Gardening the Bhutanese Way

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Phailan Aftermath

The thunderous growl it will have put forth as a warning. The shrill flash that precedes it would remind every ear to be alert of the subsequent beats their drum is to encounter. No sooner, it would land with a tickling knock on the roofs. From there, it would fall inevitably on the earth beneath.

The Incessant Knock on the roofs...
The moment it hits the soil, it would send a faint earthy smell to greet every nostril. This is ascribed to be due to a chemical called Geosmin, released by actinomycetes group of soil microbes on the first receipt of rain. It would then meander a step here and there before finally seeping into the crevices of soil.

But what when the sky above led to the descend of incessant downpour? What when the natural catastrophe exercise its advantage over whom we have no control? Is it a way of nature manifesting its annoyance for the excessive exploitation of its resources by us?

The crops aftermath its descend, would it have them leaning and gliding on one another. Their metabolic activities will be arrested under the inundation. The torrent waves would it have rendered approaching the door steps of some households, ready to make its encroachment if the dwellers didn't resist.
The brooks from different directions would have their union to make a bigger stream of water rushing down. Some simply resorted to stay stagnant in the mud pool.

The trees would be wailing in the mud pool for they were agonized by the physiological drought prevailing around their root zones. They might be cursing for their disability to flee somewhere. The fact that they were fixed and rooted in a particular place for a lifetime might have doomed and crippled them. They might be envying us humans for our ability to run towards our dwellings the moment growling signals were sent from the firmament above.

But for those poor trees that nurtured us, is it not unfair on our part to let them be drenched and soaked to death? For so long a time that they spent in rendering services and food to us, can we simply neglect them? On the contrary, if we fail to exercise some life saving measures, we may land up getting starved. It is so to say that a team of scientists came up with the following remedies to mitigate the malady;

*    To drain out the water immediately to create congenial conditions for the uptake of nutrients and normal metabolism of the plant.
*    If the aforesaid measure is not feasible, it is recommended to go for a foliar application of 1% potassium nitrate (KNO3) which accounts to 10g in 1 liter of water.

But as was a case in myself, some people might question the accuracy and credibility of the second recommended measure. It is quite certain that the

foliar application of the nutrient in no way is going to drain the water out. But, it indeed, is to supplement the nutrient deficiency the plant is underway for it cannot absorb through roots, the usual route as it used to be.

In addition, potassium is a macronutrient which imparts disease resistance. So it is a measure worth practicable when the plant is under stress and is most prone to diseases. Also, it plays a major role in the transport of water and nutrients throughout the plant in xylem.

I am uncertain how far my message will reach those needy farmers. Nevertheless, it is going to make a difference in a small way even if this could reach a single farmer. For if this was found to be effective, the news will certainly travel at its own pace to make a huge difference in the lives of the farmers and the national economy as a whole.

Crops under Inundation.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Bygone Memoirs

 There were times when we would talk for hours,
When we didn't care whether our ears get heated up due to the radiant heat transfer,
The cell would swing from my left ear to the right and then back again.
Cursing the phone when the battery displays its last bar,
Consistent with those longing desire to talk for hours together,
Resisting a minute to elapse by without talking.
The times when our mouth did the twin duty of eating and talking,
When my left and the right hands took their turns in holding the cell.
Often would I mumble and rehearse words to be spoken,
Whenever I run into the mirror in the bathroom.
The moment when I chanted prayer instead of the grace uttered before food,
Was the time when your sweet words were reverberating in my subconscious mind.
Playing hide and seek with my cell phone beneath the desk in the classroom,
In dire anticipation of a message or even a missed call from you.
That was more than enough to send my heart galloping towards the peak of bliss.
The times when all I cared was a sweet word from you.

Gone were those wonderful days,
And gone were you from the vicinity of my sight.
The frequency with which we talk have caught a drastic decline,
The way in which we express ourselves have reduced too.
Not because we aren't in love or feel for each other,
For we do and are matured enough to behave this way.
Nevertheless, each time, I die of the fervent desire to talk to you,
To pour my feelings and scribble words on your heart all over again,
Had it not been for the distance that spaced us out,
And withheld us from talking and expressing to our hearts’ content.

But the memoirs have I embedded in my brain,
Sculptured and engraved on my heart to be cherished forever.
No matter what, bound am I to the proximity of your existence,
Tethered firmly by the undying string of your love,
And I dwell in the secured realm of your love.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tribute to My Mother.

Motherhood might have been living in the eyes of hurricane,
Yet you wrestled across the gallant waves with steadfast hope.

Your life might have been an expedition barefoot on the thorny bushes,
Yet you were determined enough to stroll on the prickly path.

Your efforts might have been looked upon as toe-curling disparagement,
Yet you were brave enough not to articulate a tinge of forlornly despair.

Your words might have been taken to pay no heed,
Yet you were unruffled enough to march the walk of life.

Your clothes might have been faded and frayed,
Yet you battled hard to adorn your children with the best you could.

Your bare feet might have been cracked and lesion- borne,
Yet you let your kids walk with pride.

Your livelihood might have been slavery at others’ door,
Yet you endured the life of destitution.

Your move might have been howled and barked upon,
Yet you groveled as a stray dog with tail lowered in between her hind legs.

Your days might have been breathing the embers of fiery flames,
Yet you were considerate enough to light other’s eyes with merriment.

Salute to you Ama...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


We have so much to consider about the stuff that goes down our gullet. Some are very much particular about the food they eat. Some are compelled to nourish on what comes on their way. Yet millions combat with hunger and poverty. Many unfortunate ones succumb to what Charles Darwin postulated as ‘The law of natural selection and the survival of the fittest’.

And so do many that I come across in life put forth their own postulations about food. A Nutritionist might have innumerable a stance as one could imagine. A medical specialist might cram our brain with numerous recommendations on our diet. And so would a horticulturist claim his/her stance to go for a daily intake of 120g fruits and 280g vegetables per capita per day. Indeed, a reinforcement of the figure worked out by the Indian Council of Medical Research.

A man was rummaging dust bins for any remains of food. The instant he found it, he had it gobbled down like a hungry dog. This, did he have washed down with the bitter coffee that we've left for the flies to hover over. A rather pathetic and heart-throbbing incident as I recall it now. But it was a fact that I have witnessed at Howrah train station on my voyage to college.

I had my own aunt, who had the syllables rolled off her tongue in a rather amusing way, ‘People are scrupulously obsessed with food, sometimes having it blended with unnecessary flavor and piquancy. But except for it being galloped down the alimentary canal and flushed down to its ultimate destiny, there’s nothing more to it.’

A saint might have added ‘Eat to live but don’t live to eat’. And still a few hold firm onto the belief that over-eating is in a way sinful. And so do the saints and the strict practitioner of Buddhism, who dwell around the rugged and serene terrains in pursuit of eternal bliss, thrive on controlled diet. They lead an ascetic life, restricting them to a meal a day or rather a lighter one.

And some are of the opinion that we earn or work for only a single purpose or a need to be met, simply to eat. They would have their words blurted out, ‘What’s the whole purpose of us earning if we aren't going to spend it on eating to our heart’s content!?’ The effect of which, in most of the cases, would be reflected on the simultaneous increase in the girth of an individual.

Eating delicious and liberal quantity of food to many is what they would ascribe to as being happy. ‘A good and delicious food before me turns me on and makes me happy’, was an explicit remark of a popular Indian actress being interviewed by media on her perception of happiness.

 The quantity and quality of food have a profound bearing on the happiness of many individuals. For some, it is joy, pride for some or simply an indication of wealth for others. Some might eat gluttonously at the cost of putting one’s health at stake. Yet millions battle with empty stomach or are malnourished. What have you to say on this simple yet perplex topic, ‘Food?’