29 Nov

nature of our seeking

I was, as I had kept discovering, too soft his life. I could not quite keep up physically. More importantly, I could not cope up with the uncertainty: with the dislocation of not knowing whether I would eat today or eat tomorrow, or still possess a living – or a life – in a month’s time. The Maasai accepted wild fluctuations in their fortunes with equanimity. In one season, their cattle would darken the plains; in the next, drought struck and they had nothing. To know what comes next has been perhaps the dominant aim of materially complex societies. Yet, having achieved it, or almost achieved it, we have been rewarded with a new collection of unmet needs. We have privileged safety over experience; gained much in doing so, and lost much.

~ George Monbiot in Feral

25 May

for the soul

“We can marvel at the colours of a butterfly, the grace of a giraffe, the power of an elephant, the delicate structure of a diatom. Every time a species goes extinct, we are irreversibly impoverished”
~ Norman Myers

12 May

a neighbourhood tree

Sometime back the cement structures, tar road and good rains helped a tree loose its ground. It slanted to an angle and surviving in that angle. It’s so slanted that one could start walking easily, climbing it.

The houses around the tree has many kids, kids of all age. You could see them running around, playing cricket and stuff. Not a single kid is seen curious about climbing the tree, curious to see whats the tree is up to or what IS a tree!

Pathetic kids and more pathetic parents!

17 Nov

at rangaswamy betta

An early morning trip on a May morning did not turned out to be unfruitful at all. A small group of four planned a morning to be a good time to visit dry deciduous forests towards south of Bangalore. Rangaswamy betta being one of the closest hill of considerable vegetation and elevation, we decided it would be a good place to look for some orchids, if lucky we might get to see some in bloom as well.

The morning dive to the top of the hill in the misty morning is a experience by itself. We could spot quite a few plants of Vanda testacea in bloom on certain Terminalia trees en-route. Having a temple at the top of the hill, a bit of crowd is expected at the top. Since our chosen timing was early morning for the visit there were hardly any people around and that made it a quiet place.

tree in the morning

As we proceeded further towards the top of the hill, we could see the trees having Luisia plants. On our one of the earlier visits we were able to see the plants. But our time of visit was of a non-flowering season for the Luisia species there. However this time around the we were lucky enough to be on time for the bloom. We could actually see Luisia zeylanica in full bloom all over a tree. This brought something wonderful to our morning experience on the hill top.

Once we were content with the photographs and observations of the flowers we moved a further to a place where we had seen a Polystachya concreta plant on our earlier visit. We we reached this jack fruit tree just next to the temple, to our dismay we saw the very branch which hosted the single plant had been cut off. That ended our search for this plant. Apparently being close to temple and God did not prove to be safe enough for this species there.

Tree and Luisia

We went around further taking more photographs of the place. As the Sun started coming up it was time for us to head back and get back to the city. Having seen both Luisia flowers and tree branch cut, it was outing which ended with a mixed feeling of gain and loss, mostly loss!

16 Sep

connectedness

..an abstraction of experience into different kinds of touchlessness. We experience, as no historical period has before, disembodiment and dematerialisation. The almost infinite connectivity of the technological world, for all the benefit it has brought, has exacted a toll in the coin of contact. We have in many ways forgotten what the world feels like. And so new maladies of the soul have emerged, unhappiness which are product of the distance we have set between ourselves and the world. We have come increasingly to forget that our minds are shaped by the bodily experience of being in the world – its spaces, textures, sounds, smells and habits – as well as by genetic traits we inherit and ideologies we absorb. A constant and formidably defining exchange occurs between the physical form of the world around us, and the cast of our inner world of imagination. The feel of the hot dry wind on the face, the smell of the distant rain carried as a scent stream in the air, the touch of the bird’s sharp foot on one’s outstretched palm: such encounters shape our beings and our imaginations in ways which are beyond analysis but also beyond doubt. There is something uncomplicatedly true in the sensation of laying hands upon sun-warmed rock, or watching the a dense mutating flock of birds, or seeing snow fall irrefutably upon one’s upturned palm.

~ Robert Macfarlane in The Wild Places