A typographical graphic about how Corruption takes away from the Development processRampant corruption, like the kind that exists in a country like India, takes away from the development process. To illustrate this point, in the typographical graphic above, one letter has been taken away from each set of words related to development and used to compose the word ‘corruption’ below. Though efforts are made to hide corruption by those who indulge in it, it does show up eventually, often through incomplete or less effective or shoddy development that results from corruption (as shown in the graphic).

Photograph of a Taanka: traditional rainwater harvesting tank, in Rajasthan, IndiaThis photograph of a Taanka (as it is called in Hindi) or rainwater collection tank, was taken near the town of Sujangarh in Rajasthan, India (in November 2008). This region of (north-west) Rajasthan usually receives scanty rainfall and has saline groundwater. Therefore, people here have been surviving on harvested rainwater for centuries, a lot of which is collected though Taankas and used judiciously in the months following Monsoon rains.

This particular Taanka had a small cemented (catchment) area around it, sloping inwards (towards the round tank). The tank, with a dome-like roof, had an opening on top to draw the collected water out, just like from a well.

Taankas stand as a reminder of traditional, cost effective, time-tested, simple and sustainable rainwater harvesting techniques that have been prevalent in India. It’s a pity that despite their existence, little or no effort to collect rainwater is made locally in India’s towns and cities where availability of water is usually stretched, and despite exorbitant spends on buildings, equipping them with expensive gadgets and digging expensive borewells. A concise writeup about Taanka on Wikipedia is worth reading.

Happiness, is it inside of us or outside? Do external factors like behaviour of others or the living environment make us happy or is happiness internal and all about how we deal with external factors, some of which could be beyond our control?

This graphic attempts to illustrate the life span of a littered PET bottle, as inspired by the shape of the bottle itself. With a substantial time spent in production, shipping and shelf display, its usage time is usually the shortest, often just a few minutes and if not disposed properly (like this one which was found in the midst of vegetation at Central Park, Jaipur, India), it can lie for months, sometimes years, as nothing but waste…

The photographs above were taken in the city of Jaipur, India (in 2007 and 2006, respectively). The one on the left is of a thick stone wall from Jaipur’s historic walled city, the one on the right is of a conglomerate rock located inside a city park. One major difference between these two is of age, the wall is less than 300 years old whereas the rock is estimated to be about 1600 million years old (yes!). Many (man-made) walls and structures in the historic Jaipur walled city are in a state of decay, some have crumbled, yet the rocks in the nearby Aravalli hills look as good as new! Isn’t nature’s ability to maintain or sustain itself amazing?

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