28 August, 2011

Glorious! Superb!

This flower, Glory Lily, blooms around Ganesh Chaturthi. It is locally known as Gowri Hoovu (Gowri flower).



I was under the impression that this plant was a weed. We didn't plant it and I don't know how it came to be there. I noticed the plant about 2-3 years ago, when it bloomed for the first time. Since the flower is so unique, I decided to keep the plant.

Today's edition of the local newspaper carried an article on the flower. Gowri hoovu is called so, because, it is considered to be a special offering to the Goddess on the day of Gowri pooja (Ganesh Chaturthi eve, usually). What tickled me was the botanical name - Gloriosa superba . According to the article, the gora scientists exclaimed 'Glorious! Superb!' when they saw the flowers for the first time and decided to name the flower so!!

This tickled me so much that I decided to google it up. I couldn't locate the last bit of information ... maybe, it is a tall tale!!

However, I came across some other interesting bits. This plant, inspite of being poisonous, has several medicinal uses. And, quite surprisingly, it is a plant that is fighting for survival (must take care to preserve the one in our garden).

Another bit of news is that it is the national flower of Zimbabwe and the state flower of our neighbour- Tamil Nadu!
That's a little odd! Because, the flowers are red & yellow- the only two colours in Karnataka's flag ;)

12 August, 2011

Some Idle Thoughts



This hoarding adorns the compound wall of our Taluk Office, also known as 'Mini Vidhana Soudha'.

It's a hoarding that cannot be missed. That pic, of course, was taken during the 'World Kannada meet' in Belgaum in March 2011. The hoarding tells us that -
i)The meet was successful thanks to enthusiastic participation by lakhs of Kannadigas,
ii) The meet was hailed by dignitaries from all over the world and,
iii) The meet provided an opportunity to 1000s of national & international artistes to showcase their talents.

As far as I know, Taluk offices are places for files & records of land surveys, births, deaths,.... why this particular hoarding HERE? Yaake? Yaake? Yaake?

Poor Anil Kumble! Half hidden thanks to that handfan - like protrusion from Mr.Y's turban! Now, if he was seated next to Mr.Y...... he would have made the pcs in Kannada!

But, would anybody bother to take a second look at the hoarding if AK/ some colleague of Mr.Y's was sitting next to him? Would I have bothered to take a pic & write about it...inspite of the happy contents in the message?

I don't think so!

08 August, 2011

Monsoon Miseries

Every year, every child I know here prays for heavy rains. And, on most years, the rain Gods answer the collective prayers!




About 40-50% of the school kids here have to cross streams & travel through forests & plantations, to reach school. The chances of blocked roads due to fallen trees and flash floods in streams are very high during the peak monsoon. Fearing stranded children, the Block Education Office declares 2-3 days' holidays to schools whenever there is a non-stop, heavy downpour for 3-4 days....now you know why our children pray!

Quite magically, the intensity of the rain decreases from Day 1 of the holidays ... God letting us know on whose side He is !

As it is, in these parts, monsoon is non-stop, steady rain for 100+ days. Some of my friends, in their 80s, tell me that the monsoon now is nothing compared to the monsoon of their youth! They mean that back then, the rains were heavier and lasted for about 150 days!

The rains may not be the same, but, the woes brought about by them don't seem to have changed at all. The woes that I'm about to list are the same woes that my elderly friends complain about.... Getting up in the morning, managing the kid, who frequently has the 'I - don't - feel - like - going - to - school - today - :'( ' mood, extremely erratic power supply, clothes that seem to be perpetually wet, molt and a musty odour that clings to upholstery, blankets & clothes, slush, puddles & slippery pathways, chills, ills,.....

Then, there are the various bugs, slugs, frogs, insects, snakes & other fellow creatures who seek shelter in your home. And then, there are family members - who lock themselves up and refuse to have anything to do with chasing these unwanted guests - this last woe seems to be exclusively mine :(

Of course, all these woes seem negligible when we see/ hear about the water shortage woes faced by people elsewhere, sometimes, as early as Jan - Feb.
Thank rains! For not allowing us to know the meaning of the term 'water shortage'!
Touch wood!!!

Century on the Bronze Anniversary!

This is my100th post, and today is the eighth birthday of Alter Idem !! That's an average of a post per month......1.04 to be precise!!...