Friday, July 8, 2011

One small step

The last few weeks-months-have been heavy momentous ones.
I was shown a couple of strands of white hair on my head, pressure to move to an urban location grew, and I visited one of India's prime employment destinations. Before all that, I took on the responsibility of a home coupled with a job.
I recognized a deep-seated desire to be on my own which made my dream of a farm brighter.
And through all that, I tried to live a life that would not damage the earth.
It wasn't easy.

I stumbled many times and lifting myself up became tougher.
Then I found out that a friend of mine whom I'd never thought of as having green tendencies had bought a cycle to ride to work instead of using his geared motorbike.
Not all of us can make big gestures of that sort, but the smaller ones are within our reach.

What have I done for the planet in recent weeks? I repaired a pair of tights for myself, and made repairs to clothes I no longer fit into so that they can be passed on to other people.
Total time spent: 3 hours.
BIG green plus: I would've probably spent that time in front of the TV, using more electricity and not doing anything particularly useful.

Size doesn't always matter.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Amor Piki mangoes

I’m the kind that believes in simple pleasures. And what do you know- the simple pleasures, more often than not, are also the ones that are good for the environment. For instance, the other morning I put a container of water out and had the joy of seeing a modvonn (or magpie robin) come take a few sips.

Now this post obviously isn’t about birds – you can tell that from the title. What it is about is that King of Fruits- the mango. There is nothing like a mango that has ripened on the tree. Each kind has its own flavour, aroma, skin… And the names have a charm of their own- Mankurad, Malgese, Frias, Chimut, Afonso, Mussarad, Bisp’, Xavier and on and on.

But we still haven’t arrived at the topic of today’s post. Every ki
ng was once a prince; every ripe mango was once amo/amor piki.

What exactly is AMO PIKI? It is a mango that isn’t quite ripe yet. The skin can’t be peeled off so easily. The taste is similar to a ripe mango but with a tang that changes the overall effect. And the smell is sharp, not so sharp as a tor (unripe mango) but more sappy than a ripe one.

How are these eaten? The organic fruit that drops around and on my
home is enjoyed as a cold whole or slices. Alternatively, stew pieces in sugar syrup and eat with cream. Or if you’re looking for something a mite healthier, blend the stewed pieces with yoghurt and freeze in an ice cube tray with a little honey on top.

Can’t get your hands on an AMO PIKI because you don’t have a mango tree? Ask a friend who does to let you taste one succulent tangy fruit. If you have
space, plant a tree in your garden. A tree is never a waste. Sure, you’ll have to wait a few years before you get any fruit. But it is worth the wait.

Today’s green tip: Summer’s here! Leave a bowl of water out for the animals and birds in your garden ecosystem.

Monday, May 2, 2011

sandcastles in the sand

It is the time of year when kids start clamoring to go to the beach. If you’re a parent, you might be put off by all the preparations that need to be made. If you aren’t one, you might be put off by all the money that you have to spend- water sports, a meal at a shack, petrol money = UGH!
In my estimable opinion, you’re looking at it all wrong. Why is it we want to DO something all the time? Light, man (seems this means CHILL).

The beach is a fantastic place to relax. Why do you think so many people come to Goa? Even before all the ‘activities’ were started, people were coming here.

Kids like the beach for reasons other than all the money they can spend (read waste) there. Most kids are thrilled by the splashing of waves, the glimmer of fish, the coarseness of sand between fingers and toes. So why shouldn’t we be?

This summer, visit that beach you’ve heard about but have never been to (I went to Keri- beautiful!)
Swim where it’s safe. Let the sea give you a free massage.
Walk along the length of the beach with friends and loved ones.
Look for shells.
Chase crabs in crazy circles. (It’s not cruel- they disappear and you’re the one left panting for breath).
Watch the birds, the winged ones.
Build a sandcastle. Or a sand hut, if you lack the skill and imagination for something grander.
Play cricket. Or ring.
Btw, in case you’d forgotten, sand is a fantastic exfoliator.

Don’t forget- take your garbage home with you, otherwise someone might burn it or leave it there.
By all means, patronize a local establishment. React if you are treated shabbily, but don’t get in a fist fight.
Lastly, do NOT swim drunk. Listen to the lifeguards – they are supposed to guard your life.
Have fun!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

a fairytale

29th Apr 2011
A prince marries his princess.

30th Apr 2011
Save the frogs!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How to get around 1

What's the best way to travel in Goa? That depends on your requirements:
1. Is it a day trip or an overnight one?
2. Is the place near by or far away?
3. Do you have a lot of time or are you in a hurry?
4. What's the parking situation like?

If you picked the first part for the first three questions, public transport is the way to go.
Public transport would also be the way to go if the trip is during the day to a place that's far away and has limited parking options.

It's cheap! Depending on where you want to go, it could even be cheaper than a liter of petrol. I shall demonstrate- Calangute to Panjim, return bus fare= 26 bucks. Petrol to cover the same distance?At least 100 bucks' worth.
You don't have to focus on the crazy idiots on the road.
If the scenery is what you really enjoy, the bus gives you a vantage point few other vehicles can give.
No parking problems.
Fantastic for the environment! (Big PLUS in my book)

You can't carry too much stuff with you. (So ditch the beach umbrella.)
The conductor might think you are sardines, or might overcharge you. (Remedy: Check the fare table that is supposed to be displayed near the driver's cabin)
Bus timings- not all display a schedule, but you can always ask the conductor when the last bus (or the penultimate one) leaves.
The sheer amount of time spent travelling: Shuttles, 'Express' and 'Direct' buses take roughly the same amount of time as a private vehicle would, but these wonder-buses run mainly between the cities and towns. Think of this as a pro- all that time with your friends and family, all the incessant badinage- you know you've missed it!

For you listening pleasure, the music choice of the conductor/driver. (I can now identify/sing along to many songs from Hindi movies I've never watched.Yay! My name is Sheela...)

I try to travel by bus as much as possible. I see more of Goa that way that I would if I were hunched behind a steering wheel.

Next time: Private transport.... oooooooooooh!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Goa calling

As a young adult, probably working at your first real job, something that is usually difficult to maintain control over is funds. You’re finally earning! Hurrah! There’s all this stuff you want to buy and see and do and now you can do it all with your own money. Or can you?

It’s a little harder than it first appears. You need to save- someday you might be out of a job. You might want something BIG like a house or a car. Do you put the smaller things that Life is supposed to be made of on hold till you achieve the bigger things?

That logic doesn’t quite make sense to me.

I want to travel. Sure, someday I’d like to see the Sphinx, and roam with the animals across the Savannah. For now though I don’t have the moolah to do that. Besides the obvious factor of funds, I’m also concerned about the impact jetting around the world will have on the planet. The best solution I’ve been able to come up with so far? Try and see as much of the state I live in as possible.

And what do you know? I live in a place many people love visiting- Goa.

Can traveling within this tourist’s paradise be economical and eco-friendly? There’s only one way to find out…

About Me

Greetings, citizens of the world! We are united by planet and species, so what say we do our best to look after our handfuls of earth?