Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Thirty Kilometre Walk

 When I was in Indore in September, we went for a thirty kilometre walk along lush soyabean fields .
 We met some people who were waliking for 120 kilometers to get to the city of Ujjain, carrying earthen pots filled with the water of river Narmada. Many of them were walking barefoot. The weather was cool with occasional drizzzles .
 Luscious cucumbers cut and filled with spices selling on the roadside gave us energy.
 This villager was holding his dog who wanted to come with us!
At last we reached our destination- the Patalganga falls. There had been a tragic accident here four years ago, when a whole family had been washed away in a sudden flash floods. Now the falls is heavily fenced up and no one can go near it.
The walk back to Indore was not so enjoyable as there were too many cars going towards the falls.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Flowers of the Rainforest

 This Clerodendrum flowers in the most unexpected placess in the rainforests of the Western Ghats. It is also called the Pagoda flower because of its shape.
 This highly scented white flower is known as Suragi in Kannada. Girls like to wear them in their hair.
The greenish inflorescence of the creeper look like paper flowers.
I was away from home for a long time and so could not post anything earlier.
I will try to post regularly now!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Janak Palta McGilligan and the Success Story of Sustainable Development

 When I first heard of Dr. Janak Palta McGilligan in Indore, I was keen to visit her organic farm where she grows wheat, corn, six types of dal, and many different vegetables and fruit. I had heard that she needed to buy nothing but tea and sugar from the market! I finally got a chance to visit her , and I was overwhelmed by her friendliness and enthusiasm for the work she has been doing for the poor rural women of the region.
Janak's mantra has been 'Sustainable Development', where conservation and development of natural resources plays a crucial point. Janak practices what she preaches- her household is run by solar power and wind energy. Her solar cookers built by her husband Jimmy McGilligan, can cook a feast for a hundred people. The windmill erected in her yard powers eighteen street lights in the village.
Janak's husband, Jimmy McGilligan was a genius who used ordinary things to make extraordinary machines. By using old bicycle parts, he made a contraption which could turn the huge solar cooker towards the sun throughout the day. He invented a machine which turns old newspapers into brickets to be used as cooking fuel on rainy days. In fact, the delicious Aloo Paratha  which she served, was cooked in a stove using these brickets. Jimmy had been awarded the Order of the British Empire for his pioneering work with the rural women while Janak was honoured with a Padmashree by the President of India.
A cancer survivor, and a heart attack survivor, Janak was devastated by the death of her husband in a car accident a few years ago. She has not let her grief overcome her enthusiasm. Their home which Jimmy had built with his own hands is now Jimmy McGilligan Centre for sustainable Development which trains people , and is open to the public throughout the year.
In Janak's own words, "We don't have a choice of how we die, but we can choose how we live".

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Shankha pushpa- Clitoria ternata

These wildflowers are now on all the hedges and fences. The white variety of Shankha pushpa is rarer than the dark blue one. Both have medicinal value. The roots and flowers are used to make a tonic to improve memory.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Butterflies in the Rainy Season

 Butterflies hide themselves when it is raining, but as soon as te sun comes out, they flit around madly.
 The Blue Tiger is a common butterfly in this season
 This wild flower lookks like a butterfly, and it attracts butterflies.
There are swarms of dragonflies which are  good because they eat up the mosquito larva in the lake near my home!
My thanks to the hosts of Our World Tuesday who are doing a splendid job.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Lilies in my garden

 The Monsoon season is in full swing and there are lilies everywhere in my garden. The spider lilies make an attractive clump with their brilliant white flowers.
 I don't know the name of this lily with large, sword shaped leaves. Every barber's shop has this lily in front !!
 This sweet smelling lily is called Sudarshan in India. It has pink stripes on the underside. It is also known as Milk-and-Honey lily.
The Amazon lily has a heady perfume. Every part of the plant is poisonous.
My thanks to the team of Our World Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Himalaya calling!

 Our camp at Deoriatal. It rained every day, and sometimes with hailstones!
 Wild roses on our way...
 A village home in the Himalayas
 Clouds cover the snow peaks of the Kedar range.
My thanks to the team of Our World Tuesday for which we wait all week!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Trekking in the Himalayas

Tha Choukhambaa Peak and the Kedar range seen from our camp at Deoriatal.
My thanks to the hosts ofthe meme Our World Tuesday.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Himalaya Calling!

 The intense heat of this summeris making me long to go to the Himalayas. I was in those grand mountains last August.
 The small stream named after Saraswati, the goddess of learning, made a gurgling sound as it raced down the mountains.

There were wildflowers everywhere, like the Inula above.
I hope our trip to the Himalayas next month will be as wonderful like the last.
My thanks to the team of Our World Tuesday where you get to read and enjoy interesting blogs.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Our World Dragonfly or Butterfly?

 I found a pair of this unusual dragonfly hovering on my jasmine bush. At first I thought they were butterflies, but on closer look, I came to the conclusion they were dragonflies. It is unusually hot and sunny here that even the jasmine has not flowered.
 The heat does not seem to bother the cactus Pereskia. It is blooming profusely now.
During my early morninf walk, I see little sunbirds skip around this wild grass and eat the seeds.
To see interesting pictures and stories, go to Our World Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Our World Today

Roadside trees are resplendent with flowers now.  So are the tiny wildflowers.
Hope you had a great Easter holiday!
My thanks to te team of Our World Tuesday where you get to see what is happening in different parts of our world.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

End of Winter Flowers

 Yesterday was Shivaratri- a day of fasting and worship for the Hindus. This day is supposed to be the end of winter in south India. The hibiscus will flower more profusely now.
The Justicia will stop flowering and recoup its energy during the long summer months.
Wish you a happy summer ahead!
Many thanks to the team of Our World Tuesday, which brings cheer to us every week.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Our World- Guardians of the Ancient Temple

 The ancient temple of Keladi has a story of sacrifice behind it. When the temple was being built nine hundred years ago, Murari brothers heard  a   prophecy that a human sacrifice is needed . So they killed themselves.Every year, a celebration is held on the day of their self sacrifice in the town of Keladi.

My thanks to the team of Our World Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The World of Tropical Flowers

 Tropical flowers are in bloom almost all through the year. I wonder at their vigour. The red Clerodendrum is a climber , and it is so invasive! But cheerful!
 Thunbergias are also in bloom through the year. This purple King's Mantle is elegant and attractive.
This hibiscus took a month's rest , and now it is back in business.
All these are from my garden.
My thanks to the team of Our World Tuesday, who are like the tropical flowers who bring cheer throughout the year!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Flowers in my garden

 Black-eyed Suaan is a wildflower whichis flowering in my garden now.
 Ixora  is blooming profusely after its qne month rest.
 The Crown of Thorns started blooming at the end of December, welcoming the New Year.
Tanner's Cassia blooms throughout the year.
My thanks to the team of Our World Tuesday where you can see what is happening in other parts of the world.