Thursday, March 31, 2022

On PNLIT fund drive

We would like to express our deepest gratitude for the support you have extended to our Puttenahalli Puttakere especially in the last two months. We are happy, and relieved, to tell you that your contributions will enable us to meet our lake maintenance expenses for 2022-23 if not to execute the pipeline project.  It would be great if you can get us a CSR grant to do this. 

To all - You are welcome to make a contribution to PNLIT at any time. Combine it if you will, with your wedding anniversary or your child's birthday.  What better, more lasting, gift can there be than a tree? We have enough and more (in 76 species!) for you to adopt. 

Even otherwise, come over to see the trees (and the birds, the butterflies, terrapin, etc. etc.). With sincere thanks to all. 

Here are a few sample boards 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Bird watch update - Mother duck, stilts, storks!

This seems to be a good season for birds. Several lake groups have reported sighting flocks of Pelicans and Storks. Our Puttakere is too small for such big species and numbers. Nevertheless, we are delighted to tell you that for the first time a Spot-billed duck laid eggs and hatched them at the lake! And to think we had no clue till last week when our gardeners sent photos and videos of the mother duck tagged by eight little fluffy balls! 

Spot-billed duck with chicks

Spot-billed duck and ducklings 
Pic: Muktha Baliga, 29-Mar-2022

When the lake was closed due to the pandemic last year, the chicks of the White-breasted waterhen used to wander off on their own, much to the obvious panic of the mother.  

White breasted waterhen with chicks

White-breasted waterhen chicks
Pic: Ramu, 22-Oct-2021

These little ducklings are more obedient. They swim behind their mother in a line, looking pretty much like the wavy tail of a kite.  Only when she stops, do they scatter but never too far. In spite of this, two fell prey to a Brahminy kite who herself has a chick to feed. Such is the way of nature. We can only be observers. However, we plan to make the lake safer by planting more reeds where the duck (and other species) can nest, hatch and protect their young ones. As of now, there are six ducklings left. Heartbreaking. 

On a happier note, we have had at least seven Painted storks at one time, four Black-winged stilts, Wood and Green Sandpipers. These migratory birds are still around and blending well with the resident ones. 

Black-winged stilt 
Pic.: Madhurima Das, 27-Mar-2022

Do visit the lake, see the birds and share their photographs. Who knows, you may get to see a visitor that we missed or has just arrived? 

To know more about the birds spotted at the lake, please see the Puttakere hotspot on eBird here.

- Usha Rajagopalan

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Event Report of the musical evening organized by PNLIT and South City Karaoke Club March-2022

After a two-year long hiatus, our Puttakere came alive with music. We resumed our activities at the lake with a tribute to the legendary Lata Mangeshkar. This event held on yesterday (13th March) had singers from the neighbourhood of Puttenahalli Lake such as South City, Brigade Millennium and V S Cozy Apartments, 24th Main coming together to give a memorable performance.

The event which began with the prayer 'Ae Malik Tere Bande Hum' had the audience humming along with the talented artists who presented Lataji’s evergreen songs in Hindi of course but also in Bengali and Tamil. Rendering in flute by Mr. Bala and Mr. Raghavendra Shanbhag’s whistling added depth and enriched the programme.

While Jayashree Govind and Srinivasan Venkataraman (‘Sawan ka mahina’) transported the audience to the classic Nutan and Sunil Dutt starrer, Preeti Kadni and Harsha Anand sang the melodious ‘Kora kagaz tha ye man mera.’ Jayashree Govind’s narration of how Kamal Hasan got Lata Mangeshkar – SPB’s duet song in his Tamil film made the presentation of 'Valai osai kalakala' by Siva Columbus and Priya Ramakrishnan even more interesting. These duets had South City singers teaming up with co-artists from Brigade Millennium.

‘Sagar kinare’ sung by Renu Sadasivan and S. Vijay and Priya Ramakrishnan’s Bengali song ‘Ja re ud ja re panchhi’ seemed particularly suited to the ambience of the venue with Puttenahalli Lake looking fresh and clean with birds in the water and overhead, the leaves of the trees fluttering in the breeze.  

Roli Saraswat introduced the singers with interesting trivia about the composition and sang the classic 'Yeh zindagi usiki hai' beautifully. One of the highlights of the event was a medley of Lata Mangeshkar songs from 1949-2009. A fine selection, well sung by six lady members of the South City Karaoke Club. The finale number 'Ae mere watan ke logo' was not just a truly fitting tribute to the Nightingale of India but a reminder to us all of how much we owe to those brave souls protecting our country and us, the people.

In her brief talk, Usha Rajagopalan from PNLIT thanked the BBMP and BWSSB for rescuing the lake from sewage influx and bringing it to this pristine state. This was made possible by the constant follow-up of the trustees with the government departments. She called upon the 100 odd residents who had come for the event to extend their support to the lake as well. Sapana Rawat welcomed the artists and the audience.

Here are some moments from the event taken by various residents.

(Report inputs provided by Usha Rajagopalan and Vijaya Balasubramanian)

-Sapana, PNLIT Events Coordinator

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Nature Walk at Puttenahalli Lake

We are delighted to tell you that Mr. Samuel John and Ms. Chetana Purushotham, co-founders of will be conducting a nature walk for beginners at our Puttakere on 26th and 27th March 2022. 

This is part of their series called Urban Nature Walk to make people aware of the wonderful natural treasures in our city. In this instance, in our own neighbourhood lake!

Duration of the walk, participation fee and contact details are given in the poster below. Please note that they will take only 10 participants each day on a first come first served basis. Avoid disappointment by booking your place early!

Monday, March 7, 2022

Homage to Mr. Bhoja Shetty, IFS (retd)

Usha Rajagopalan pays homage to a friend of PNLIT 

A fallen flower on the pathway at the lake stopped me short two days ago. I looked up at the tree and saw one big cluster of flowers way above and buds a little lower. Our mentor Mr. Bhoja Shetty who had retired as the Chief Conservator of Forests in Tamil Nadu used to say that a proper identification of a plant would only be made from a flower. I knew exactly what this orange specimen shaped like a parrot's beak was. In fact, for the last few summers my friends and I had searched in vain for the flowers among the big leaves. When it did flower, it came as a shock, too good to be true. To be doubly sure, I sent the photograph below to a botanist who confirmed that it was indeed the celebrated Flame of the Forest (Butea  monosperma). 

Flame of the forest flower
The first flower of the Flame of the Forest, 5 Mar. 2022

I shared the excitement with other tree lovers, my family and friends to whom the Palash in flower meant the arrival of spring. Mr. Bhoja Shetty now lived in Pollachi so I decided to send him a print of the photograph by post. This was not to be. Yesterday morning I got to know that he had passed away. He would have been 100 years old in Sept. 2022.

I had had the good fortune to meet Mr. Bhoja Shetty almost soon after I settled in South City in 2006. My father who had been in the IFS himself had died a few months earlier so when I got to know that Mr. Bhoja Shetty had retired from the forest service, I went over and introduced myself. I was delighted to find out that they were of the same age, belonged to the same batch, and undergone training in Dehra Dun though they hadn’t known each other. They looked similar too - tall, lean, and active. 

When the rejuvenation of Puttenahalli Lake was underway I would update him often and seek his advice on the trees we could plant around the periphery. On 16th Sept 2010, he planted a Peepal tree in the viewing deck cupping the ball of roots packed in soil in both hands. 

Mr Bhoja Shetty

Mr. Bhoja Shetty planting the Peepal tree sapling. 16 Sept 2010
Also seen Mr. Vedanthan (R), Mr. N Ravi (L) from South City and Ms. Padmini (B), Brigade Millennium

We lavished care of the tree and installed benches around so that someday people would get to sit and listen to the rustling leaves. Barely a year later, on 11th Oct. 2011, a political leader got the tree chopped down(Read about it in this link).

In great anger and anguish, I narrated the incident to Mr. Shetty who merely smiled as if shrugging it off. He saw the replacement, a Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo, Indian Rosewood) and extolled its value as a timber wood. 

Mr. Bhoja Shetty beside the Indian Rosewood

Mr. Bhoja Shetty beside the Indian Rosewood, 10 April 2013

I couldn’t forget as easily and a few years later got Mr. Shetty to plant a white silk cotton tree in the safer confines of the South City complex.


In June 2020, we celebrated the 10th year of our trust, PNLIT. As a small measure of our gratitude to the large number of people who had helped us on the way, and continue to do so, we invited a few well-wishers to adopt a tree of their choice. By then Mr. Bhoja Shetty was in the loving care of his relatives in Pollachi. We did not give him a choice. Instead, along with a letter thanking him for all the help he had given us, we sent him a photograph of a Peepal tree growing lush by the water side. On it were the name boards of the species and of its adopter, Mr. Bhoja Shetty, IFS (retd). 

The Peepal in Mr. Shetty's name, 7 Mar 2022
The Peepal in Mr. Shetty's name, 7 Mar 2022

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Enjoy a musical evening at Puttenahalli Lake

After a long 'Corona' forced silence, PNLIT is excited to be hosting its first event of this year with rhythm and songs!

The talented singers of South City Karaoke Club will be paying tribute to our much loved and admired the Nightingale of India - Late Lata Mangeshkar.

On Sunday, 13th March, 2022
From 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM
At Puttenahalli Lake

Entry is free, no registration is required and all are welcome. Covid protocols will be strictly followed.