Geographies of our daily needs
manasi cha paritushtey k’orthavān ko daridaha If one is contented in the mind, who is wealthy, who is poor? We often confuse needs and wants. This leads to many complications in life. As with everything else, this also has a strong geography connection.
15 Oct, 2017Keep reading
Crises of extremes
There was a time in India, when “May you have a house full of children” was a blessing. I used to mockingly bless my niece that way when she was in college (she used to make excellent cardamom tea for me). My mother used to chide me, “Don’t say such a thing even as a […]
11 Oct, 2017Keep reading
This time, two puzzles for you. Work on these with your friends. If you have seen another person whom you don’t know, but would like to get to know, you can make friends with them using these puzzles. Invite them to join you in solving them. It might well lead you to a good long-term […]
04 Oct, 2017Keep reading
Those Teacher Moments (Part 1)
Where was the Treaty of Versailles signed? What is the color of the passing bear? A spirited response to rain, rain, go away. And the light bulb going on. The many moments only I have gotten to enjoy.
27 Sep, 2017Keep reading
Śrī Purandara-dāsa’s geography
Last time, I shared a brief introduction to the sacred traces of hari-dāsas (servants of God) and mentioned one example of a hari-dāsa, namely Śrī Purandara-dāsa (‘SPD’ for short). Today, I want to share a few selected examples from his songs that connect with geography and geographic concepts.
12 Sep, 2017Keep reading
Sacred geography … on the move!
We are all geographers, whether we realize it or not, whether we acknowledge it or not. So, every bit of curiosity that we feel about the world around us is valid and important.
05 Sep, 2017Keep reading
As any kind of seeker of knowledge (i.e., vidyārthī), we employ more than one sense at a time to learn about our world … and, hopefully, about ourselves. Even when one or more of our five external senses (touch, hearing, sight, smell, and taste) may be weak or not functioning, we find ways around these […]
Proscription and Prescription – Taboo and Compulsory Geographies (Part 4)
In one of the three previous articles in this series (you can read it here), I spoke about the taboo geographies of menstruation. Today, I will explore that topic in a little more detail and suggest reasons we should all care about it.
Proscription and Prescription – Taboo and Compulsory Geographies (Part 3)
In the previous two articles, I spoke about some taboo geographies and some of their impacts in one particular context. There are other geographies that are compulsory. These also have an impact on individual lives. Today, a brief introduction to a few of these. The school The Indian constitution stipulates that every child, up to […]
Proscription and Prescription – Taboo and Compulsory Geographies (Part 2)
Last time, I introduced the concepts of rasa and geography. I talked about how these are intimately connected. I also talked about why this connection is important for us as Citizen Geographers. Today, I want to share with you an example of taboo geographies that a team of students researched and took action on. I […]
02 Aug, 2017Keep reading
Proscription and Prescription – Taboo and Compulsory Geographies (Part 1)
In this four-part series, I invite you to explore geographies (yes, plural) in a different way. Such exploration has certainly changed my life and educated me a lot. I hope you, too, will find the same.
26 Jul, 2017Keep reading
This is for for you, the student (noun; a person who actively seek knowledge; vidyārthī)! By this definition, everyone is a student if you are “actively seeking knowledge.”
19 Jul, 2017Keep reading
Eye in the sky
Imagine the battlefield of Kurukshetra and that famous conversation that happened between the two personalities: Krishna and Arjuna. This forms the situation in which the poem, Bhagavad-gītā, is set.
12 Jul, 2017Keep reading
Climate change is unhealthy
Human-caused, fast global warming is unhealthy not just for our planet but also for us personally. We have to adjust to new realities. We also have to take action to reduce or prevent some new realities.
05 Jul, 2017Keep reading
As the ice goes …
Under-water waterfalls sustain life. What’s above is a protective structure. And a protective process. When that protection is gone, life itself is threatened. We wreak havoc and have to adapt to changing circumstances. We do. But not fast enough. This week, disturbing news from Antarctica.
28 Jun, 2017Keep reading
The weather is a description of the atmosphere’s physics for a place for a shortish duration of time. This much we know. We also know that you can show weather conditions on maps. This seems like it’s not a big deal! But it is! Would I lie to you?
21 Jun, 2017Keep reading
Over the past few years, I have been writing about geographical matters to get you to look at geography beyond the classroom. Your textbook can only show you some important concepts in geography, but very little application. So, here’s a look at one.
14 Jun, 2017Keep reading
Why we need you!
Greetings, young geographers! Welcome back to school and a new academic year. When you care about your world, you are using geography. A good geography education can make you a more powerful agent of change. It’s not just about location and Google maps. Discover how! Wrong notions For far too long, you have been mistakenly […]
07 Jun, 2017Keep reading
“Thank God, I’m a 100% American!”
Well! Here are we are, at the end of another academic year. Final exams are already underway for many of you. I think of exams as kolli devvas (ಕೊಳ್ಳಿ ದೆವ್ವ) – the Kannada term probably refers to a swamp gas (methane, one of the deadly greenhouse gases) that has lit up and is being blown […]
23 Mar, 2017Keep reading
Desire and despoliation
Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” However, those of us who can afford to pay money for what we want (more than what we need) very often end up getting it. We may buy it, but we are not paying the true cost of […]
15 Mar, 2017Keep reading
Once a student whom I taught geography, born in India, raised abroad, was then in Bengaluru because his father had bee posted here by his company. He had a younger sister, too. I was to find out that he not only had a great sense of humor, but was also a brilliant geographer!
09 Mar, 2017Keep reading
It’s a small world!
All places interact with other places – through the flow of certain resources (air and water, for example) and through the movement of human beings. This is called spatial interaction (spatial is the adjectival form of space).
02 Mar, 2017Keep reading
Points of view
Point of view, often abbreviated to POV, is very important for us to make sense of our world. And since POVs differ among us, we have to learn to accommodate each other.
23 Feb, 2017Keep reading
It is often said that everything that the universe is made of, we are also made of. We eat Earth! Think about it just a little and you will easily see how our physical bodies take up and throw out various elements. It’s all in the food we consume and the waste that we shed. […]
16 Feb, 2017Keep reading
Home to geography
Geography is everywhere in our lives. It’s just that we may not be paying attention to it. Not only is it everywhere, we are using it all the time. Take away geography and history from our lives and everything falls apart.
19 Jan, 2017Keep reading
Minimum temperatures in Bengaluru have been quite low lately – in the mid-teens on some mornings, making the mornings a little chilly. My colleague Ms Vidya Shankar, visiting Chicago, reports minimum temperatures of 1 degree Fahrenheit (what’s that in Celsius?) and even lower on some days.
12 Jan, 2017Keep reading
Welcome back from your holidays and to a new year … one of many we observe each year! Ugadi, Vishu, 2017, etc. depending on the calendar we use. This year is going to be geographically interesting in many ways. Here are some examples.
05 Jan, 2017Keep reading
Today, a rather depressing interactive map and evidence of how stupid we humans are. We have spent so much time, money, resources, and energy to build weapons that we can drop on each other and wipe life out.
22 Dec, 2016Keep reading
One-ness and geography
One-ness and geography Human-environment interaction is a major theme in geography. Several school textbooks only vaguely talk about this. Agriculture, industrial activity (primary, secondary, tertiary), global warming, climate change, and settlement are the usual topics subjected to this cursory treatment.
19 Dec, 2016Keep reading
Faithful geographies Religions and their geographies are fascinating to study. And to understand. The geographies of religions is an important part of cultural geography – the geography associated with cultures.
08 Dec, 2016Keep reading
Pious Citizen Geography
Pious Citizen Geography A journey My guru, Dr Surinder Mohan Bhardwaj, is a specialist in sacred geographies. My upbringing with Karnātaka sangītam; with the sacred lore in Samskrtam, Tamizh, Kannada, Telugu; and the syncretism that I spoke of in my previous column was the result of many cultural influences by many gurus. My parents, uncles, […]
23 Nov, 2016Keep reading
Syncretic geographies Syncretism is “the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion.” (dictionary.com). In my life, several gurus have taught me the importance of syncretism; chief among them were my amma and my geography guru (Dr. Surinder Mohan Bhardwaj). What are syncretic geographies and why […]
15 Nov, 2016Keep reading
Melodious geography Hindu iconography of Krshna (I prefer this spelling) shows him with a vamshi – a short flute. What geography connections do I find with this?
10 Nov, 2016Keep reading
Geographical olio Olio means “a medley or potpourri, as of musical or literary selections; miscellany.” (dictionary.com) Today, an online geographical olio for you to explore.
03 Nov, 2016Keep reading
The Indian Diaspora – at home and abroad
The Indian Diaspora – at home and abroad Migration. Relocation. Push-and-pull. “Greener pastures.” That itch in the foot. Recollection, re-enaction, re-creation. Tensions. Homecoming and home-going. All these, and the lens of geography. In today’s column.
03 Oct, 2016Keep reading
Pilgrimage “basin” Chandra Shekhar Balachandran The Institute of Geographical Studies, Bengaluru Rivers. Catchment areas. Sacred places, sacred journeys. Tirupati – local to international. Coffee time conversations with my guru. All add up to the perfect recipe for learning geography.
11 Sep, 2016Keep reading
Maps galore! A cautionary tale from the USA – an HIV crisis mapped. Then, a set of interesting maps of the London ‘tube’ trains (or the ‘underground’). Ending with a map of where our foods come from. These are on today’s special menu at the Geography Darshini!
07 Sep, 2016Keep reading
Up above, Down below
Worlds less-known, but suspected to be rich with resources. Clutter on the ocean floor. Mapping poverty on land. Geography pervades all of these because it addresses its four fundamental questions. Remember them? (1) Where is it? (2) Why is it there? (3) So what? (4) What if …?
21 Aug, 2016Keep reading
Bicycle sharing. Migration. Euro-toponymy in the USA. Map-reading. And other matters in today’s potpourri. Pay special attention to the italicized words – they are geography concepts you should explore.
11 Aug, 2016Keep reading
Bangarapet chat, Mysore paak, Maddur vaday, Ooty apple, New York pizza, Mysore / Kancheevaram / Dharmavaram / Benaras silk, and Andhra pickle. So many products come with place names attached to them. The geography of foods includes the concept of provenance.
02 Aug, 2016Keep reading
A geographical potpourri
“Potpourri” is usually used in the context of fragrances, specifically a mixture of fragrances. The origin and meanings of the word are interesting. This week, I share a collection of geographical items with you. Check them out; they’re more interesting than anything you will see in your textbook! Guaranteed! Or your money back! (Terms and […]
21 Jul, 2016Keep reading
Geographies of disease
Geography is inescapable. Because, in all things, place matters. Take a whole lot of species, include humans, in a place and you will see what location has to do with disease. Here are a few examples.
07 Jul, 2016Keep reading
Doing geography research (Part 1 of 2)
Geography research is fun! Project work. Chart paper. Wikipedia, copy, paste, get marks. Topic something mundanely boring, usually not related to where you live. This is very common. Instead, try something different. And get recognized and encouraged for it. This includes marks and a lot more. And, in the process, learn how geography works. Then […]
14 Jun, 2016Keep reading
Doing geography research (Part 2 of 2)
This, the concluding part of “Doing geography research”, contains two examples of how to ask the “four geography questions” and how you may consider presenting your research. (Read Part 1)
13 Jun, 2016Keep reading
Here, eat some grass!
Food grains, staples, geographies, and eco-friendliness. With a slight modification in your diet, you, too, can be more eco-friendly while also improving your health. Here are some grasses that can help!
07 Jun, 2016Keep reading
Greetings to all my young geographer-friends (and not-so-young readers, too)! You are now in a new academic year. Exciting possibilities, new things to learn, new friends to make, and I hope new ways to learn also. Considering the season, I want to begin this year with these: rāga Amrtavarshinī, drought, legend, a place, its people, […]
02 Jun, 2016Keep reading
Cooling, soothing, mixture of mung dal, cucumbers, tomatoes, lemon juice, coriander, coconut, etc. – kōsambari is a lovely mixture for a summer day. Today, I give you a geographical kosambari, to refresh your mind (and body?) … with geography. Relish it and open your mind to enjoyment during your summer holidays.
30 Mar, 2016Keep reading
Different places. Different locations, heights, proximity to sea, clothing, foods, agriculture, and culture. Understand the geography and you understand a lot of these things. Here are four examples.
23 Mar, 2016Keep reading
Copacabana and Ipanema beaches in Brazil. And, alas, Zika. Holi in India. Topsy-turvy world designed to give kids in geography classes headaches! And, of course, the dreaded annual exams. Summer vacation soon to come! Well it’s jaggery and neem!
16 Mar, 2016Keep reading
Travel, human migration, language, communication … they can open up interesting geographical experiences. Here is language geography lite … with a little latitude, if you know what I mean.
10 Mar, 2016Keep reading
Venn diagrams. The biosphere. Interactions – apparent and otherwise. Children’s intuition. The lighting up of eyes, a comment, an answer, … Each one a Teacher Moment that thrills. This is part of why I am a geographer.
03 Mar, 2016Keep reading
It’s about TIME!
Looting by imperial powers. Enslavement and human trafficking across seas. All this sounds evil. But sometimes there are other consequences that may not have been intended … including coordination of economic activities across the world … and generations of young children suffering in geography class trying to figure out the time in different places of […]
24 Feb, 2016Keep reading
Inspirational citizen geographers
Subject vs. discipline. Textbook vs. lived life. How does a geographer bridge these “vs.” gaps and integrate them in life? What is a “geographic” life? Two examples from my world of geographers show me how it could be done.
“It’s a small world!”, we sometimes exclaim. In a pleasant sort of way. When we meet someone in an unlikely place. Geography, you know? But it is not always that pleasant. Welcome to the other side of spatial interaction.
Geographies of Zika
Babies being born with defects. Pregnant women advised to be careful where they travel. Other women told not to get pregnant. Travel agents worrying. Geography. And a mosquito in the middle of this mess.
Sometimes, you just have to wonder. Are some people serious or are they just kidding around? Take planoterrestrialists, for instance. Rapper B.o.B. tweets and raps, disses astrophysicist who, in turn, disses the rapper. It’s all funny but not funny!
29 Jan, 2016Keep reading
What’s in a name?
Lavelle Road or …? Leningrad or …? Bangalore or …? Why do place names matter enough for people to fight for or against a name? Why do governments officially change names of places? This is another way in which we engage with places, the primary concern of geography.
21 Jan, 2016Keep reading
High school students at NGYS-2014
Secondary school. Primary and secondary research in geography. Professional presentation at a geography conference. These two did it. Can you? Of course, you can. You get your chance in September 2016.
03 Jan, 2016Keep reading
Geography exploration using the Indian Railways
Traveling by Indian trains has a romance all its own. A good part of this romance comes from the geography of it all. And that’s not just the hills, valleys, villages, and towns you travel through. There’s a LOT more!
02 Jan, 2016Keep reading
Well, another year comes to an end. Time for you to relax and have some churmuri. Get away from the textbook geography and explore these links online. If possible, ask your parents to join you on this exploration.
30 Dec, 2015Keep reading
A geographic khichdi
You know, the world is a very fast-moving thing. I find a lot of geographically interesting materials online. If I were to write about each of them individually once a week, there is no way I would be able to convey these to you while things are still “fresh.” This is why, I end up […]
03 Dec, 2015Keep reading
Exhale. Use any form of energy at all. Turn up the heat. You have no choice. Or do you? This will be under all the drama that will occur in Paris, France soon. Why should you, as a geographer, care?
26 Nov, 2015Keep reading
A settlement. A river. Agriculture. Travel and transportation. Kinship. Childhood journeys and memories. All come together to form a ‘recollected landscape’, a re-opening of a ‘remembered mental map.’ Geography is also about places inside us.
19 Nov, 2015Keep reading
On the net
Today, another listicle (an article consisting of a list with details); your next internet exploration of geography connections will ‘take you places.’ Check these out.
09 Nov, 2015Keep reading
Doctor, how good are you in geography?
A little tummy trouble? An epidemic in the community? You want to be a doctor, diagnose what ails people, and help them heal? Well, you better have a good sense of geography and its connections.
04 Nov, 2015Keep reading
Site and situation. Sanskrit? Tamil? Kannada? Telugu? It’s all Greek and Latin to me! Songs and songsters. And a reclining deity who is Master of the Stage. It’s all one big geographical drama that Kaveri connects.
29 Oct, 2015Keep reading
Five and Six
This week: five and six. Places and circuits. Hierophany, cosmology, the elements, hills, hillocks, sea-sides, trains. And of course, tying all these together: geography!
07 Oct, 2015Keep reading
Territorial claims. Anthropogenic global warming. Petroleum. Shipping. Natural gas. Fisheries. Arctic Ocean. These offer geographical connections worth exploring.
03 Sep, 2015Keep reading