The Advisory Boar (page 7)
I went to the consumer forum today, expecting nothing more than the last
rites for my case, considering the
notice I received. But
when I was called up, the president of the forum listed the case for
arguments (i.e. to be handled right at the end). I mentioned the notice,
but they said that since the bench had changed, the matter would have to
be heard again. (The president was the one who was present when I first
appeared, and not the one who admitted my arguments. The other two
members were the same.)
When I was finally called up again, the Exide guy appeared once again to
say that their lawyer was unable to appear, and asked for another month.
I protested that the said lawyer had not appeared for four months, but
they scheduled oral arguments for a month later. No problem, it gives
me some time to prepare.
As I was leaving, the Exide guy ran after me and asked for my phone
Why?, I asked.
Our lawyer asked me to get it. He
wants to discuss a settlement.
Oh, does he indeed?
I gave a talk on feathers to the Delhibird group at the WWF auditorium,
but the video and presentation are not yet available on this web site.
Write to email@example.com if you're interested in them.
At my last appearance
before the district consumer forum, my oral arguments were admitted
and I was told to expect a judgement by registered post (I called up a
few days later to find out how long it might take—a month or more).
Yesterday, I received the following:
With reference to your complaint, dated … you are hereby
informed/directed as under:
i) That the complaint is not maintainable before this Forum.
ii) To appear before this Forum on 27/1/12 11.00 a.m. to complete the
formalities / to reply to some querries [sic].
iii) Your complaint has been forwarded to Distt. Forum 12/12/11 for
further necessary action.
I don't understand how (ii) and (iii) can go hand-in-hand, or what
further action may be necessary, but the "not maintainable" part is
Perhaps I will be told the rationale on the 27th.
Ammu is studying Newton's laws of motion this year in Physics, but she
can never remember what the three laws are (partly because they don't
seem to be stated clearly in her textbook).
I learned the three laws from a very old-fashioned British textbook that
belonged to my great-grandfather—long before I had internet access—so it
was a treat to be able to look up Newton's original formulation in the
"Philosophiæ naturalis Principia Mathematica" on
Gutenberg. After the
preface and a series of definitions followed by explanatory notes, the
laws of motion are presented in a section entitiled “Axiomata sive
Leges Motus” (“Axioms; or, The Laws of Motion”).
Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi
uniformiter in directum, nisi quatenus a viribus impressis cogitur
statum illum mutare.
In other words, “Every body perseveres in its state of rest or
uniform motion in a straight line, unless a force upon it compels it
to change that state.”
Last christmas, I saw a number of
Richard's Pipits at Dadri.
Yesterday, on a trip with Ramit and Ammu, I was pleased to make their
acquaintance again. We had multiple good views of at least one bird out
in the open, and saw and heard a few others in flight.
I noticed this time that, at a distance, the streaking on the back can
be more obvious when the bird is running with its head down and body
held parallel to the ground than when it stands upright, something that
can be seen briefly in this video:
Perhaps when the bird is in its characteristic upright posture, the back
feathers are pushed together, and the streaks are shifted out of
Apart from the pipits, the highlight of the morning was watching three
young Peregrine Falcons hunting waders and waterfowl over the lake.
(Meanwhile, a number of Blyth's Pipits have been seen in Karnataka this
year. I wonder if there are any at Sultanpur yet?)
My date for oral arguments in the
case against Exide was
the 10th of November (yesterday), which was a national holiday. I called
the consumer forum to find the revised date, and they asked me to appear
Exide was represented by the same chap, with
the same story: their
lawyer was ill and could not attend. I had expected them to try to file
written arguments, but they didn't have any. Fortunately, the two judges
present were not inclined to postpone matters further. They asked me to
state my case, which I did; and they put it up for judgement.
Now I have to wait for the judgement to reach me by post.
I learned how to type by trial and error on my mother's green Olivetti
typewriter, and after a few years of using computers, my four-fingered
technique served me well enough that I didn't think about learning how
to touch-type "properly".
Over the past few months, however, I've tried to use more fingers
efficiently, so that I don't have to move my hands as much. I adopted
the conventional finger positions for a week, found they didn't suit my
big hands (reaching non-alphanumeric keys on the keyboard was painful).
Now I've found a more comfortable position, and I can type accurately
and reasonably fast (though not as fast as before) without hurting my
Unfortunately, the price I paid was in losing the ability to fall back
to my earlier technique, and the loss of speed—though not an impediment
in practice—has rankled.
Today I discovered the perfect cure:
This is a "Space Invaders"-style game where you have to type falling
words to eliminate them before they reach you. It has a few annoying
bugs (sometimes the word you're typing is hidden behind others), but
it's extremely addictive nevertheless.
Mangar is one of many small villages nestled in the Aravali foothills
near Delhi. In a region that is under increasing pressure from real
estate development, Mangar is especially interesting because it adjoins
a banni (sacred grove) that represents the largest remaining contiguous
unspoiled Aravali habitat. The residents of Mangar and some neighbouring
villages understand the value of this grove, and are exploring ways to
secure lasting protection for the area.
The banni is important for many reasons, including its cultural
significance, being a valuable groundwater resource, and being home to
many species of trees, animals, and birds. I am studying the bird life
of the banni and the area around it as part of an effort to establish
its biodiversity value.
The banni comprises various distinct kinds of habitat, each with its own
characteristic bird life. This is a work-in-progress checklist based on
two visits to the area in September 2001, and will be refined as more
data are collected. Considering the extent and richness of the habitat,
there is no doubt that subsequent visits in winter and other seasons
will add to this list significantly.
A letter arrived by email today addressed to "Dear Advisory Boar" and
asking for advice about working a freelance job while learning how to
The boar felt oddly pleased, and duly rendered the advice sought.
Today's hearing at the district consumer forum in my complaint against
Exide was for oral
arguments. Unfortunately, only one judge out of three showed up, and no
quorum was possible while hearing arguments, so they decided to adjourn
all arguments to early November.
(Exide didn't show up to today's hearing, at least not by the time I
left. So they don't know the date of the next hearing.)