Monday, August 29, 2011

Kitchen Garden Day with Urban Leaves at Maharashtra Nature Park


Kitchen gardens were something I had only read about in books! Then I heard of Urban Leaves, and visited their city farm on a water tank in the Maharashtra Nature Park, and was hooked! More than me, it was Samhith, who, I must say, was fascinated by the idea of eating vegetables plucked directly from the garden, once he realized how much tastier they were than the market bought ones! A few months back, I hadn’t even thought of having my own kitchen garden, much less heard of something called “World Kitchen Garden Day”. When Preeti first told me about it, I simply relegated it to some corner at the back of my mind, a reminder that there was something on the 28th of August, which I had to attend (if possible). A couple of months and a few visits to terrace farms in the city managed by the enthusiastic volunteers was enough to get me more excited about the event!


Friday, August 26, 2011

A Festival I hadn't heard of!

Considering how much I enjoy festivals, and coming from a family obsessed with celebrating not just our own, but every festival we come across, I had thought myself to be fairly well up to the mark when it came to knowledge of festivals celebrated in India.... at least those celebrated in the parts I come from and where I live! It just goes to show you how much I know when I came across a completely new festival today... in the market of all places!

Skywatch Friday - Images from Badami


Badami was the capital of the early Chalukyas, from the 6th to the 8th century AD. The city was then known as Vatapi.

The name came from the legend of Sage Agasthya who destroyed the demons Vatapi and Ilvala here. As the story goes, Vatapi and Ilvala were demon brothers. Vatapi had a boon from the gods that no matter how many pieces his body was cut into, when called, they would join and he would be whole and alive. Taking advantage of this, the brothers tricked all sages who passed by their region. They would invite them for a feast, an invitation which could not be refused. Then Vatapi would turn into a ram and Ilvala would cut him up and serve him to the guests (in those days, even sages ate meat).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Of Festivals and Creativity

The month of July brought with it a host of festivals. Some were small ones, celebrated without much ado, while some involved a lot of preparation. Some were small ceremonies celebrated quietly at home, while some were big affairs, with hordes of people coming home. July has passed us by, and so has August, but the next couple of months bring even more festivals our way! It has been tiring in some ways, and from the state of my blog, you can realize that I haven’t been able to pay much attention to it. However, it has also brought with it, lots of opportunities to bring forth my creativity. Hence, I thought of this post as an update about what I have been up to!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Best Gift - Books for all ages

When I won the World Environment Day Contest held by Pratham Books, I was thrilled! Any prize is exciting, but nothing beats a book received as a prize! And I would be getting a copy of their latest offering - "A King Cobra's summer"! From the moment I told Samhith I had won a prize, and that he would be getting a book, he started asking me when the book would arrive!



And then, last week, the postman held out a parcel which looked a bit too bulky to hold just one book, but it did appear to be from Pratham Books, so  I wondered what it could be! And what a surprise it was, to receive not one, but FOUR books from them!!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Our 'Pet' Snails!

Samhith's fascination for snails is well known to all those who read this blog! This monsoon was no different, though the enthusiasm has worn off a bit for me, and I refused to take pics of every snail we saw! He, of course, continues to look for them, and at last count, we had at least 20 big ones living among the bushes opposite our building, and numerous small ones (babies). The last time he tried to count them, he managed to go till about 80 before the bus arrived and he was forced to stop! That will give you an idea about how prolific the snails are at reproduction!! and also why they are considered pests!!! He has even started thinking of them as his pets, but which he leaves free to roam around, since he doesn't want to put them in a cage!! We have a variety of snails, ranging from huge ones about 10cm long, to tiny ones less than a centimeter in length! Here are some of them!!



These are the most common snails we see. The shell alone is about 5 cm in length, and about 3 cm in circumference at its widest part. When the snail is out, the complete length goes up to almost 10 cm! These are just estimates.. (I have not got around to actually measuring them, though Samhith wants me to!!)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sky Watch Friday - Skies over Mumbai


The Mumbai Skyline, over-set by monsoon clouds......



Walking along Marine Drive in the pouring rain brings back memories of my college days when I walked the path alone. So many years later, I walked the same path, this time with my husband and son! A memorable experience indeed!!!
For more beautiful skies from around the world, go to the Skywatch Page


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