Gone are the days of walking down the corner shops to fetch the milk packets only to be rebuffed by the customary out of stock reply by the shop keeper! Next time when you have unexpected guests at home and need to replenish milk supply, all you need to do is to put the smart card into the milk vending machines which serve pasteurized milk packets or curd as per your choice! Now you have machines that not just offers money but also pasteurized milk packets and curd. Just insert the smart card and select milk or curd any time you want it for your home.
Milma is installing Any-Time Milk-vending Machines (ATMs) as a pilot project some cities in Kerala to provide milk to its customers. The first of this kind of milk vending machines will be installed in five selected residential locales in the city, which will be later expanded to the all residential areas after evaluating the success of the trial project. The resident association will be given this machine at a subsidized rates of around 75000.
The users can get milk and curd packet round the clock from this machine using the electronic smart card to be used in the ATMs. The machine also has SMS alert to the packaging and supplying unit of Milma to ensure prompt replenishment of the stocks. The agency is also planning to enhance the milk supply through French bovine breeds, which can yield up to 60 litres of milk per cow.
Bastion Bungalow, which at present serves as the official seat of the Sub-Collector will soon house the Renaissance Museum. Bastion bungalow built in 1667 flaunts an Indo-Dutch architecture. True to its name, this structure is situated on the site of Stromsburg Bastion of the Dutch fort. The Spherical shaped Bungalow with its tiled roof and sprawling verandas and wooden annexes was declared as a protected site by the State Archeological Department years back. The bungalow has always been a popular shooting location for regional movies as well.
The ‘Renaissance Museum’, which will be the first of its kind will be set up at the recently renovated Bastion Bungalow at Fort Kochi will showcase the renaissance movement. It will have a rich collection of social, cultural and political movements that took place from the early 1800 to the mid 1980s.
The museum will have a collection of paintings, artifacts, drawings, scriptures and an audio-video library that will be part of the museum. The museum will have a great historical significance as it sheds light to the dark era of untouchability and the reformation movement of Renaissance that helped to put an end to it.
The museum will depict the lives and work of some of the greatest social reformers like Sree Narayana Guru, Dr.Palpu and Mannathu Padmanabhan among others. This museum in Fort Kochi will add to the heritage significance of Fort Kochi. Though this museum will be focusing on the Kerala Renaissance movement at present, later on Indian and European Renaissance elements will be included in this museum. The new generation can draw a lot of useful information on the life styles and culture of the Renaissance days and get connected with the past.
Recently I went on a weekend visit to the Hill Palace Museum in Tripunithura which lies about 12 Km from Ernakulam. It was really enjoyable and mind-blowing when you are with a group of friends who are ready to enjoy to the maximum.
We five explored the nook and corners of the Palace, buildings close-by and the forest behind it. At first we hurried to visit the Palace Museum where we found a long queue of visitors waiting their turn. So, the lady who keeps all the visitors’ footwear in racks asked us to visit rest of the things that do not need any restrictions and be back before the museum closes for the day. So, we hurried down to visit the Deer Park, where we found interesting herds of deer. And, then we found a path leading to the wilderness behind.
Travelling through the forest route that encircled the boundary of the property was really interesting and it was the thing we enjoyed the most. It is a rare opportunity to explore a little forest that lies so close to big Ernakulam city. It is said that the land surrounding the Hill Palace has rare medicinal plants. Lovers roaming inside the forest became an interesting topic for us and soon we were giggling away. It was fun swinging from the solid roots that hung from the big old trees like Tarzan. After a refreshing yet scary walk through the forest we went back for the Museum visit. This time there was no queue and we could easily get in.
To ensure high security, they confiscated our bags and mobile phones. It was interesting to see the things on display that were once part of the life of our ancestors. As we walked through long verandahs and stairs of the Palace, we looking over our shoulders to see if ‘Nagavalli‘ was following us (It was here the famous Malayalam film Manichitrathazhu starring Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi and Shobhana was shot. Most of the Malayalees know this).
The architecture of the time the palace is made is really amazing (Hill Palace was built in 1865 by the Maharaja Of Cochin using their personal wealth). The view from the palace’s balcony is really stunning. We can see the garden which is maintained and designed artistically, and the view of the present city beyond.
The museum displayed 14 categories of exhibits including murals, paintings, sculptures in stone and plaster of Paris, manuscripts, inscriptions, carvings etc. The collections displayed in the museum are mainly from the Cochin Royal Family. Some other exhibits are from Travancore Royal House, Paliam Devaswom and from the department of Archaeology. It has a gold crown embedded with precious stones and many valuable coins, ornaments, majestic beds and samples of epigraphy.
When the museum visit got over, we hurried out to see if anything was left unexplored. After taking a few snaps of ourselves in different poses, the last thing we enjoyed was taking a turn on a real swing (this time it was not tree roots). There were numerous other visitors including newly-weds, families with children and groups of friends, like us.
It was both enjoyable and informative to take a weekend trip to the Hill Palace, Tripunitura. If you have made plans to enjoy, get set go!
Kochi, the metro city is coming up with relatively new entrants and could pocket a number of international travellers and domestic travellers towards this tropical destination. With Kerala‘s biggest cosmopolitan area offering such unprecedented shopping and recreation competition, let me give you a few slices of Cochin pie for those readers who would like to know more about its happenings.
- Love to hangout with friends, shop and enjoy an Ice cream? Coffee Cube, an awesome place in convent Jn., gives an opportunity to enjoy a free Ice cream/Drink coupon to all those who shop for more than Rs 250 at the following places (Archies, Mix n Match, Alphonsa, Gals, Legs, Much More). At Coffee Cube, you can enjoy the splendid ambiance and the choices are many and will make you drool with confusion where to begin and what! Offer valid only till end of September.
- One of the best movies that hit Cochin screens in recent times -Inception makes a mark with the viewers. Anybody who hasn’t watched it, please take a ticket from Little Shenoy’s- timings: 6:15 and 9:00 pm or Cinemax at 3:30 and 8:15. This contemporary sci-fi action film manages to engross you with its complexities and will have you at the edge of your seat.
- A new bus service started by K.S.R.T.C, ‘Thiru Kochi’ bringing hope to travellers – you can now avoid the nuisance from the many Private buses with no clear markings for ladies seats. ‘Thiru Kochi’ is exactly what is needed for Kochi – may set a new standard for the many private buses at Kochi, hopefully.
- This is something many of you would not like! Don’t scratch your heads; you need to do it to make Cochin a better place. ‘Chlorophyll’, a new project is set to save the environment from the current pathetic situation and regain the pristine green habitat of ours.
Here they say-
“Volunteer for Green!! Volunteer for Future!!”
Chlorophyll requires active and passionate souls to work for environment. Kindly share your interest by mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is not an objective historian’s job to collect facts to suit theories. A true historian is a judge and not a lawyer… politicians can act only as lawyers.– Prof. A.Sreedhara Menon.
Professor A.Sreedhara Menon, the Chronicler of Kerala, is no more…
Born in 1925, Alappat Sreedhara Menon had made his mark as one of the most notable of historians from Kerala.
As an academician, as the editor of eight volumes of the Kerala Gazetteers, as the editorial member of journals like Journal of Indian History and Journal of Kerala Studies and above all as the author of many notable books on the history of Kerala, A.Sreedhara Menon shone and has left his mark, a real indelible kind of mark in history.
It’s sad to think that A.Sreedhara Menon, whose books have enlightened many a student of history and who dared to refuse to write the history of the freedom struggle ascribing to the perspective of politicians and political parties, is no more. (He had refused to write the history of the freedom struggle for the Indian National Congress and did not hesitate to make bold and objective statements while chronicling the history of the freedom struggle on the request of the leftist government, thereby inviting the displeasure of the leftist parties too).
A.Sreedhara Menon, who passed away today at the age of 84, was a recipient of the Padma Bhushan and many other notable awards and acclamations.
Karmakerala pays homage to A.Sreedhara Menon, who, as per his Padma Bhushan citation, was “a distinguished academician from Kerala who has rendered meritorious service to the cause of education and Literature”.
There were news reports coming up in dailies recently that there are demands about re-naming ‘Kerala‘ as ‘Keralam’ and that the State Government is thinking seriously about the issue, favouring it of course. If ‘Bombay’ can become ‘Mumbai’ and ‘Madras’ can become ‘Chennai’, then why cannot ‘Kerala’ become ‘Keralam’, that seems to be the general sentiment.
Anyway, good thing indeed! Let ‘Kerala’ become ‘Keralam’. I am now eagerly waiting for the day when ‘Kerala’ becomes ‘Keralam’. Of course I’ve got ample reasons to justify my wait. Let me share some of them with you.
I believe that when ‘Kerala’ becomes ‘Keralam’, the following changes will happen, as sort of a natural consequence:
- Those people who still love to call ‘Thiruvananthapuram‘, as ‘Trivandrum’, ‘Kollam‘ as ‘Quilon’ and ‘Kochi‘ as ‘Cochin’ despite the government rechristening these towns will start calling these towns by their un-anglicized names.
- People who want their kids to forget Malayalam and be proficient in English would start loving their mother tongue once the state is renamed.
- Hartals and strikes, especially those ones that incur financial loss and cause damage to public property, wont happen in ‘Keralam’, unlike ‘Kerala’.
- ‘Keralam’ will have a better government machinery that takes care of the needs of the general public and not those of the affluent.
- ‘Keralam’ will have better roads with no pot-holes at all. I lost the mudguard of my bike recently, courtesy an abyss of a pot-hole on Kochi’s arterial road, just in front of the office of a prominent Malayalam daily in Kaloor. Well, that has happened in ‘Kerala’. I won’t be losing mud-guards in ‘Keralam’, I am sure.
- ‘Keralam’ will have people with better civic sense- people who don’t swear and curse in public and would refrain from mouthing obscenities at public places. They won’t spit out from running buses and wouldn’t dump garbage on public roads.
- ‘Keralam’ will have people who are more environment-friendly, and trees, rivers, lakes and canals will be preserved and conserved very meticulously.
- ‘Keralam’ will have cops who know how to behave, government officials who reach offices and leave offices on time and do their work with all punctuality, without ever resorting to corruption or bribery.
- ‘Keralam’ won’t see paddy fields disappearing and new multi-storeyed flats and apartments coming up. ‘Keralam’ won’t have wells that dry up during the summer months. There won’t be roads that get submerged in water when it rains for a mere half an hour. The drainage system would be simply marvellous and perfect.
- We’ll have autorickshaws and taxis which we can get into without being afraid that they’d fleece us om the behest of rising fuel prices.
- We’ll have in ‘Keralam’ schools and colleges where better ‘quality’ education is given. We’ll then have English graduates and post-graduates who can read and write English at least fairly well.
- There will be a renaissance in the field of arts and literature, with more of ‘quality stuff’ coming out and our new generation more inclined to read and think.
- I am so much for ‘Keralam’ as it will have less of caste and religion based discrimination, which of course is there very much in ‘Kerala’.
- Politics too would get purer, with politicians all ready to serve the people and their interests; there won’t be any attempt at mixing religion and politics.
Hey.. I know this list would go on. So many are the advantages of rechristening ‘Kerala’ as ‘Keralam’. And the most interesting thing is that all these changes would come into effect the very moment the government declares ‘Kerala’ as being changed to ‘Keralam’.
I just can’t wait for that any longer. ‘Keralam’ is going to be so great, so wonderful..and so ‘dream’like.
Nilambur- the fabled land of the teak forests and the legendary rivers like Chaliyar, Kanjirampuzha and Karimpuzha, is all set to be explored as never before. The Kerala Tourism Department is going to launch a special promotion programme for the destination of Nilambur to develop it into a popular ecotourism spot in the state, in the near future.
The proposed Nilambur tourism promotion project would comprise of the beautiful landscapes and monuments including Chaliyar Mukku, Nedumkayam, Adyanpara waterfalls, the teak museum, Kozhippara waterfalls, Connolly’s Plot, suspension bridge across Chaliyar, old DFO’s bungalow, KFRI teak sub-centre and bioresource plot in addition to the forest divisions of North and South Nilambur
Conolly’s Plot is regarded as the oldest teak plantation in the world and is home to the biggest planted teak wood, with the 46.5 metre height and 4.2 metres girth. The now prestigious teak plantation was developed in the 18th century by the then Malabar Collector H V Conolly, which is still being conserved for research purposes. The suspension bridge that spans 143-metre in length cross Chaliyar river connects the Conolly’s Plot with the main land and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Nilambur
Adventure tourists and nature enthusiasts would love to trek along the largely unexplored walkway along Karimpuzha through the dense forest at Nedumkayam. The visitors can also see the grave of Dawson, the British forest engineer who constructed the Girdar Bridge across Karimpuzha and also the remnants of the abandoned Elephant Training Camps in the forest area.
In connection with this, the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) is organizing a tour operators’ meet prior to the launch the special destination programme, on August 14 and 15 at Nilambur, which will be attended by hotels, tour operators and tourist guides. Nilambur ecotourist project will unravel the mystical charm of the Nilambur forests and the visitors would have much more to explore, experience and enjoy during their Kerala holidays in the days to come.
Mangrove Forests are lately in the news in Kerala since CPI (M) got involved with the establishment of a Mangrove theme park in Valapattanam of Kannur district. The theme park is now shut following a controversy. The Kerala Coastal Zone Management Ministry ordered its closure on the charges that it was functioning in violation of Coastal Regulatory Zone(CRZ).
CPI (M) is very keen on developing Kannur, don’t know whether their sole intention is development or is it a mere political agenda hidden behind it? Their first initiative was the Parassinikadavu Water Theme Park. The Mangrove Park is under the Pappinisseri Eco-Tourism Society in which CPI (M) Central Committy member E.P. Jayarajan serves as the advisor. The park is located in the 12 acres close to the Valapattanam Bridge and towards the east side of the Valappattanam River.
The park was beautified with a walk-way through the Mangroves, bright lamps that’ll make the night to look like a day, colourful water fountain, special zone for children’s entertainment, fish tanks, conference hall and small food huts. Bridges, two jetties and an observation tower in the river were also built along with it. The owners have already spend a sum of one crore for the park and is expecting 5 crores as expenditure in the next five years.
Although they have established the park saying that it was for the development and protection of Mangroves and the different species live in it, it’s clear that the park is in no way going to help it. Not only won’t the park help in the Mangroves protection but it can completely endanger the ecosystem of the living species here.
How mangrove forests help our environment?
Mangrove forests are naturally resilient, having withstood severe storms and changing tides for many millennia. Mangroves have specially adapted aerial and salt-filtering roots and salt-excreting leaves which enable them to occupy the saline wetlands where other plant life cannot survive.
- Mangroves’ protective buffer zone helps shield coastlines from storm damage and wave action, minimizing damage to property and losses of life from hurricanes and storms.
- Mangroves have been useful in treating effluent, as the plants absorb excess nitrates and phosphates, thereby preventing contamination of near-shore waters.
- Mangroves absorb carbon dioxide and store carbon in their sediments, thereby lessening the impacts of global warming; and help in the protection of associated marine ecosystems
- Sea grass beds and coral reefs depend on healthy mangroves to filter sediments and provide nursery grounds for resident species.
Mangrove Forests are largely facing deforestation. However, mangrove forests are treated as “wastelands,” or useless swamps. This mistaken view has made it easier to exploit mangrove forests as cheap and unprotected sources of land and water. Mangrove Forests were largely destroyed in the name of unsustainable developments like:
- Shrimp aquaculture
- Charcoal production and logging
- Oil exploration and extraction
- Urbanization and urban expansion
- Ports and roads
Continuing heavy loss of mangrove forests represents a real tragedy for our oceans and the extensive life-support systems mangroves engender. With climate change and sea level rising upon us, we must look to the mangroves to help turn the tides which these forests can do through their ability to control erosion by buffer against storms, and sequester huge amounts of carbon. Mangroves may in fact be one of our last defenses against the perils of climate change and global warming.
If the authorities stick on to the decision of the closure of the park, this may well contribute to the survival of our environment and in turn the species live inside it.
Sheema Thampuran…Ha, can I ever forget that name? Can any genuine movie lover forget the name? No, I think….
And today our ‘Sheema Thampuran’ turns 60. Greetings to the ever-versatile Naseeruddin Shah from the Karmakerala desk.
‘Ponthan Maada’, which was Naseeruddin Shah’s only tryst with Malayalam Cinema (of course till date), outweighs the career-total performance of many actors here.
I can’t forget the scene in the T.V.Chandran film where Ponthan Maada (played by Mammootty) clutches on to a palm tree and sitting atop that watches through the window, as if mesmerised, with adoration as Sheema Thampuran enjoys the music and dances to the tune.
It was in 1994 that ‘Ponthan Mada’ was released. That was a time when we loved seeing so many offbeat, arty movies. I had always been a fan of Naseeruddin Shah, whose performance has always left me wonderstruck. Whether it be mainstream commercial films or arty, offbeat ones, he’d simply shine and outshine many others in the cast. He’d even dazzle in cameos, like he did in ‘Ardh Satya’, the very powerful Govind Nihalani film with Om Puri and Smita Patil in lead roles. His performance in films like ‘Mirch Masala’, ‘Paar’, ‘Masoom’, ‘Mandi’, ‘Manthan’, ‘Junoon’, ‘Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai’, ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron’, ‘Hero Heeralal’, ‘Karma’, ‘Mohra’, ‘Sarfarosh’, ‘A Wednesday’ (Oh no, the list will go on and on…) etc remain etched in my mind. Even in the recently released ‘Raajneeti’, a film where he has nothing significant to do, he simply dazzles with a cameo.
At the time when ‘Ponthan Maada’ was released, there were innumerable fans of Naseeruddin Shah in Kerala, especially on account of his performance in offbeat movies. I remember it was an eager wait to see him pitted opposite Mammootty and perform under the direction of T.V.Chandran, who was also emerging as a filmmaker worth reckoning. And the wait was justified. We got a film, or to be precise, a performance that would for ever be etched in our memories. But today, when I see the new generation of film-viewers going after shallow performances and shallower kinds of films. There are still people who like Naseer, but how many of them have seen his best films.
At a time when we in Kerala are going crazy about the shallower aspects of cinema and never ever trying to understand the true potentials of the medium, I’d wish, on behalf of the Karmakerala desk, that Naseeruddin Shah continues to give us many more memorable performances. I’d also love to see him cast once again in a Malayalam movie, a real good Malayalam movie!!
It might not be everybody’s idea of fun! But if any of you would like to take a break from the usual stress and need to enjoy a social party fun, here comes an opportunity- a DJ Hunt 2010 at Ava Lounge Cochin. Doesn’t it sound interesting? If you have the skills, then its going to be easy.
A chance to participate and win lots of prizes including accessories, DJ gear, and a free training from Kerala’s own DJ god, DJ Savyo for a month for free. Held at Ava lounge, Dream Hotel Cochin on August 8th from 2pm onwards, do get caught in the mayhem and magic of this event with a professional DJ tagged to your shirt at the end of the party.
Isn’t it surprising to know that Cochin has come a long way from being the local Indian Jewish community to a center of Indian spice trade and the most important commercial and industrial centre of Kerala.
A heartthrob of many youngsters, this place is known to be the ‘metro’ for fine goods, clubs and parties. The cosmopolitan city is fascinating in many ways with its glitz shopping malls, modern life and a colorful mix of eclectic cultures including Chinese and Jewish influences.
Famously known as ‘The Queen of the Arabian Sea’, it also houses one of the finest harbors in the world. The 400 year old synagogue is one of the oldest and most beautiful synagogues in Southern India with its architecture shaped by the various Jewish building traditions.
A wonderful destination to be visited, enjoyed and explored, Fort Cochin attracts tourists with its colorful, vibrant culture and unmatched hospitality of its local people.