Sunday, 30 January 2011

Chal re bhoplya thumuk thumuk

"Chal re bhoplya thumuk thumuk.." was a Marathi nursery rhyme that one of my aunts used to sing to keep me entertained as a child.
A modern day translation of the title would roughly be: " Keep on truckin', pumpkin..."
"Bhopla" is pumpkin and "thumuk thumuk" sort of like conveys the jolly rolling gait of a real fat person.

I read someone mention that although he has an accidental pumpkin creeper growing in his yard, it is yet to yield a pumpkin even though almost 10 months have gone by.
Well, here's hoping that at least one of the above saplings will turn out productive.
I believe, i shall have to put in place a trellis of sorts to help the creepers climb.
Hopefully will find some images on the net.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

A month after weeding

It's been about a month since Krishna began the de-weeding process of the lawn.

Please do not be fooled by the lush green lawn in the accompanying picture. most of it is still weed.
When Krishna started about a month ago the weeds had almost turned into healthy plants :-) and flowered in the process. This caused further weed seeds to be strewn all over by the wind, hence we expected a second line of attack from the weedzens. Most of the green is precisely that - weed. I now await Krishna's return from his gaun, mulook, village.
On January 10, 2011 some urea was broadcast on the lawn and there's been a sustained effort at watering done by me after opting for the garden hose in place of the sprinkler that was in place.
Even though the 3/4 dia hose is fed by a powerful jet pump attached to the well, this handwatering process takes a good 3 hours including doing the plants bed along the periphery.
I know there may be some who will wonder at the wisom of doing away with the sprinkler. frankly i don't really have a precise answer in defence of the same.
But using the spinkler made me feel somewhat like a gardener version of the armchair traveller, or as one friend once remarked - a one finger gardener - sitting in a chair and pointing out with his finger at what needs to be done. I could see myself doing exactly that, reposed in my planter's chair in the shade of the verrandah (a.k.a. barraamde mein ), while overseeing K sweating it out on his haunches in the mild morning sun. The other hassle was that although the single sprinkler that i used did cover quite a large radius of the garden; it left out most of the corners quite dry, which meant that one had to turn off the sprinkler then switch over to another hose in order to water these dry patches. Hmmm, too much of a bleeding hassle.
And so, i decided to go "manual", which was real good.
Well, it so turns out that i have started enjoying the experience and the effort.
In fact, I find it quite therepeutic, even meditative - if i may. Like an extension to the hour or so that i spend meditating each morning upon waking up.
Besides, it gives me time to pause and review a lot of things in my life in a manner quite calm. Surely a chain reaction to listening to and watching the spray of water as it hits the grass below.
There's something about a spray of water hitting a lawn. At first there's this memerising sight of liquid silver spraying against a backdrop of deep green, add to this the gold from the occassional sunray breaking through tree leaves to join the spray and you can't but help stand still in body and mind as you watch the wonderful play of earth, water and fire.
There's even the occasional guest appearance put in by a miniature rainbow dancing in the arc of the hose's shower - a rainbow of one's own making at the proverbial turn of the tap :-) Hmmm.
And how else can i describe the sound - the sound of the spray when it saturates the grass - it sort of like gushes right into my heart, filling it with a kind of satisfaction that's hard to describe.
But as i watch all this, i begin to witness and realise a lot of things about how creation and life truly is a living art unfolding right before our eyes every nano second of our time on earth.
Take this sparrow like black and white bird that has become a constant companion during the watering. I know now that it trusts me to mean no harm because, once in a way it will grab a quick shower from the hose. I can tell it's "shower time" when it boldly alights very close to the spray and remains there, looking at me. So i will slowly but gently slide just the fringe streams towards her and stop. She will get a good soak, flutter her wings and chirp off.
But the real reason for her company is that inadvertently i bring her food.
I have seen that if i observe closely, there is a flurry of activity underfoot.
There seem to be myriad of ants, moths, bugs and what have you, running helter skelter in the grass as the water hits the same.
And blackbird waits, just for this to happen.
A sudden breakfast buffet at her claws, to be happily pecked away at.
And i think to myself how this body mind consciousness of mine becomes a vehicle of both - carrier of life as well as death.
To the grass and the plants, the water i bring provides nourishment for life and growth and to the bugs and moths the same stream of water brings an end.
Indeed the mysteries of nature are far too deep to understand.
I'd like to share a short story about Zen Meditation.
The story goes that once a couple of students in a Zen monastery were discusing with each other whether it would be okay for them to smoke while learning about meditation.
They decided that the best person to answer this would be the Master himself and so took turns in asking him the question.
The first student came back saying that the Master said it would not be proper to do so.
Whereas the second student was pleasantly surprised to be told that it would be okay to smoke.
The conflicting answers were confounding! As is in many a Zen ways.
Apparently the first student was refused because he had asked "if it was possible to smoke while meditating."
Whereas the second student had asked "if it was possible to meditate while smoking."
That's why i like watering the garden personally by hand each morning.

A Mystery

I have found this tree growing in my garden but I do not know what it is.
Can someone help identify the same.
Thank you.
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Thursday, 27 January 2011

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Home Gardening

Not very consciously so, but tending to our home garden seems to have turned into a regular thing to do as of O One Jan Two O One One.
actually it began around last week of December Two O One O when a new maali (gardener) showed up to help with the de-weeding of the lawn which had turned into a miniature forest.
As i was recovering from an extreme and nasty cough it gave me an opportunity to spend time with the new recruit and get to know him better. In the process one found him to be a good worker. One conversation led to another over a few chaai breaks and the next thing i knew, i was poring out all my wannabe garden dreams of my heart. Krishna, the maali, was not to be out done and dove straight into my dreams with all sorts of suggestions that would also augment ones income in order to sustain said dreams - as well as make sure that i wont go broke thus further ensuring his source of income may not dry up as well, at least from my end.
Krishna seems to be pretty big on coconut trees and since one is fortunately graced with a large enough backyard (aprox 700 sq mtrs), has chalked out working plan of getting down to some serious back-garden business.
Reeling under the growing rate of inflation and commodity prices I jumped on to the wagon by disclosing my dreams for a kitchen garden.
So right now, at least on the proverbial paper, we have sketched out a line of action and our plan is in place.
One now awaits Krishna's return from his annual chutti (leave) to visit his family at his mulook (village) somewhere in Benagal, from where he is also to return armed with a formidable cache of seeds for assorted veggies.
In order to keep me going he had sowed a handful of pumpkin seeds that my mother had saved and left me with some simple and precise watering instructions. i have been quite thrilled to now witness the birth of at least 10 pumpkin shoots/saplings on the patch.
I do not know if one is able to upload any pictures on this blog but if so, i shall post pics of the pumpkin saplings along with a few of my garden in order to give a better picture - pun intended :-)
psst: a very good "up" outcome in the past one month of tending to the garden is that one has lost 4 kgs of weight. Guess that takes me off the hook as far as missing out on the daily 40 min's walk routine ;-)