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Time for Nature in the neighbourhood...................

Hope you are doing good and strongly coping up with current pandemic situation, which hasn’t been experienced in such a scale. With a more connected world (for humans), we are geared up for a prolonged experience of this situation and more of such impending phenomenon. We, humans, fight at differential scales to cope up. ·          For some it is the fight for mere survival, ·          For some it is the fight for getting together with friends and kin ·          For some it is the fight for free choices of travel and purchase ·          For some it is the fight for their right to leisure ·         And finally, for some it is fight for ‘noone knows what for, everyone is fighting so I am fighting hard too’. But apart from humans, for every other life on Earth, there is only one fight and that is always the ‘fight for survival’. How do we observe this? Is it only for the researchers and scientists to observe, document and report? Observation, one process which had been re

A lucky spotting at Valparai

It was a pleasant evening. I was driving on the curvy roads of Valparai. Although, it falls under the Western Ghats, the soaring temperature did not feel like one. There wasn’t any canopy cover to protect us from the sweltering heat as the atmosphere was teeming with the dense thickets of tea gardens. Over the past few decades, tropical forests (across the world) have been harvested exponentially for tea, coffee or oil palm cultivation. Valparai is not an exception. Anyways, this story is not about deforestation or conservation, but about an adorable species and the very nature of tropical forests. Forest bungalow in between the woods Art by Anaga N As the road meandered, I took a sharp turn, and entered the deep-rooted tropical forest from an open tea estate. A sudden change in the temperature hit me as I witnessed short tea shrubs transforming into tall and dense tropical trees. Sunlight had a tough time piercing through tiny breaks of the canopy covers and, hence altering the temper

What Heritage Town in Pondicherry can reveal about Madhuca Trees?

Heaven is where there are Mahua trees and hell is where there is no mahua tree to make wine – a popular Gond saying. Art by Anaga N Mahua trees (Madhuca longifolia) are considered sacred among the Gond communities of Central Indian plateau of Chota Nagpur region. It is widely popular amongst them as ‘Kalpavriksha’ - Trees of Life. During childbirth, Mahua oil is applied to the child after cutting the umbilical cord. As a tradition, newlyweds hold the sticks of Mahua tree, during marriage. Also, Mahua drinks are served as well. The dead corpse is tarnished with Mahua oil. Hence, right from the birth to death, the part played by Mahua trees in Gond culture is irreplaceable. Majorly found in Central India, Mahua trees are also spotted all the way down south. In fact, ancientSangham literature mentions about the significant relationship between mahuaflowers and bears . Project Madhuca This culturally and environmentally significant tree is found in Puducherry as well. While its

Indoor Observation - The next big thing in Lockdown!

Covid-19 pandemic has made everyone motionless and indolent for the past few weeks. Given the current situation of our country and the contagious nature of the virus, this locked-to-house condition might go on for a while. Hence, it would be good to keep up the momentum to stay hopeful and active. While reading gives peace, there is something that can give unimaginable pleasure - Observation. It’s something you can do at ease without compulsion or exhaustion. Careful selection of subject is key in making your observation delightful and fun. Not to mention  the patience required. Obviously, it will be good if your subject is a living creature. Spider, Spider where are you? Art by Anaga N I selected a tiny but beautiful creature, the spider. One that is easily spotted in our homes and can also fascinate you with its incredible architectural skill and inquisitive self. To start with, spiders are not insects but Arachnids. Insects have six legs and belong to the class Insecta unlike s

Kazhuveli Wetlands – Fresh and Endless Wilderness

Lone Pond Heron getting ready for hunt Sunday morning are best suited for travel and explorations due to less congested roads. People sleep and hence no traffic. What more do you need than an empty road in the winter morning? Grabbing the opportunity like a hungry cat, we decided to visit the nearby wetlands – Kazhuveli – located around 16 kms north of Puducherry along the east coast. We hit the East Coast Road (ECR) early in the morning. Winter was not at its peak but pleasing. There is something beautiful about winter mornings, especially in Puducherry. While fog keeps you cold, the warm sea breeze stimulates your senses. It’s just enchanting. Riding in ECR was fun but its short-lived as we took a detour into the village after crossing Anumanthai toll. The roads were narrow and rugged, giving us an adventurous ride. After passing through some sharp turns and a lot of humps, a water body caught our eyes. It wasn't as massive as I visualised. Wetlands flou