Monday, April 28, 2014

What a dance at dusk!

The Dance at Dusk organized on 26th April by PNLIT together with the Snehadhara Foundation was truly an event with a difference. Attended by over 60 people, most of them adults, the Gazebo was cramped for space. Some mothers held back their children for safety but ironically, the evening began with a three year old running into the middle of the ring of dancers and twirling her yellow frilly frock. Geetu of Snehadhara persuaded the child to join the group and the music began to play.

After a warming up slow number, Lakshmi from Snehadhara engaged the participants in a brief but lively discussion on the importance of lakes and the need for the community to engage in its restoration and maintenance. This after all, was what the event (and PNLIT) all about - celebrating Nature through community participation. 

The music began once again and the dancers took their positions. The South African oldie goldie "Pata Pata" raised the enthusiasm of the dancers to a new level. It was followed by the Russian Troika dance, the popular Drunken Sailor tune and a Greek number.

Before each dance, Geetu demonstrated the steps and rest followed. The repertoire was varied, the music fast paced and the dancers many. It wasn't only the dancers who had all the fun though. The many who opted out for want of space were joined by the regular evening walkers who stopped by to watch, some with curiosity, many with a smile. The heat of the day gave way to a breeze which cooled off the sweat of the dancers, young and old but not their enthusiasm. 

Three cheers to Snehadhara and especially to all the participants. While most of them were from the locality,a few came from as far away as Banashankari 2nd stage and Mantri Elegance, Bannerghatta Road. As Geetu commented, all of us came together without knowing one another and yet had a great deal of fun. Isn't this the essence of community spirit?


Taking the lead
The stage is mine!
Lakshmi, talking on the importance of lakes
Twirl and whirl
Dancing frenzy
Holding him back
Geetu explaining new steps
Geetu guiding the new dancers
Selling PNLIT products

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dance at Dusk at Puttenahalli Lake

Earth Day greetings to all! Today, 22nd April, is Earth Day which is celebrated the world over. People come together especially today  to show their support to the environment, to Mother Nature.

To acknowledge our indebtedness to this bounty called Nature, PNLIT is happy to host an event called Dance at Dusk in association with the Snehadhara Foundation. We are holding the programme on the coming Saturday to enable adults to participate as well, along with their children.

Date: 26th April 2014 (Saturday)
Time: 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Place: Puttenahalli Lake, at the gazebo
What is Dance at Dusk? Here's a brief note on the event from Snehadhara:

Dance at Dusk

We at Snehadhara believe that movements have inner meanings and purposes along with their outer expressive and communicative qualities. Synchronizing this mind-body relation is essential for healing and growth. To build this synchrony, it becomes necessary that we hone a body that is awake- a sensing, emoting and thinking body.

Presenting 'Dance at Dusk', an evening of dance and movements, that explores the innate interdependence, rhythm and interconnection that exist within us through the metaphors of nature.

The session will involve a community dance with adults and children and will explore synchrony, expression, rhythm and cohesion.

Discover the rhythm in you. Revive yourself. Revive the Environment. 
Please register by 4.45 p.m. Participants of all ages are welcome. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Please help Stop Killing of Fishes in our lake

Of late, since the water in the lake has shrunk considerably, there are several small and shallow pools of water in which large fishes are located. Surprisingly these fishes are quite large (I saw one that was about 10" long).

Unfortunately a big bunch of teenage urchins have started going in and filling their sacks with fishes they kill ruthlessly. The method I saw them using was terrible - they take a heave staff and smash it on the fishes that are trapped in the shallow water.

We request all those who visit the lake, to keep a look out for this and please do not hesitate to yell out at the urchins. I did the same and quickly they took to their heels. Of course, if you are a lone lady walking on the track you may think twice.

Unfortunately due to the elections the Home Guards have been temporarily taken away thus making it easy for all to carry out such acts.


Illegal fishing at the lake
File pictures taken in Oct 2010

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Your vote counts. Your MPs can make a difference to Bangalore's lakes.

This election day in Bangalore (Thursday, 17th April 2014) the proof of whether you have done your duty will be on your left thumb! Yes, as per the instructions of the Election Commission of India, the indelible ink shall be applied on the left thumb of voters in Karnataka.

Many of you may have decided whom you are going to vote for. For those who are undecided, or wanting to know more about the candidates, here are some links to help you choose or change your mind. 

What can our MPs do to protect Bangalore's lakes?
A point of view 

Check your constituency
Bangalore residents will fall into one of 5 Lok Sabha constituencies

Check out the candidates in your Lok Sabha constituency

Bangalore South (23 candidates)

Bangalore North (14 candidates)

Bangalore Central (26 candidates)

Bangalore Rural (15 candidates)

Chikkaballapur (19 candidates)


I recently met someone who said he was disappointed he may not be able to vote because he had not received his voter ID card. If you do not have a voter ID card but have your name on the electoral rolls, you can still vote by carrying a photo id proof. To find your name on the electoral rolls, check this link

If your name has been newly added, it is possible that you may not find your name using the above link. In that case, check out your assembly constituency voting lists on the links below. These give the electoral rolls by polling booth.
Bangalore South 
Bangalore Central
Bangalore North
Bangalore Urban
Bangalore Rural

Make sure your voice is heard by taking the time to cast your vote. Encourage your friends and neighbours to vote too.
Tip: Booths open around 7 a.m. so go early to beat the crowds and queues. 

And after you've voted, enjoy the voting holiday and long weekend! 

Arathi Manay ಆರತಿ ಮಾನೆ

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hope in many forms

The fire that raged through the lake on the 16th of March almost killed our spirit. By burning several of our trees, it had made a mockery of our effort to increase the green cover in the area. The sun's heat, rapidly evaporating the water in the lake, sapped our enthusiasm as well. Whatever little water was present was getting covered with the Salvinia Molesta. Our many efforts to mobilize skilled labour to remove the Salvinia were making no headway. Attempts to get more residents to strengthen our effort drew a blank as well and only our regular volunteers attended our recent assessment meeting. Despite all these, we couldn't throw up our hands in despair. Not yet at least. Not while our trees and shrubs are growing so well. Not while our resident birds are, well, still resident. 

We got our gardeners to water the plants every day buying a tanker load of water every three or four days (we still do not have a reliable water source at the lake) in the hope of reviving them and they did! The ground around the trees may be black and the few dried leaves cling obstinately to the branches but new leaves are sprouting!! Fresh, green and tiny but spelling hope and promise of a new beginning. 

Peepal sprouting new leaves 

Flame of the Forest sprouting new leaves

Two trees, the identity of which had puzzled us resolved the issue once and for all by flowering for the first time. The trumpet shaped yellow coloured flower tinged with honey brown is unmistakably Gmelina arborea (Shivani in Kannada, Gamhar in Hindi). The other is the Tabebuia rosea (Pink Trumpet Tree), and there are two of them growing tall in the corner near the encroachment, adjacent the main road from Brigade Millennium. 

Gmelina arborea (yellow flowers on tree) and Bougainvillea (pink flowers)  

Today morning, birder Srinivas called excitedly to say that while passing by he'd spotted a Painted Stork in the lake. What? Despite the little water and the salvinia? This had to be seen to be believed. We rushed to the lake and what do you know? There was indeed one big Painted Stork foraging for fish! Giving him/her stiff competition were a large sized Egret (Intermediate?) and a Grey Heron

Painted Stork foraging for fish

Three large birds - Painted Stork, Intermediate Egret, Grey Heron

The things that give us such great pleasure may seem trivial and small to others but may the lake continue to surprise and enthuse us all!