Today's Blossom

Pampering the taste buds

Small and fresh,
the fast spreading curry leaf plants ,
sprouting all over the place,
are winning hearts

tickling the taste buds
into longing for a spoonful of that
'pulling you into the pile'
green 'curry leaf' powder,

which makes your rice or plain curd
jump several spots ahead
in your 'favourite foods' list,

also a bottled favourite,
eagerly travelling places or
enjoying a short, memorable
sojourn on the kitchen shelf,

sought by eager hands
ever so often,

getting an A+
for its old world flavour
plus its rich stock of nutrients.

Summer, Sunglasses and the Seed

It is summer
and to my surprise,
I find that Nature has
rewarded someone with a
new pair of sunglasses.

As weeks pass by,
the tale unfolds...

An age old science lesson
which we can recall -
a natural journey
from a just formed fruit
which slowly ripens,

to revealing the seeds,

to preparing for seed dispersal,

to the wind slowly
initiating the process,

the timeline for each step
scripted by nature -
is brought alive
at close quarters.

Water and A Badge of Honour

🌟A tribute to the 'Water Pandals'
of the city  -

the special shelters by the roadside,
set up by caring citizens
for those in need,

some serving buttermilk too,
to thirsty travellers and passers by,

beckoning the parched avians
and four legged strays too,
during blazing summer days -

a part of our culture and tradition,
reinforcing the basic tenets
of hospitality and warmth,
followed down the ages.

World Water Day: March 22

Celebrating that cupful of...
Well being.

Water Series:13

Awaiting the sparrows

The mornings and afternoons
are rather noisy with
avian visitors claiming their territory.

The handsome and familiar coucal,
with its glowing red eyes,
has just landed with a plan...
to visit the compost heap
and walk around the yard.

The orchestra is in full flow
by mid morning and late afternoon.

The tiny sunbirds hop in and out
of the huge Hibiscus flowers,
chirruping in satisfaction.

The twin woodpeckers land
on  their favourite spot,
the coconut tree trunk,
marking the spot with
a 'now me, then you' style of pecking.

The squabbling crows head towards
the loaded Chikkoo branch.

The yellow billed babblers,
chattering endlessly,
arrive in groups,
targeting the wet patches.

The shrill voiced pair of mynahs
occupy the grass,
their curious heads
turning this way and that,
keeping  an eye out for stealthy felines.

The kestrel, the koel and the drongo
drop by occasionally.

Not wanting to be left out,
the staccato squeaking noise
of the squirrels and the
harsh screeching notes

A Green Magazine

A bright morning
with the sun
ruling over the city and

Nature decides to unveil a
green magazine filled with
interesting sections:

A veteran of many a season.

City round up:
Summer Special - the Bougainvilleas are out in full splendour.

Homegrown flavours.

International news:
Shunning the chemical route.

Business news:
Growth spurt seen.

Upcoming stars show the way.

Kids section:
The leaves are holding
a secret meeting.

Edition 1: Green Signatures

Remembering a neighbourhood tree

Swaying gently to
the orchestrated moves
of an overactive wind,
that performs its act,
then returns, again and again,

the neem tree,
that I've grown up with,
possessing  nerves of steel,
has left its mark
all over my patch of green.

The shades of yellow
tinged with patches of
fading brown and green
on a grainy canvas,
are seemingly vying with
the sun, the sand and the
surrounding green facade
in a show titled...
The Summer Fest.

Resounding with
the contralto notes of
the 'ever present' noisy crows,

the neem tree bids adieu
to scores of fluttery yellow leaves,
preparing for a gentle landing
in varying destinations -
some soft,  some hard,

sending forth a message -
'tis a new season and
fragrant flowers will follow soon.

A handful of water

The first rays of sunlight
knock through the window pane.

The alarm clock buzzes.

A familiar noise can be heard.

Repeated once, twice.

What could it be ?

Clearing away,
those continuous waves of slumber,

the layers of
lethargic stupor,

the sleep induced reluctance
to face the day,

the first gentle spray of water,
on the face,
is a whispery 'good morning '
from the treasure trove of Nature.

Call it, a handful of joy...

and as those cool drops, trickle down,
as if in a race,
each trying to outwit the other,

washing away,
any trace of the
stresses and strains
of the previous day,

you decide against
wiping dry
the myriad refeshing droplets
dotting your face

coz the sun outside is busy
sending reminders -
the sizzling heat is here to stay.

Water series:12

Summer and a display

Through the window,
the view draws many pairs of eyes.

Their gaze, moves up and down,
left to right, trying to count.

Outside, the heat is unrelenting.

The soil looks worn out.

The leaves are drooping,
peering down
for signs of  moisture.

The wilting blossoms
lift their heads up,
trying to figure out
where those bounteous
rain clouds have gone.

Shh! Don't go away.

Someone nearby is ready,
putting on a  display.

The tall gooseberry tree
stands  proud,
unmindful of the heat,
decked in layers of accessories,

swaying gently, rocked by
a heat laden breeze,

its branches,
looking different
from the usual,
with the soil beneath it,
dotted with pale green,
flattened rounds,

adding to my collection,

reminding me of the
tangy flavours of the
gooseberry spread

and the gooseberry soup plus
the energizing gooseberry stew
of the last season.

Of evergreen memories

Surrounded by
high rise apartment blocks,
modern villas, bars,
multiplexes, restaurants,
a nearby highway with
constant traffic and honking,
piling up garbage heaps,

yet a small piece of green
can give you a feel
of those green swaying fields,
lush meadows and pastures
that you tend to yearn for.

A whole lot of feelings

Considered tasteless,
yet it induces...

A feeling of fulfillment
after a few sips.

A feeling of exhilaration,
which spreads as
waves of freshness,
across your body system.

A 'just what I need' feeling
at the very sight of it.

A feeling of  intense relief,
at holding a cup
filled to the brim.

A feeling of satisfaction,
that remains unparallelled.

A feeling of relaxation
as the throat gets soothened.

A feeling of contentment,
as the heat and  hours of
thirst induced tiredness melt away,

A feeling of 'back to normal,'
when you've had your fill.

A feeling tied up with
tradition plus hospitality,
when guests welcome it
with a smile.

A feeling of thankfulness,
for  being able to have it
day after day after day.

The tune is familiar...
a priceless gift,
they call it - Water.

Water Series:11

A day in the life of...

Across vast stretches of sand,
over a wet blanket of  grass,
traversing a nearby pipe, then,
down the cemented steps

to over a bougainvillea clad wall,
atop a twisted branch,
beneath a yellow tinged leaf,

a journey continues

but ends abruptly,
inside the shiny floor
of a  green bucket,
where a  tiny body
goes round in circles,
then climbs up
then slips down,
but does not intend giving up,
then turns desperate,
trying to unravel a puzzle...
'where am I?
Where are the
leaves and the sand...?'

until a gentle hand tilts
the bucket over sand
and fast moving legs,
scamper double quick,
eager for that taste of freedom.

The journey continues...

Nature to the rescue

Amidst the piles of books,
the scores of sample papers,
the skill testing MCQs,
the setting of study timetables
and rigorous schedules,

step outside awhile,
to view pieces from
'Nature's  Design Portfolio,'
for the day.

Perched high up
or unusually low,

red and pink blossoms
radiate cheery vibes,

couriering packets
of reinvigorating pellets
to tired brain cells,

which are then ready,
for the next round of war...
for the many many
tough questions posed,
from an array of topics. 


The nectar was missing.

The insect cried out to the petals.

The crinkled petals
gazed forlornly at the stalk.

The stalk nudged the friendly  leaves.

The leaves poked the strong stem.

The stem swayed
shaking the tired roots.

The roots bulged out of the soil
seeking solace...water.

Ah, wetness at last!

A kindly soul, passing by,
sipping from a bottle,
sprinkled some water.

Water Series: 10

Drive away the heat

The small curry leaf plants,
cropping up here and there,
look tempting, reminding you
of a job to be done.
For those who tend to be,
finicky about wet curry leaves
sticking to the tongue,
there's some relief at hand.

Dried curry leaf powder
mixed into buttermilk with a
pinch of salt, hing and cumin powder
plus some crushed ajwain seeds
and sipped little by little,
does make those
humid summer afternoons fly.
Cool buttermilk
with the memorable
flavour of curry leaves,
coating your tongue,
propels soothened taste buds to
convey the message and
as if by reflex action,
you hold out the cup for some more.

A traditional drink
but suited for modern times too.


Those mornings

It's that inevitable
time of the day,
the mornings...
when there's  a rush
to finish the work piled up,

to get the stuff for the lunch boxes,
readied and packed on time,

when your eye
is on the racing clock,

and you just about
manage to catch your breath,
and take a quick peek
through the nearby window,
to find...

two silently resting specks
holding  onto green lifelines,

parcels of delight for your weary eyes,
epitomising total calmness,

sending a message across.

Each day...

Each day,
at dawn or dusk,
set a few minutes aside, locked  away,
for a specific purpose.

To pause and admire...

the classic pose of a bud,

a bird out on a walk,

the peculiarity of an insect,

the perfection of a leaf,

the tenacity of a trunk,

the awakening of a flower,

the creation of a fruit,

the many facets of  seeds,

a pest in action.

Nature's power:
to kindle endless curiosity.