Month: January 2021

Road Trip: Day 4 – Manipal and Hoode

Salu Marada Thimmakka Tree Park – Manipal

On the morning of the 4th day of our trip to Manipal, I took the children to a couple of local attractions. First up was Arbi Falls. A small stream emerges out from a hill behind a temple and cascades down a series of boulders. The flow of water at this time of the year was barely more than a trickle, but the setting amidst a thick canopy of trees was beautiful. I was also lucky to spot a Malabar Whistling Thrush here.

Vaishnavi Durga Temple – Arbi Falls is behind this temple

After making our way back from the falls, we made our way to the Salu Marada Thimmakka Tree Park. This is a urban park, situated on the outskirts of Manipal, adjacent to the T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI). The place was almost deserted when we walked in around a little before noon. The park is dotted with informative plaques about the ecology of the area. There are also a few play areas dotted around and the kids had a blast exploring the place. Among the birds I spotted were a juvenile Asian Paradise Flycatcher with a full-length brown tail and a Common Hawk-Cuckoo, or Brainfever Bird.

After lunch, we decided to hit the beaches. First up was Kodi Bengare Beach. This is situated at the end of a small peninsula where the Suvarna river meets the Arabian Sea. The drive through the thin peninsula was spectacular, with the sea on one side and the river on another and the road shaded by coconut trees.

If the drive was beautiful, the beach was even more so. The sand extends round the tip of the peninsula, so one can walk from the sea facing beach to the riverine beach. The sand was spotless and the waters very clear and clean. The only downside is that one has to clamber down a rock wall to get to the beach.

After spending some time on the sands here, we drove to Hoode Beach. Again, the beach was truly spectacular, a long expanse of golden sand framed by coconut trees. We reached here around 5 pm, which was the perfect time to observe the sun setting over the sea. bringing to an end a wonderful 4 days in a truly beautiful part of our country.

Monday Reads – 25/01

Photo by Matheus Natan on

The first month of the new year is almost over. And here are some interesting articles that I came across last week…

He may have found the key to the origins of life. So why have so few heard of him? – Over the past year or so, I have come across a few stories of relatively unknown scientists who are only now, belatedly, getting recognition for their work. This article is of one such scientist – Hungarian biologist Tibor Ganti.

The Advice Epidemic – Giving others ‘advice’ is a ‘noble’ gesture, right? Well, this article argues that it is not. Read on to find out why.

How the pandemic could redefine our productivity obsession – “Accelerated changes to work-life routines are leading some people to radically rethink their approach to productivity – and even change the quality of their lives.

The car, reinvented. From scratch – The car is one of those inventions that’s barely changed in design in over a century. However, that is fast changing with the increasing popularity of electric (and soon, autonomous) cars. This article, by an ex-Tesla engineer, lists some of the key changes that we are seeing.

10 mid-century modern destinations around the world – Travel might still be some way off for many of us. But we can always dream about and plan our next trip! This article has suggestions for people who might be interested in mid 20th-century design.

Monday Reads – 18/01

Photo by Abdullah Ghatasheh on

Articles across a few topics that I have a keen interest in:

5 consumer truths to get your marketing ready for 2021 – Kicking things off this week is a marketing insights article from Google. ‘To get ready for 2021 and beyond, marketers will need to embrace agility over certainty, make data and analytics part of their business process and provide customers with a more personal and seamless experience — all while reassuring and reminding people that businesses are getting the basics right.

Why do humans embrace rituals? – A fascinating look at how rituals might have evolved. ‘Now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, humans are again adopting new behaviors in response to a threat, although it’s too early to tell whether any of these behaviors will become truly ritualized.

Why we stop discovering new music at age 30 – I came across this article via a LinkedIn post where the poster asked the question of how many of us are still listening to music that we grew up listening to, or are we actively seeking out and enjoying contemporary music. I used to be one of those listening to ‘good, old music’, but of late, I have started listening to music from contemporary artists, and enjoying it. This article explains why it is so difficult for many of us to ‘unlearn and relearn’ when it comes to music.

A New Population of Blue Whales Was Discovered Hiding in the Indian Ocean – It might seem strange to talk about the largest mammal to have ever lived on Earth to go into ‘hiding’. But Blue Whales are very difficult to study as they usually spend their times far away from human settlements. Interestingly, this new population was discovered through their ‘song’.

The Great Grift – Another thought-provoking hard-hitting article from Professor Scott Galloway wraps up this week’s set. Happy reading!

Monday Reads – 11/01

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A few interesting articles I came across recently:

Secrets about People – I will admit that I had not heard of Rene Girard till I came across this fascinating introduction to his work. Among other things, it explains why spending more time on social media could make us more miserable, why hierarchies developed, and why a “CEO” will never be as effective as a “founder”.

“Jootsing”: The Key to Creativity – “Jootsing” means “jumping out of the system.” And this article looks at how we can apply this concept to foster creativity. As the article states, “If your schedule is crammed with only room for what’s productive in an obvious way, you’ll have a hard time seeing outside of the existing system.

Did Google and Facebook kill the media revenue model? – There can be very little doubt that the traditional “print” media has been one of the most disrupted industries due to the internet. This article explores the relationship between the media industry and Big Tech.

How ’15-minute cities’ will change the way we socialise – Read more about The ’15-minute city’ – a new model for urban planning that is looking to improve quality of life by creating cities where everything a resident needs can be reached within a quarter of an hour by foot or bike.

12 ways to travel sustainably in the new year – If you, like millions of people, are hoping to resume traveling like ‘BC” (Before Coronavirus), then you might want to consider some of the suggestions in this article.

Road Trip: Day 3 – Mangalore and Surathkal

On the third day of our road trip to south coastal Karnataka, we drove down to Mangalore to visit some relatives for lunch. The drive from Manipal to Mangalore on the National Highway was a beautiful one. The sea is never far away and one can smell the ocean in the air. Throw in swaying coconut palms and the warm humid air and it’s just about perfect!

In the evening, we visited Surathkal beach. And again, it was just about perfect, with extremely clean sands backing on to coconut palms, warm clean water and the sun setting on the horizon. Kids had a blast splashing about in the waves.

It was dark by the time we headed back to the hotel, but it was a good day out.