Archive for March, 2011

Kadalundi: A Community Reserve in Kerala

// March 31st, 2011 // 4 Comments » // Eco Watch

Gulls in Kadalundi estuary, 27 March 2011

The rich  blue and green mangroved estuary has always fascinated me on my train journeys through it between Kozhikode and Parappanangadi.  Kadalundi is a well known bird sanctuary and estuarine ecosystem in Malabar.  It is also known as the first community reserve in Kerala.

Small gulls inside the sanctuary in low tide

It has lured plenty of birds and birders over the years.  But unfortunately due to human interventions and pollution it is diminishing and vanishing from its former glory.  On 27 March 2011 at around noon I could see only a few species of migratory birds onthe sand banks of Kadalundi sanctuary though it was low tide.

Mangroved estuarine system of Kadalundi: A view from rail bridge

I was stealing some time from the National Theatre Fest at Kozhikode and visited the estuary briefly for a few hours at noon.  I had a panoramic view of the estuarine ecosystem from the old and dilapidated footpath on the rail bridge towards the west of the rail road.  I noticed a few Reef Egrets and a Grey Heron.  There were also a few Sand Plovers.  There was a congregation of small gulls towards the mouth of the estuary near the road bridge.

A Grey Heron in Kadalundi

In between the gulls and the mangroves there was a fairly large group of 20 Whimbrels wading in the mud and shallows.  This is the largest group I have ever seen in Kerala.  A few months ago I saw just 3 or 4 in Kumbala estuary.  According to Mr Arif who is doing his research in Kadalundi on migratory shorebirds the numbers and species had dwindled considerably.

Black and Brown-headed Gulls in Kadalundi

But compared to the diversity of species Kasaragod estuaries are far better than Kadalundi.  Kasaragod estuaries like Thalangara, Kumbala and Manjeswaram thrive in migratory birds even in this mid-summer.  It is high time that those precious ecosystems must be declared as protected sanctuaries.  The good work of forest department in Kadalundi needs to be extended to Kasaragod as well.

Whimbrels in Kadalundi 27 March 2011

National Theatre Fest-2011 of Kerala at Kozhikode

// March 28th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Cultural Politics

From the inaugural play Aaj Rang He

Theatre is perhaps the most representative and exhilarating expression of culture.   It is also a vital critique and creative manifestation of life. The whole city is a stage and all the citizens merely players and spectators in this great event of performance and visual culture that has come to illuminate Malabar.

Theatre persons from Kozhikode including Mamukoya inaugurating National Theatre Fest 2011

National Theatre Festival of Kerala is on at Kozhikode from 27 March to 3 April 2011 at Tagore Hall and Nalanda Auditorium.  This vibrant event was inaugurated by theatre persons from Malabar at Tagore Hall on the eve of 27.

Legacy of Khusru: Khayal and Kathak in the play

Aaj Rang He the inaugural play by Gopal Tiwari and Purva Naresh.  The play portrayed the history of Hindustani classical music in the backdrop of communal violence in India through the voice of a lady musician.

Evocative theatre: Visual, music, action and more

The play was noted for its sensitive and evocative treatment of historical and cultural issues in a powerfully visual narrative of brilliant choreography, sets, lights and sounds.

From Aaj Rang He by Tiwari and Naresh

The actors also proved their brilliance in the art of intimate theatre that often interacted with the huge audience in the wonderfully air-conditioned hall.   The communication of the play proved that theatre at its best could even transcend languages and cultures in a radical way.

Colors and shades of music: Aaj Rang He

There was also a Theyyam performance by Manoj and crew from Mayyil, Kannur after the inaugural play.  There are plenty of plays and mono-performances coming up from various parts of the country in the following days.

Karimkuttisasthan or Karimkuttichathan Theyyam at Tagore Hall

Sensual, sensitive and liberating: The experience of theatre

Dialogic and intimate: From Aaj Rang He

shocking aspects of violence and riots

Srilatha in Echo of the Day, an eco - feminist solo

From Kalamkari from Thrissur

Jivacharitram written by N Sasidharan

All About Women by Sami

C N's Lankalakshmi by Chandradasan, Lokadharmai, Kochi

Jatra-play from Bengal