Snapshots of my Home

The gate to my home, always open to well meaning friends
This is a photo of the gate from the street to my home. From time to time I have included photos from my home in this blog, but they are so scattered throughout the three hundred posts that even I can hardly locate them most times. Therefore the thought occurred today to pool at least  a few of them in one single post for a quick view. The home was entirely designed by me and built with minimum cost, bit by bit as I took off to work and earn more in Middle east, Canada, Delhi. Mathura and the Nainital District to build more of it. I ensured that the workers I engaged to build the home were paid the best possible wages promptly, even if I had to save on materials, without the slightest of delay along with a cup of tea and lunch besides. Every penny was earned from hard honest work that contributed good to the world and the lives of my students as a Professor and if occasions arose to compromise on integrity and ethics as it does increasingly in the modern world, especially in senior positions, I preferred to quit that appointment rather than compromise with the former, yet it has become beautiful some with green but mostly by the grace of the Almighty, Praise the Lord.

When a home is pretty, to put up a group of pictures of it is narcissistic and boastful but if you look through carefully the home is beautiful only because of trees and flowers and therefore if it encourages others to do the same it is worth it. An architect can easily scan through and assess that the construction itself is a very low cost one. It hardly costs any money to plant green things and then water them regularly if it gets hot and dry. There is no better way of giving back to mother earth that provides all our needs every moment of our lives, by planting more trees and flowers on it and preventing pollution of land, air and water bodies. At times some dear friends ask for pictures of the home, then it is tedious to look for them and post them but now I have a sample collection in place, all one has to do is give a link, and I should begin by sending to the wonderful business reporter and mate on BBC, Aaaron Heslehurst who earlier posted a wonderful view of green from the kitchen window of his London home..

A concrete path with a tiny bridge in the garden. it twists and turns as shown.

The path that leads from the driveway to the front door

A front view of ground floor

A frontal view from the side

With a friend in garden on April 8, 2015

With a friend in the garden

Godson Shyamu and god-grandson Golu in 2010

My Godson Shyamu and god-grandson Golu /Naynesh at age one. He is now six  and a half years old and older posts have many more pictures of him. He now wants me to get him roller skates, that I will very soon and a little bike too just as soon as I find a good helmet (that fits without moving much from side to side, less than an inch, has a good inner pad,  and is two fingers over the eye brows).

My daughters in 2009

My daughters Ketaki and Keya basking in the sun . Ketaki is an information technologist and Keya (to the left) is MBBS, MD, Anesthesist, Internal Medicine specialist from a John Hopkins program also Geriatric care specialist after fellowship. She wanted to become more educated then me and she did it  :)

A window with a climbing flowering wine by its side

A close up of one of the largest of windows in the home. This flowering vine is highly scented as well as several other around the garden so that most times a perfume pervades the air, especially at nights because of a large night Jasmine while the day is filled with day long song of birds that have made homes in the trees around the place assisted by bird seed I drop for them often in hanging trays.

A clothes line in the backyard
A clothes line in the backyard , we dry clothes in the sun and not a dryer

Hari sipping tea on a garden chair
Photo of Hari the lad who helps around the garden nowadays while Shyamu is away attending to his growing family. After looking at the pictures friends from afar said it is lush and green but the thing to note is that it is located in an arid near desert part of the world with three months of dry hot summers when temperatures are mostly above 40 degree centigrade and even 45 on some days. It is completely organic now for several years (in the initial years chemical fertilizers were partly used), fed by compost prepared from swept leaves and cuttings. Some of the watering is recycled home water and waste water of home and rain collection. It produces fruits (grapes, Indian black berry, lemon, mulberry, custard apples), flowers, vegetables (tomatoes, celery, lettuce, dill weed, spinach, Morinda, etc.), herbs, herbal teas and medicinal herbs including the famed Ashwagandha and holy basil described in other posts of this blog all on a small urban lot.

The last photo is another time when a greater numbers of flowers were in bloom

Persons from afar, when they saw the pictures said the garden was lovely for example London Gardens here. and this is what the world famous Aaron Heslehurst of BBC said on twitter after looking at the pictures,
@dr_ashok_m Wow - beautiful garden mate very lush!! Love the colours of the house! Me thinks you have a slice of paradise!! Thanks 4sending
Hail Mother Earth and the Goddess of Nainital .
A Chair and a drink has always been available in my garden for those with hearts full of goodness for  about 25 years now


Vinod Khurana said…
In nature I live
pleasure it gives
colors in plenty
make patterns unique
fresh air I breathe
and fragrance with it
such is my garden
come and visit
a gardener I am
in nature I live

With love and regards

Ashok said…
Thank you so much dear Vinod for such lovely words and expressing the sentiment so precisely in poetry as only you can do. For me green is the bosom of mother earth that gives the same sense of security and happiness that a mothers bosom gives when one is an infant.
Vinod Khurana said…
Thank you very much for your lovely words and heart touching sentiments:

Green is her lap
I am an infant
her hug is bliss
and kiss so warm

When I prune
here and there
new shoots spring
up and all over

It's her way
to reassure me
how happy she is
when she is with me

Nothing she asks
only keeps a watch
wherever I go
lest I am lost

When I am sad
she whispers
that I smile
and jump on my feet

Why should I grow up
and leave her alone
let me remain an infant
and be stronger our bond

Sun and stars
they tempt me in vain
heaven is my home here
what more shall I gain!

with warm regards

Ashok said…
Thanks again for adding even more beautiful words expanding on the sentiment Vinod. You are so very right that I have left so many appointments so as not to go here and there to chase gain. Just today a former colleauge called to say that a University near me was looking for a senior academic to help them out as a director or VC and I refused. On the other hand i am not attached to the home in a way that I would mind leaving it as long as the other place I go to is also green, and I am not attached to life and the world and would not mind leaving the moment the Lord decides although I do pray and hope that the Lord would make the departure quick and painless. I believe in new lives and look forward to new ones filled with peace and beauty, the serenity of nature and the soft song of birds that I can here even now as I type in this comment. Thanks again. Please keep on contributing your lovely poetry whenever you find the time for it.
Vinod Khurana said…
Thank you very much for your lovely and inspiring words. You are truly an evolved soul:

Home is home
not mortar or brick
green is the bed
no cushion no spring

This much I pray
where I stay
green be my bed
and much peace

Song of birds to cheer
to write whatever I hear
my inner voice speaks
and steers my wheel

When the night falls
in peace I depart
where you are
and sit at your feet

I am your child
and do your bidding
nothing more I ask
but your grace and mercy

Nothing I seek
but your love and company
when I change my coat again
let my new abode be green!

with warm regards
Ashok said…
Dear Vinod, your poetry is as beautiful as ever but over the last several months, it has become spiritual too. thanks again for adding more poetry. It shall delight other readers who visit this post, as it delights me.
Rajive Johri said…
Beautiful colors of your garden. Great setting for meditation. Cool! despite such beautiful surroundings, only surprise was the bored look on your and Bittoo's faces!
Ashok said…
Dear Johri, your words are absolutely true to a T including the observation of the looks. Bitto exhausted himself by packing too much in a brief trip and it rubbed off on me too.

Years ago when visiting a nearby city, I made a rule that if it was an emergency visit I shall go and return as soon as possible but if it was not emergency it has to spread over a minimum of three days, a day to travel to destination, a full day at the new place and a third to travel back and I more or less insist that for my daughters and all others who visit but Bittoo had already made his reservation in USA and said that make changes would be expensive, well hope there is another time when the look would be a Ha Ha and a LOL :) Ha Ha Har
Ashok said…
Hi just to add, along with the three day rule of last comment, I had made a few more to make travel enjoyable. Another was look for flights, train and bus that begin at normal day hours so one can catch them after breakfast and it is a normal day rather than a godforsaken waking or sleeping hour. A third ruls was always to carry tea bags, sugar cubes, and some cheese and crackers and some small equipment to make the tea so that one can have a cuppa at the time one is used to instead of waiting for room service. Now good hotels have that in the room but they did not when I traveled most prior to 1995. After 1995 finding travel tiring I have minimized it to some select destinations that are not too far away, which is Nainital district, Jaipur and the forest reserves of Sariska etc. near Jaipur. Delhi has been brought down to passing through because allergy to the pollutants.
Ashok said…
in summer of 2007 I landed in Bhowali near Nainital, a beautiful geen Himalayan town, and found a quaint guest house run by a nice widow called Padmini Tiwari. The room was modest but I purchased some new linen etc. and made it nice. For tea I had no equipment so one was improvised by burning a candle under a small steel vessel. Works very well and it is something soldiers did in WWII and I had picked it from my dad.
Ashok said…
Yet another rule was to travel very light. In the eighties when on a trek in Himalayas, I even improvised a towel out a two meter silk cloth that is lighter by far. However, a couple of medicines were an essential part of baggage - water soluble, aspirins, bad aid avil, vit c, digene and some antibiotics. Plus between 2000-2007 when I consumed much alcohol a bottle of gin was a must too. Gin was perferred because it smells less than whiskey or rum in breath and can be mixed with water to look like it. When Padmini Tiwari would drop in, Iwould say just very thirsty Mam. But she knew and said that she was afraid of those who drink and drinking must be confined to hours before sleep only :) Since 2007 I have come off alcohol, smoking too, and reserve it for a less than three- four month occasion if at all but The Golden Jubilee may be one forthcoming one in 2016, LOL.
Ashok said…
Since I have got going, this Bhowali trip and people I met became partly the backdrop for my novel - Nude besides the lake first draft, written in late 2008. that bad aid in an earlier comment is Band Aid, please also excuse other typos since the comments were rushed. Cheers, may your lives and journeys be pleasant one filled with beauty, laughter and the green side, and the nudes of nude besides the lake :)
Vinod Khurana said…
Wonderful description of travels and practical improvisations. Nature teaches us where books and knowledge fail.But man wants to outdo the nature too:

Mountains there are
huge and high
oceans large
deep and wild

Skies spread out
vast and wide
wonders of nature
awe and belie

Man is unique
he stands not still
in everything that exists
he sees a possibility

His dreams are bigger
than the mountains and seas
and determined he is
to achieve his dreams

Skies awe him
and what is contained therein
but his imagination goes behind
each and every possibility

Show him the wonders
of the nature and its creations
he too is of nature
but is out to find the Maker!
Ashok said…
Dear Vinod , your words so fine
Surely help with a rhyme
to define
and refine :)

Ashok said…
Yes truly so. The garden is ever changing with seasons and years. These are some of the best moments

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