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Category Archives: Nature

If a rejuvenating holiday is all you want, avoid these in Munnar

There are many reasons why we choose to go on a holiday. Sometimes it is to explore the local natural beauty to its fullest, sometimes we are looking for adventure not found in our daily lives. But every once in a while we seek a holiday to do nothing. Just a simple break in the midst of nature where you can put your feet up and soak in the goodness of nature.

 

I’m having a great time in Munnar. It’s my second day here and I am enjoying every minute of it. Since this is my 3rd trip to the place I am okay if one doesn’t make the best of every moment, but if you are here for your first trip here, it would help to know what is worth investing your time in. If you are looking to make the best of your time here and are looking for more of a relaxing holiday to just soak in the beauty, here’s my pick of some popular tourist attractions one can avoid.

 
1. Eravikulam National Park – the much popularised national park is a good 1 hour drive away from the main city and does not have much to offer in terms of wild life. The main attraction, the Neel Giri Tahr, is actually just a mountain goat. So if the call of the wild goat doesn’t excite you, choose from among the many interesting activities you can do at the resort or just catch a nice afternoon siesta.

 

2. Madupetty Dam – A north Indian tourist, who has has seen the great and gurgling dams of the Himachal, will find nothing great about this calm and serene dam of Kerala. Especially if your trip is just before the monsoons, one can totally give this one a pass.

 

3. Flower Show – the valley has some very beautiful flora and one can spend hours with the beautiful flowers in all colours and shapes. But if you are short on time, and the objective of your holiday is to chill and bond with your family, opt out. Take a walk in the organic garden your resort will no doubt have.

 

So choose your itinerary smartly. Put in a bit of research to understand what each place has to offer and then plan your stay to make the best of your holiday. A tick mark holiday where we must do everything and have pictures of every possible tourist spot to show back home is so not worth it.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2017 in Nature, travel

 

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A Walk in the Clouds

I woke up this morning to find that overnight our resort had lost its earthly anchor and floated up to the devine devloks. Atleast that’s what it looked like from my window. No where could I see the lush hills of Munnar covered with tea gardens. I rushed out and sat on the hills, marvelling at this feeling of being on top of the world.

As I sat gazing at the carpet of clouds, I could feel a change coming over them. The snowy clouds started to turn a beautiful shade of gold. Still in my sleep fuzzed and wonderstruck state, it took me some time to understand what was happening. I was witnessing a beautiful sunrise on the hills!

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As the golden rays of the rising sun touched the clouds and the hills, the whole valley glowed with a beautiful shade of orange. Soon the clouds departed and the sun-kissed, misty hills reappeared.

This is how I started my morning trek to the Sita Devi Lake on top of the hills of Munnar. My guide chose an easy trek for us city-trekkers and a half hour later we found ourselves near a beautiful lake. The clear waters reflected the canopy of trees and gentle hills surrounding it from all sides. Nestled among the thick forest of Munnar, this pristine lake took my breath away.

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As we sat at its banks, the first rays of the golden sun filtered through the thick forest and created the illusion of a devine harp. Sitting by the lake we were surrounded by the melodious exchange of the Malabar Whistling Thrush, calling out to their mates.

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Posted by on April 27, 2017 in Nature, travel

 

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A Walk in Fragrant Gardens on the Hills of Munnar

When people like me step out of our cozy and comfortable four walls, we find ourselves wonder struck by how refreshing the natural way of living can be. Everyday when we need vegetables it means a trip to the local market or ordering online, owing to the busy lives we lead. There is a contant fight between my 9 year old and me if I decide to step out and wish to take him with me. But imagine if I were to tell him to step out in the garden and pluck some fresh organic cabbage or brinjals, the conversation would be completely different I imagine. When he was little his pre-school teacher once informed me that they were going on a fruits and vegetable filed trip the next day. Over-joyed and congratulating myself for choosing a hands-on school for my jigar ka tukda, I asked her which orchard or farm they were going to. I was promptly informed that the trip was to the local super market where the children will see a wide variety of fruits and vegetables displayed. ūüėź

But yesterday morning I found myself walking in a beautifully laid out organic garden where more than 30 varieties of fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs were grown. I could not help but wish we had something like this in the city so that kids could see how these things actually grow rather than just sold.

 

I have never seen cabbages as big as these or mint smelling as fresh as to carry its whiff IMG_20170426_104837107-1across the garden. The sweet taste of freshly plucked fennel was far more refreshing than any sugar coated fennel we find in the markets. I was amazed to find how easy it is to do this ourselves if only we find the time and passion to dedicate some of effort and resources to it.

The interesting part I got to know is that while it is good for us to consume these fresh and organically grown fruits and vegetable, it also adds to the bio-diversity of the area. The waste from the plants are used as manure for the garden and the vermi-compost pit ensures there is no need to ever use chemical based fertilizers, making this a truly organic produce.

The honey bees that nest here help in pollination, thereby adding to the grDSC_0646owth of the local flora. The trees and plants provide habitats to rare and beautiful birds and animals such as the Malabar Whistling Thrush, Spotted Dove, Malabar Hornbil, Indian Parakeet, the flying squirrel and many more.

 

I am so excited about my find that I cannot wait to plan a visit with my son so that I can show him the natural way of life. I can imagine his wonder and amazement to see the beauty and simplicity in living a sustainable life. I know it is not practical to create a life like this for him in the city. But I hope that he will stay in touch with the reality and be a conscious individual when he grows up.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2017 in Nature, travel

 

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Hi-Tide, Bye-Tide

This year in Mumbai
We have the alert from monsoon-bhai
Stay indoor or get washed away
The weather-man warns almost everyday
Schools are shut to avoid a calamity
We all shiver under floods enormity
But as we gaze at the sky
It’s covered with black clouds that act sly
Light drizzles and showers in the name of rain
Even the ground water levels have nothing to gain
The city is reeling with water-shortage
While water logging is all over TV footage
The monsoon’s taken us all for a ride
This year it is Hi(gh)-tide, bye-tide!

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2009 in Daily Life, Mumbai, Nature

 

Is it really a bad Omen?

I was born on a solar eclipse day. It was considered to be one of the major ones. My mother shares her memories of the day when she was in the hospital with me and my father was at home with my two elder sisters to make sure they don’t venture out.

 

People have a lot of theories, some scientific and some religious/traditional of how a solar eclipse can effect babies that are in the womb and even new born babies. Some talk about physical abnormalities and some talk about mental abnormalities. Since I was born on a solar eclipse day i have found the perfect excuse for all my essectricities ūüėÄ

 

On a serious note, one wonders what people in the stone ages thought and felt during a solar eclipse. For people who thought that thunder and rain were punishments from god, one can only imagine what a solar eclipse could mean. To some it was a bad omen. That was then, when there no science to prove the process and reasons for it. What is surprising is how even today educated people believe in the old norms and beliefs and consider this scientific marvel to be a bad omen.

 

Considering my personal example, my parents could have taken my birth to be a bad omen, as I was a third daughter after my two elde sisters. My mother could have suffered a lot for giving birth to a cursed daughter in the family. Thankfully, my family, though not very educated, was sensible enough to not torture her, and i think it helped that I¬†turned out to be physically and mentally fit.¬† In fact, as I grew up my father called¬† me his ‘Lucky Daughter’ as he felt that our life took an upwards turn after my birth.

 

My mother and I may have been lucky these superstitions still exist.¬†Why don’t people accept the change and understand that somethign happening thousands of miles away in the space cannot change the gender of a baby lying in a woman’s womb?

 

This year the solar eclipse was a major event across the world. Millions of people got up early to catch it, the net is flooded with images of the diamond ring and videos of the eclipse. However, this is still the scene in urban India. I hope that by the time it happens the next time the world has progressed¬†enough to take it as another scientific occurance or even as another of god’s creations, rather than a bad omen.

 

Old newspaper cut-out of a solar eclipse some 3 decades ago

Old newspaper cut-out of a solar eclipse some 3 decades ago

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2009 in Current Affairs, Memories, Nature

 

I am 3 monsoons old

When i first came to Mumbai an ex-colleague told me that in Mumbia people count their year by the number of monsoons they have seen here. So going by that count I am 3 monsoons old now.

My first monsoon was quite an interesting experience. I was just getting the hang of travelling on the local trains and congratulating myself on my success, when the rains hit my side of the world and all hell broke lose. Delayed trains, water-logged roads, perpetual drizzling that gets under your skin after a while and to top it all traffic jams!!! I somehow managed to survive them all. My second monsoons were much better as I was mostly confined to home, thanks to my newly-born baby…muuaaaahhh!! So not much to talk about really…except my mories of sitting by the window with the baby in my arms and rocking him gently while he gazed with wonder at the falling drops of rain!

This year I am 3 monsoons old…and I never thought I’d say it but I actually like it! Yes, I guess I’m turning into a Mumbaikar now. This year I am travelling, wroking, playing with my baby, all in the rains…and this time I don’t mind it so much. I hope I am not speaking too soon…coz its still 3 more months of rain to go! Yes, believe it or not it rains for 4 months here! We Dilliwalas (actually me an ex-Dilliwala) have no idea what a real monsoon is like. You have to be in Mumbai to know it.

I had visited Mumbai some years back in November. When I was oohing and aahing over the beautiful sea-view, a friend had told me I should come here in the monsoons…the sea is wild! After spending 3 monsoons here…I have finally started noticing these small beauties of this city which is so full of life!

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2009 in Daily Life, Mumbai, Nature

 

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