Showing posts from January, 2014

British Indian Interactions

Attracted by exotic spices and jewels of India, the British arrived in India more than two hundred years ago. Thus began an exchange of cultures and civilizations that has changed the world ever since then. India lies at the extreme eastern end of the ancient Indo-European language speakers of the world, whereas, Great Britain and Ireland are at the extreme western end. Traditionally, India is also the eastern extremity of the Caucasian races while Great Britain the western one. Indians are however, a fairly even mix of three of the major races of our planet – Caucasians, Mongoloids and the Australoids (an ancient branch of the Negroid races that migrated eastwards out of West Africa) – with the Caucasian strain dominating in the north-west, the mongoloid in the north-east and Australoid in South – a mix that began in ancient times due to the fertile lands and moderate climate of India as described in another blog of mine:

After the British arrived in…

Trickle up Vs. Trickle down Capitalism

There was a time when some humans developed the notion that all humans are created equal and that it is unjust for some to amass huge amounts of wealth while others grind their butts out. This notion gave birth to the idea of communism. However, the communists forgot that trees in a nearby forest are not all of equal height, that a certain amount of inequality is natural and trying to enforce an unnatural equality may kill the forest. Sans incentives and the need to strive, many humans would rather sit and grow obese. The result was that entire economies slowed down severely and bread lines became longer and longer until they became longer than the communist manifesto. It was therefore soon discarded into the trash can. Some political parties still call themselves communist but that is simply out of nostalgia. They neither mean it nor live by the philosophy any longer.
Capitalism thus marched across the world gloriously with the fond notion that if some individuals are allowed to grow…

Back to Gardening

After deliberating on how much money it costs to extract the shit out of some of the leading lights of our one percent world in the previous post, whether it be on wall street or whether it be in a government planning department, I suffered from a perception that my soul too is getting filthy, for whatever a human focuses on, he tends to partake a bit of it. A cleansing exercise was needed and what better an instrument for it than flowers. 
This year because of a severer than usual winter, there were fewer flowers in the garden than in most January. Therefore this morning I visited a nursery and brought an assorted mix of flowers to plant in an empty patch. A humming bird hiding in the bushes was thrilled. She immediately jumped on the flowers to suck the nectar. The bird is not in the photo because she moved away when I approached for the click.
The flowers planted today were enteranium, flocks, petunia, shasta daisy and marigold. There are already several poppy plants, very small a…

Portrait of a Grandmother

Aside from Environment, food, spirituality, economy and much else about life, I have from time to time included sketches of my immediate family too in this blog. Recently a cousin Manoj Sahni who now lives in San Francisco, USA sent me a family heirloom, a photo of my grandmother dating from around 1916 or so.
My mother (Nand Rani Sahni) had described her as a beautiful and graceful lady who died a month after the birth of my mother in 1924. I am not certain of her birthday but it may have been somewhere around 1890. She was the daughter of Lachman Dass (Sethi) and wife of Lala Gurdas Ram Sahni. At a relatively young age in his early forties her father Lachman Dass became the Chief Administrative and Judicial officer (Sherishtadar) of the Quetta –Pishin Districts of Baluchistan. This was the most developed of the six districts of the large province of Baluchistan which had been a part of the Sultanate of Oman, British India and now Pakistan. In 1915 Lachman Das was awarded the title …

How Modern Humans are missing Sunshine and Good Health

With advance of human civilization human clothing has increased not just as a protection against the elements but also as a statement on life. The result is a reduced exposure of the human body to sunshine. With invention of large homes, apartment style living, motorized covered transportation this exposure has reduced even further. The result is that human bodies are not getting sufficient exposure to sunlight as required for the best possible health nature has destined for man and woman.
While all realize that plants cannot survive without sunshine, few realize that animals including humans too cannot. It is not just vitamin D that is produced through sunlight but a host of other hormonal and chemical changes are induced by sunshine not all yet discovered by modern science that is far too young for this sort of discovery. It is true that an excess of sunshine, especially in wrong weather can produce health problems, even cancer, which is true for an excess of any good thing, its def…

How to Improve Fruit Orchards, Oil Plantations and the Planet

In the previous post it was mentioned that in future farm owners may be obliged to reserve a portion of their farms for trees that could well be fruit orchards. One disadvantage of orchards as compared to natural forests is that they are low on bio-diversity and as a result they do not contribute as much to improvements in environment as  natural forests. However there is a very simple way to improve both the environment as well as fruit yield from orchards by introducing bio-diversity.

If twenty per cent, or even up to 33% of evenly distributed trees are different from the primary crop in an orchard then both the yield and the environment improves. Such orchards may yield up to one and half times the normal yield over the life of the orchard as per the author's estimate just because of improved bio diversity and soil health despite the fact that there are fewer trees of the primary crop. In addition there is the joy of a different fruit for the personal consumption and distributi…

The 1:20 Green Earth Initiative

The Twenty-twenty Tree Initiative
Since its inception around seven years ago, this blog has discussed several spiritual concepts as well as ideas that attempt to contribute towards improving the quality of life on our wondrous planet. Some of these ideas have caught the fancy of many on far off shores including a 1:10 initiative that has been taken up by the Europeans enthusiastically after appropriate modifications. This particular initiative had seeded the idea of linking maximum salaries of executives in any organization to the minimum salary within the same organization. Encouraged by such responses, this blogger is encouraged now to put forth a new idea that is not concerned directly with economy but rather with the health and beauty of our lovely planet. It is called the 1:20 Green earth Initiative here, or one may call it the Twenty-Twenty Tree Initiative.
Very simply put the idea is that it may be prescribed by law that every person who possesses or controls land of one acre …

Mother’s Bounty Bread -Goosefoot Weed

Today as I spread some goosefoot weed on a dining table to dry, the thought occurred that it would be a good idea to share a recipe called Mother’s Bounty Bread with readers. The name was made up for this post seeing that in an earlier post we described the Mother’s Bounty Chutney made from coconuts and almonds which is an excellent accompaniment for this bread. However it has been a common form of bread in our home for several decades.
The White Goosefoot weed (called Bathua in Hindi or Chenopodium album technically) grows wild in many parts of the world. In Asia and India in particular, it creeps into wheat fields and is removed continuously by small farmers for a healthy dish or even as cattle feed since it is so profuse and so healthy for man and animal. It is available for free in the countryside. However, it comes up only for a few months a year. Therefore, it is a great idea to dry some for the rest of the year. To do that on a small scale just spread it out on newspaper sheets…