Book Review – Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

This is an excellent book written 60 years back but the contents are relevant even today. Rachel talked at length about how DDT ( which is still common use in some parts of the world like India) ​, ​​ pesticides​  and other ​chemicals used to control insects ​affect the lives of all other plants and animals including humans. She also gave some references to the linkage of cancer with the use of the chemicals in our farms that produce meat, milk, grain, fruits, and vegetables.  More research is now available on this topic. If it is essential to control the disease, other biological options can be explored first before using chemicals. The chemical usage has to be also local instead of using mass chemical application techniques like using low flying airplanes. It is very essential for all countries to make laws to limit & monitor the use of chemicals. It may be possible in 1st world countries but in other parts of the world, it is a very big challenge. More efforts need to make to educate the population against the ill effects of chemicals on our farms.

“पाण्याचा झरा”

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आज वेताळे च्या डोंगरावर १४ trees च्या वनीकरणाच्या प्रोजेक्ट ची पाहणी करताना एका गोष्टी ने लक्ष वेधले तो म्हणजे एक एकदम छोटासा झरा. एप्रिल च्या तडपत्या उन्हात बोडके डोंगर गवत वाळल्यामुळे पिवळे पडले होते आणि त्यात हा जिवंत झरा दिसला, म्हणून जास्त नवल वाटले. हा झरा डोंगारावरचे आदिवासी ( ठाकर ) पिण्याचे पाण्यासाठी वापरतात. झरा इतका छोटा आहे कि एक बादली भरायला २ तास तरी सहज लागतील. हे आदिवासी लोक वाटी वाटी ने बादली भरतात ! एवढ्या कष्टाने पाणी भरल्यावर नक्कीच काटकसरीने वापरात असतील.

कल्पना करा की आपल्यावर अशी वेळ अली तर ? आपण तर पाण्याला गृहीतच धरले आहे. घरात २४ तास पाणी पाहिजे. पुण्याचं उदाहरण घेतलं तर प्रत्येक माणूस सरासरी २००-२५०० लिटर्स पाणी वापरतो . आपल्याला पाणी मिळवायला काहीच कष्ट लागत नाहीत कदाचित त्यामुळे आपल्याला त्याची किंमत कळात नाही. आपण सर्वानी विचार केला पाहिजे की पाणी कमीत कमी कसे वापरता येईल.

नक्की विचार करा ! आपण पाणी वाचवले नाही तर काही वर्षांनी आपल्या पुढच्या पिढयांना नक्कीच संकटाचा सामना करायला लागेल.

Book Review – Land of Seven Sisters by Sanjeev Sanyal

Land of seven rivers: History of India’s Geography by Sanjeev Sanyal

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Very good book to get an overview of Historical India to the modern India. It is amazing that some traditions from ancient India continues in Modern India. Indian are proud of their civilization ! Many Indian know that India was a rich country once upon a time but I doubt how man will know India’s GDP was 33% of world GDP !! Patilputra and Nalanda were world’s famous Universities and students from all across Asia used to come to study. Overall very good read !!

Some highlights from the book

“The genetic data as well as fossil finds suggest that the Bengal tiger came to inhabit India fairly recently, perhaps no more than 12,000 years ago.”

“India is the only country in the world where both lions and tigers co-exist. As discussed in Chapter 1, tigers evolved in East Asia and probably entered the subcontinent around 12,000 years ago. Soon, they had spread across the subcontinent.”

“The single most important factor that allowed this boom in trade was an understanding of monsoon-wind patterns, a discovery that Greek sources credit to a navigator called Hippalus. The discovery allowed merchant fleets to sail directly across the Arabian Sea rather than hug the coast”

“According to Angus Maddison, the country accounted for 33 per cent of world GDP in the first century AD. India’s share was three times that of western Europe and was much larger than that of the Roman empire as a whole (21 per cent). China’s share of 26 per cent of world GDP was significantly smaller than India’s12. He also estimates India’s population at 75 million (compared to today’s 1.2 billion).”

“Over the next few centuries, hundreds of thousands of Indian slaves—particularly from West Punjab and Sindh—would be marched into Afghanistan and then sold in the bazaars of Central Asia and the Middle East. Unused to the extreme cold of the Afghan mountains, they died in such large number that the range would come to be known as the Hindukush meaning ‘Killer of Hindus’.”

“When Vasco da Gama landed in India, it had a population of around 110 million. At that time, China had an estimated population of 103 million, the United Kingdom 3.9 million and Portugal just 1 million.9 India was still a major economic power with a share of 24.5 per cent of world GDP”

“Around 1500, the Chinese economy bypassed the Indian economy in terms of size for the first time. Moreover, per capita income in India fell below the global average. After having lagged behind India for centuries, most European countries enjoyed higher per capita incomes by 1500”

“At its height in the early sixteenth century it was probably the largest city in the world.” ( VijayNagar – Now Humpi)


Vasota

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TR#33 (Feb 14, 2021)

Route : Pune-Satara-Bamnoli-vasota. Bamnoli to Vasota is by boat

Timings : Morning 10 to evening 6

Admission Fee: A small admission fee. Forest department checking before entry and after entry. No plastic allowed. No one can stay overnight.

Height of Vasta: 4267 feet

When it was built : Vasota fort is attributed to the Kolhapur Shilahara Chief Bhoja II (1178–1193) of Panhala.

Brief Background & History : Shivaji incorporated the fort into Swarajya in 1655 during the conquest of Javli. Shivaji renamed the fort “Vyaghragad” (Vyaghra – means tiger), owing to its difficult natural defense. In 1818 the British bombarded the fort with heavy artillery, destroying many buildings on Vasota (Chandika mandir, Daru-kothar, etc.) and looted property worth 5 lakhs.

Other points of interest : 1. It is part of natural reserve forest 2. There is no water or food available on the fort. You need to carry enough water and food. 3. The trek is moderate. At some points, it is very steep and slippery. 4. Because of ban on plastic, the fort is very clean. 5. The forest on Vasota is very dense. One should not try to go inside. It will be dangerous.

Places to stay : Better to stay in Satara, Kaas or Bamnoli and start early for the trek. We stayed in Hotel Nivant in Yawteshwar, Satara

Trek to HarishChandraGad

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TR#32 (Jan 30/31, 2021)

The trek to Harishchandragad was one of the most memorable treks of Sanhyadris! It was long, difficult, and involved a significant climb! There are multiple routes to go to Harishchandragad in various levels of difficulties. One from Panchani is moderate and preferred by most beginners. The second route from Khireshwar is difficult and one from Nalichi Wat ( from Konkan side) is the most difficult. We trekked via Khireshwar.

Vidya was not sure whether she will join but decided to join after talking to the trek organizer. All 8 of us ( Sharad, Ratna, Dhiren, Geeta, Atharva, Tamnmay, Vidya, and I ), started for Khireshwar at 6 AM from Pune. It is about 100 km from Pune but takes about 4 hours. On the way, we stopped at Akash to have breakfast. We reached slightly early so went slightly further to see Malshej Ghat.

After having a light lunch which we carried from Pune, we started from Khireshwar at around 1:30 PM. We were part of the trek organized by Shekroo. The first 2 hours trek is through dense forest and it was quite steep. It was quite humid as the forest was dense. The organizers were constantly reminding us to keep hydrated. On the way, there were some people selling lemon water, buttermilk, etc. On the way, we saw several typical trees from the Western Ghats like Anjani, ixora, etc. After 2 hours, we reached a place called “Tolar Khind”.

From “Tolar Khind, another stage of the trek starts. This stage is in open-air but on the edge of the tall rocks with a steep climb. It is preferred to have a rope to take some support if required. This is a challenging stage. With the help of the organizer, we successfully climbed all the rocks and came to a plateau.

Now the third phase, which is reaching the destination from the plateau. To reach our destination, we needed to trek for more than 2-3 km through all the hills. I have never imagined the plateau can be so huge. We reached our destination around 6 PM. We saw Harshichandreshwar temple and Pushkarni lake. The temple is 1300 years old but still intact to a certain extend. We had tea and Maggi before occupying our tents which were put up on a plain land near Harshichandreshwar temple.

There were some shacks put up by local tribes. Our food arrangements were made by one of the shacks. For dinner, we had Bajra Roti, Rice, Dal, and potato veg curry. After food, we had a nice campfire. In order to limit the weight to be carried, we carried only minimum clothes but they were not enough for the cold on top of the fort. It was so cold that we could hardly sleep.

In the morning, after tea and breakfast, we went to “Taramati peak” which is supposed to be the second-highest in Maharashtra ( Height : 4695 ft). Here again, the climb was tough. After photos at the peak, we descended down to “Kokan Kada”. The descend was very steep and it was a trailer of what is on the way of going down to our base. The view from Kokan Kada is just fantastic. You can see the steep vertical valley down to the Kokan area. After Kokan Kada, we headed back to have lunch.

After lunch, we started our descend around 2 PM. The descend was very challenging for the part of the trek as we had to descend rock edges on the second stage of descending. With the help of our Organizers, the whole group descended successfully and reached the base around 6 PM.

We drove back to Pune and reached our home at around 10:30 PM. On the way back, we had dinner at Akash.

I must say that The organizers, Shekroo Outdoors, were very skilled, very helpful, and taking care of everyone. Hoping to do more treks with them.

Hampi

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TR#31

We had been thinking about visiting Hampi for many years but couldn’t find the time. Now with working from anywhere, it does not matter whether you are at your home or anywhere else as long as you can work from that place. Used this opportunity to visit Hampi.

It is about 10 hours drive from Pune; slightly longish but decided to take it anyway. The road ( Pune-Nimpai-Bagalkot-ilkal-hospet) is very good. With breakfast at Sai International, before Kolhapur and lunch in the open farm, we reached Hampi at 4 PM. On the road from Nipani to Hampi, there are not many restaurants so we had to take some sandwiches from home.

On the next day, we saw the monuments, temples of Hampi which are more than 700 years old. Even after some destruction by various kings and various factions, we can see the glory of Vijaynagar. These monuments, temples, palaces are spread over a very large area of Hampi. They are declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO and Government is doing a good job of protecting them but I feel the Government needs to do more. Some of the very well known places to see Hampi are Virupaksha Temple, Vithala Temple, Lotus Mahal, Stone Chariot, Elephant Stable, etc. 

The next morning, we went birding with a birder from that area, Pompaya Swami. He is uneducated but I was amazed by his knowledge about birds, ecology, cameras, and the use of smartphones. He has also built his own forest over an acre. We could see a lot of birds and a few animals with him. ( Indian eagle owl, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, rock agama lizard, Mongoose, jungle bush quail, silver bill, gray francolin, ashy crowned sparrow lark, yellow braked babbler, Rufus treepie, peacock, Brahminy Starling, Gray francolin pair and painted spurfowl, rufous treepie, yellow-throated Bulbul – endemic to southern India). Near Hampi, the forest is very good. You can also see leopards and bears there but there are a lot of man-made disturbances as they are expanding canals of Tungabhadra dam and a lot of illegal stone mining activity ( which is stopped a couple of years back). 

As far as food is concerned, we had a very good & authentic breakfast at a roadside food place introduced by Pompaya. We were so happy with the breakfast that we went there again after 2 days. We tried the famous restaurant in Hospet called Naividyam for dinner, but due to rush ( and corona fear), we decided to eat somewhere else. We had lunch/dinner at our Hotel ( Vijayshree resorts), Andhra Mess, and a pizza & pasta place. 

लॉक डाउन, दिवस २१ ( Lock down Day #21)

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लॉक डाउन, दिवस २१

मी २१ दिवस हा लॉक डाउन ब्लॉग लिहायचे ठरवले होते त्याचा हा शेवटचा दिवस !

ह्या लॉक आऊट ने आपल्याला काय काय शिकवले ?

  • माणसाने कितीही प्रगती केली तरी काही वेळा निसर्ग नक्की माणसावर मात करतो. ते करताना तो जात , धर्म , देश अशा कुठल्याच सीमा पाळत नाही.
    -स्वछतेचे महत्व ! इतक्या वेळा कधी हात धुतले होते का कधी !!
  • स्वतः चा आणि सामाजिक अहंकार कमी झाला. सगळे घरी राहून घरातली सगळी कामे करायला लागली. मोठे नट आणि प्रतिष्ठित व्यक्ती पण घरातील काम करतानाचे फोटो share करू लागले. जे पूर्वी त्यांनी कधीच केले नसते.
  • सगळे जण घरी जुने आणि नवे पदार्थ करायला लागले , ते share करायला लागले आणि आवडीने खायला लागले.
  • माणसाला जगण्यासाठी किती कमी गोष्टींची गरज लागते ह्याची जाणीव नक्की झाली.
  • आपण सरकारी कर्मचाऱ्यांना नेहमी नावे ठेवत आलो पण Corona च्या काळात त्यांचे महत्व आणि त्यांनी मनावर घेतले तर ते काम नक्की करू शकतात हे अनुभवले.
  • जगण्याचे स्वातंत्र म्हणजे काय ? जे आपण गृहीत धरले आहे. लॉक डाउन मध्ये माणूस सोडून सर्व पक्षी आणि प्राणी जगण्याचे स्वातंत्र अनुभवत होते.
  • Internet ने नसते तर लॉक डाउन मध्ये राहणे खूप अवघड झाले असते. Internet हि आता जीवनाश्यक गोष्ट झाली आहे.

अजून लॉक डाउन बाकी आहे. अजून पण नवीन गोष्टी नक्की कळतील.

सगळ्यांनी धैर्याने आणि संयमाने कॉरोना चा सामना करूया.

नवीन विषयावर नवीन ब्लॉग परत कधीतरी !!

लॉक डाउन, दिवस २० ( Lock Down Day #20)

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लॉक डाउन, दिवस २०

सोमवर – आज काम परत सुरु. दोन दिवसाच्या सुट्टी नंतर. मॉर्निंग वॉक झाला. थोडे बिल्डिंग खाली आणि थोडा वेळ बिल्डिंग च्या गल्लीत चाललो. त्यानंतर काही योगासने. माझा मित्र शरद डुंबरे रोज सगळ्यांना गेले २ आठवडे दरोरोज एक योगासन पाठवत होता. आज त्याचा अखेरचा दिवस होता.

ब्रेकफास्ट ( धिरडे) झाल्यावर माहेश्वर दुकानात Gullybuy चे ऍप इन्स्टॉल करून आलो. उद्या त्याला प्रात्यक्षिक दाखवायचे आहे. २ ते ५ ऑफिस चा झूम कॉल झाला.

संध्याकाळी थोड्या वेळ गॅलरी त बसलो होतो. आज जरा शेजारच्या आणि समोर च्या बिल्डिंग मधील काही जण खाली रस्त्यावर चालत होते. थोड्या गप्पा पण मारत होते, अर्थात अंतर ठेवून. सकाळी पळत पण होते. कोथरूड मधील लोकांनी लॉक डाऊन कडक पाळल्या मुळे फक्त १ च केस आहे. हे लॉक डाउन १ महिना कडक चालू असल्याने लोक जरा आता कंटाळले असतील.

अजून २ आठवड्याचे लॉक डाउन वाढवले. त्यांनी corona चा प्रसार खूप कमी होईल पण corona बाधितांचा आकडा काही शून्य होणार नाही, अजून ६ महिने जरी लॉक डाउन वाढवले तरी. आपल्याला, भारताला आणि सर्व जगाला, कॉरोना बरोबर कसे राहायचे ते ठरवावे लागेल.

दुपार चा मेनू : सांडगे पापडे ची आमटी; रात्री : थालपीठ .

कदाचित उद्या ब्लॉग चा अखेरचा दिवस. उद्या २१ दिवस होतील. ब्लॉग ३० तारखे पर्यंत वाढवायचा कि थांबवायचा ? तुम्हाला काय वाटते?

लॉक डाउन, दिवस १९ ( Lock Down Day # 19)

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लॉक डाउन, दिवस १९

आज रविवार, खरे तर सुट्टीचा दिवस पण लॉक डाऊन मुळे काही वेळा कळतच नाही कि कुठला दिवस आहे ते. सकाळी चालणे आणि निवांत पेपर वाचून झाले. नंतर ब्रेकफास्ट – कॉर्न फ़ोहे.

सकाळी मित्रांबरोबर झूम कॉल झाला. पण झूम कॉल वर कसे बोलायचे ते कळत नसल्याने सगळे एकदम बोलतात आणि मग सगळा कल्लोळ होतो. पण एकमेकांचे चेहरे दिसतात हे काही कमी नाही. इंटरनेट आणि टीव्ही यांनी हे लॉक डाउन थोडे सुखावह केले आहे. पूर्वी च्या काळात (१९१८ फ्लू ची साथ) कसे केले असेल. तेंव्हा तर lights पण नव्हते.

दुपारी मागवलेले सामान आले. त्याला Gullybuy च्या किराणा ऑर्डर करण्याच्या ऍप बद्दल सांगितले. उद्या जमले तर त्याला प्रात्यक्षिक दाखवेन. या परीस्थितीत किराणा माल विकणाऱ्याला आणि घेणाऱ्याला हे ऍप खूप उपयोगी होईल. घरी बसून लोकांना किराणा माल ऑर्डर करता येईल आणि सामान बांधून तयार झाले कि जाऊन लगेच घेता येईल.

महाराष्ट्र सरकारने जरी लॉक डाउन वाढवला तरी केन्द्र सरकार ने तशी घोषणा अजून केली नाही. मला वाटते कि हा निर्णय राज्यांवर सोडवावा. सर्व राज्य त्यांच्या जिल्हा ची विभागणी हिरवा,ऑरेन्ज आणि लाल अशी विभागणी करत आहेत. केन्द्र सरकार नि मार्गदर्शक तत्वे घालून द्यावीत कि कुठल्या प्रकारच्या जिल्ह्यात काय काय गोष्टी करता येतील. केन्द्र सरकार ने इंटरस्टेट वाहतूक फक्त अत्यावश्यक सेवांसाठी करावी.

दुपार चा मेनू : गवार भाजी आणि पोळी, रात्री : नूडल ( नितीश ने केल्या) आणि वांग्याचे चाइनिज पद्धतीचे काप.

लॉक डाउन मुळे मला प्रश्न पडलाय कि हा ब्लॉग पण ३० तारखे पर्यंत वाढवायचा कि थांबवायचा ? तुम्हाला काय वाटते? तुमच्या उत्तराची वाट बघतोय.

लॉक डाउन, दिवस १८ ( Lock Down Day # 18)

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लॉक डाउन, दिवस १८

आज शनिवार, आमचा टेकडी चा दिवस. गेले २-३ शनिवार corona मुळे टेकडी बंद. बहुतेक मे मध्ये कधी तरी सुरु होईल.

आज चतुर्थी असल्याने उपवास मेनू. सकाळी खिचडी. जेवायला उपवास थालपीठ. मी आणि नितीश उपवास करत नाही पण आज उपवासा चे खाणे जरा चेंज होईल आणि परत आमच्या दोघांसाठी परत वेगळे करायला नको, म्हणून जेवायला पण उपवास च! रात्री मी मटार रस्सा केला. खूप मस्त झाला होता.

काल वाटल्याप्रमाणे आता लॉक डाउन ३० एप्रिल पर्यंत वाढवला. गरजच आहे तशी. उद्धव ठाकरे खूप च चांगले बोलले. शांत पण खंबीर, थोडी फुंकर थोडी धमकी, आणि कुठंही नाटकी पणा नाही.

आज ३ झूम कॉल झाले. विद्या चा तिच्या मैत्रिणीनं बरोबर, माझा माझ्या मित्रां बरोबर आणि नितीश चा बहीण आणि भावानं बरोबर. माणुस कसा नवीन परिस्थितीबरोबर कशी तडजोड करतो नाही !

लॉक डाउन मुळे मला प्रश्न पडलाय कि हा ब्लॉग पण ३० तारखे पर्यंत वाढवायचा कि थांबवायचा ? तुम्हाला काय वाटते?