31 Mar


News that Kannan is not here any more, a short unfinished conversation about Life (its so easy to lose the tone and feel in these faceless voices), were good enough to shake up the thought process from the ‘unpleasant attachments’ of existence in an urban setting of so called life and head towards wilderness of the open air.

First time on the plains of Meghalaya, on mountains of North-East… It was a field trip to study the flora of the East Khasi hills in Meghalaya. And it was more than enough to lose one-self in the richness of the flora, esp orchids. and still asking for more…

probably somewhere in the back of mind had the picture of Sohra (Cherrapunji) as place where it rains always and place with thick woods and so on. It was a small surprise to see the place a bit different though. But loved the vast landscape of the plateau.
nokhlikai falls
The clans there keep a belt of forest protected by all the foreign elements and their influence. Along with with protection come beliefs and rituals, making it all together a culture of the sacred groves. Absolutely delightful to see the forest so rich and protected. As compared to the uneasy feeling of noticing a Silver Oak sapling planted by the road side. No idea how (un)scientific it is!!
sacred forest and plateau
As the clans move around the hills changing their base every now and then, they leave behind the notice of their existence and passage by the way of the monoliths planted in orderly fashion. These little rock monuments tell the folks following that someone was there before. Donno how one reads who was there before!! May be they write something on those rocks!!

Another small piece of delightful land is the the botanical garden next to Bara Pani (Bara pani is the big water body which has a power generation unit on one side). Rhaba tells us that there they have 400 species of orchids collected from various places of north-eastern states. (NE has more than 700 native species though) He know every detail about the species by name and characteristics. There were many more species, but its tough to go beyond orchids 😉 And yes, another interesting plant is of course the pitcher plant. D. aphyllum

one also becomes lazy and starts drifting away when things like stay, day-to-day travel, food are taken care of. At the same time it gives ample time to study too… That reminds the University! The North Eastern Hill University seems like best place to study too 🙂 (or rather just to be in college!) And could have asked for more intensity, may not have been fair on others though.
evershy kids
the camera shy kids of Mawlynnong

times like these
are all made of songs
heart by heart, drift by drift !!
sweet wind, tell me no more
for we are here this moment
who cares where is tomorrow !!

be it a long walk on the empty beach with ocean on one side and small hillocks with coco trees on the other,
or a walk on the high plateau in the evening with valleys and grass flowers around and orange sun at a distance
or a swim in the cold water of a waterfall in the thickets listening to birds … or …
well, one should know what to ask for !!!

15 Mar


or is it ignorance?

There was a small home, there was some hope. Then came the half-baked knowledge of humans.

If the evolution has put the chemicals in place to record the series of acts for a Nightjar, it would have found itself making an impression of the series of events as one man came, a fire followed soon after and the man came again with clickety sound… Till it finds itself capable of distinguishing individuals, it might probably have impression of fire followed by a human…

night jar home

Darn God knows how many such homes got destroyed… getting destroyed… how many hopes…!!

05 Dec

conservation! a slightly different way..

Some interesting ideas…
– Revival of traditional recipies
– Knowledge of food from woods.
– the folk art
– and the connection to conservation.

When I go home I know that I have to search really hard for to find a ‘sampige’ tree bearing fruits. This is not the flowering tree most people know of. This tree has been cut mindlessly for the reason that the wood looks just like the sandalwood and can replace the sandalwood in many places. Good for sandalwood. Fact is there are no sandalwood trees left either. eh!

There used to be another tree, whose bark has been used in some incense making in large scale commercially. I have not seen these huge trees since a long time.

At least I can see the ‘sampige’ tree though it may not have any fruits, may not invite the Horn bills and other birds. It may soon be gone too.

Here is something happening.. check it out.Malenadu Mela