Sunday, December 30, 2012

Movie: Borat - Disgusting and Hilarious

A movie to be watched with spouse and kids - an all time family entertainer - .... Just kidding - Dont make the mistake - watch it alone.

This movie is GROSS and hilarious. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) on IMDb

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Read: The Four Agreements

ok book.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary : Part 2 : What do you get to see?

I have split this travelogue to Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary into 2 parts - Part 1 : Getting there and Part 2: What you can see there. This is Part 2

Part 2: What you can see there

The bird sanctuary is essentially a large lake (about 30 acres) with trees (mangrove type). The best season to visit is Nov - Mar . I went in Dec 26th and there were thousands of birds. (How to get to Vedanthangal bird sanctuary: Part 1)

 Essentially, you get to be in a long walkway around the lake (around 2~3 kms on either side of the entrance).

The birds are around 200 ~500 m away and on a clear day you wont have trouble seeing them. It is preferable to carry your telephoto lens or binoculars if you are keen on having a closer look.

There are two watch towers too from where you get to see the birds and the view is very scenic from there.

Water spout in the form of a bird (and when I captured it - looked like it was catching the man!!!)

Link to part 1 : How to get to Vedanthangal bird sanctuary

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary : Part 1 : A road trip guide with tips for those travelling from Chennai to Vedanthagal

I have split this travelogue to Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary into 2 parts - Part 1 : Getting there and Part 2: What you can see there

Part 1: A road trip guide with tips for those travelling from Chennai to Vedanthangal

The trip to Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is as interesting as the sanctuary itself. In this part I will cover 2 key parts - A)How to get there B) FOOD, Scheduling your visit and Logistics

A) How to get to Vedanthangal by road?

Distance from RA Puram (Generally considered 0 milestone as it is the center of the universe) to Vedanthangal - 75 kms

Take the GST road via Thambaram - Chingleput and when you are about 12-14 kms from Maduranthagam, you will see lots of boards pointing to Vedanthagal). Take a right and the road off the highway is pretty well paved too. Just so you know you are on the right track, I have excerpted the key boards and buildings close to the right turn - so you dont miss it.

About 12 kms from Maduranthagam - For those who do not know tamil prev board has English

Take right turn here
Well paved road throughout till Vedanthangal

You have arrived! if you see this board! - Go on for 2 kms

B)Timing your visit, FOOD and logistics:
If you leave early morning on a holiday (like 8 or 9 AM) you may want to do a "heavy" breakfast at Ananda Bhavan in Pallavaram or Balajee Bhavan in Chromepet (Both before Tambaram)

You will need about an hour or hour-and-a-half at the sanctuary (if you are not a avid bird (feathered type) watcher) - excluding Bajjee eating and Panan Kazhangu (Avicha or steamed and Raw)
The vertical stacks are panam kazhangu (Palm seeds steamed)

Then on your return , you can eat at the Mahindra City food plaza that has Archana and Dhaba express around 2 PM. There are no restraunts at Vedanthangal , just a few roadside shops.

The best season to visit Nov-Mar and the place is open 6 am to 6 pm.
More pics here

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Experiment: Setting up a web shop for our farm produce

I am setting up a web shop for organic produce from our farm!

There is no business model or business case for this new experiment of setting up a shop for the organic produce.  I find that farming (atleast my amateur farming) has been a loss making venture (farming in general unless subsidized heavily is low margin business)

What troubles me is waste - The little we grow goes waste due to unavailability of buyers and several times even takers(for FOOD in a place where there is starvation probably in the same village!) While we have always read about middle men, information arbitrage, poor food processing and transport facilities, experiencing it first hand and feeling helpless is painful and profound at the same time.

If you are interested keep a tab on this link (book mark it) to know whats available fresh - Padmavathi Organic Foods (thats my granmothers name:-))

For those interested in Organic Farming, I have setup a blog too and will be posting my notes/pictures, relative costs, guidance etc. Please feel free to contribute if you have a farm here.

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