Andhra Pradesh | Experience | Headline | Hyderabad | Nature | Pictures | Wildlife

Volunteering at the Zoo

Every Sunday, volunteers from the local Roots and Shoots chapter visit the Nehru Zoological Park and station themselves near the cages. They talk to visitors, keeping them from feeding or troubling the animals. Since the park receives (roughly) ten times the number of visitors on Sundays as all the rest of the days put together, this action is very impactful.

Today, as part of an initiative at work, a few colleagues and I joined the R&S volunteers for a day at the zoo.

But before we kick off, read more

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Experience | India | My Life

Part of a Billion

Last week, a census taker visited us, and for the first time, included us in the National Census of India.

The only previous memory of being included in the census was in the 1981 census, when I was staying with my grandparents in Bangalore for the summer holidays. My grandmother was sitting on the stone step outside the front door, removing adulterants from rice, when the census taker visited. My grandmother being a teacher herself, she got into a conversation with the census taker, who was also read more

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Featured | Hyderabad | Restaurants | Review

17 Degrees North

Had dinner at 17 Degrees North, a relative new-comer promising global cuisine. We’d just finished picking up groceries at Ratnadeep and were hungry, and 17 Degrees North beckoned from above. Located in the same building as Ratnadeep in Hitech city, 17 Degrees is ideally sited if you live, like us, on this side of town.

The night was hot, and we felt at home as we entered the pleasantly air-conditioned, dimly-lit space. It was cozy, not too full, not too empty, and the decor was interestingly read more

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Birds | Hyderabad

Birds from my Balcony

Sparrows - those ubiquitous birds that thronged our childhoods - are rapidly disappearing today. After trying for a few weeks, I finally saw the one-legged sparrow who lives in my neighbourhood, and had the privilege of taking a few pictures of him. This blog post was the result.

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Andhra Pradesh | Birds | Wildlife

Birding at Anantagiri Hills

Went birding in Anantagiri Hills this morning. It is 88 kilometers from my place in Hafeezpet, and Ajith and I drove down. We made an early start, leaving at 5 in the morning. The roads were nearly empty and the drive was comfortable.

Anantagiri Hills is just past Viqarabad, reached from Hyderabad through Moinabad and Chevella. The roads were good, though the ever-changing geography of the way to the airport made it a bit tricky.

As we were driving on the perimeter wall of the Gandipet lake, a sleepy read more

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Andhra Pradesh | Birds | Experience | Hyderabad | Pictures | Wildlife

Morning at the Lotus Pond

An early morning walk around the Lotus Pond – Ajith and I have been planning this for a while, and managed to make it happen today.

We set out early (by my standards that is!) and reached the Lotus Pond around seven. There were a few cars parked outside, and there seemed to be quite a few people walking around. However, the birds were pretty much minding their own business, and didn’t seemed to mind us stopping and staring at them, and clicking away with our cameras.

The atmosphere in read more

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Andhra Pradesh | Hyderabad | Musings | My Life

Share Autos – Hyderabad’s Alternative Public Transit System

Last night, I took a series of share autos to reach home from Panjagutta, and this seems to be an opportune moment to take a look at this alternate public transport system that so effectively supplements and complements Hyderabad’s official public transit systems.

My ride was simple enough – I got into a share auto in front of the Y2K restaurant at Panjagutta. Once I got in, it took about three or four minutes for the auto to fill up. The driver kept calling out the destination of read more

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Books | Featured | Review

Pirate Latitudes – A Smashing Pirate Tale!

Michael Crichton’s latest novel, Pirate Latitudes, took up one marathon reading session this weekend. It was, to be cliched, unputdownable.

The blurb reads:

An irresistible adventure of swashbuckling pirates in the New World from one of the best-loved and bestselling authors of all time.

Jamaica, in 1655 a lone outpost of British power amid Spanish waters in the sun-baked Caribbean. Its capital, Port Roayl, a cutthroat town of taverns, grog shops, and bawdy houses – the last place imaginable fron which to launch an attack on a nearby Spanish stronghold. Yet that is exactly what renowned privateer Captain Charles Hunter plans to do, with the connivance of Charles II’s ruling governor, Sir James Almont.

The target is Matanceros, guarded by the bloodthirsty Cazalla, and considered impregnable with its gun emplacements and sheer cliffs. Hunter’s crew of buccaneers must battle not only the Spanish fleet but other deadly perils – raging hurricanes, canibal tribes, even sea monsters. But if his ragtag crew succeeds, they will make not onl

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