:: The Friendly Post of Kodaikanal ::
And We Said.. May-09

Kodai follows me wherever I go, because it is my home. I could not get over this picture of the cascade park that Ashley gave me. I wish I could have visited the park but this brought back the image of our Silver Cascade. I could not resist letting you see this city I was in for two months, through the eyes of this youngster. What is the chance of two people from kodai begin in the state of Massachusetts, in two quaint towns next to each other at the same time? Well it happened.

I should say something about what is happening in sri lanka. I could fill pages of comments from people both for the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government. My neighbour here in Worcester turns out to be a Sri Lankan who is weighing the consequences of his return to visit his mother. Everywhere in the world the unrest is growing for want of equal rights, religious rights and political rights. Where does one stop? What does a lay person do who is only interested in making one’s living and living the good life.? Does anyone have any answers for me?

- Zarreen Babu

And We Said.. Jan-09

We seem to have forgotten what Mahatma Gandhi represented, what he gave us and what he taught the nation by example. I don’t think I could live like he did but I would like to follow most of his beliefs and learn from the legacy that he has left behind. I plan every month to bring you some of his quotations that have been compiled by S.R. Tikekar.

Last year I did receive a few comments on some articles which I was able to share. This year I request that I get a more active participation from all you readers so that we can use the Friendly Post as a peoples newsletter to create a better environment. I am not interested in accusations, I am more interested in a friendly exchange of ideas that can produce results.

I hope you enjoy this year’s issues. I am planning to bring you lot of interesting material regarding Kodai. Till then good luck with your resolutions if you make them. Remember what Gandhiji said!

- Zarreen Babu

And We Said.. Jan-08

The first thing one thinks of in the new year is ‘Resolutions’. I want you to think about ‘Laziness’. It comes in so many forms its unbelievable and scary. There are many other names for it, e.g. procrastinating, dilly dallying, day dreaming, you name it. Putting things off, sleeping in, watching TV, making excuses, we all do these things, but they all lead to laziness. I have often told myself that I will get organized and then I will do everything but….

So I would like you to think about laziness in your life and tell me how you have overcome it. I am not here to tell you how to overcome it. We all could use some new ideas that would motivate us to get over laziness when it crosses our path or the path of our loved ones in the family.

I welcome all you new subscribers to The Friendly Post. Please know that this is your magazine. The articles here are from experts and / or from lay people who have something to say. They may not be highly sophisticated, but they are the thoughts and feelings of people who otherwise may not have had an outlet.

December in Kodai has had its gloomy days but I must say that this Christmas and New Year had the best weather, though a little cold we enjoyed bright sunny days from the 21st. However the five days before that were terrible with umpteen landslides all over, blocking roads and causing havoc among those wishing to travel. Almost all homes had some problem or the other with water seepage. On the bright side however, I have never seen so many waterfalls as I did coming up the ghats from the plains just before the rains subsided. The water just gushed from the mountains and the rat-tail falls and the silver cascade were never fuller. Bear Shola still has some water left as I write.

Before I leave you to enjoy this magazine let me ask you to please think of one thing You personally can do to make a difference in your city and country. We all love to talk about the problems we face. Remember there is always Something we can Do to make a difference.

- Zarreen Babu

And We Said.. Nov-07

Let there be light… what would we do without it. Diwali, the festival of lights, means a row of lights. It is the beginning of how most homes in India are lit up for the festival season. The diya’s are our tradition. Tiny little mud pots when kept together in rows or groups, spread so much light, cheer and joy. It is the same with candles which follow during Christmas time. However these very tiny lamps of fire can cause danger if caution is not exercised. So, along with the DFO, I reiterate the importance of being careful on how you use these lights around, so as not to cause fires in your homes or thou the forest around us.

As you will read in this magazine a lot of awareness is being spread by concerned officials and citizens. You many not live in kodai but the awareness of garbage, fires, and importance of trees and nature are equally your responsibility wherever you live and wherever you go. No one can spread a better message of awareness than what is done in California. Yet, they again have had a disastrous fire. It is up to you and me to prevent this.

- Zarreen Babu

And We Said.. Oct-07

We are entering the ‘Season’ time. No,I am not talking about the Kodai season but the time of the year when we start sending and receiving ‘Seasons Greetings’. Idd, Dussehra, Diwali, Christmas and then the New Year. This time of the year most of us plan to “give” and many plan to “receive”. It’s the giving to the poor, or giving bakshish or bonuses to those who work for you or provide and kind of service. I think the poor make the most money at this time and hopefully plan to spend it wisely over the next year. Do they? I wonder. I also wonder if there are any of you that have innovative ways of ‘giving’, so that it is meaningful, lasting and satisfying. Would you write and tell me so I can share with our other readers?

It is for this reason that I have included some tid bits relating to religion. Religion is something so personal, yet today it is biggest tool for the politicians to use to start unrest. What is sad is that you and I follow them. We let this man made religion come between us. God never meant it to be this way. So let us think about that.

- Zarreen Babu

And We Said.. Sep-07

Lately I have been struggling a lot with environmental issues. This is specially so because I live in this beautiful place – KODAIKANAL. I have been the envy of many a tourist, a first time visitor, who come here to enjoy the peace and quiet of the hills, the trees and the calm lake. Till today I was patting myself on the back, about having brought up my children in a ‘free from pollution’ environment. But I would be lying if I said that slowly this concern of the destruction of our environment has not been bothering me. In the past eleven years, the city has grown. That’s just it, it is becoming a city, and the quaint town look is disappearing. Humans are invading the forests, building elaborate homes, spreading garbage, inviting more and more transports to feed their need for the material things. Pollution in every form is spreading; noise, petrol, garbage, you name it. This is done in the name of prosperity. No one has the time to explain ‘the true’ dangers. Everyone is blaming the neighbor or the government. Are we ourselves not to blame? What have ‘WE’ done to save our KODAIKANAL?

This issue has some good articles and thoughts on the environment. I hope you will really pay attention to what is happening? I hope you will think for yourself and not be taken in by general propaganda, swept by the tourist inflow, blinded by the material benefits. I hope you will make a pledge to ‘do something’ by keeping in mind why the tourists come to Kodaikanal in the first place.

I have tried to give you an insight into what the schools are doing today. Even the smallest of schools know the meaning of Independence Day, but do they know how to use their Independence effectively?
Let us then work towards saving this ‘nature’ that God has provided us with and not destroying it. Let us begin today.

- Zarreen Babu
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