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Showing posts from January, 2009

Creating Ourselves

Much has been written, and spoken, about the historic inauguration of Barack Obama as the first African-American President of the United States. But I thought Mr.Obama said it best himself, in the article he wrote for Time magazine in 2005: "“...a larger, fundamental element of American life — the enduring belief that we can constantly remake ourselves to fit our larger dreams.”

Birding at Kumarakom

We'd heard so much about Kumarakom, and the thousands of birds that make this area their home every winter, and we decided that a trip to Kerala would not be complete without a visit to this avian resort.

As soon as we entered, we were told by the staff at the gate that we had come at the wrong time and that we should come in May-June for the best bird sightings. We were then hustled into purchasing a "Safari tour" which for most of the time consisted of a Kerala State Tourism Development Corporation employee in a loud motorboat scaring the birds away.

A few houseboats on the Vembanad lake cruised by, fully equipped with satellite TV dishes, Air Conditioners and deck chairs. In the peak December holiday season they rent for about Rs.12,000 per day.

Once we crossed the houseboats, and cut the motor, we got sight of some of the birds we had come to see.

The walking tour, which took us through dense vegetation showed some birds and marketing that we had not seen earlier. One o…