Glimpses along the way

Mountain Gazing – X

Sunday dusk, the Mountain merging into the night, but this evening there’s a shocking difference. The hillock by Yama Lingam is ablaze.

Tall lemon grasses, dry as tinder in the height of summer, burn fiercely, flames shooting up into the darkening sky. It appears visually spectacular, smoke billlowing from the extended flanks of the fire line. Lower down, the lights along Perumbakkam Road lend a sense of scale.

Yama Lingam hillock on fire

No need to sound the alarm as it’s not Arunachala that’s on fire and the “Annamalai Fire Fighters” can stand down. Putting out these fires is a physically punishing job and it’s best to conserve limited resources for the protection of the Mountain itself. There are no other responders.

To quote the local government District Forest Officer on the recent major forest fire on Arunachala, “Volunteers and forest department personnel are working hard to control the fire. It will subside once the lemon grass was completely eaten by the fire.” [The Hindu, April 21, 2012, “Fire reduces greenery in Tiruvannamalai hill to ashes” ]

So yes, on this Sunday, eventually, a few hours later the sweeping fire burns itself out and all is still and dark again.


3 responses

  1. namassivayam

    yes, JJ was telling of the devastating fire 2 weeks back towards east and the meeting called by Govinda- and that older residents like you were not consulted on the course of action. . now that further west is also ablaze- the total greenery and efforts by the NGOs to green it has a hit back

    May 7, 2012 at 11:28 am

    • devgogoi

      Dear Namassivayam, thank you for your comment. Actually, the meeting was called by Rachel, a concerned Tiru resident and sympathizer of Arunachala conservation efforts. Advance notice of the discussion was spread as widely as possible via personal connections, inviting participation of all those who were interested in the issue. ARS was well well-represented by JJ, KC, Nawaz, Hari, Arun and Mani. More than twenty people attended. The free-ranging discussion lasted more than one and a half hours and the exercise was well worth the effort. As always, the greening of Arunachala needs all the help that it can get!

      May 7, 2012 at 11:23 pm

  2. trollhassel

    I just found your photoblog! It is amazing! I’ve lived in Tiru for the past two winters and I love seeing your photos! Oh how I miss Tiru and Arunachala! Om namah shivaya!

    May 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm

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