Showing posts from September, 2008


Recently my wife was telling me about a great book by Amulya Malladi titled ‘The sound of language’. I am yet to read it myself, but it is supposedly great reading and about an Afghani lady Raihana in Denmark for whom the Danish language itself sounded like the buzzing of many bees. Gunnar whose wife passed away needs somebody to look after the bees she left behind. Raihana takes up the challenge. But well, this is not a book review, but have any of you wondered how bees communicate?

The domestic honeybee, a colonial insect, lives in a hive that contains a queen, a few male drones, and thousands of worker bees. The survival, success, and future of the colony is dependent upon continuous communication of vital information between every member of the colony. The technique that honey bees use to communicate new-found food sources to other members of the colony is referred to as the ZigBee Principle. Using this silent, but powerful communication system, whereby the bee dances in a zig-zag …

Connolly’s Teak & Canal

Lt Henry Valentine Connolly was the Malabar Collector roughly between 1840 and1855.

Connolly is honored with his name being used for the Connolly (In Calicut they say ‘Canoli’ canal ) Canal that connects the Kallayi river (See my noting on Kallayi in an earlier blog) to the Elattur river. Built in 1848, the 3 mile long canal provides water communication between Beypore & Badagara (BTW the land where the canal crosses Eranhipalam was acquired from my wife’s family!!). These days you have boat tours through the canal!!

Conolly (who was Dist Magistrate during the earlier part of the Moppila outbreaks that lasted from1835-1921) was tragically murdered in 1855 by Moplah fanatics at the start of the Moslem revolt in Malabar. T. This story is recounted by Nick Balmer in his blog Malabar days ……

Connolly lived at that time in the Collector’s bungalow at West Hill. The bungalow is still around and is the home for the Pazhassi (Kerala Varma) Raja museum and they have a Connolly garden in t…

Back home….

It had been a hectic trip – this one, I must admit. Flying through the pacific seas and SE Asia to India, we were well looked after by the many Singapore girls on SAL. After many hours of flying and plied with food and superb shots of Singapore sling, the arrival at the rainy destination of Kochi in the wee hours of the day brought a lot of cheer- finally back home after 3 years this time, the longest stay away from mater land since leaving it over 20 years ago…A long 5 hour drive to Calicut in the pre-dawn hours was interesting, stooping at a roadside food cart for ‘bread omplate and chaya with a lot of mosquitoes nibbling away at our legs.…There were a lot of police on the roads due to the recent bomb explosions and as we neared Calicut, we saw very many dhoti-turban clad ‘musaliyar-koyas’ and disciples walking about in those areas – at 2-3 AM!! The driver, a Mappila lad, murmured that the present times were not good and that he thought twice before replying when somebody asked him …