Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mother Nature 4

I didn't know the botoanical name or the history of this vegetable, though I have it in my back yard for a long long time.

The credit for the information goes to Sarah who has been kind enough to send me the link in exchange for a promise of a keralite dinner.

She is a talented writer and I would say one of the best. Check her out yourself. Today she has mentioned about 'Paraquat', a weed killer in her post.

This post is about Ivy gourd or Coccania in Brazilian language.

Originally from Brazil, the history of Ivy gourd (Coccinia indica) coming to India is not clear.

Ivy gourd is an under exploited cucurbitaceous vegetable grown in eastern and southern parts of the India.

The variety is propagated through vegetative means. Planting the three-noded cuttings is the best method. The selected cuttings should be planted in pits of 60 cm diameter dug at a spacing of 2 m by 2 m. Two or three cuttings may be planted in each pit. It responds to sound nutrient management.

It is a favorite vegetable of the farmers because of its resistance to pests. I have it for years in my backyard and never have I seen any pest attacking it nor have I used any pesticides. It never bothered me at all.Twice a week it can be plucked except in the rainy season…when its time to prune it or clip it.

Thouugh the fruit looks eatable, it is a delicacy only to the birds.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Mother Nature 3

Dear all
I had a problem with my internet modem which mercilessly burned out leaving me in a jam.

I have neither been reading anything for the past four or five days nor did I post any. Sorry for that. I will be on to you soon. Thanks again with apologies.

This post is inspired by a comment by a blogger in my previous post, who asked me if I have seen her guava tree with just leaves.
I took a look again in her blog and later went out in my backyard to take these pictures.

This is very specially for that blogger who wished that she had plenty of fruits in her guava tree.
I have two of them in my backyard and this one is yellow skin outside and white inners when it is ripe.
As I have two, I can offer one of my guava trees to starrynights with pleasure.

Hybrid and tissue cultured, this gives you the delicious fruits in third year.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Mother Nature 2

I suppose that this one doesn't require an introduction.

It is the good old Mangoes... also from my backyard.

The last one is ripe and ready to eat.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Mother Nature 1

Last week all of us celebrated the mother’s day.
All over the world Mothers were remembered and I hope that it is not just the words that were heard.
There is no match for mom’s love and there seems no barrier to it.

How ever ugly a child looks…has no meaning with a mom. It still would be a lovely child to her.

Well ! Mother Nature too is a called a Mom.

She has immense care to her creations.

The plants, the trees and flowers, all have a charm of their own.
Like humans, it also has a cycle. Like the birth of a baby, like a growing child, like an adolescent or like an aged human being.
The cycle just moves

Today, I have such a cycle here.
If you like it …then I have few more other examples to show you… but only if you like it.
So let me know what you think about it, a few others will follow in the coming days entirely on your choice.

In the pic is a tropical sour tasted fruit known in botanical books as Averrhoa bilimbi, Bilimbi, Cucumber tree, Tree Sorrel, Kamias, belimbing asam, belimbing buloh

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Am I so careless ?

This is the second time in his week I have the same feeling, a feeling of neglecting things, and a kind of forgetting about little things that I should not be forgetting.

Am I forgetting my old friends ?
Am I forgetting the needs of some people who care about me. ?
Am I neglecting some one or something, who is so dear to me ?

Let me tell you about what happened today. When I am home it is my practice to water all my plants with my own hands so that I notice each and every plant with my eyes. My watering started from the east end of my garden to the extreme corner, facing the main road.
When I was in the corner concentrating on the Anthurium, I sensed an exotic smell.

Well! Every body knows that Anthurium do not have any particular smell so I started wondering if one of the purple one’s have suddenly turned a hybrid variety with a scent ? Impossible!

Now something else flashed in my mind…the unmistakable smell of Champaka, the special exotic smell that no other flower can give you.

Perhaps some of you remember my old post 'Thank you Pinky' about a stem of half spoiled champaka that came floating in the river which I planted it in the corner of my garden. It bloomed once and I posted it but after that I forgot the champaka completely. It was behind a medium sized leafy mahogany in the corner and I never cared to check the plant for almost 6six months.
I don’t elaborate more. The plant has grown just a few inches taller than I have seen it last.
With the same camera but with due apologies to my pink champaka, for neglecting it…here it is, the second bloom.

Now I wonder if I am really forgetting or neglecting anything else.
Remind me if I am.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Am bleeding !!! :)

I have a bleeding finger and for sure it was not induced by me.

It is for real. It is just plain fact that it is induced by some one.

The culprit is not alive for a fact and the bleeding is not alarming. LOL

Yesterday I passed in front of a house of one of my cousins.
He deals with export of prawns to Middle East and owns a number of mechanized fishing trawlers, to name some of his assets.
A freeze truck was parked in front of the house and my cousin was standing beside the truck. He saw me and waved me to a stop. I know that it will be hour before I can escape from him if I don’t excuse myself with a lame reason.
I stopped and told him that I have a guest in my house and that I will visit him before the end of my vacation. He looked at me quizzically, prying my face for a clue to see if I was lying.
I made a straight face and his face muscles eased. While he was conversing with me I noticed that the freeze truck was being loaded with something in neat cartons from his freeze room, constructed right near his home. I asked him what they were loading and he said it was shrimps. While saying good bye, he told me to wait a second while he moved over the freeze room and I could see him gesturing to his workers pointing at me. He came back with a worker, carrying a plastic packet and told me to open my trunk explaining that he has some shrimps caught on that day and it was for me.
Well fresh shrimps are not easy to get so I thanked for his good will.
It was another ten minutes till I reached my home. After parking I was inside to change my dress.
Now I remembered the shrimps.

I was in the garage taking out the plastic bag of shrimps.
I made a visual inspection and saw that it was not tiger prawns but a variety smaller.
I thought of stashing it in the freezer but I remembered that it was fresh from the catch.
Instead I was tempted to have it for dinner.
I took a handful from the plastic bag and placed it in a pan thinking that it will be hell of a job to clean and de-husk the lot.
The taste of fresh shrimps was enough to make my laziness go away.
I took the second handful…then I felt the sting, a sharp pain on my fingers. It was like the sting of hornet or a wasp…sharp like a pin.
I took of my hands off the bag and inspected it. It was bleeding and the stinging pain remained.
I never knew that shrimps have fins or horns so sharp. I was wrong as you can see that though they look harmless, they can sting you.
I washed my hands with soap and water and the bleeding was not visible now.
I put all the shrimps back in to the bag again except a few of them in a plate for you to see.

I am not going to clean it today. Today it's destination is the freezer. No way am I going to clean it with my bleeding hand.
Now I looked again at my hand.
It started to bleed again.
See for yourself the culprit and my poor finger too.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Smile... Here I Smile Again.

Here what you see; is not a flower at all
The colour you see; is not a colour
at all

This is just a smile, from smiling eyes
It is me you see,
with my smiling eyes

Monday, May 08, 2006

A lonely soul.

All of you know what happiness means
All of you know what cleanliness
Most of you know what weariness means
Very few aware of what
loneliness means

It is a tunnel that spins through the soul
It is a funnel,
that squeeze you to a ball
Seconds you spend... you fear like
your end
Your legs become numb, refusing to stand

Be, at it once or feel it
just once
One feels like jail; all hopes do just fail
Here is a bunch
of my bougainvilleas
Falling and swirling away down below.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I am an addict :(

Yes, I am.
I want to shout that to all that I am an addict.

Many of you are addicts one way or other. Some are addicted to alcohol, some with drugs, and another with cigarette, some with chewing tobacco, cigars and what not ?

So what is this surprise about my addiction?
I too am a human, with flesh and blood.

I am addicted to something hot.
I know ! I know!
What you have in your mind ?
All of you have only sex in your mind???

I am not that type of man, please!!

Let me explain.
I am addicted to hot chilies !!!!!
I am addicted all type of chilies, red, yellow, green, violet, small, big and black… provided that they are hot.
It was started long back, when I was a child with that yummy hot chili chutneys that was a great combination with Cassava roots or simply called tapioca.

In Sudan I am lucky to have hot green chilies imported probably from Sri Lanka.

I normally eat ten hot chilies a day.

I have a collection of them in my backyard too, in pots and in open ground.

The other day while I was watering the plants, I came across some of them ripe.

You don’t believe a thing I wrote here, right?
I know that!
I guessed!
See for yourself then.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

It is raining...well, I be damned

Yesterday I saw a lovely sight in the far fields. It was afternoon and I was on my way to my trainees.
Birds !! Tiny Birds !!!
Millions and millions of small birds flying in unison like huge dark clouds, flying so fast.
They moved like waves up and down, up and down.
It was lovely and unbelievable. All my attempts to capture it in my camera failed as the distance was too great…and my camera too cheap.
I don’t own a lens to capture the marvel.
I tried to move close and there… they go farther and further sensing my presence. I gave up my trial and decided to enjoy the breathtaking sight.
I was surprised, at what made them to crowd around here at this time.
I moved farther to check where they were before. I could see nothing but dry patches of grass over there. I looked closer at the grass.
Peered at it again… there the clue lies.
The seeds the birds were feasting on, dry and brittle. Small wheat coloured seeds, that too thousands of them.
I took some seeds in my hands and rubbed it with my palm. The skin like husks started to peel off and I saw the thin white seeds alone.
The seeds had a shining white hue. I wondered why the birds were feasting today altogether, in millions.
The thought lingered in my mind.

In the oil station where I was supposed to be visiting my trainees, was an old man named Abed, who is about to retire in 6 months.
He always calls me a teacher, fully aware of the annoyance it made to me and despite telling him many times that I am a trainer and not a teacher.
He always says that both are same, one way or other.
For him I am teacher and that is it.
I called him outside the building.
“Abed! Do you see the birds far away?” I pointed my fingers.
“Yes, I see the birds” he was so casual “millions of them, teacher!” he seemed to guess my mind.
“What about it” I asked. "Why are they in there, in millions or may be more".
He pretended ignorance though not hiding his playful, knowing smile. He always seems to guess my questions.
“Teacher, tomorrow it will rain” my eyes goggled, but my face showed a glee at the pleasure of seeing him with his all knowing smile.
“How do you know Abed? I don’t see any clouds” I peered all over the sky, not a patch, not even a speck of clouds. He must be joking.
“Well! I know that, teacher!” he guessed my thoughts.
“But what make you think that it is going to rain” I am not going to give up easily.
“The birds” he was casual again showing his half worn out, yellow teeth out to me
“What about the birds” I knew that he wasn’t joking.
‘Did you see these birds yesterday? He was serious now.
“No” I was surprised as it was true.
“Tomorrow also you won’t see those birds” his all knowing words with a smile, “because every year just before the rain this happens. The birds come in millions and eat the grass seeds hurriedly as if they can’t eat it the next day, as if they know, that after it rains the seeds fall in the ground among the grass and they can’t eat it any more” his serious words were not so serious to me.
I laughed it off and moved to my trainees.

I remembered him now.
Because it is raining cats and dogs outside my window.

Yea, I remember Abed.

Monday, May 01, 2006

My soul searching

I thank one and all,
for being here with your words which made me regain my posture.
I thank you all,
for sharing the sorrow of the families.
and again I also thank you,
for your prayers that makes a lot of difference.
My mind still needs to be properly ironed out. The last few days remains glued in with sorrow.

A few days back when I was drifting through blogs, I came across this link and tried to see what my soul is like. This is what it said.
Now it has become handy to me.

You Are a Visionary Soul

You are a curious person, always in a state of awareness.
Connected to all things spiritual, you are very connected to your soul.
You are wise and bright: able to reason and be reasonable.
Occasionally, you get quite depressed and have dark feelings.

You have great vision and can be very insightful.
In fact, you are often profound in a way that surprises yourself.
Visionary souls like you can be the best type of friend.
You are intuitive, understanding, sympathetic, and a good healer.

Souls you are most compatible with: Old Soul and Peacemaker Soul