Happy and good to go

It’s not that I slept happy the other night and woke up like this. I had to look this way. Happy and good to go.

Barely slept for two or three hours.

Why?

How do you deal with the heart that is stubborn to be in love with a sadist?

How do you make yourself understand that it’s ok, people and even close friends are meant to be strangers some day.

It’s ok to not have too many friends as we step into another year.

It’s ok just to stay quiet, keep your peace and not finding any reasons to give any more explanation because you can’t just spend your entire life explaining about yourself to a wall that will never listen to your words.

It’s ok, if you woke up with abusive messages from the person you had loved and still do, so much and all you gather is his lack of patience to know you and his ability to hear what others talk about you more. His ability to find reasons on how to get away with you, building a situation where you must look like the one who is at fault and he plays the victim card. 

I had to look ok, and say it to the world, that, hey, I’m doing great! Wearing a big smile on my face. Hiding those scars from last night he left on my skin, calling me something I’m not and things I could never do.

How do you accept the definitions that do not define you at all? 

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Water and air pollution keep migratory birds away

As the season of migratory birds has begun, a large number of birdwatchers are spending their weekends in places like Vedanthangal and Karikili to catch a glimpse of the birds that fly several miles from their home to spend their holidays here.

Hopeland P,an independent wildlife researcher, says that as many as 64 species of birds were seen during the first round of birdwatching trip held recently. “During our trip to Vedanthangal and Karikili,people from various walks of life joined us to learn more about birds,” he adds.

On an average, more than 100 migrant bird species visit Chennai every year between October and March. “You can also spot them in Pallikaranai, Sholinganallur, Adyar estuary, Adyar Poonga, Pulicat,Guindy National Park and also in the campuses of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras,Madras Christian College,and Anna University,”says Hopeland,who also accompanies amateur birdwatchers to help them understand the basic concept of birdwatching.

FUN AND FASCINATION

Birdwatching is a fun as well as a facinating activity that helps birdwatchers learn more about them and their habitat. Sridhar Lakshmanan, who organises wildlife treks and heritage tours, says, “Chennai has a lot of birdwatching sites within the city itself. But most people don’t know about these spots and often go to other cities. We are planning our next trip to Pulicat.”

Christy Bharath, a writer and birdwatcher for the past five years, is thrilled to spot ibis and spoonbills in Vedanthangal.

Man-induced factors have added to the loss of birds’ habitat

“After I became a birdwatcher, a lot of things have changed in my life. I met quite a few interesting people because of the birding tours. The interesting part is, when I started writing about the birds in my blog, I even got job offers. My retirement plan is going to be just birdwatching,”Bharath adds.

It’s his love for macro photography that prompted Venkatesh Subramanian, a software professional,to become a birdwatcher. “This has given me an opportunity to be a birdwatcher and keep my passion for macro photography alive. But I had a pure birdwatching experience in Vedanthangal when we were accompanied by an expert. Earlier, I had a similar experience in Thattekad Bird Sanctuary in Kerala. It is always better to have an expert like an ecologist with you. Also, some basic preparations like reading and researching about the place, and knowledge on how each bird looks, really helps. We should avoid wearing flashy clothes and making noise while on the trail. We need to be attentive to the sounds we hear.”

Migratory birds and ecosystem

Migratory birds help in keeping the tropical breeding species under control. For example, insectivorous birds like warblers and flycatchers eat insects, mosquitoes, and flies. Hopeland explains,“A single leaf warbler eats an average of 180 insects every hour, or about 1,980 per day.Now imagine removing all the insectivorous birds from the area.In a few weeks, plants will start to appear ragged,with their foliage tattered due to the insect attack, and plants will produce fewer flowers and fruits as they are forced to spend too much energy in self-defense. This, in turn, will affect the eco system.Regeneration of forest will slow down as fewer seeds will be produced and dispersed and the ground will start to dry faster because the canopy is thinner and more sunlight gets in.”

Number of migratory birds visiting the city have become less over the years

Environmentalists and regular birdwatchers have noticed a drop in the number of migrant birds visiting Chennai in the past five years. Ram Balaji, an IT professional and an avid birdwatcher who has covered all the birdwatching spots in and around Chennai and Madurai, says, “Collectively, there has been a reduction in the number of birds coming down annually. The decrease may be due to pollution in water bodies.Also,we are losing out on so many habitats because of that. For ex-Pallikaranai is more contaminated now; it wasn’t this bad two years ago when I spotted greater flamingo there.One side of the place is good, but the other is polluted because people are dumping garbage there.Earlier, it used to be one of the places in the city where we used to see a lot of migratory birds;now,not even resident birds are spotted there.”

Hopeland says that spotting less number of birds doesn’t mean the birds are not there. “It may be because they are scattered.They might be going to places where there is better availability of resources, and hence, we are unable to spot them.”

Experts say that food, water and wind current play significant roles in the arrival of these birds. Hopeland adds,“The fluctuation in the number of migratory birds can be due to lack of food. Most migratory water birds are called waders;they prefer shallow waters which make it easier for them to catch their prey. Maninduced factors should have added to their habitat loss. Wind turbines, pollution and change in climate can also contribute to it. They are also susceptible to weather conditions and sometimes,drift away due to wind currents.”

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Ambivalent?

Migrated souls,

Betrayed lovers,

Strange family,

Far away friends…

Memories new,

Created down the lane…

This platter of life,

Tastes bitter also sweet,

And that’s a tricky life treat!

Series of events,

Knocking you down,

Your nerves explode,

And you can’t take anymore!

Pain, anger, disgusted and diluted,

Emotions have no control…

Anxiety filled dark room,

Calling you for a good night!

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READ THE SIGNALS RIGHT

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He takes you to romantic candlelight dinners in fancy five-stars in the city, buys you a smartphone as a gift; picks you up from work to drop you home safe…
All these look like the man genuinely cares for you, and loves you, right? Well, most women would think thus. But wait,what if all this are tricks to just get you into bed and nothing more? How to figure out if your man really loves you or not? Look for these signs, ladies…

1. He keeps you at bay when it comes to connecting emotionally. Humans bond emotionally only with those few who matter to them. So, if he never opens up to you, doesn’t share those little details of his life that he considers are big and important, red flag! Stay away!

2. He seems close to you only when the two of you are in bed. He expects you to play along with his sex-peditions, and perhaps,
hurting you brings him pleasure. Try denying being his submissive sex doll — does his behaviour change? Then it’s clear — that’s all you matter to him. If you don’t match his sex-pectations, check your inbox for a “We need to talk! You’re not good enough for anything in life!” message. It’s there? Run!

3. You feel like a stranger around him. You don’t know him enough because he has never let you know enough about himself. You struggle to strike up an interesting or a funny conversation with him and it happens every time you are with him. The ‘something is off’ situation is another signal to stop it right there.

4. You’re rated on everything you do. The way you eat, talk, present your ideas, walk, smile and even look. If being with him makes you feel low all the time, and you also develop low-self-esteem and affect your confidence levels, it has to be an immediate good-bye, or you will wallow in toxicity.

5. He finds faults in you, makes you feel responsible for things that are not of your doing. He constantly questions your upbringing and pulls you down emotionally every time you try to climb up the ladder in your career. Leave before he demolishes you entirely.

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Bonjour Chennai!

Colt Silvers-1.jpgWe are not nervous, but are certainly excited as we never thought we’d bring our music so far from home — says the popular French band, Colt Silvers. They recently performed for the first time in the city as a part of the third edition of Bonjour India festival. The vocalist Tristan speaks about the band, performing in India and more…

MUSIC BEYOND FRANCE

Hailing from the city of Strasbourg, the band has vocalist Tristan, bass player Nicolas, guitarist Florian and drummer Julien. We are termed as the French Alt J by the popular magazine Les Inrockuptibles, and the band produces intense indie electro
rock which is inspired by pop-culture. We started gaining popularity beyond France within a year of our inception with our debut release Night of the Living Robots in 2009. With our sophomore release Red Panda and EP — Gold Trees Gold in the following year, we extensively toured across the world. Our latest album Swords, co-produced and mixed by the Grammy nominated Fab Dupont, is filled with danceable and feelgood tracks. In fact, the album has received rave reviews from popular French magazines and critics.

IT ALL STARTED LAST YEAR

We met Naveen Deshpande, the founder of event management agency, last year and he brought us here to India. We have played two shows so far in New Delhi and Chennai, the experience has been great. We have nine more to go.

ENTHRALLED SEEING THE INDIAN CROWD

It was amazing to watch the crowd start dancing, right from the time we had started performing. They seemed to be well acquainted with what we do, too. I saw people singing the lyrics along with us. It’s a great feeling for us when the audience connects right away and it also encourages us to perform better at live shows. People around the world are familiar with rock
bands adding electro and hip-hop sounds to their music now, it’s been that way for quite some time so I think it does not come as a shock for the audience.

PASSION FOR SCIENCE FICTION BROUGHT US TOGETHER

Our passion for science fiction brought us together to form this band and that’s how we started playing music together. We met at San Francisco International Film Festival and discussed a lot about our common interests. So, we decided to put this influence together with our rock’n’roll background and see what happens.

WE PLAY WHAT THE AUDIENCE WANT US TO PLAY

We are changing one or two songs depending on the mood of the night and the audience in every city. We pretty much decide these things on the stage. It’s all eye contact and we ask — do we play this? It’s a little dangerous, and yeah it depends on
the city. But we make sure the vibe stays the same. We’re still getting acquainted with the Indian audience and what they like as it is our second show after Delhi, in Chennai.

EYES AND EARS ARE OPEN DURING THE TOUR

We would be more than happy if any collaboration offer comes our way. We’ll see what happens but our eyes and ears are open during the tour. We are working on an album with an orchestra in France which we will release in December.

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Telling a story the art way

C Douglas

 

Ask C Douglas to describe his work and he says that they are not just paintings but drawings and calligraphy. “There are around 30 small drawings that are as small as a text book. They are not canvas-sized paintings. This is a series where I am trying
to tell short stories that are interrelated to each other. Each drawing has a story-like for example, there are colourful butterflies with patterns that look like they have eyes on their wings. One of the paintings has a poet who is engrossed in his imagination and wants to see the world the way he wants. There are figures of tables and chairs, humans, nature,” shares the artist, who has worked at the Cholamandal Artists’ Village. The artist stresses on the point that he didn’t want to make canvas paintings. “These works are more like drawings in a sketch book than the usual big-sized paintings that you come across in the
art galleries. I have followed a specific style called the Korean Zen art form. I am also a huge fan of quotations which is why you will get to see it in all my art work, he says.

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ON THE BEAT WITH…

Every time I come to Chennai, I leave having met and known more people than I did the previous time. The city feels smaller every time as I get to meet so many new people. Chennaiites are far more welcoming, than most people in other cities I have been to. As an artiste, I feel it’s great to have an audience that will listen to you till the end and that’s more than anything an artiste can ask for,“ begins Delhi-based Dhruv Visvanath, multi-instrumentalist, composer, singer-songwriter and the only Indian to be mentioned in a US magazine’s `30 Great Guitarists Under 30′. He recently performed in the city as a part of his all-India crowdfunding campaign launch for his forthcoming album that he plans to release in the first quarter of next year, The Lost Cause. We stopped by during his practice session and an excited Dhruv told us, “This is my second performance in Chennai and this is the city where I have had the best ice cream in the country .“
In 2015, Dhruv signed on Vishal Dadlani’s record label, and shortly thereafter, he released his debut album Orion that got critical acclaim.

Dhruv is a soloist and he says, “People like me do not need a team to release an album, but they do only to record it. One just needs a little bit of idea about composing, lyrics, etc.“

MY LYRICS ARE STORY OF MY LIFE14_10_2017_118_034_008.jpg

“We musicians work differently and we are all unique in our own ways. I have been making music alone for a very long time and I find a lot of joy in doing that. Every time I write a new song, it just becomes slightly better than what I wrote before. I am not much of a writer, but I really enjoy writing lyrical tales about my childhood and the darkest experiences of my life. Writing lyrics makes me feel closer to the songs, where I can express the emotions that I already went through back then: and I relive that moment all over again. So, it feels very holistic. I would love and I do try to perform on stage what I compose just the way I record it. I want the audience to also get the emotion behind each song that I have composed and sung. Every time I get that `perfect composition’, I have this stupid grin on my face like the one we have looking at our crush.“

ARTISTS DO HAVE THE RIGHT PLATFORM THESE DAYS

He says, “I think I am lucky and am very grateful for the chance I have got. The right platform is always there for the talented. If that were not so, how would I have ever been discovered? I was lucky enough that my music found its way to somebody’s ears.“

INDIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY IS COLLABORATIVE NOT COMPETITIVE…

Indian music industry is not very competitive, but it’s very collaborative and I also think there are far better guitarists in the country, who are more talented than I am, and younger, too. There is no sense of competition. We only need to look out for each other and I think that’s a very important thing.”

Dhruv also lets it drop that he is open to working in the film industry. He says, “Film music is a different ball game altogether, and it comes with a different set of ethics and codes. However, I would really love to be a part of the industry and I am hoping that opportunity comes knocking soon. Working in films will change my outlook and the way I make music at the moment and I really wish that would happen soon.”

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