Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Cosmic Dance

My camera is not good for taking photos in the night. But I was determined to freeze my experience of watching the "super moon " rise over the apartment buildings near by house.

Super Moon, 2011

But what I am sharing with you, is not this bad picture but the thoughts that raced through my mind as I focused on the super moon, which was at its closest point to earth on 19th March 2011-"14% bigger, 30% brighter".

The Cosmic Dance

The above Ikebana arrangement is taken from an exhibition held in Gurgaon on 29th January, 2011. The theme was "symbolism" in Japanese Ikebana. This evocative piece by Gayatri Dayanand was titled "The Cosmic Dance". Nice mixture of Japanese symbolism and Indian thought, I said to myself. But it looked like a 'wreath' you present at funerals and so I had no intention of publishing it anywhere. How wrong I was! As I watched the super moon rise, I felt like asking the moon to place a wreath on Japan.

I also remembered the beautiful "Bonsai" garden of Renu Vaish in Kapashera(near Gurgaon) which the members of our Kitchen Garden Association visited on the fateful day of 11th March, 2011.

Images of the Japanese Bonsai garden, clicked just one hour before the earthquake struck Japan on 11th March, 1.04 PM, IST.

I am ending this blog with a photo from the ShantiStup in New Delhi.

Nichirin Buddhism, Shanti Stupa, New Delhi

Writing this blog has been cathartic for me. So, thank you, all of you who have had the patience to go through it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tale of a mustard plant

The mustard plant in full bloom in my kitchen garden conjured up visions of large fields in Punjab/Haryana and even in Leh (Ladakh), during the short spring in the Indus valley.

The warbler and the tailor bird started visiting the mustard plants in the morning. They seemed to relish some white powdery substance from the back of the leaves-the leaves were now nearly white with morning frost and not good enough for making "sarson ka saag". So I let them be and started watching the birds. Only small birds came, warbler (almost daily) tailor bird and an occasional white eye.

Then one day, I noticed the leaves getting eaten up by large worms. The birds stopped coming on the plant. Even the babblers and bulbuls ( who I found were particularly fond of worms) gave the mustard plants a miss. The worms grew bolder and bigger.

I tried spraying neem oil, since by now, I was determined to let the mustard seeds ripe. The worms were apparently not moved.

Then, within a week, the temperatures started going up. The morning sun hotted up. One such hot morning I found the crawlies all down from the plant moving around in all directions.

I looked up Google. The worm had a name-diamond backed moth worm, which normally affects mustard leaves and cabbage leaves. The leaves were all eaten up, but the seed pods were intact. So I can still hope to get some home grown mustard seeds.