Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Distress post

So, again, we face a deadline - and today, I deliver or die.

It's a nice enough document that I'm editing. A development project report on watersheds: positive, with solid results to show and interesting as well.

We had quite a bit of rain last fortnight and one neighbour was quite anguished that in spite of so much water all around, he had still needed to order a water tanker. There's the story in a nutshell. Nature is bountiful, even for the way we are multiplying now, but we can't seem manage her gifts.

This watershed story is so much fun - contour bunds, check dams, trees... small, common-sensical interventions and the groundwater table goes up.

We'd gone trekking in the Sahyadris a few years ago and stayed one night at a village that had a most beautiful water tank a little distance away. The men and women in our group were allotted different time slots, and we had trudged across with plastic packets stuffed with toiletries and clean clothes. The village folk were bemused at this sudden descent, but willing enough to share... and the bath was an exhilarating business. I remember being so charmed with this common resource... it had only fed my desperate wish for a rural life.

Trivia for the day: The most popular drumstick variety in some parts of Tamil Nadu, I learnt, was a high-yielding, drought-resistant variety called PAVM, or the Pallapatti Alagarsamy Vellimalaimurugan Moringa - named after an innovative farmer who developed this new type. More here.

Monday, April 13, 2015


 ग़ैर को दर्द सुनाने की ज़रुरत क्या है ?
अपने झगडे में ज़माने की ज़रुरत क्या है ?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Sounds of Water

I’m not the first person, surely, to wish we could package seasons – little packets of pickled season – to be opened later, when we could really use it. A bagful of sun-warmth and sun-scents for chilly winters, a purple-dark cloud of rain for when it’s blazing down in the second fortnight of May, a few icicles of cold when you’re so parched you could swoon.

But Hyderabad, I am certain, is a spot most cherished by the gods. Almost nine months of splendid weather! The rains treat us well, winters are mild and are sufficient only to let us enjoy our woollens, and the summers, hot and torrid though they are, are kind and bountiful. And even those three months of heat are alleviated by nicely placed April showers, lest we become too overcome.

It has been months since I changed the header on this blog, and I was looking to see if I could find something appropriate. I read this haiku yesterday and put it aside. But it has been raining here all morning, and as I puttered around the house, I found it true.

Joyce Clement says:
a different pitch
from room to room
summer rain