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Showing posts from April, 2015

My heart cries for you, Nepal

Over 6,000 people have lost their lives in the Nepal earthquake, and the toll is expected to touch 10,000. When I think about it, I am at a loss for words. It is deeply saddening, and painful to see so much suffering in this world. 

Nepal holds a special place in my heart. I visited that beautiful country in April 2004. It was the first time I stepped out of India; I was sent there on a 'fam' (familiarisation) trip by the newspaper I was working for then. I had never seen a snow peak till then, and remember being awestruck by the sight. What's more, the peaks were part of the mighty Himalayas. In fact, on April 25, 2004, exactly eleven years back (the day the earthquake struck in Nepal -- April 25, 2015) I was somewhere between Kathmandu and Pokhara, I think. This region is among the worst affected. The epicentre of the quake is somewhere in between these two famous tourist centres.

During that trip, we went on a shortish trek near Bandipur, visited the Siddha Caves, went …

If you want to do your bit for Nepal

If you want to do your bit for Nepal, here's a link:

You can also contribute to the Prajavani Relief Fund, announced recently

Times of India in association with Fab India is offering to do their bit as well:

Also, read this point of view

The Guardian has a piece on the right way to help: 

#TeatimeTales #History #Bengaluru #Plague

What Plagued India and Bangalore in the late 1890s
August 12, 1898, Bangalore: A servant of the railway superintendent arrives in Bangalore from Hubli. He is inspected and tests confirm that he has the plague. That becomes the first reported case of plague in Bangalore*. 
Later, the disease gains epic proportions, taking lives of thousands of Bangaloreans. Reports suggest that there were over 10,000 deaths between September 1898 and March 1899*.

Where it came from
It was in China that the third big plague outbreak in recorded history occurred in the 1890s. This plague devastated many parts of India. A WHO report puts that figure at over six million between 1898 and 1908. 
In the Bombay Presidency
It is now believed that the first cases of plague occurred in Bombay as early as March, 1896. However, the first cases were reported near the docks on the Port Trust Estates in Mandvi district in August 1896. The ‘Moltanies’ who lived there are said to have had dealings with China, explaining …

#TeatimeTales #History

From Italy to Kengeri: The Thread That Binds So, I was randomly surfing the internet last night, and one thing led to another, and I found out that a certain Italian gentleman called Signor De Vecchi is linked to Kengeri. What? An Italian and a suburb of Kengeri in Bengalooru – what’s the connection, you might wonder. It was Signor De Vecchi who tried to revive the silk industry, and got the sericulture community together in 1866. He started a filature unit back then, in a bid to add sheen to the silk industry.
Kengeri, a hobli (cluster of hamlets), was a well-known centre for sericulture during the time of Tippu Sultan. Tippu is credited with bringing sericulture to Mysore state. Kengeri’s silk industry flourished as well. By 1866, over a good half a century after the death of the Sultan, several experiments in sericulture were in progress in and around the country.
According to the book/report, ‘On the Silk Culture in Southern India’ by M M MacKenzie, published 1870, (the book is …


If you have lived in Bangalore or visited the city, am sure that at some point, you have made a trip to Lalbagh. I have many childhood memories of the beautiful gardens, the floral clock and the flower shows.
The history of this beautifully laid out gardens has always fascinated me, and I have always looked around for interesting stories around this lung space of Bangalore. In fact, there are hundreds of stories revolving around the green legacy of the city. The nurseries of Siddapura still thrive, actually, a reminder of the city's green legacy.
Anyway, one interesting reference to Lalbagh comes from The Journal of Horticulture, Cottage Gardener, Country Gentleman, Bee-Keeper and Poultry Chronicle. (Volume XIV., New Series), published in London, 1868.
Under the sub-heading, ‘Bangalore Horticultural Fete’, the journal describes the Fete held in Bangalore on December 31st, 1867. “Inside the show of Flowers, Vegetables, and Fruit, and especially the latter, exposed …