Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Monday, November 5, 2018

PNLIT celebrates Children's Day on 17th Nov 4-6 p.m.



Celebrate Childrens Day with Indian Idol Junior Anjana Padmanabhan Drum Circle Facilitator Ashirwad

17th Nov 2018, 4 p.m - 6 p.m.
Gazebo, Puttenahalli Lake

All are welcome
Kindly assemble by 3:45 p.m.

For registering your name, send an email to 
Sapana (sapana_rawat@yahoo.com) or 
Divya (divyadshetty@hotmail.com).

If you have your own percussion instruments then do bring them for the Drum Circle.



About the artists:

Anjana Padmanabhan (15 years) began to learn singing at the age of 7 and when she was 10, won the title of Indian Idol Junior, Season 1.  Her repertoire ranges from Hindustani, Carnatic to light music. This class 10 student resides in our neighbourhood, at Brigade Gardenia. A much in demand performer will be singing at our lake for the first time.

Ashirwad is an engineer by profession and musician at heart. He has been teaching tabla/djembe since last 6years. He is also a Life-Coach, a Family Counsellor and a Drum Circle facilitator! He will be leading the Drum Circle during this event.
Know more about Drum Circle -  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drum_circle


Cheers,
Sapana
PNLIT Event Co-ordinator

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Lake stories

Once in a while our best laid plans go awry at the lake. For instance, from the time the lake was getting rejuvenated in early 2010, we had reserved a prime space for a Red-Silk Cotton tree (Bombax ceiba). It is deciduous but the flowers more than make up for the absence of leaves. The beautiful bright red flowers attract birds in hordes. They visit not just for the nectar but also for the water that collects in the cup like flower. But it seemed impossible to get a sapling. Finally, Mr. Ramachandran, a regular visitor to the lake got us a packet of seeds from the Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun!  

In our enthusiasm, we planted the seeds directly in the soil instead of soaking them first. Out of 10 or 15, two sprouted. We planted one ceremoniously in the reserved site and waited for it to grow and flower. It did but what do you know, the flowers were white! It was a Ceiba pentandra  and not Bombax ceiba

By the time it flowered, it had already become a young giant. Apparently, the Kapok tree can grow up to 150 ft! Fortunately, the space should be enough. Let it grow and flower all it wants. We've shifted our hope to another silk cotton we'd planted some years ago. It is yet to flower. To be on the  safer side, Mr. Ramachandran got another batch of seeds, this time insisting on Bombax ceiba. For want of space, we have kept the seeds safe. 


White silk cotton, Jan 2018

Space constraint for trees led us to think of planting vines. Climbers on the fence, we knew, would invariably flower outside and not share their glory within the premises. We decided to put up a pergola. Out of three designs, we chose one by Mayapraxis. Grants from  Misys and VMWare gave us a pergola that, by the looks of it, will outlast even the youngest among us, trustees. 

We needed three species of climbers which Nupur and I chose and planted in Feb. 2018. Her favourite was Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata, "Kaurav Pandav") while mine was Indian Clock vine (Thunbergia mysorensis). Our mutual preference was for Clematis terniflora (Sweet autumn clematis). To my delight, the Clock vine quickly climbed and began to spread. Exactly as we had imagined, the flowers drooped from the height but they were red and small, not shell like maroon and yellow! It was Thunbergia all right but coccinea not mysorensis!


Thunbergia mysorensis, Oct 2018

We recover from these googlies quickly because, well, one beauty is replaced with another. It is not so easy to reconcile with shocks humans give us. Recently a gentleman telephoned and posed question after another. The only one for which I had no answer was this: "But why do you want birds at the lake?"

Ouch!
Best regards
Usha

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Eco India video - Bangalore's lakes being transformed

Eco India is a collaboration between Scroll.in and Deutsche Welle news channel.

Starting this week, Eco India brings you stories of innovations from across India and Europe, and the people who make them possible. The top story this week looks at how citizens in Bangalore are coming together to replenish and revive the city's lakes. Puttenahalli Lake is featured in this episode.

click here for youtube 

Many thanks to Scroll.in's researcher Aditi Rajagopal for the interest in Puttenahalli Lake, and to photographer Omkar Phatak who makes all the lakes look spectacular.

Deutsche Welle broadcast this shortened episode yesterday, and it can be seen here.

The full episode can be seen on youtube here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Family Gardening Day at the Lake - 6th October

The overcast weather kept most of the interested volunteers away from the lake last Saturday, which was our monthly Family Gardening Day. But it did not deter Mrs. Vijayalakshmi, a young at heart senior citizen residing in the neighbourhood. She came on time and worked through the drizzle till 11 a.m.!

Here is what she has to say.
"I went home feeling refreshed and relaxed. Picking up dead leaves, digging the soil, trimming hedges and just gazing at the turning colours of the lake on a rainy day are great stress busters! I would recommend this for all the senior citizens here. It's a cure for all old age ailments."  



Thank you so much dear Vijayalakshmi. We wish to see you again and again! 

And to those who couldn't make it, do join us on 3rd November, the next Family Gardening Day at the Lake. 

Cheers,
-Sapana
PNLIT Event Coordinator

Friday, October 5, 2018

Puttenahalli Lake - then and now; Bengaluru Bird Day, 6th October

Quite often we tend to forget how our Puttenahalli Lake looked. I remembered while browsing through old photographs for a presentation. 

4th July 2010

5th October 2018

On behalf of PNLIT, I have been invited to give a talk on our conservation efforts tomorrow, 6th October, at the Bengaluru Bird Day 2018. See how the lake has transformed in eight years. 

My topic is "Batting for Birds at Puttenahalli Puttakere"   
Please visit https://birdday.in to see the detailed schedule.  
All are welcome.

Best regards
Usha

Monday, October 1, 2018

Lake updates

We are happy to tell you that we have signed an agreement with SMS Labs Services Private Ltd., to monitor the quality of the water in our lake. The New Indian Express carried a report on this in today's newspaper. Here's the link: http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2018/oct/01/puttenahalli-lakes-resident-caretakers-to-monitor-water-quality-via-monthly-tests-1879308.html

BMS College of Engineering had been kind enough to test the water samples in their lab from June 2016.  Of late, several organisations and individuals have been approaching us for permission to conduct their own tests. We encourage them to do so even though we are not sure of the facilities available in their laboratories. In order to have our own benchmark we decided to get a monthly  monitoring done by one which is certified by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).

Our heartfelt thanks to BMSCE. We look forward to more collaborative work with them in the future.

The photograph of the Oriental Darter with a fish in its beak in the New Indian Express article was taken by Prakash Ananthapur. He also spotted and photographed a Glossy Ibis at the lake on 27th September. This bird, though resident in India, is not a frequent visitor to our lake. It was first seen in February 2017. Here's hoping it will come around more often, with family and friends!

Usha

Glossy Ibis (Pic: Prakash Ananthapur) 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

A Cloud of Trash @ Puttenahalli Lake

For the last seven years Pratham Books has been conducting 'One Day, One Story', an annual storytelling campaign that celebrates International Literacy Day on 8th September every year. 
PNLIT has been part of this campaign for the last five years!

This year the selected book was A Cloud of Trash written by Karanjeet Kaur and illustrated by Bhavana Vipparthi. Theatre practitioner and filmmaker Surabhi Herur narrated and enacted this story much to the joy of 25 young children and their parents and grandparents who had assembled at the lake.

Here is what Ms. Vijayalakshmi Kutty, who attended the storytelling session, had to say:
Who doesn't like a good story? The young to the elderly love to hear a well-told tale. The story telling session had young children enraptured with a modern tale about an everyday problem - garbage. Recited with flair, vigour and vivacity, by theatre savvy, Surabhi Herur, the session had the children intellectually, emotionally and physically engaged at every stage, to explore an existential problem and together find solutions for it. A Cloud of Trash tells the story of a young girl with a burdensome cloud of garbage floating above her head at every moment. And that is the worrisome  story of our cities today which has to be told to our young ones. Surabhi brought the engaging session to a close with a collective,symbolic pledge to keep our environment clean.


Here are some moments captured beautifully by Vishnupriya Hathwar and Deepa Mohan.












Thank you,
-Sapana

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Workshops for parents - 23rd and 30th Sep

Workshops for parents facilitated by Vishnupriya Hathwar. All proceeds will go to Vishnupriya's organization The Humanity Express.

Details of the workshops

1) Parents of children 8-10, Sept 23, 2018
@ puttenahalli lake, Morning 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM

2) Parents of children 11-14, Sept 30, 2018
@ puttenahalli lake, Morning 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Content of the workshops 
1. Introduction to integrated learning methods for parents
2. Learning and teaching begins at home
3. Learning and teaching within nature
4. Subject integration and details
5. Outdoor activities / trips

Workshop fees Rs 200/-

Do join us! For registration call Vishnupriya Hathwar @+91 9448451921



Thursday, September 6, 2018

A bird in distress rescued at the lake

Some mornings begin with a bang. Today was one - literally with calls on two mobiles and the landline at the same time. 

The news was bad. A  Great Cormorant was caught in a line or wire at the lake. It was dangling from its feet from the dead tree we'd planted as a perch. Where did this line/wire come from? This perch is the favourite of birds that are always landing and taking off. But this was no time to think of who did what and when. I called Seenappa, the gardener, who lived closest to the lake. He was on his way to his village. Between the other two gardeners, Jayanna lived closer but even that was too far away. I told him to come over anyway and requested the next caller to contact the slum residents on the lake bund and seek their help. 

Nupur began to receive the distress calls as well. She ran to the lake while I stayed back coordinating with Jayanna and reassuring callers that help is on the way. 

Cormorant in distress


Finally, about 45 minutes later, one of the slum guys, Raju, brought the bird to the land and with two others, cut the nylon thread and freed it. The Great Cormorant flew down the slope, into the water and swam away. 

Pics and video by Sapana, Ravi and Raghav. Youtube video compiled by Rakshith Jakati.


It turned out that some boys had been caught fishing last Sat. While escaping, they had flung the line on the tree. The feet of the bird got entangled in the wire but it was lucky enough to escape the sharp curved hook. 

Fishing line which trapped the cormorant (Pic Nupur Jain)

As terrible as this was, we were surprised and delighted at the number of calls we received. It showed the sensitivity of the callers, residents in the locality and regular walkers at the lake. Several of them waited till the bird was rescued. Our heartfelt thanks to all of them, to Raju and the two others who freed the bird. We do not want another bird ensnared but do hope the number of people who care for the lake increases! 

Usha


Sunday, September 2, 2018

Report - September Family Gardening Day at the Lake

The family gardening session was very productive this morning. Fourteen residents from the neighbourhood (7 children and 7 adults) deweeded the sidewalk area and sheared the hedges.

Ritvik (Christ college student) did a great job in pruning the hedges uniformly for more than an hour and wanted to keep going beyond 11 a.m.It felt wonderful to have a young adult like him contributing his Saturday morning to nature.

Everyone enjoyed the bright morning watching Greater Cormorants (4 of them!) take off and land on the water. Guest appearances were made by a tiny snail, a skink, small beetles,spiders and other insects much to the delight of the little ones.

Vishu (RVCE student) who has been volunteering with PNLIT since he was in 7th Standard delighted the little ones more with the close up shots of the Greater Cormorants taken on his DLSR camera.

In our next Family Gardening Day (Oct 6th) hope to see more of you.






Friday, August 31, 2018

Celebrate International Literacy Day with PNLIT at Puttenahalli Lake


'One Day, One Story' the annual storytelling campaign of Pratham Books that celebrates International Literacy Day is back! And like the past few years, PNLIT is a part of this program.

This year's chosen book is A Cloud of Trash (written by Karanjeet Kaur, and illustrated by Bhavana Vyas Vipparthi). It’s a story about a little girl called Cheekoo, who has a cloud of trash hanging over her head. This makes her very, very unhappy. Slowly she realizes what she needs to do to get rid of this trash!

Join in an interactive storytelling session by Surabhi Herur to follow Cheekoo's story.

Venue - Gazebo, Puttenahalli Lake
Date & Time - September 8th (Saturday4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kindly assemble by 3:45 p.m.
Age group - 5 years and above
Entry is FREE

About the Artist
Surabhi Jyotirmayee Herur is a theatre practitioner, filmmaker, facilitator and acting coach. With over fifty projects in drama and film, including hundreds of theatrical shows and many critically acclaimed performances to her credit, her expertise in the field comes from a keen observation of human behaviour and the diversity of experience that a career spanning the gamut of various forms of art and literature brings.

Looking forward to seeing you at the lake.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Photography Walk

Report by Nandhini Sriraaman

It was a beautiful Sunday morning at the ever so beautiful Puttenahalli lake. Mr. Srinivas Krishnamachari, the mentor was at the venue before time to share his knowledge and experience with the enthusiastic bunch of budding photographers. Every year, 19th August is observed as World Photography day and what could be a more suitable day to conduct a Photography workshop? Srini, as he is fondly called, started off with a brief history of photography and why World photography day is observed on 19th August every year. Louis Daguerre and Joseph Nicephore Niepce from France developed a process for getting an image printed on a medium in 1837. The French government bought their patent and gifted it to the world on 19th August 1839 and hence observed as World Photography day.

Srini explained the key technical parameters to get a perfect image, viz., ISO, shutter speed and aperture apart from lighting. He spoke about various types of lenses, cameras and necessary accessories. Slowly, the discussion shifted to the main topic of birds and bird photography. He explained the importance of observing and understanding the bird's behaviour and eating habits for photography.





The discussion in the gazebo led to going around the lake to see, observe and click the birds. The cloudy weather was perfect for getting good images of birds.  Srini patiently explained various aspects of several species of the birds that were sighted alongwith technical aspects of photography. 


The team was lucky to sight many birds including cormorant, pond heron, grey heron, great cormorant, purple hen and brahminey kite. Turtle, wasps, ants and several other insects were sighted too. Overall, the three hours seemed short but the attendees went back with a lot more knowledge of bird photography and with a promise from Srini on a full-fledged technical workshop on photography.


Pictures: SK Srinivas , Divya Shetty

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Report on the Drum Jam for Seniors at Puttenahalli Lake

The Drum jam organised by Silver Talkies at the lake on Saturday, 18th August was more than just a group of senior citizens learning the pleasure of a percussion instrument.  It was also about the spirit and vitality of the young at heart participants.

Mr Ashirwad who led the session, invited Mr Padmanabh Arkalgud to blow the bugle and set the ball rolling. He then gave a short introduction to the djembe, a goblet drum from West Africa. While it can produce a large variety of sounds, he stuck to a few easy ones that everyone as beginners could handle. Rather than each of the 21 seniors introducing themselves, he got them to say it through beats on the djembe. Everybody followed each "name" with gusto if not with accuracy. 


The next round had Mr. Ashirwad's son, Arnav, keeping time on the drums and individuals singing, reciting, even rapping. The octogenarian rapper Mr Arun Bhatia, in fact, stole the show with his snappy lines. With everyone getting lost in the drumming, it was but natural that some, men and women, should take to the floor and let their feet move with the beats. It was a spontaneous, yet graceful garba in the gazebo led by Mrs Harini Dubey, who learned garba in her 40s and won prizes as a dancer. Too soon, unfortunately, the music ended and it was time to wrap up. 


Hats off to Silver Talkies for a special programme. Thanks to this drum jam, we got to meet several distinguished individuals - from a former ambassador of India to China (among other countries); an avid blogger and author who'd just completed a two year project on his alma mater; a theatre person. It was a humbling experience to see them so unassuming, not letting their achievements or age come in their way. They and indeed, every participant, proved at this drum jam that “It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)



- Usha Rajagopalan
Photos: S.K. Srinivas
More photos can be seen here

Monday, August 13, 2018

Learn the Secrets of Bird Photography


19th August is World Photography Day. 

Birder and photography enthusiast Mr. S.K. Srinivas, who enjoys taking pictures (and he's really good at it!) at Puttenahalli Lake will generously share the fundamentals of birding and bird photography with you. Join him for a photo-walk around Puttenahalli Lake. 

If you have a camera of any kind and are keen to know about birds, then catch up with Srini (and the PNLIT team) on Sunday, 19th August at 8 a.m. (we'll meet at the gazebo, Puttenahalli Lake).

It's a FREE event to enjoy photography and nature.

Grey Heron photographed by Srini @ Puttenahalli Lake

Please bring some food and water for yourself. 
Wear nature-friendly clothing (plain cotton stuff, no bright colours). 
A hat would be a good idea. And don't forget your camera.

Today's TOI - Ideas for lakes

For those who haven't seen today's The Times of India, here is the clipping of the Bellandur & Beyond column (that featured Puttenahalli Lake last week).

This article is about an interactive session with various people involved with saving and nurturing lakes lake. Our trustees Nupur and Divya who attended the meeting are quoted in the article and seen in the pics.

The article can be read online on the link below


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Drum Jam for Seniors @ lake




PNLIT in association with Silver Talkies presents FEEL THE BEAT: DRUM JAM BY ASHIRWAD

Saturday, August 18, 2018
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
At Puttenahalli Lake, J.P. Nagar 7th Phase

WHAT IS DRUM JAM?

It is a circle of people, each with a drum or any another percussion instrument, playing together and guided by a facilitator. Everyone can drum even if they have never drummed before. We instinctively possess a sense of rhythm: we tap our feet, our hearts beat and create a vibrant morning. Ashirwad will guide you to discover the rhythm that’s already within you.

OPEN TO
Anyone who is 55+
Seniors can be accompanied by their loved one

REGISTRATION
Rs. 100 per head
To Register Call: 9886283816/ 9980508000
Prior registration is mandatory to help us make adequate arrangements 

NOTE
We will have chairs and everyone can be seated while being playful & experimental with the musical instruments 
We will have sufficient instruments so you can just come by and pick an instrument and play 
Those who have a musical instrument please feel free to bring it with you (harmonica, flute, tabla, guitar, dhol, etc.)

Making music is exciting, and if it’s your first time, it’s really exciting!

Register soon!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Article in TOI

The Times of India these days is running a weekly column "Bellandur & beyond", in which it is covering lakes in Bangalore (beyond the well-known Bellandur). We are happy to share with you the article about Puttenahalli Lake, in the newspaper dated 2nd August.

Click the image to read, or read it online 



Tuesday, July 31, 2018

An evening to cherish - Folk Art Event @ Puttenahalli Lake


Lake as backdrop and wonderful music in the air. What an evening it was!! For those who missed the event here are the write ups to take you through the lovely evening.


You can listen to the artists here - https://www.facebook.com/ufpbangalore/videos/1046285772162626/

Pictures by Divya Shetty, Susheela Urs
---------------------


There we were till dusk and beyond as the Urban Folk Project artists decided they will sing at this beautiful location until its dark and they can see the moon shinning on the lake's water. That's what happens in village festivals where folks songs, stories and music flows - isn't it? 

On Saturday July 28th at Puttenahalli lake around 60-70 people were transported to such a world by UFB artists - Shilpa, Adithya, Sanidhi, Poornima, Sheetal and Shruthi. Taken into the world of Yellamma where the narration flowed along with beautiful folk songs that swayed to the music of ShrutiChowdki and Taala played by the artists.

For urban folks like us the instruments were new, songs were in dialects we haven't heard before and stories were from the hinterlands of Karnataka. None of this mattered to the children or adults as Shilpa's amazing energy and magical voice held their attention for more than two hours. A first time experience for most of us listening to what Shilpa and others in UFP had to share with us.

To know that so much about our own land is not known to us can make one feel very small. To know people like UFP who are researching, documenting and presenting our dying folk arts in contemporary way in urban spaces should make one feel proud to support and encourage them.

We're thankful to UFP for carrying on their wonderful initiative and for the memorable performance at our lake. We hope to host them again in the future and wish our neighbourhood residents will come to support them.



Warmly,

Sapana (Neighbourhood resident and volunteer)


Venue all set

The artists




Yellamma and other stories - A folk art event hosted by PNLIT on Saturday, 28th July 2018 at Puttenahalli Lake was a grand success.  The artists from Urban Folk Project kept the audience enthralled for two full hours.  Urban Folk Project team is into documenting and protecting the various folk forms in Karnataka.  They have identified more than 250 dying forms and would like to keep it alive and pass on to the next generations.  Yellamma and other stories is one of their projects that brings out various versions of the story of the Goddess Yellamma and how she is revered through theatre and music especially during Dussherra in the interior villages of North Karnataka.  

The main artist Shilpa is an expert in story-telling and ensures to keep the viewers completely engrossed in the performance.  It is an achievement that they manage to keep the energies high even without a mike, especially near the road filled with moving traffic on a Saturday evening.  While the narrative was in English, the songs were in Kannada and come with an absolute rural flavour.  The other music instruments added to the beauty of the whole performance.  There was a scene of a head chopped off in the story and the sound effect from a simple music instrument (taala) made a kid quiver a bit and that is the success of the team, quite commendable.

The green backdrop of the lake, the rural folk songs, the enchanting story woven so beautifully by the team, all of them made the beautiful evening a memorable experience.  It was quite meditative for the viewers totally cut off from the distractions of mobile phones, digital media, etc.  The narrative included the lives of the folk artists including the devadasi community, their lifestyle, the stories behind the musical instruments used by them and their pride in their talents.  Kudos to the artists, it was an evening that will stay in the memories of all viewers, children and adult alike, looking forward for more such soul touching music and culturally rich age-old stories.

Regards, 
Nandhini (Neighbourhood resident and volunteer)


Artists with PNLIT team