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

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

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Folk Arts Event at Puttenahalli Lake

Experience a unique folk arts event of rare music, songs and stories from the hinterlands of India, right at your own neighbourhood lake. 

PNLIT and Urban Folk Project presents

Yellamma and Other Stories: Stories and musical conversations on Goddess Yellamma

Date: 28th July 2018, Saturday
Time: 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. 
Place: Puttenahalli Lake, JP Nagar 7th Phase, Bangalore 560078.
The event is free

All are welcome. Do register your name by sending an email to sapana_rawat@yahoo.com.

About Urban Folk Project (UFP):
Urban Folk Project is a young collective working towards the collection of intangible culture across Karnataka, and exhibiting it in a contemporary context. More details about UFP may be seen on the website https://ufpbangalore.com/. 

Artists:
The team of Shilpa Mudbi Kothakota, 
Adithya Kothakota and Sumithra Sunder tell the stories collected and compiled by UPF. The singers are collaborators who have chosen to learn these songs and instruments to help their artistic sensibilities and have joined UFP  to exhibit these stories.The three instruments that will be used for the performance are the Shruti, Chowdki and Jaalra/Taala. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Family gardening day July 7th - Report

A lovely morning at the lake started with 2 adults and 1 child assembled at 9:30 am at the gazebo to do their bit for their lake.We, the PNLIT members, wondered what tasks we can do with just 3 of them, but 5-year-old Avani solved our problem as she was all for deweeding and  wanted to remove "bad" plants first, like she did last month.

So off we went with our mini trowels, shovels and rakes and started pulling out the "bad" ones. By 10 am we were 7 adults and 13 kids de-weeding the sidewalk area, raking the dry leaves and pushing them around the trees, shoveling the soil and shearing the hedges. It was a pleasant surprise to see what 13 kids can do when they get to doing!


A loud shout-out to the parents who brought their kids and their friends to work at the lake today. We hope other parents and kids will also join us in the family gardening day on the first Saturday of every month. Next one will be on Aug 4th


Sapana
Gardening activity volunteer