Sunday, February 28, 2010

Freaking on fruit in Bali!

For a fruit lover, Bali was the place to be. The lavish spread of fruit every morning had me happily gorging on watermelons and Rambutans. There was an orange watermelon I had never seen though it tasted the same as the red one does. Rambutans, I totally misbehaved and ate whole plates of them.
I have carried the seeds back and hopefully they grow here.
There was a strange pear shaped fruit with a snaky brown skin to it. I did not even like the taste of the thing, wonder if anyone knows the name of it. It's on the left of the photo.
The watermelon carvings were awesome!Just look at the pics and you will see what I mean. They have them here, but they are nowhere as intricate as these!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bar headed Geese & avian 'flu

I have just spent the morning writing a piece on Bar Headed Geese. What a great time I have had doing it cause I was able to get the actual PPT of the programme sent to me by Dr Martin Gilbert himself. Its amazing writing on these topics for me esp. getting my head around these scientific topics and then writing features which should interest the common man.
What's super is birders love to share their pictures as long as they are credited for the pics. So do have a look at the pics loaded. They are by a Shafat Khan and an M Rao.Both ace pictures if you are mad about birds like I am.
By the way the story was about the geese being collared in Mongolia and how they fly over the Himalayas to India to Karnataka no less where our birders sighted them and that brought Dr Gilbert to speak to us!
Sigh! total joy!

Andhra Biriyani!

We all trooped into Nagarjuna on Residency Road cause Annika wanted to eat Andhra Biriyani or was it their Thaali?! As soon as Andy, Dave and Annika come home to India they are back to their old haunts and thankfully have no acquired airs and graces of not eating in the old hot spots! Infact they just dive into the cupboards, pull out their old clothes -- Annika even put on her long long kurtis (too cute!) and they were back to riding bikes and pulling on helmets like they had never left. What a relief! I just cannot bear the kids to acquire 'attitude' and believe Bangalore has turned into the boondocks --- though privately I DO think it has!
What I noticed about myself is I was quite thrilled to eat off a banana leaf. Before I would ask for a plate. Now having turned completely and totally GREEN, I think eating off a banana leaf is coool PROVIDED it is washed clean of insecticides!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hoskote Sunday!

We decided to finally make a trip to the farm on Sunday. Its somehow hard now with Bonny working on Sundays --- his calls are more frequent on the weekends.
Anyway even though there wasn't much rain and water, the place looked good. The chickoos as usual were loaded on the trees and the mangos were in bloom.
We took the left over saplings of the conference for Narsimappa to plant along the periphery. I felt its better that he waits for the rains before he sets them down or they wont survive.
The coffee and the Passion fruit looked good but the Amla looked really quite straggly now thats its our Indian Autumn and its losing its leaves.
Badri came with us as he was in town and so could do a lot of talking to Narsimappa about my Pomogranates which are still tiny.Telugu does the trick and next week I am sure Narsimappa would have done a lot of work on the land.
Rain, rain, we need rain!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The importance of composting!

Today I showed the Science Journalism class a DVD on composting. These are our city slicker kids who have grown up in apartments and have no idea what composting means! We who have been lucky to have grown up in gardens and composted the garden and kitchen waste in pits in our back yard, have always known the concept. Todays kids have to be shown PR kits which have been slickly made by companies who are in the composting business. They are wonderful educational tools as only then with actual pictures shown to them, I have great hopes that the future generation will think of the necessity of composting wet waste rather than the chucking everything into the garbage.
I asked them if they had seen the stinking garbage lorries that come around, and the poor scavengers who have to clean out unhealthily dumped waste. They all screwed up their noses and said yes. After seeing the composting DVD they realised that wet waste is almost 90% water and that is why the garbage lorries have a constant stream of stinking liquid pouring out from them.
If the wet waste is composted instead by each of us, there would be much less of that liquid pouring off and much less for the poor scavengers to handle.And much less of that stink around our cities.