• Chennai,  Lounge,  Travel Review

    Dragnet fishing of Anchovy

    For the Pongal holidays I had brought my son to Mahabalipuram, where we are staying in the new Intercontinental Chennai Resort. Today morning I got up early (6 AM) and went for a walk in the beach sands overlooking the waters of Bay of Bengal. After sometime I noticed fishermen in strength casting a huge net in the waters. A fishing boat went out in the waters to spread the net, with 2 swimmers standing in mid water untangling the cables. Later googling I learned the net is called a seine and the fishing technique is called Seine fishing. The two ends of the big dragnet was handled/dragged from shore by about 10-15 strongmen each side. It was a sight to remember,…

  • Chennai,  Theatre Review

    Animal Farm play

    George Orwell‘s Animal Farm book published in 17 August 1945 (minus 2 years and plus 2 days from Indian Independence)  is a classic. I read the book for the first time only two years back, initially the Tamil translation. The story is about how a set of animals living in a farm in rural England takeover the place from their human master.  Initially the revolution is lead together by a group of pigs for common good and sharing. Slowly one of them (named Napoleon) starts to sideline the other leader pigs towards consolidating his power. At the end of the story, Napoleon pig becomes a brutal dictator with the animals wondering is there any difference between their…

  • Chennai,  Kids

    Guindy Children’s Park 2014

    It has been over five years that I last took my son to Guindy Children’s Park, a part of the vast protected “forest” area right in centre of Chennai. Most of the protected area is inside IIT Madras campus and Raj Bhavan (Tamil Nadu Governor’s Residence), with Children’s park being the only area open to public. The park houses few species of Deer, many species of birds, some crocs, monkeys and other animals; the snakes are kept in a separate enclosure next door. The parks close by 6PM with the last visitors to be allowed at 5:30PM. Parking costs Rs.15 for Car, Entry Tickets for Adult (Rs.20), Children (Rs.5) and…

  • Book Review,  Chennai

    My Husband and Other Animals

    Last week my son picked this book My Husband and Other Animals by Janaki Lenin. I never understand any of his books on Animals, I find them boring for my interest but then he is an animal enthusiast and I am not. While reading this book I saw him laughing out at many places, which intrigued me. I got the book from him, the title attracted me first but the fluid writing and humour got me hooked. The next I know I was half-way through the book. Ms Janaki covers a wide range of topics from Wildlife, preservation, Forests, Tribes to her Farmhouse, but her favourite topic turns out to…

  • Kids

    Bird nest we got in Shimla

    Last week while Holidaying at Oberoi Wildflower Hall, Kurfi (near Shimla) myself and son went for a nature trek into the nearby reserve forest. The resort is next to Shimla Reserve Forest Sanctuary which has woods of pine and cedar. As per our guide, the tall trees in the sanctuary were planted by the Britishers (who were ruling Indian subcontinent during Indian summers from Shimla) to serve as rain catchment areas. The short trek took us through Shimla Ridgeline at one point. It is interesting to note that the rainwater falling on the ridgeline and flowing on the west side it can (theoretically) drain into the Arabian Sea and water…

  • Chennai

    Turtle Rescue and Release Centre

    Olive Ridley Turtles are endangered, a few decades ago they were in millions, now have dropped to 6000 in 2 oceans. The female turtles come to the shores to lay eggs, most get caught in gill or ghost nets which are used by local fishermen. The few who make it to the shore and lay eggs. The hatchlings are also not safe, they may be eaten by dogs or by monitor lizards and sometimes even by ravens. But light is their biggest danger. The moment the turtles’ hatch, they instinctively head towards any source of light, thinking it to be the ocean glitter. But some stray towards the roads as…

  • Chennai,  Kids

    Guindy Children’s Park

    I have been delaying my promise to take my son to a “Zoo” in Chennai to see animals for few weeks now. Even though today was a Saturday I had some office work to complete (accounting related to be done before 31st March 2009), I completed them in the first half and returned home early. I took my son and we both went to “Guindy Children’s Park”, the Children’s park and the Snake park (same campus) are both part of “Guindy National Park” situated in Adyar. The Guindy National park along with the adjacent IIT Madras campus and Raj Bhavan as seen in the Map here gives Chennai the much…

  • Chennai Crocodile Park
    Chennai,  Kids

    Chennai Crocodile Park

    I have travelled in Chennai ECR road several times, but not even once I have stopped to go inside the Crocodile Park which is there. Today being a Sunday I was thinking of a place to take my son out and came up with this place. Though I have seen Crocodile parks in many zoos around the world, my only recollection of seeing them in Chennai are in my school days at Guindy National Park. So it was exciting for me as well to see them in Chennai :-) Madras Crocodile Bank (as it is called) is located 40 km from Chennai city (or 10 Km from Mamallapuram) along east…