26 October, 2012

The Wedding Toast of the Year

                         Roscy toasts her twin sister Tracy

17 October, 2012

Let's Dance

The newly weds, my niece Tracy  and George being welcomed by my boys, friends and relatives.

14 October, 2012

Kolaveri T Kolaveri G

My boys their cousins and friends doing a Kolaveri at the grand finale of my niece Tracy & George's wedding celebrations.

15 May, 2012

corynespora and COC spraying

6.070 hecatres of rubber replanted in 2004 with RRII.105 belonging to me in Kokkayar village near Koottickkal bordering Kottayam and Idukki districts of Kerala in South India has been affected by corynespora leaf disease since 2010. It was confirmed two years ago by the Department of pathology, Rubber Research Institute of India, after examining leaf samples.

On recommendation from the RRII  I sprayed 56% COC mixed in rubber spray oil in the ratio 1:5 in February 2010 and again in February 2011. Thankfully during 2011 there was no incidence of the disease probably due to unfavorable weather conditions for the spread of its spores.

However with the favorable weather conditions this year the disease has again reared its ugly head. As per the recommendation of RRII and visit by Dy. Rubber Production Commissioner, Kanjirappally, it was decided to spray COC + rubber spray oil on 4th February taking into consideration the maturity of the refoliation.

As soon as we started spraying a group of people from the neighborhood shouting slogans entered the estate and threatened the laborers with dire consequence if they continued with the spraying. No amount of reasoning with them that this is a harmless fungicide and not any harmful insecticide would mollify them.

After the needless ‘Endosulphan controversy’ every spraying is deemed to be ‘Endosulphan’ for the obstructionist Keralites / Malayalis!!  I approached the Sub Inspector of Police Peruvanthanam with a complaint that I am not allowed to conduct important spraying operations and showed him the relevant pages from the ‘Rubber magazine’ regarding spraying for corynespora. He refused to interfere in the matter saying that he cannot do anything if a mob objected and directed me to the Agricultural officer, Kokkayar under escort of two police constables and asked me to get sanction from the Agricultural officer for continuation of spraying.

Thankfully the Agricultural officer was present in the office even though it was a Saturday. After listening to my plight the Agricultural officer along with the two police men accompanied me to the estate and explained the harmlessness of spraying COC mixed in Spray oil to the gang. One so called ‘learned individual’ pointed to the “Keep out of reach of Children” and ‘Antidote’ marked on the 13kg COC bag and objected to its spraying, declaring that it is poison!!

It took a lot of explanation on the part of the Agricultural officer and the accompanying police men about the ‘statutory warning’ printed on the bags to persuade that particular person to agree to continue with the spraying.

This is the third year in succession that different civil authorities are rushing to the estate on complaint from these antisocial elements. If in 2010 the Kokkayar Village officer came inspecting after receiving complaints, last year it was the turn of the Kokkayar Panchayat officials and police men from Peruvanthanam Police Station to come enquiring based on telephonic complaints. 
If this goes on we will have to take prior sanction of the Agricultural officer every year before commencement of spraying, twice every year if I have to spray for corynespora too in addition to pre monsoon spraying.

The Rubber board should take out large colour advertisements in vernacular press including ‘Deshabhimani’ the mouth piece of Marxist Communist party clearly showing workers spraying with micron sprayers and mist blowers and informing the public that it is an harmless and unavoidable agricultural operation in rubber plantations.

14 April, 2011

14th April = 25th Wedding Anniversary

On 14th April 1986 the bells of our lady of Dolores forane church Mundakayam tolled announcing our wedding. Suja was then a first year MBBS student at Chengelput Medical College, Tamilnadu. Her father V.J. John (recipient of the first K.M.Chandy award instituted by the Rubber Board for the best rubber planter in the country) was my father’s college mate at St. Philomena’s, Mysore. (Ref my post: genes of mischief and variants of punishment.)

The wedding was solemnised by my Botany Professor and HOD and Principal at Christ College Bangalore, Rev. Fr. Mani Giles who later went on to become Bishop Emmanuel Pothanamuzhy of the Syro Malabar Diocese of Manathavady in Wynad district of Kerala state. Sadly the Bishop succumbed to Cancer a few years later.

Two boys George and John were born to us in 1988 and 1993. George has finished his mandatory three and a half years of articleship with Deloitte Haskins & sells, Chennai and is appearing for the CA final exams in November. John plans to join an engineering college next month.

April 14th 2011

Looking to the next 25 years

Silver Jubilee

Men in DGs

The Heir & The Spare

The product of 25 years

Lunch at Kumarakom Lake resort

12 February, 2011

Girls call the shots

Click on the page to enlarge and read

The observation by Kalathil Ramakrishnan in Regional Notebook , “The city-educated girls do not prefer agriculturists in villages though they may be earning more than what the technocrat-engineer-doctor bridegrooms may earn in cities” has nothing to do with skewed sex ratio and is not only confined to the Brahmin community but across the board.

The sons of agriculturists in villages are forced to abandon the family profession and take up glamorous profession like medicine, engineering, chartered accountancy, law etc because it is the girls who are calling the shots these days. They are unwilling to marry boys settled in villages with unglamorous jobs like planting.

As a result lazy boys who are ill-equipped to go for higher studies are forced to do so by their parents. The words of Kerala Education Minister M.A. Baby at the inaugural function of the recently concluded School youth festival that parents look at education from a marriage angle is true for both boys and girls.