Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year 2012




The story of the Christmas Plum Cake & the XMas Tree

One of the last few posts of 2011.


The story of the Christmas Plum Cake & the XMas Tree. The Christmas Plum Cake is a.k.a Christmas Rum Cake as I love it overflowing with rum, something on the lines of the liquor filled chocolates.

A Photo Essay on the making of a Christmas Plum Cake and the XMas Tree.


Few sample photographs here – the entire story / photo essay here -



Dates, Dry Fruits, Cashews

Rum & Plum Cake



The entire story / photo essay here -

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bangalore Ration Card Online Registration

Bangalore government has launched the online registration (subject to verification and approval later) for ration cards, it was launched today (my guess).

 Education - WW2 Ration Card

If you have a ration card, it will help

Ø To obtain a LPG gas connection from the government vendors.

Ø As a Address proof




1) Go to and click on the ‘Click here to apply for new ration card

2) A 3-4 page form opens up, try filling it up using IE, even if you choose English some fields are in Kannada, use the translate to English feature in Chrome.

3) Some drop downs in Kannada don’t get translated even after using the Chrome feature, for them use and finally submit it and you can save the acknowledgement that gets generated at the end.

Let’s get the early mover advantage.

Hope it helps.




ps: Copyright of the pictures belong to the respective owners / websites

Sunday, October 02, 2011

pInk cIty & a few hours

Spend a few hours in Jaipur, here is a short photo essay.

Here is the entire link,


Albert Court

Hawa Mahal / Palace of the Breeze

Jal Mahal / Water Palace

Snake Charmers



It is October 2nd today -

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Friday, September 16, 2011

Agumbe - Rainforest Rendezvous Recurs II

Completed my annual pilgrimage tour to Agumbe rainforest, here is the link to the photo essay.


Would love to hear your comments and critique.

Sample Photographs

Water & Water

The frogs view

The masterpiece

Cheers, Monish

Monday, August 01, 2011

Contradictory proverbs:

Credit to Srikant from my TM Club who compiled this list for one of our TM Sessions.

Contradictory proverbs:

· If at first you don't succeed, try, try again 
Don't beat your head against a brick wall

· Absence makes the heart grow fonder 
Out of sight, out of mind

· You're never too old to learn 
you can't teach an old dog new trick

· Don't judge a book by its cover 
Clothes make the man

· Birds of a feather flock together 
Opposites attract

· The pen is mightier than the sword 
Actions speak louder than words

· The squeaking wheel gets the grease 
Silence is golden

· Many hands make light work 
Too many cooks spoil the broth

· It's better to be safe than sorry 
Nothing ventured, nothing gained

And my mom added to the list :)

Practice makes a man perfect but all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

I call these Indianisms

A forwarded email on the various Indianisms that we use…


"Do one thing ... take this piece of chalk ..."

We are a unique species, aren’t we? Not humans. Indians, I mean. No other race speaks or spells like we do.

Take greetings for example.

A friendly clerk asking me for my name is apt to start a conversation with, “What is your good name?” As if I hold that sort of information close to my heart and only divulge my evil pseudonym. Bizarre.

I call these Indianisms.

Which got me thinking about a compilation, a greatest hits of the most hilarious Indianisms out there. And here they are. The most common ones, and my favorites among them.

1. 'Passing out'

When you complete your studies at an educational institution, you graduate from that institution.

You do not "pass out" from that institution.

To "pass out" refers to losing consciousness, like after you get too drunk, though I’m not sure how we managed to connect graduating and intoxication.

Oh wait … of course, poor grades throughout the year could lead to a sudden elation on hearing you’ve passed all of your exams, which could lead to you actually "passing out," but this is rare at best.

2. 'Kindly revert'

One common mistake we make is using the word revert to mean reply or respond.

Revert means "to return to a former state."

I can’t help thinking of a sarcastic answer every time this comes up.

“Please revert at the earliest.”

“Sure, I’ll set my biological clock to regress evolutionarily to my original primitive hydrocarbon state at 1 p.m. today."

3. 'Years back'

If it happened in the past, it happened years ago, not "years back."

Given how common this phrase is, I’m guessing the first person who switched "ago" for "back" probably did it years back. See what I mean?

And speaking of "back," asking someone to use the backside entrance sounds so wrong.

“So when did you buy this car?”

“Oh, years back.”

“Cool, can you open the backside? I’d like to get a load in.”

4. 'Doing the needful'

Try to avoid using the phrase "do the needful." It went out of style decades ago, about the time the British left.

Using it today indicates you are a dinosaur, a dinosaur with bad grammar.

You may use the phrase humorously, to poke fun at such archaic speech, or other dinosaurs.

“Will you do the needful?”

“Of course, and I’ll send you a telegram to let you know it's done too.”

5. 'Discuss about'

“What shall we discuss about today?”

“Let’s discuss about politics. We need a fault-ridden topic to mirror our bad grammar.”

You don't "discuss about" something; you just discuss things.

The word "discuss" means to "talk about". There is no reason to insert the word "about" after "discuss."

That would be like saying "talk about about." Which "brings about" me to my next peeve.

6. 'Order for'

"Hey, let’s order for a pizza."

"Sure, and why not raid a library while we’re about it.”

When you order something, you "order" it, you do not "order for" it.

Who knows when or why we began placing random prepositions after verbs?

Perhaps somewhere in our history someone lost a little faith in the "doing" word and added "for" to make sure their order would reach them. They must have been pretty hungry.

7. 'Do one thing'

When someone approaches you with a query, and your reply begins with the phrase "do one thing," you're doing it wrong.

"Do one thing" is a phrase that does not make sense.

It is an Indianism. It is only understood in India. It is not proper English. It is irritating.

There are better ways to begin a reply. And worst of all, any person who starts a sentence with "do one thing" invariably ends up giving you at least five things to do.

“My computer keeps getting hung.”

“Do one thing. Clear your history. Delete your cookies. Defrag your hardrive. Run a virus check. Restart your computer... .”

8. 'Out of station'

“Sorry I can’t talk right now, I’m out of station.”

“What a coincidence, Vijay, I’m in a station right now.”

Another blast from the past, this one, and also, extremely outdated.

What's wrong with "out of town" or "not in Mumbai" or my favorite "I'm not here"?

9. The big sleep

"I’m going to bed now, sleep is coming."

"OK, say hi to it for me."

While a fan of anthropomorphism, I do have my limits. "Sleep is coming" is taking things a bit too far.

Your life isn’t a poem. You don’t have to give body cycles their own personalities.

10. 'Prepone'

“Let’s prepone the meeting from 11 a.m. to 10 a.m.”

Because the opposite of postpone just has to be prepone, right?

"Prepone" is probably the most famous Indianism of all time; one that I’m proud of, and that I actually support as a new entry to all English dictionaries.

Because it makes sense. Because it fills a gap. Because we need it. We’re Indians, damn it. Students of chaos theory.

We don’t have the time to say silly things like "could you please bring the meeting forward."

Prepone it is.

There are many more pure grammatical "gems" in what we call Indian English. Perhaps in time I’ll list some more. And perhaps in the near future, we’ll get better at English.

Till then, kindly adjust.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Jungle Lodges Features Monish Matthias

Lucky to have Jungle Lodges feature me in their blog and showcase few photographs shot in Bandipur during April this year 2011.


Article - 1

Jungle Lodges Features my photographs - part 1


Article - 2

Jungle Lodges Features my photographs - part 2


The original article with videos on my blog


Have a look and do share your comments,




Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bandipur - An Unplanned Getaway

Had been to Bandipur National Reserve last month and spend the weekend at JLR. Bandipur the land of tigers and other majestic animals.

Here is the entire trip report with photographs and videos, made a video of a Streak Throated Woodpecker Courtship.


Monday, March 14, 2011

[Educational Field Research] If you are a parent or a teacher we just need 5 minutes of your time.

A few friends are doing a market research for a potential start up, please help.

Can you please fill this up if you are a parent or teacher and forward it on to all your friends.

----- Forwarded Message ----
Sent: Mon, 14 March, 2011 9:25:40
Subject: [Educational Field Research] If you are a parent or a teacher we just need 5 minutes of your time.

Mark Twain once said I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

Sir Ken Robinson always maintained that education in many ways dislocates many children from their natural talent.

We need your help for a market survey that's being done to evaluate the quality of field/educational trips conducted by schools for their respective students. We assure you that your five minutes spent here will be well spent towards a goxd change in this area. We thereby request you to fill in the details of your child's excursion trips organized by your child's school. If you have another child please don't think twice open the link again and provide the additional inputs, the more information the merrier.

You could fill this form if you are a parent or if you are a teacher.

The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop. Mark Twain

Please ask your child if they would like to share what they missed, or what would they have loved to have.

We have already taken 30 seconds of your time, please click on the link below and provide your valuable information (please remember the more you tell us the more you will help us).

PS: Please remember to forward this to all your friends who are either parents or teachers, the more information we have the more effective our analysis can be.

Trust us your few minutes can make a lot of difference in the way your Child sees this World.

Warm Regards,
Market Research Team
(EEE - Educative Exploratory Excursions)

Einstein was four years old before he could speak and seven before he could read. Someone once said of him: "He doesn't wear socks and forgets to cut his hair. Could be mentally retarded."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Snakes, A Love Story

Recently had been to a 3 day Herpetology Workshop with Gerry Martin, loved it.

Do visit the link for the trip report and the entire set of photographs – here

Naja Naja / Spectacled Cobra

In the rice fields


Sunday, February 13, 2011

National Geographic Daily Dozen - Agumbe Vine Snake

What Exactly is the Nat Geo's - The Daily Dozen?
The explanation on their website says - "Check back weekdays to see the editor's selections. From the Daily Dozen, a selection of photos will be published monthly in National Geographic magazine."

I am sure there are tons of photographs that are submitted everyday under the 'your shot' category and the great editorial team goes through the photographs and have a dozen photographs finalized for each week of the month. I am really glad they selected a photograph of mine shot in August 2010 in Agumbe, very close to the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (ARRS), it is a Green Vine Snake - Oxybelis fulgidus.

This photograph featured in the daily dozen of National Geographic for the week -3 of January 2010


So as I share the photograph I thought I must share a few facts collected from several sources on the web and offline.

> A vine snake is a reptile it is about 1.5-2 meters.
> A vine snake is a remarkably slender snake. It is almost the skinniest snake in the world.
> They lie amid the branches of forest trees, and are almost indistinguishable from the abundant creepers and vines.
> They have sharp rear fangs with mild venom. They are slow moving predators, but in the morning they are very active they snack mainly lizards (sometimes baby 'tiny' birds which are alone in the nest).
> Only two species of green snake exist, known commonly as the rough and the smooth green snake. Five subspecies of green snakes exist, and all are distinguishable by their characteristic bright green color that allows them to easily blend into grass and other vegetation, protecting them from predators and even human detection.
> They track prey using their tongues to detect scents of prey and can even capture prey flying through the air. Green snakes of both species hunt during daylight hours and rest at night.
> A vine snake can extend half of its body into midair when crossing a branch.
> Snake’s scales are made up of something called Keratin, which is the same thing that our fingernails are made from.
> Vine snakes are remarkable because they appear to have binocular vision.
>The green vine snake stays high on trees and looks down to the ground. When a mouse, lizard or nest is found the snake follows the prey a short distance and smells it carefully. If the snake is content with it, it bites into the head and lifts the prey 20–40 cm from the ground. With this the snakes prevents the prey from using its physical strength.
> The vine snake has two larger teeth at the back of its mouth; these teeth permit the toxic saliva to penetrate the wounds and to immobilize the prey. Then it is rapidly swallowed. Once the prey is completely in the snakes body, the vine snake searches for a resting place, usually in the highest point of a tree.
> They usually concentrate on a slow moving prey and concentrate on it for as much as 10 - 20 minutes and keep coming lower to the ground towards its prey and suddenly strikes and gets its prey.

Myth: Vine Snakes are commonly found. It is greatly feared and almost always killed when seen. In many areas, it is unwisely believed that Vine Snakes will nip at a person’s eyes and peck them out. In fact when I around 12 - 14 years and I was in my native place Nagercoil a district in Southern India, my cousins and me saw a green vine snake and instantly few people told me to shield my eyes and move away as they would nip at our eyes, I believed it and moved away, now I can only smile at the myth.

The shots:

The look of intent

Vine Snake Peeping Out

Crouching for attack

Vine Snake Peeping out


PS: Watch out for my article on the herpetology workshop by Gerry Martin with pictures of several kinds of Snakes.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Furs Fins And Feathers Agumbe Article

Very happy to say that few pictures from my Agumbe Rainforest Expedition with Amogh has been published in the Magazine -'Furs Fins & Feathers' January 2011 Edition. Few quotes attributed to me are also present. Attaching the scanned version of the article, hope you like it.

PDF Document
My Article - Furs Fins & Feathers Magazine

The Link of the pdf download is here

The entire Agumbe Rainforest Trip Report with pictures and video is here


Monday, January 03, 2011

Generosity Grace & 2011

Just encountered a small incident and wanted to share it with you all,

I went and bought an Elaneer-neer version - tender coconut with no coconut version, the vendor was sitting by the road side with a towel on his head to protect himself from the surprisingly scorching heat of Bangalore. He cut one and accidentally spilled a little juice out maybe 20%, I wasn't perturbed and I started drinking the juice. He quickly started cutting another small tender coconut and I noticed that I was the only guy there, he offered it to me and I asked him WHY? he said Sir, by mistake I spilled the juice from the first one and hence cut the second one for you. I was pleasantly surprised by his extremely cultured behavior, by his superior customer engagement skills or must I say as in Management parlance Customer Delight, by his generosity (from a man whose margins are in numbers of coconut inventory held / sold), by his grace. Maybe like in the book alchemist, these are all hidden messages for all of us to grab, adopt, learn & use.

In that note may I wish you all a healthy wealthy prosperous successful joy filled active new year 2011. May we all be generous and filled with grace in all activities that we do.

Ray o Ray