Aug 19, 2017

Rally for Rivers

Not long back, rainy season really meant business. It would pour for months non-stop - this is what my mother and maternal uncles said - that is during their childhood years in Dharwad and nearby villages. It seems that Sun never had a chance during those months. That was about 50 years back. So the rains fed streams- called as Halla in Kannada -so much that villages would be cut off from each other because there were no bridges in rural area. People had to wait until rains subsided and water levels lowered to cross the streams. My elders have actually experienced such situations.

As we come to more recent times i.e. 1970s and 1980s, I remember watching good rains. I'd seen streams and rivers flow; lakes were full through out the year. Any well I got see always had water, the color would be dark green.. that's an indication of deep water. I particularly remember the rainy season of 1987, it rained and rained and rained. The memories of cycling and playing in rain are still fresh. One particular stream near Dharwad; it was peak of summer of '83 or '84, the stream flowed and there was one pond in the stream which was large enough for a dozen grownups to swim in. Wonderful isn't it. The same stream in late 1990s was dry soon after rainy season. How sad. What a drastic change!

Besides rains, my elders spoke of jungles near Dharwad. By late '90s the jungles were gone, just plain land. Gone were the trees, animals and birds. Gone were the streams and lakes and ponds. Wells dried up. I was talking about a small area near Dharwad. So imagine how many trees we have lost across districts, states and countries. At some point I realized, there is a common connect between trees, rains and ground water.

In the past decade, rains are meager. Some seasons were almost dry. Scary though isn't it. Then I heard about some research which declared that some parts of southern India would turn into a desert. With the changes seen over the decades, it is quite possible. Scary! Is there something we could do to arrest these changes if not reverse. Busy running our lives many of would think of doing something on and off but never could do anything.

Coming to the age of Whatsapp, I remember number of messages around environmental changes. Grow more trees; save water; drive less, pool more and so on. Then came these two images here..

The image carries a simple message from Sadhguru: This is not a protest. This is not an agitation. This is a campaign to raise awareness that our rivers are depleting. Everyone who consumes water must rally for rivers.

The second image tells how we can be saving our rivers. The idea is to plant trees along the rivers, a kilometers belt of plants on either sides of rivers. When it rains, roots hold water and release them slowly over time, enabling rivers to flow longer duration.

The idea makes sense to me. The reason for behind my belief is- I've seen streams and rivers flow through out the years in Western Ghats. I've been deep inside a jungle near Belgaum. I've seen a river flow even during summer months. Wishing this campaign big support and eventually success. Also, how I wish I could break free from my routine life and work for this cause.

Besides, supporting this campaign, people have to learn to use resources- food, water, electricity, fuel -efficiently. People have to make a sincere effort.
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Aug 12, 2017

Shilpavana, Kannada University - part 3

..continued from Shilpavana, Kannada University - part 2.

Kannada University of Kamalapur has an interesting collection of sculptures created by students and teachers. The ideas are original and one has to admire the creations.

Here's a modern day Torana; unlike the ancient Thoranas decorated with floral and geometrical designs, this is an angular one. The two round stones at the top is a nice addition. And as I shot this picture a little bird landed on the left stone.. as though it wanted to make the Torana symmetrical.

Next we have a Deepa Stambha capped by a dome. Another unique feature is the long stairway. Actually the tower is built on a boulder hence the need for the steps.

Vijayanagara emblem etched in rock. Sun, Moon, sword and boar. The artist has found the right spot for his drawing.

Kannada Vishwavidyalaya logo. The catch phrase reads "maadambodu jyotirlinga."

A pair of ribbed boulders. One may think what's there in these rocks. Creating these parallel grooves needs lot of care and effort. Simple looking yet beautiful creation.

I have no idea what this sculpture is about.. however it seems like a Linga for far.

A complex design but I have no clue what its about.

A stack of cuboids. A tasteful creation indeed.

More standing rock sculptures.. a donkey head with a stack of thick books.. a knowledgeable beast? The middle one is another complex creation; the base has four images on each of its faces.. wish I'd shot the other two as well. Looking the ones seen here.. on the left is an egg and sperms.. on the right is obviously a flower. Each image is complimented by a quote. The third sculpture seems to denote a seed and plant.

The administrative building "Aadalithanga"architecture is a copy from Vijayanagara structures.

This seems to depict a stringed musical instrument.. a sitar?

Opposite the Aadalithanga is this lovely scene. A rock bed with umbrella-shaped trees. In the shade is Jakanachari engrossed in work.

Close by is another complex pillar.. plant roots embracing a stone? In the background is a bowing human. See inset for a closer look at the bowing figure.

This is the university's utility building.. shops, canteens and other amenities. The building resembles a British era jail.. that's what Pushpa remarked.

At the university campus entrance.. a couple on a pillar. This must be a creation of one of the senior staff.

Another visit to this amazing place is due. The place has a peaceful ambiance, really relaxes the mind.

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