Marathi Article on Climate Change

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An article in Marathi about climate change by Prof, R. R. Kelkar was published in Maharashtra Times, Pune, on 13 Dec 2015. Click on the image to read the pdf file.

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The Mystery of the Monsoon

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Dr David Suzuki is a Canadian academician, science broadcaster and environmental activist. Since the 1970s, Suzuki has been known for his TV and radio programmes, documentaries and books about nature and the environment. Most popular among them is the long-running CBC Television series, “The Nature of Things”. One of his recent episodes is about The Mystery of the Monsoon and it can be viewed online at 


Monsoon is India’s main source of fresh water. Despite the torrential deluge, massive flooding and loss of life, there is a palpable sense of elation as the monsoon storm clouds arrive. Part road movie, part spectacle, part human drama, The Mystery of The Monsoon is a cinematic exploration of the force of the monsoon and its unpredictability. With people’s very existence dependent on the monsoon, meteorology occupies a special place in India but even with satellite imagery and powerful computer models, scientists struggle to more accurately predict it.

Filmed across the Indian sub-continent and charting the huge system’s path as it surges toward and gradually engulfs every region of the country, The Mystery of the Monsoon introduces us to a remarkable array of individuals whose lives are in different ways entwined with the phenomenon. There are the meteorologists, who seek to contain the monsoon within an explanatory net of scientific analysis and rational forecast; there are the farmers and fishermen, who depend on and contend with the system’s godlike, life-and-death caprices; there are the citizens of Mumbai, where the monsoon’s arrival is felt from the slums to the stock market to the dreamscapes of the Bollywood film; there are the nature conservationists who are concerned with the monsoon’s impact on the country’s endangered species; and there is the ordinary Indian family, for whom the annual deluge is part of a rhythmic cycle, at moments unfathomably cruel and joyously affirming.

A still from the film showing Prof R R Kelkar explaining the monsoon

A still from the film showing Prof R R Kelkar explaining the monsoon


The Challenge of the Monsoon

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An article in Marathi entitled “Avhan monsoonche” by Prof R R Kelkar was published in the Pune newspaper Agrowon on 20 April 2015. Click on the images to read.

Kelkar Article Monsoon Agrowon 20 April 2015 1Kelkar Article Monsoon Agrowon 20 April 2015 2

“Chintan 365 Divasansathi” – Dr Ranjan Kelkar’s New Book Is Now Available

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Get Chintan Copy M

Poinsettias in Panchgani

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Poinsettias are popular Christmas decorations in homes, churches, offices, and elsewhere. On 2 November 2014, I had the opportunity to worship at St Peter’s Church in Panchgani, a hill station in Maharashtra. The church compound was full of poinsettia flowers, signifying that the Christmas season was fast approaching and we should be focusing our thoughts on the birth of the Lord Jesus. Here are a few pictures I took there. Click to enlarge.

St Peter's Church, Panchgani     Panchgani Poinsettia 1     Panchgani Poinsettia 2

Panchgani Poinsettia 3     Panchgani Poinsettia 4     Panchgani Poinsettia 5

Marathi Article about Cyclone Hudhud

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A Marathi article on Cyclone Hudhud was published in the Manthan supplement of the newspaper Lokmat on 19 October 2014. To read the article in pdf format click on the link below.

Ranjan Kelkar Manthan Article Cyclone

Filmy Weather (29): “Monsoon” Review by Padmaja Ritu Luther

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monsoon poster  

I was extremely fortunate to be present at the premiere screening of the movie “Monsoon” at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2014. The movie depicts how the vast Indian sub-continent is so deeply dependent on the monsoons and rain, and how every aspect of life is affected by its arrival …. or non-arrival, whether in the cities or in the villages of India.

From the very onset of the monsoon clouds originating in the Arabian Sea and the start of the monsoons in Kerala, the director, Sturla Gunnarsson and his crew follow the journey of the monsoons from Kerala, to Maharashtra, Kolkata and other areas of India, including Cherrapunji, in the state of Meghalaya, the “wettest place on the earth”.

Along with the crew, the audience follows the lives of different families and personalities, whose existences are deeply affected by the arrival of the rains, as well as the drought areas which receive very little or no rain at all.

There is Akila and her family in Kerala, who wait eagerly for the rains to arrive, and eventually end up losing everything because of the floods. In sharp contrast, farmers in drought affected villages in Maharashtra state lose everything because of the lack of rain in their areas for several years. While the big cities of Mumbai welcome the onset of the monsoons, and Bollywood superstars sing and dance to a romantic rain-song, Sturla and his crew show vividly how animals in the Kaziranga National Park in Assam are affected by the rain and require protection against floods and poachers.

Interviews with meteorologists portray how the onset of the monsoons is predicted, and the importance of declaring their arrival at the right time. Timing is of the essence, failing which, the government fears a decline in the stock market, and public confidence and retail sales could be very adversely affected.

Shot in high resolution 4K, the photography in the movie is absolutely breath taking, ….every single detail is visible as though it were happening right in front of your eyes. The music is soulfully penetrating and resonating, almost haunting!

On a personal note, I felt so connected to so many of the scenes in the movie. Especially the scenes shot in Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar and Kolkata. On the other hand I did feel a few scenes could have had a bit less detail or could have not been included in the film.

Although the movie is 108 minutes in length, apparently more than 200 hours were filmed before being edited. I learned that CBC plans to air some of the edited hours of the movie later this fall, and I cannot wait to see what else Sturla and his crew had filmed along their journey to capture the Indian monsoon.

All in all, a must see film!
Thank you Sturla for MONSOON!

Padmaja Ritu Luther, Toronto, Canada

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