A ladder to get out of the well

 

Designing an activity to raise environmental awareness and enthuse the participants towards action is an art and science. It requires both a passion and dedication.

Many “environmental communicators” (a cadre I wish is recognized in the environmental profession) have experimented and presented several pedagogical techniques and tools to make the activity interesting, meaningful and impacting. There is however relatively less documentation of experience and sharing.

The pedagogy is often a mix or a concoction of tools and techniques and you blend depending on the audience, objectives of the engagement, expected outcomes and the resources you have. The chef or the bartender or the conductor of the orchestra “in you” does the right blending and sequencing!

In India, most of us use tools such as PowerPoints, stickers, posters and video clips for environmental communication. Posters have now matured in the form of Infographics that are often creative. My post on Enfographics will give you some examples. You may also like to access the various communication tools we developed on Climate Change. Visit the site to view and download posters, PowerPoint presentations, fact sheets, stickers, children activity books etc. all free. Painting on the walls in the streets (a graffiti) is a recent technique. See my post on Creative Fusion that talks about the graffiti created by Dr Love on the subject of urban air pollution.  Holding exhibitions that display green products, show case innovative solutions on pollution control and monitoring and educate people on sustainable lifestyles is another powerful way to spread awareness on environment. Mobile vans are also used to move into rural and peri-urban areas carrying exhibits for holding demonstrations.

Video clips are now relayed through internet reaching a global audience. Few years ago, I launched a competition for making videos to communicate good stories on saving the environment under a caption “Anvaya” (means positive in Sanskrit). This resulted into some exciting video clips on the themes of waste and water management created by ordinary citizens – old and young. Visit our YouTube channel to view and download a collection of 11 select videos on the theme of waste management.

Street plays are now getting increasingly popular to communicate environmental issues mainly in schools and colleges. I would recommend you to view Street Play on environment ” Parivartan” by students of DAV Pushpanjali and the Nukkad natak on environment awareness. We should do the street plays more often and on a regular basis in local languages. These plays should address not only the local but global environmental issues and introduce good practices and responsible behavior. There is a lot to learn in scripting the street play, participating in it and handling reactions from the audience.

“We should seriously consider developing a course on environmental communication at postgraduate level and give the students an exposure and experience in this important area”. I said to my Professor friend when I was in his office on Sunday morning.

I saw that Professor was already busy. There were several papers on his desk that were piled and crumpled around with lot of scribbling done. He seemed to be writing some kind of script.

“Well Dr Modak, you are asking this question when I am just finalizing a design of an awareness and action event on the subject of Air Pollution” He said this while lighting his cigar.

I was curious when Professor used the term “design”. “What do you mean by the term design Professor?” I asked

“Well, a lot of thinking needs to be done if you want to organize an awareness event Dr Modak?” Professor now moved to the white board to explain to me the “design”. And in the next 5 minutes, this is what appeared on the white board

It appeared to me that Professor was planning to conduct the event in steps. The structure looked fascinating and so I asked Professor to explain.

“Well Dr Modak, this event is for all those interested and for those who want to know and take action on the challenges of urban air pollution. I plan to restrict the participation to only 40 and not more. Interested participants will have to pre-register giving their short profile and interest. All those who register will be able to see profile of other registrants and thus get e-introduced.  More importantly, I will use this information in forming the work groups.

The hall I have chosen can accommodate around 70 participants in a theatre style and so 40 will be accommodated very comfortably. The room has a separate entrance and a good illumination. Besides it is located in a central place in the city and convenient to reach. We will start the event at 2 30 pm and wrap up by 5 30.

The first step is to begin the event in a theatre style sitting.   Here I propose to introduce the challenge of urban air pollution using only picture slides with not  more than 10 words on each. There will be 20 such slides and I will take only 10 minutes (2 30-2 40). This presentation should do the job of “levelling up” the subject, provide a systems perspective on urban air pollution and its connect with Climate Change, a perspective not generally spoken. Having shown the slides, we will devote not more than 5 minutes for any “burning questions” from the audience.

Next, I plan to show three video clips not exceeding 3 minutes each. I have selected the video clips that are essentially statements made by the politicians (like the Premier of China), directors of key global institutions (e.g. UN Environment and WHO) and by citizens who appeal and showcase their efforts on combating air pollution.

Following the videos,  there will be four questions that will be projected on a slide for discussions. These questions will “force” participants to “think out of box”. Participants will spend 10 minutes to express their views. Example, are electric vehicles solution to the problem of urban air pollution? Are the policies on letting vehicles to ply based odd-even number plates or retiring of old vehicles of more than 15 years of age effective? And how about encouraging telecommuting (working from homes)  (2 40 – 3 00)

At this point I expect that the participants are charged enough to get into some action. We therefore break out of the theatre style sitting and ask participants to move to the walls of the room. We plan to place a number of flip charts in the room with thick tip color pens. Each wall takes on one of the questions raised and elaborates using a network diagram, following the technique of “mind mapping”. This wall session puts all participants in some physical action, provides an opportunity to interact and help in a deeper understanding of the challenge! We need to give good time for such a Wall Session of Mapping. I would give a time between 3 to 3 30 for each group for this exercise.

What follows the Wall Session is the presentation by each group leader elaborating their analyses. We give 5 minutes to each group leader followed by an overall discussion (3 30 – 4 -00).  This concludes Step 3.”

I enjoyed the strategy. I could see that the participants were slowly graduating from awareness to action mode and this was happening rather implicitly.  Moreover, it was also a process of collective learning with guidance by the Professor.

Professor lit the second cigar

“Dr Modak, have you used software tools like Mentimeter?” He asked.

I had not come across this tool and so requested Professor to tell me more.

Mentimeter is an easy-to-use presentation software to create fun and interactive presentations. Each participant downloads on a Mentimeter app (that I do before hand) on his/her smartphone. Based on the real time questions that I would put, all participants respond from their smartphones and the Mentimeter creates a word cloud, histograms, 2×2 matrices etc. instantaneously to show the group opinion. Of course, there are several such products available today.

Mentimeter will be a short session say over 10 minutes where some top end questions will be put for a group opinion. I will basically get the priorities understood e.g. Indoor Air Quality or Outdoor Air Quality or priorities towards action e.g. wetting of roads, introducing higher vehicle tax as the vehicle ages or promoting use of electric vehicles etc.  The session will end with a 5 minute discussion (4 00 – 4 15)

Air quality improvement is often viewed narrowly and hence many of the interventions have not been found to be successful. There is a need to address the urban air pollution problem at a regional level (e.g. pollution traversing into the city from “outside” ; forge collaborations or partnerships, push phase outs e.g. of Volatile Organic Compounds and introduce ecological modernization across the polluting industries. Further an integrated approach to address both indoor and outdoor air pollution is necessary. I plan to give a 30 minute presentation as Step 5  (4 15 – 4 45). We don’t give here any time for discussion.

Step 5 maintains the theatrical style and I propose to end by screening a “transformational” video that shows the participants some success stories when a comprehensive and regional approach is followed. I plan to screen video on how Beijing improved the Air Quality over the last 3 years. This video of 5 minutes will be followed by a 15 minute discussion session facilitated by some of my colleagues questioning why cannot India follow the China model? (4 45 – 5-15)

It’s a good idea now to end the event with a feedback and “pledges” what the participants would like to do post the event and their expectations from us on the follow up and any propositions on “joint projects” of action. The event will be wrapped up by 5-30. The participants continue their interactions on Ekonnect’s collaborative platform.

If you do a day long event, you can include a workgroup session (1 hour) to develop action plans. In the workgroup, participants start developing an air quality action plan for the city by not just listing the actions but identifying who should be responsible. Another possibility is to use the Fish Bowl technique where participants take turns to “enter the fishbowl”, express their views and leave the fishbowl for someone else to get in (1 hour).

There are other possibilities as well such as keeping a dust jar outside the room and weighing the dust fall during the meeting period or putting a computer in the foyer with a GHG emission calculator to give participants an idea of the carbon footprint of their lifestyle”

I liked the overall design, especially the logic and creativity. As I was about to leave, I could not resist asking the Professor, “why is your event design of various Steps is showing up like a ladder? – any special reason?”

Professor extinguished his cigar and said

“Dr Modak, pardon me  but to me the participants to the event are sitting or trapped in a “well” of isolation and some ignorance. They don’t see the outside “world”. They only listen but stay inactive. All I am doing is to provide them with a ladder to step out of the well and get motivated towards taking action with all the excitement and knowledge”

“Oh, understood. So, the event is like a ladder to get out of the well” I exclaimed finishing my coffee.


Cover image sourced from Image https://pngtree.com/freepng/with-one-ladder-to-climb-out-of-the-well_2383850.html


I will be conducting such an event on Urban Air Pollution on Thursday, December 13 in Mumbai between 2 30 to 5 30 pm at the Veer Savarkar Smarak, Shivaji Park, Mumbai as organized by Ekonnect.

An announcement will soon be made on Social Media.

In 2019, Ekonnect proposes to conduct such events on various topics once every month.

Please contact me on prasad.modak@emcentre.com if you are interested to know more.


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Growth of the Soil, the Telegraph Road and Sustainability

(This post is for readers who love music and especially the rock stars like Dire Straits. I have made an attempt to discover Mark Knopfler’s famous song the Telegraph Road in the context of sustainability and introduce the book “Growth of the Soil” by Knut Hamsun. Enjoy this post with interesting video clips and read the lyrics of Telegraph Road)

“Telegraph Road” is a song by British rock band Dire Straits, written by Mark Knopfler. It appeared on the band’s 1982 album “Love over Gold”. The song was first played live at the opening concert of the band’s “Making Movies” Australian tour (Perth Entertainment Centre, 22 March 1981) as the final encore. Soon the song became a staple of Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler concerts.

The Telegraph Road is a major north-south 70 mile thoroughfare in Michigan in the United States. Mark Knopfler was inspired by a bus ride along Telegraph Road and by the book “Growth of the Soil” by Norwegian author Knut Hamsun when he wrote this song.

Growth of the Soil is regarded as a historical classic. It has been acclaimed by many and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1920. First published in 1917, the book has since been translated from Norwegian into languages such as English. The novel was written in the style of Norwegian new realism, a movement dominating the early 20th century. The novel exemplified Hamsun’s aversion to modernity and inclination towards simplicity. In this book, Hamsun brought out relationship between his characters and the nature.

Growth of the Soil is a life story of a man in the wilds and the genesis and gradual development of a homestead that leads finally into sadness and conflicts. Modern man faces nature only by proxy, or as proxy, through others or for others, and the intimacy is lost in the so called economic development. In the wilds, the contact with nature is direct and immediate and the touch of the soil often gives the strength. The  book emphasizes importance of patience, the spiritual contentment with life and a loving alliance that is needed between Man and the Nature.

As Worster says “The story is epic in its magnitude, it is calm and steady in an unhurrying rhythm while addressing the vast and intimate humanity. The author looks upon his characters with a great, all-tolerant sympathy, aloof yet kindly, like a God”.

After reading the Growth of the Soil and while travelling on the Telegraph road, Mark Knopfler began to think and wondered how that road must have been when it started. He wrote lyrics to narrate a tale of changing land development over a span of many decades around the Telegraph Road.

In the song, that clocked 14 minutes and 15 seconds,  Knopfler focuses on one man’s personal struggle with unemployment after the city built around the telegraph road becomes uninhabited and barren, just as it began. The song is a metaphor for the development of America and the ruining of one man’s dreams in the wake of its decline, in particular focusing on unemployment. It is a sad story about America’s terminal decline-Factories that got closed and the love fell apart. Without saying explicitly, Mark talks about the need for a sustainable and inclusive development. Please take a minute to read the Lyrics

Before the song’s main theme starts, a quiet crescendo is rolled out in G minor that lasts almost two minutes. After the first verse, the main theme plays again, followed by the second verse. After a guitar solo, that is a short bridge, the song slows down to a quiet keyboard portion similar to the intro, followed by a slow guitar solo. Next, the final two verses are played with the main theme in between. The main theme is played one more time, followed by a slightly faster and amazing guitar solo lasting about five minutes and eventually fading out. The song thus starts slow, works up, and then goes like a train, fast and faster. This transformation is so addictive and wonderful to listen!

Telegraph Road is perhaps the best rock song ever made and probably one the best songs in the history of humanity. There is so much tempo, so much intensity, so much virtuosity, so much art and beauty in this song. Building up of a town, its subsequent flourishing and then facing the economic downturn with no jobs etc. seems a familiar cycle of our modern life. We observe this pattern over the past 50 years in many parts of world!

Today we are all in a cycle of decay (biophysical and moral) and I’m afraid that we cannot return to where we began. We tried in the 80’s and especially in the 90’s; yet failed – despite efforts and now we are on the path of unsustainable development.  Indeed, we have set up collectively the Sustainable Development Goals but honestly, we can’t even think for ourselves – so forget the rest of the world!

Telegraph Road  tells a story that speaks to my heart. I love the dark, gloomy feel at the end as it sends chills over my spine. Listening to Telegraph Road, you feel that Mark saw the future! And think about it, Mark was a young man at the time – so what would he know? But he probably knew and importantly understood how to say the tragedy of greedy economic development through his music.  Who else could write a song about a road and make it so relevant to everything in our history and current existence? The song resonates well with Hamsun’s book – Growth of the Soil.

You may know that Knopfler is part of the kings of the best guitar players of the world like Jimmy Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Santana, BB. King, Keith Richards, – all legends of guitar sounds! In Telegraph Road, Knopfler gets emotions out of one guitar note than most can get out of entire solo. This live version of 1983 (see below) puts to shame every song in the last 30 years whether in Studio or Live for that matter.

But you would notice that this man is not just great guitar player, but much more as he understands music better than just rock & roll. His arrangements are brilliant, and lyrics are amazing.  Telegraph Road is a song that is one of the highest expression of the rock music. You get everything there …the guitars, bass, piano, drums with a lot of creativity.

There is not a single weak point in this song.  Its great to see how all his team members are generous with playing their parts for the good performance. Each individual performance however shines. His team members Terry Williams, Alan Clark, Hal Lindes, John Ilsley, Tommy Mandle have made history through Telegraph Road.

I love the powerful drumming by Terry Williams on this tune. Ilisley, the dancing base guitar player, was later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018 as a member of Dire Straits. Alan Clark received piano lessons at his young age and at the age of 13, he began to play Hammond organ in working men’s clubs. Its Alan who plays those charming slow notes in the beginning and that wild piano piece at the end of the song.

See below the video clip of Mark in 2005 focusing only on the last 5 minutes of his amazing guitar work. Indeed, he looks aged, standing in a reclining and a rather composed posture, but his fingers still race on the strings as before and with so much with ease and grace. Kudos to him.

You may see a more recent performance of Telegraph Road at Sevilla in 2015 as below

But in both these video clips, you will not see Alan Clarks wild piece of piano at the end of high tempo. Dire Straits split in 1995.

Sustainability can be best understood when we live with nature. Its hard to imagine how could we “feel” sustainability while living in the cities of concrete jungle, spending time in ventilated conference rooms, being in traffic and queuing at the airports. We can only “talk” about sustainability.

Have you taken a walk recently in a forest with your loved one and with no one around? Listening to the birds perched on trees, and watching a squirrel that stops on the road to take a good look at you – the stranger – may simply enthrall you. Sustainability is often unspoken and it is to be experienced and not argued upon.

You don’t have to get convinced then that this road through the forest should ever become another Telegraph Road. Sure, Mark Knopfler and his band will bless you!


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Fighting for the Blue Sky

Last week I was in Beijing to speak at a two-day workshop on Air Quality Improvement in the Beijing-Tianjin and Hebei (BTH) region. The workshop was supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

After I returned, I called my Professor Friend and we decided to meet at our usual coffee place. I was excited to share my experience.

I narrated to Professor about the major air pollution reduction achieved in the BTH under PRCs Blue Sky War program. Since its launch in March 2017, the PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations in the region have been remarkably reduced.

In addition to the reduction in average PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations, there has been a significant decrease in the number of heavily polluted days, especially in the winter period.

“Oh, big deal, Dr Modak” said the Professor. “We are already on the job. Don’t you know that we have now formulated a National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) and more recently come up with a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for the National Capital Region (NCR). We have automated air quality monitoring networks operating in cities across the country that provide air quality data on 24×7 basis and this data is transmitted to the servers at Central and State Pollution Control Boards. Prediction models are also in place that forecast likely pollutant concentrations and issue warnings. Air Quality Indices (AQI) are regularly reported and broadcasted on TV channels. Everybody who watches NDTV understands what is AQI and the magnitude of air pollution”

“But Professor, we have lots of air quality related action plans e.g. in Maharashtra – but only to talk about. And we have been collecting huge air quality data but that is hardly analyzed and is lying currently in the coffins. On the other hand, the levels of air pollution have been rising all the time like the prices of the petrol and diesel” I protested.

I learnt in the Chinese workshop that there are 3 As of Air Quality Improvement – Ambition, Awareness and Action. I thought that all we have achieved is some improvement in awareness, but we are in poor shape when it comes to ambition and action.

I continued. “Do you know Professor that the President Xi of PRC said that “air quality is direct indicator of happiness” and “air pollution is one the top three national priorities”. I don’t remember whether our PM has made any such statement on India’s plight on air pollution. We lack the political will and push towards a committed and concerted action on reducing air pollution unless it becomes part of the election manifest and I hope it does”

In PRC, the NDRC (equivalent to India’s Niti Aayog) and Ministry of Finance are also involved  apart from Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE). In India, Ministry in charge is MoEFCC that is a weak ministry in terms of clout, budget, expertise and experience”

“But we have the Supreme Court of India that promptly takes action” Professor said this while tapping his cigar on the ash tray. I looked at this face. He looked serious, but I could not figure out whether he was serious or sarcastic.

Professor continued.

“Don’t compare situation in India and that in PRC. Much of the emission reduction in BTH region has been achieved by shutting down and relocating highly polluting and economically weak industries, closing obsolete industrial boilers and moving from coal-based heating & cooking to natural gas. In September and October 2017, over 130,000 polluting industries in the BTH were closed. This kind of bulldozing approach is possible only in the regime like in PRC. Just the political will would not work, and a supreme power of enforcement is necessary to bring in the desired change.

In India, do you think such a kind of enforcement is possible? Take the case of the challenge of relocation of polluting industries in Delhi. In 1996, the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) had, under the relocation scheme for industrial establishments, allotted plots to factory owners running their units from residential areas. And as far back as 2003, the Supreme Court, in its judgment in MC Mehta v Union of India, had directed that all industrial units that had come up in non-conforming areas on or after August 1, 1990 should be closed within a given timeframe. But, even in 2018, as the DSIIDC listing proves, these industrial units continue operations from residential areas.” I thought Professor made an interesting point.

But I did not give up.

I said “Do you know Professor that the problem of air pollution in the cities like BTH is a result of emissions not just from the cities, but due to emissions transported from the neighboring region. The source apportionment studies carried out indicate around 50% of regional contribution. This led to formulation of a regional action plan for BTH with a special department set up in MEE with a mandate, funds and authority. Inter-agency coordination, cooperation and harmonization were the principal pillars. One of the reasons behind the success of BTH region is such an “out of the box” approach”

Professor smiled. “ Dr Modak, We are fully aware of the need to take a regional perspective. In the NCR for example, we know that emissions are also contributed due to burning of stubble in the agricultural fields of the neighboring States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Our Supreme Court has already given directions and the State Governments are monitoring and enforcing a ban on stubble burning and providing finance to the farmers to do in-situ management of agricultural residue.”.

I had my doubts on the effectiveness of such a so called “coordinated carrot and stick approach” –but I decided not to question the Professor.

“Talking about agriculture” I said, “Chinese scientists have estimated contribution to the PM2.5 due to release of ammonia from agricultural fields, piggeries and animal husbandries surrounding the cities. The air quality action plan for the BTH therefore includes measures to reduce consumption of fertilizers, make the animal husbandries “green” through environmentally sound operations; restructuring them through closure, agglomeration, modernization and exposing them to better waste segregation and utilization practices”

“I am aware of this work” said the Professor. “The relative contribution of this strategy to PM2.5 reduction is only 10% – so we are going to look at this perspective later and not on priority. As such our farmers are already agitated on the issue of MSP”

I thought of “elevating” our discussions to global issues like climate change. One of the important features of the air quality action plan for BTH region is the inclusion of actions on GHG mitigation. The idea of these integrated action plans was to simultaneously address the objectives of air pollution reduction while achieving climate protection goals.

Researchers in the BTH are already doing economic assessment of air quality improvement actions using a carbon price in the range of USD 3-5/ton (Simulations in the EU use carbon price of USD 20 and ADB uses 37 USD, figures much higher. In India we simply don’t factor GHG mitigation in the formulation of urban air quality action plans nor include carbon pricing)


The action plans in the BTH are in the form of packages of policies and policy driven actions. A policy package consists of several policies and strategies, carefully selected such that  they synergize and avoid conflicts between pollution reduction and GHGs. A cost benefit analyses of various policy packages is then done through simulation to identify  least cost solutions while aligning with the long term goals. Special plans are developed to deal with episodic conditions in the winter period. The bottom line is that all action plans or policy packages should make an economic sense.

In contrast, we follow a checklist approach. Many times we look at actions without supporting policies, institutional framework and financing. We look at actions in isolation and not in packages.

PRC is using air quality improvement as a driver or proxy to “ecological modernization” of its industries. Grants to the region are given based on air pollution reduction achieved and not on the severity of pollution. So, performance on the ground matters.

As regards coal, technologies that reduce coal consumption are innovated, piloted and promoted through “green financing” for higher penetration. Green financing platforms such as BTH Air Quality Improvement Fund are created to lend industries for needed investments. Projects are assessed based on quantification of economic, environmental and social benefits.

ADB provided a loan of 458 million Euro and this line of credit was used to leverage 3.6 billion Euros domestically through commercial financing. This led to mitigation of  8.5 million tons of CO2 apart from benefit of air quality improvement. To accelerate the investments, market mechanisms such as Green Power Trading System were set up apart from emission reduction related regulatory directives.

Most interesting is the establishment of a leap frogging fund (with assistance of ADB), to promote “high end technologies” and innovations. Focus has been the high air polluting industrial sectors like steel, cement, chemicals by doing pilots, followed by commercialization.

The idea is to achieve “deep industry transformation” and apply the directives under the law on circular economy to improve the energy mix through clean fuels and promotion of renewable energy. This transformation gives a competitive advantage to the industries while curbing air emissions. In Delhi NCR for instance, we could build further on the work done on “zig-zag technology for brick making, and topping with technical assistance and financing.

During the workshop, a detailed presentation was made on the application of Tapio Decoupling Model. The results  indicated that there were economic benefits in terms of rise in the GDP over long run after an initial phase of 3 to 4 years of economic disadvantage. This result was comforting to justify investments to curb air emissions.


I could clearly see a much wider perception of air quality improvement infrastructure and investments in PRC. In India, we lack such an approach where innovation, modernization and financing are linked to conventional regulatory control. Our approach is limited or narrow, reactive, rather negative and not opportunistic.

No wonder that the Chinese proverb says that every crisis is an opportunity! In India all we are doing is recommend people to stay indoors, install indoor air purifiers and wear masks when outside. We install dust sucking systems at the traffic junctions to make a noise and show proof of “action”!

As we were about to leave the coffee house, we heard bursting of fire crackers outside. I looked at the Professor quizzically. “Well, Dr Modak, initially the idea was to completely ban the fire crackers; but given the sentiments of the people, our Supreme Court has lifted the ban asking the cops to be more vigilant and examine the results of air pollution monitoring post Diwali.” He said

I told Professor that fire crackers are banned in China and now even during the festive seasons. Idea is to curb emissions of PM2.5 and stop release of toxic and hazardous chemicals.

Fighting for the Blue Sky is the national priority.

“Oh, then what happens to the economic loss of the fire cracker manufacturers in China?” Professor exclaimed.

“I guess the Chinese fire crackers will now get increasingly exported to India” I said this sheepishly while settling the bill.

In response, Professor did not  speak and instead pointed his finger to the grey sky above.


Do view the video clip below on Beijing’s air quality.

You may like to read UNEP’s most recent report on Air Pollution in the Asia and Pacific – Science based Solutions 


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Pebbles in Turquoise – Stories in Blue and Green

Dear Readers,

This new book of collection of my posts is after the first two editions  ‘Sixty Shades of Green: Musings on Sustainability‘ and  ‘Blue, Green and Everything in Between: Musings on Life, Love and Sustainability‘. This third edition  pulls together another 50 of my blog posts.

Pebbles in Turquoise – Stories in Blue and Green is a blend between “Green” and “Blue” and a a collection that is like pebbles scattered on a beach. It attempts to create a place where you can chill, listen to the sound of waves and watch the blue sky.

The Blue carries my anecdotes from my personal experience with people, places and life. The Green is presented in a semi-fictional and satirical style with sustainability as the focus. As before, the book  comes with rich and attractive illustrations (doodles).

Take a look at the Table of Contents – TOC

You can find the book on the website of Amazon, Amazon India and Pothi. The book will soon be available on Flipkart.

Avail the Print on Demand Service.

What do readers have to say about the articles in this Book? 

“Heart-warming and so philosophical. Loved it. ”

“That was a really witty article and hard hitting at the same time. Love to read your blogs always !“

“Amazing imagination. I loved this blog of yours. People often forget that love is what we all need and work is just a part of life. thanks for reminding this. Keep loving and writing”

“Mystery is a different genre.. Enjoyable reading with a twist on the end.”

“You are truly a magician with the words. The last incident seems so unbelievable.”

“You are indeed a fantastic writer Dr Modak – thoughts are coming from within the heart and translated into words …”

“Reading your blog – one becomes aware of the questions one forgets to ask – when a rhetoric dominates thinking !:)”

“Wow, a fantastic morning to start with. Your lovely selective words make us to feel the experience what you had in Vienna.”

“Really aptly said, Dr Modak. Most of the CSR heads are just post filled by the extras, who thinks environment and sustainability is very easy task to handle and anyone can do that. Really enjoyed your blog!”

“Hehehe… forget the technical topics Doctor, keep writing under the heading ‘My experiences’”

“It is hilarious and perhaps best piece of satire I have ever read.”

“Fantastic ! The Missionaries of Segregation and the 3Rs must be smarting in their cocoons !!”

“informative but satirical article .how far Indian people will follow god only knows. Worth publishing in daily news-paper.”

“Richard Feynman Prasad Modak birds of the same feather.carrying knowledge,wisdom lightly ,communicating obtruse subject in lighter vein yet never failing imparting profound material lucidly with telling effect.”

“Left me speechless and with mixed bag of emotions. Guess it’s time for a little drag in the balcony of my hostel and have a recall myself. : ) Thank you for such a nice read.”

“Your today’s blog reads like a suspense movie sitting on the fence between reality & fiction.”

“From profligacy to prudence and parsimony – the journey can begin only with awareness! And your blog shares that awareness even to a lay reader like me!”