thrilling experience to visit all the places in-spite of the heavy rains. That even saved us from sighting too many humans as well. Here are some of the photographs:

Sathodi, Dabbe and Kanchin Gadde: 

We walked for about 6 km one way through the Kodasalli dam back waters to reach the Sathodi falls.
Sathodi falls in Yellapur taluk
Sathodi falls in peak monsoon
Kanchin Gadde falls near Sathodi
Dabbe Saal Falls near Sathodi
Chandaguli, Magod, Jenkal Gudda and Kavadi Kere:

Chandaguli Gante Ganapathi Temple
Misty woods at Magod
Magod falls during the peak monsoon
Bedthi river flowing at Magod powerfully!
Majjige hole falls near Magod
Kavadiamma temple on the banks of the 62 acres Kavadi kere.  
Yana, Vibhooti and Unchalli:

The historic limestone rocks at Yana

Gorgeous Vibhooti falls near Yana
Finally after waiting for 30 minutes, we could see the Unchalli falls. This is my second attempt  to see Unchalli in full flow. 
Sirsi and Sahasra linga 

A random water falls near Sirsi
Sahasra Linga. During monsoon only a few will be visible. 
 Some interesting flora and fauna:

Blue Oakleaf

Cup Fungi

It was a very tiring trip after a long time. Legs are full of leech bites and even now one hand is on key board and the other is scratching on my itchy legs. We were very lucky and thankful to get to meet Ajith and his family. Their hospitality was one of the best.

Talking about the developments and the tourism, all these beautiful places are being commercialized. There are neat roads till many of these destinations to which one can drive easily. Concrete structures are being erected amidst the woods. For a typical 'tourist' getting to see and enjoy in 'Nature' is becoming easier day-by-day. I had gone to Yana 8 years back (I think) and I had to trek for 6 km to reach the rocks. Now it is not even a 1km walk on a concrete road! Similarly access to Madod and Sathodi is very easy. People come in thousands to visit and at the same time they leave thousands of tons of garbage. Perhaps, many people have not yet realized that 'Nature looks beautiful only if it is left Natural'. Mind you, If any of you are travelling to all the above places after reading this blog post, you better be responsible and care for environment. 

Link to more pictures:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Quality, Innovation and Change

It was 9 am - 21st August, 2011, Sunday and I was pleased to see those impressive banners welcoming me inside the RC College compound. There were a lot of people gathered inside and I had literally no place to park my bike. I could somehow create some space for my bike and embraced the venue. The banners read 'Department of Higher Education and Karnataka Knowledge Commission - Jnana Fellowship - 2011'. Hundreds of people were waiting to enter the building and there was no space for me to walk through them. When I tried asking people to leave some space, they thought I am being rude enough to enter the building first. Some of them did block my way. But I somehow managed to enter the building and met the team inside. 

I was pleased to be there on time (may be just in time) and entered the orientation session being conducted for all the volunteers and organizers. The program for the day was to verify the documents of all the shortlisted candidates and to conduct the written test for them. The activities were distributed to the representatives from several organizations. I was absolutely thrilled to see the high energy levels of all those who represented their respective organizations. The event started on time and all the candidates walked into their (allotted) rooms. 

Candidates' profiles were a culmination of various professions. There were Doctors, Lawyers, Housewives, Software Engineers, Management Consultants, State Government Employees, Professors, Scientists, NGO workers, Artists, Entrepreneurs and more. It was delightful to see such diverse set of people from all walks of life. 

While I enjoyed coordinating between several rooms for all the concerns and spontaneous issues, I also had set an objective for myself to talk to some candidates and understand their expectations. 

All those who could satisfy all the criteria and produce the required documents were given hall tickets for the written test. All others who were unable to fulfill the requirements were rejected. Some of them raised genuine concerns and some tried to produce false claims. Some of them had taken the whole process for granted in the name of  'Change' they envisioned to bring into the Government systems. Some just lacked patience and got into arguments. All of us, who were coordinating between many rooms, tried our best to address their issues and could succeed in convincing a few of them.

Some of the candidates (say 12 to 15) volunteered themselves to speak to me and convey their feelings about the Fellowship program. They said this is a brilliant, first of its kind initiative and they are looking forward to contribute their best. Many of them had gone through the KKC website and the fellowship approach paper. They were curious to know more details on the final selection process and the mode of working for projects. Some of them were disappointed and they expressed that they had not expected the written test and the document verification processes. Some of them tried explaining their achievements in the past and how they can contribute to the system. I was just listening to all their talk and tried my best to nod my head. 

I volunteered to speak to some of them. I asked what is their expectation from the Jnana Fellowship (JF)? and if given an opportunity what would they like to achieve? Most of them were excited to answer my questions and I was really pleased with a few answers. It was my effort to know how JF is positioned in their minds? 

All of them had three things in common to share or rather these three topics were the key highlights during my conversation with them. Quality, Innovation and Change. Most of them said they are expecting to work with the government to make a difference

I was ecstatic to hear that from those candidates and I said to myself - "I think we have set the right expectations". Hopefully the same momentum flows through the next 8 months to 1 year and hopefully there are some notable results at the end of the JF term. And hopefully JF will continue to work towards making a difference

I shared this experience during the end of the day meeting. And I felt absolutely great to have volunteered with such a thoughtful initiative. 


More details about the fellowships here. 

Friday, August 19, 2011


it took one upatma
who follows the spirit
in his breath, his nerves
smiling with strength
inspired and taken by
mahatma's approach
moment by moment
leading from the front
fast after fast
for the people
and the nation
against the bad
and the bad people
growing by every soul
listening their pain and his
sacrificing own self
unshaken by critics
empowered by millions
creating a movement
to bring in light!

more power to you!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

North Kanara and Monsoon

Here are some of the panoramic shots from North Kanara during this monsoon. Specifically from the North Western Ghat ranges in Sirsi and Yellapur taluks. It is a home for many beautiful waterfalls. 

Sathodi falls in Yellapur taluk. This falls is a collection of small streams through various valleys. 

Kanchin Gadde falls in Yellapur taluk. This is 3 km from Sathodi falls and is not easily approachable during monsoon.

Kavadi kere temple in Yellapur taluk. The ancient temple dedicated to goddess Kavadiamma.

62 acres spread Kavadi Kere. Till date the lake has never dried up. More can be read here.

Muregaar falls in Sirsi taluk.

Muregaar main falls. Situated 25 km from Sirsi town.

On the way to Sathodi, backwaters of the Kodasalli dam built across the river Kali.

Backwaters of the Kodasalli dam built across the river Kali.

View from the Jenu Kallu Gudda. 17 km from Yellapur. Bedthi river flows through the ranges.

Lime stones of Yana. Wonderful rock formations located 40 km from Sirsi town.

© 2011, Srikanth Parthasarathy

Thursday, August 11, 2011

depth in change

Excerpt from the book - Five minds for the future by Howard Gardner

Conditions in the world are changing significantly. consequent upon these changes, certain goals, capacities and practices might no longer be indicated, or might even come to be seen as counterproductive. For example, before the invention of the printing press, when books were scarce, it was vital for individuals to cultivate a faithful and capacious verbal memory. Now that books (and notebook-sized search engines) are readily available, this goal and the attendant mnemonic practices - are no longer at a premium. On the other hand, the ability to survey huge bodies of information - print and electronic - and to organize that information in useful ways looms more important than ever. Changing conditions may also call for new educational aspirations. - Gardner


and we still continue to follow the old style, we continue to no-follow the change, we continue to teach the same for generations, we continue to say - "we have been doing it this way for so long that we know it is right"?


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

world of the future

Excerpt from the book Five minds for the future by Howard Gardner:

Why the shift from description to prescription? In the interconnected world in which the vast majority of human beings now live, it is not enough to state what each individual or group needs to survive on its own turf. In the long run, it is not possible for parts of the world to thrive while others remain desperately poor and deeply frustrated.  Further, the world of the future - with its ubiquitous search engines, robots, and other computational devices - will demand capacities that until now have been mere options. To meet this new world on its own terms, we should begin to cultivate those capacities now.

 - Gardner


I think the key thing for us to strive through the change or to get into the future that is evolving, is to learn to survive.  


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Right to...

pulsar, honda
I never asked
BMW, benz
I never asked
TV, radio
I never asked
Movie, theatre
I never asked

Coca cola
I never asked
Pepsi, fruit juice
I never asked
I never asked
Whiskey, Vodka
I never asked

Laptop, computer
I never asked
Mobile, Telephone
I never asked
MP3 player
I never asked

access to school
I asked
hospital, health
I asked
I asked
place to stay
I asked
good life 
I asked

(I may not have given the accurate translation of the hindi song by MKSS team, I have tried my best to post what I have heard. Some of them, I may have exaggerated a bit more(!))

Sincere apologies to the MKSS team who sang this during today's public series. This song is sung at different places to explain the expectations of the common man. What we deserve vs what we get? Right to Information is what emerged out of such campaigns. 


Friday, August 5, 2011

as always

curious to know, how my mind thinks'
mostly always it stays ahead of me 
out of my control, without any blink
triggers out of a random input
from the past or even a dream
any new idea, or unknown
surmising over the path defined
rushes to the edge and awaits me  
asking me to confirm, proving it right
biased in my own act, I again wonder
am being misguided by my mind
rather proving it wrong 
that I did not try anything new.