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In this part, a brief look at how the India Meteorological Department (IMD) helps us follow the monsoons and other weather and climate patterns over India. Plus a few other online resources.
Originally posted: 18 June 2015.  ||  Updated: 29 April 2022 Yet again, India has a heat wave and it will be the people living at the margins who will suffer the most.  What does ‘living at the margins’ mean? How does it affect people’s experience of […]
Public places should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their physical disabilities. This is part of everyone's geographical rights. Here is a geographical perspective on the rights of people with disabilities ... The Plank Man's geography. You should never think of geography the same way again!
[Originally published: 1 July 2013; Updated: 9 April 2022]  Communication over long distances in India has a long and interesting history … and geography!
Dharmaraya Swamy Temple, Bengaluru
The Mahabharatam is one of the two great Indian epics. The story of the Mahabharatam is very complex and there are many versions of it. It is a treasure trove of stories. Here is a look at an interesting annual festival in Bangalore and its geographies.
Who is – and isn’t – a geographer?  This is an interesting question.  When you develop the geographer’s eye and the geographer’s ear … when you learn how to see and hear, the question goes away.
Wherever you live, you probably have complaints about the place. No place is perfect!  There are many ways in which you can air your complaints.  Here is a video showing one clever way of doing it.
[Updated: 22 April 2021] What do borders mean in this, The Age of the Internet? Borders are not just lines on a map or a barbed wire fence on the ground. Here’s a story of signals, territorial geography, and a whistleblower’s journey with his luggage of […]
Idyll (noun) a poem or prose composition, usually describing pastoral scenes or events or any charmingly simple episode, appealing incident, or the like. Humans have long imagined places where everything is ‘perfect’; where nothing bad exists and only good exists.  Updated: 2 April 2023; added a Tamizh […]
In learning any discipline, it is important to learn how to ask questions in it. Normally, others ask you questions and you are expected to supply the answers. Today is Opposite Day – I supply you with answers and you supply the questions.
Over the years, I have been learning the many ways in which our culture has been engaging with geography. These ways are fascinating. They also raise some questions for me as a geographer who is interested in human-environment relationships, among other things.
Epidemics (spread of diseases within a country’s boundaries) and pandemics (spread of diseases internationally) demand understanding of their geographies if we are to fight them.
A harsh reminder to us about how we are all interconnected … through our thoughtlessness, greed … and geography. We see this through the many repercussions of the ongoing 2019 nCoV (coronavirus) saga. [with two updates at the end of this post: 12, 14 February 2020]
An unclean hub. Exotic species. Population concentrations and movement. Racism. Jingoism. Isolation. All connected by a pathogen. And, of course, geography.
Transportation, belief systems, data, movement of species (including people), boundaries, doubts, and a whole lot more … all of these connected by our old friend Geography.
In this blog, we have often seen the importance of sacred geographies. Today, we look at the importance of pilgrimages in developing a larger identity – part of building a centripetal force.
It’s another festival season. We have so many of them in India that we have many opportunities to celebrate … and, if we do it wisely, we could unleash formidable centripetal forces. Goodness! We really need them these days.
Recollecting landscapes is a part of our geographical story. Those memories often influence our personal development in both tangible and intangible ways. The effects of ‘geographical nostalgia’ can range from the delightful to the dreadful.
Show me someone who can live without water and I will show you a non-geographer!
2019-11-27 Ravi_Varma-Descent_of_Ganga
All nature is manifestation of the Divine, we piously say. We revere that river, this hill, that cave, this lake, and so on. This reverence for place is called geopiety. Updated: 12 March 2022 — fixed broken links.
The atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere … all intimately interconnected. In the biosphere is a life-form that is extremely powerful in bringing about accelerated change in all the spheres.
“While all the other kids in the Montessori chirped in chorus pleading for the rain to go away, I was the … crazy one who sang, ‘Rain, please don’t go away …’ I am a born pluviophile. My soul longs for the petrichor. The earthy smell […]
All through human history, we have engaged with our environment, Earth, in many ways. Science is but one such way. So, is anything that is not science-based wrong? Should it be discarded as ‘mere superstition’? As a geographer, I find both of them fascinating.
The world is diverse. This diversity is thrilling. It helps feed our curiosity about each other. And our places. Places are different from each other. Here’s a brief look at differences among places.
Pilgrimage: ‘an outward enactment of an inward journey.’ In some religions, specific pilgrimages are mandatory. In others, they are not. In this essay, I take a brief look at pilgrimages in Hinduism.
Shared faith, identity, and community influence our lives. Human geography both shapes and is shaped by religions and their practices. How do these work? A brief look at this today.
Voluntary migration can be daunting. It can be confusing. It can be adventurous, and humorous. At least in hindsight. These are the experiences of a young man from Bengaluru who went to America, and the many things he experienced. Place matters! Change of place is a […]
Last week we started on the story of a chap wanting to go to the USA for ‘higher’ studies, namely to get an MSc. When we last saw him, he had gotten a visa to travel to Athens, Ohio, USA. Now, he says, “I’ll go and […]
We left our somewhat overwhelmed traveler friend at the international wing of the Delhi airport on the evening of Thursday, 31 December 1981. He was taking in all the sights of the busy place and the varieties of people there. It was almost an alien planet […]
When we last saw our friend, he was aboard another “jumbo jet” (a Boeing 747 aircraft), a marvel of a machine at the time. Destination: John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, New York. (A city they loved so much that they named it […]
Our very weary migrant was aboard a largely empty, gigantic ‘bird’ machine, with very few people aboard. Looking out the window did not entertain him much. Flying much of the way from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, the ‘jumbo’ jet was flying at about 10,000 metres, he did […]
It was now officially past mid-night. 2 January 1982. It was very cold. This migrant had never experienced such cold. He used to make a big deal out of the “Oh, it is so COLD!” winter mornings in Bengaluru where he used to go out to […]
Thus far, our friend, Mr Migrant, had met a few of the technological structures of his new environment. He was entirely unfamiliar with these as they were not available in the India of that time.
This part is about fitting in – into a non-home environment and its processes. Migrants everywhere go through some form of this experience.
A national financial crisis. Opening of the economy. New ideas. New enterprise. Overheard conversations. And a return migration. Our protagonist, Mr Migrant (M), returns.
A food scientist, a botanist, a foodie geographer make for a very delicious geography. Today, I pay homage to a son of Karnataka whose one book that I read made my geographical mind dance with joy that I have shared with many children and adults.
Anthems. They are feel-good songs, usually with a very strong geographic connection. They relate to concepts of place, scale, centripetal forces and geopiety. Sometimes, there is more than one anthem. However, one may be official and others not.
Life is full of geography. If you have read any of my articles so far, you will understand why I say that. I am in the process of transitioning to a new geography, myself. I thought I would share a few thoughts on this with you […]
The border between the USA and Mexico is very much in the news in North America these days. The US House of Representatives, the US Senate, the president, and the public are not in agreement on the issues surrounding it. All this is, of course, related […]
Cold weather! Hot weather! Climate change! People dying! An uneducated president. Connections in today’s article.
Insane weather in the northern latitudes. The geographies of the most vulnerable – marginal locations in the centres, population dynamics, socio-economic issues – have led to severe problems. What’s going on?
We all would like to live comfortably. We want things to be peaceful, nurturing, and healthy. Not all of us can have these things as much as we would like to. However, we try. All of us. Trying to shape our geographies is part of this.
What’s going on in the world? Things are improving. Nothing has changed! There is lot of improvement needed. Things have gone from bad to worse!
Geography has to do with everything we do in life. Congregating for a small worship or party, dinner or study, … anything. The kumbha mela 2019 at Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh is an exquisite and complex example of a ‘self-organizing’ geography.
Identity As a child, I was known as ammāvara maga, māmiya maga (any Tamil brahmin lady used to be called māmi in our neighborhood), so-and-so’s younger brother, nephew, etc. I was defined by blood relationship to specific other persons.
Christmas in the summer. Christmas in the winter. What’s a beloved, roly-poly, red-clad employer of elves to do? Santa’s life is not easy. His worst frenemy? Geography!
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