Celebrate Your Victory, Not Their Loss

Celebration after victory is required after any contest. Be it in sports, business, politics, elections, cinemas, academic pursuits etc, it is common to see the boisterous celebration, partying, and quite a bit of chest-thumping. Especially in sports, we get to see spirited voices that speak of the greatness of their team, players, strategy, execution and much more. Any football fan would vouch this being a common practice. Even as part of the ‘after analysis’ of the game, we see experts on both sides break the game down, play by play for their viewers.

As long as the discussion is limited to the performance and play, it is all good. The trouble starts when the fun and celebration start to get personal about the players of the losing team. To make one team look great, followers start to demean and insult the opposite team. They make a show of how bad their performance was, the number of errors they made, the flaw in their strategy and play etc. This is the most unsportsmanlike behaviour, but it is particularly common among the fans.

We see such mudslinging, offensive and personal attacks being made toward the opposing team not just in sports, but also in politics, elections and business competitions too. Something about participating in a contest brings out the darkest and meanest attitude in people. They resort to various below-the-belt tactics to take cheap shots at one another. Celebration becomes more of a slugfest. It takes away the joy of winning and the fun of participation.

True sportsmanship is an attitude that should reflect in all of us. In those who participate in the contest and the revellers who come to support the contestants. By resorting to demeaning our opponents, we only prove that our victory is undeserving. It shows that our team won, not because of our superiority, but because of the opposing team’s inferiority. Nothing is more insulting than being robbed of our victory because we did not deserve it. It is something that the world needs to learn.

Jimmy Kimmel Reminds Me of My Uncle

I was watching Jimmy Kimmel’s show and was rolling with laughter watching the pranks he plays on Aunt Chippy. Though I feel sad for Aunty Chippy, I can’t stop laughing. Jimmy plays a lot of pranks on the people close to him and challenges the audience to try some pranks too. Jimmy reminds me of my childhood, particularly my uncle. He was also someone who enjoyed playing pranks on people around him. It was always amusing to his audience and distasteful to his victims. Just like Aunt Chippy, his victims protested but none of them took it to heart.

I was about seven years old when we once had an earthquake in my city. It was just a mild tremor and no damage was done to person or property. We just felt a jolt and some tremors. Uncle came home and asked us to co-operate with this prank he was going to play on my aunt. When he walked into the room, he told her that the earthquake caused the Charminar (a giant historic monument in the heart of Hyderabad) to move at least ten feet.

We all gasped. We were just helping uncle in his prank. My innocent aunt at first stared in disbelief and said, “Shut up! What nonsense are you saying?”. Then uncle added, “People are shocked and it is the talk of the town. They might put it up on the evening news today and it will surely make headlines in tomorrow’s papers. People are thronging to see the Charminar.” By this point she had started to fall for the prank and started asking questions lapping up all the fake news. That’s when everyone burst into laughter and she realized it was a prank.

On another occasion he convinced my then three-year-old cousin that he was not his mother’s baby but was actually adopted from a beggar on the street. The poor little boy fell for it; hook, line and sinker. He burst into tears and hid his face in his mother’s lap. Later, we told him that it was a joke.

There is no end to the stories about his pranks. Even to this day, whenever we talk about him we end up laughing until our bellies hurt. Today he is an old man with a frail body frame that is slightly bent over. He lost a lot of his hair and wears glasses and even today he always makes us laugh with his antics. I can say with confidence that his pranks brought all my cousins closer together and bond with each other because of the wonderful and funny memories we share. 

Rainy days are gloomy days

For the longest time, I never understood why people called rainy days gloomy. People generally love rain, so I figured it should be a paradise when it was raining all day. After the rain, the air feels cleaner, everything looks bright, the birds are singing their hearts out and the weather is more cheerful.

The above statement would contradict the title of my post. So, let me tell you how I realised that rainy days are gloomy.

If it rains once or twice and then the sky clears up, it would be a fun kind of weather. It sets up a holiday mood and everyone wants to go for picnics or at least a long drive on a winding road. The trouble is when the rains continue for days on end.

I’m not even speaking about the water logging or flooding in rivers. The damage to property or infrastructure is a different issue. I am complaining more about the big puddles that splash water on us, wet and sticky seats in buses and trains, the fungus and flies that gather on food that is left outside, slippery surfaces, etc. Footwear getting stuck in the mud, dirty water stains on clothes etc are just a few embarrassing instances. The list is endless. Everywhere one goes, you can smell wet and moist clothes. The absence of the sun makes everything look dull. The moisture makes the air heavy.

With so many complaints, it is only obvious that our day will be gloomy. So, what is there to love in monsoon season? Sitting comfortably, wrapped up in a warm and cosy blanket with a hot mug of coffee sounds enticing. Staying dry and clean at home while watching the rain from the windows also sounds good. Another famous Indian pastime during the monsoon is hot and fried snacks, preferably savoury. Let me know if you have better ideas.

Father Bull On The Road To Falmouth

Last week we went to Falmouth, Jamaica. It wasn’t a pleasure trip, we had some work to do (my husband and me). We wanted to get over with the work by 11:30 am, however it stretched on until 2:30 in the afternoon. I was starving by then, and barely had any energy to even sit up straight. We decided to have a quick bite on the way home. I was ready to eat anything, so my husband took me to Father Bull restaurant. What a strange name for a restaurant, I thought. Anyway, all that matters is the food. It is located at Greenwood on the main road.

They are located right on the waterfront. Literally, you can walk up to the backdoor and find yourself looking at the waves crashing on to the rocks. I fell in love with the place. The cool sea breeze was heavenly. I could easily fall asleep in my chair, had it not been for the fact that I was famished. It was a great place to unwind and sit down with some hot Jamaican style pumpkin soup and meditate on the happy things in life.

This place is not a fine dining restaurant; it is a casual, informal place. The food was served in a Styrofoam container. That was one down-side; I hope they change to something healthier. The ambience is very relaxed and casual.

You can see the Caribbean Sea from every window. It is a sight for sore eyes.
The food was hot and delicious. We ordered Curry chicken. My husband used to get food home from this place several times in the past. I tried Curry Goat, Pumpkin soup and Manish water. All of them tasted great.

It was a very hot day and the cold water was a welcome relief. But if you like to try some of their alcohols, they have a tie-up with Appleton Rum. You can try some at the bar. I forgot to mention that the place is not exactly quiet. There is music playing all the time.

I wish I could have some more right now. Even looking at these pictures is making my mouth water. Their cuisine is authentic Jamaican and they have dishes like oxtail, jerk chicken etc. In fact, you can smell the jerk chicken in the air the moment you enter the premises and it’s hard to resist.
I sat by the window and clicked a few pictures. I notice that there were a lot of fishing boats on the other side.

What more can I say, it’s a good place to eat. Take a local Jamaican with you and pay in Jamaican dollars for it to work out cheaper. That way, you can avoid the tourist prices ;-). I leave you with some more pictures to enjoy.

View of the highway road.

You can see the phone charger on the black table. While you charge up, your phone can get charged too.

View from the window by my table.

The place is very well maintained and every window has a wonderful view. Even though it was 2:30 in the afternoon and very hot outside, it was pleasant and cool inside. They don’t need fans with the breeze they have.

Take one step out of the restaurant and you will be swimming with the fish in the sea. Hahaha!

I did not go out the back door. I just stuck my hand out of the window and clicked this one. There seems to be a little space to walk but I think it’s better to be safe than sorry. Not trying to scare you or anything. Just saying that I am over cautious.
That’s it, guys. Mi see yuh likkle more den (Jamaican Patois for – I’ll see you later then. I am trying to learn the language).

Take up drawing as a hobby

When we talk about drawing or sketching, we think about life like imagery that one replicates with pencil or charcoal. We rethink about the complex shades that bring out light and shadow to create depth. Drawing always brings to mind images of portraits, realism, charcoal sketches, architectural drawings etc. It always sounds like a complex art that seems beyond my reach. I always felt jealous of my cousins, as they are artistically gifted.

However, now I discovered that drawing is not limited to just lifelike imagery only. There are many more styles and facets to drawing apart from realism, that requires a different set of skills like imagination, dramatic flair etc. I am talking doodling, caricatures, anime, cartoons etc. These streams of drawing are very different from traditional styles but are just as impressive and beautiful.

If you are anything like me, then, you cannot draw a straight line without a scale. Do not despair, there are many styles through which you can express yourself. Step away from the traditional classroom style and discover yourself through another style. Tell me how successful you have been and we can exchange stories of discovery.

All drawings in this blog are contributed by Sharda and Sharath

Kemmangundi Hills: The Hill Station Of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV

In the Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka, there is an idyllic hill station located at 1434 meters above sea level. This hill station is Kemmangundi hills or KG hills, as it is commonly called. The place is located in Terikere taluk in Chikkamagaluru district. It is close to 250 km from the capital city of Bengaluru.

There are many places to visit in Kemmangundi hills and the surrounding locales. With rolling hills, thick forest cover and the many waterfalls, KG Hills is unmissable. Here are some of the more popular spots I have visited in KG Hills:

  • Trek to Z Point
  • Trek To Gorilla Point
  • Hebbe Falls
  • Kalahatti Falls
  • Shanti Falls
  • Mullayanagiri peak
  • Baba Budangiri peak etc

The weather is also quite ideal all-round the year. The highs always stay within 30 degrees Celsius and the low goes up to 10 degrees Celsius in winters. I have included pictures of the foggy mornings and amazing view from the peaks.

Summer vacations- The fondest memories

It is summer time in India and it is the time for mangoes and summer vacations. These are the two best things from every Indian’s childhood. Though, I am sure that our parents have a different perspective on summer holidays.

Every summer, we hear parents discuss different ways to keep their kids occupied and away from mischief. Some plan to enrol their kids for coaching classes so that they are ahead in the syllabus when the schools reopen. Some others plan to take their kids out of town to have fun. Some also plan a roster for spending time with all our cousins and relatives. My mother dealt with summer differently. She enrolled us in a hobby class every summer. She said that this way we can cultivate a new hobby and find out what we are good at.

This plan of hers worked for both her and us kids. My sisters and I were busy learning and practising our hobby, while my mother got the much-needed peace and quiet. It, however, made many interesting memories as well. One summer, my sisters and I enrolled in drawing and painting classes, another summer we went for needlework and crochet classes. I also learned singing one year and craft work with clay another year. The most memorable years were when I learnt swimming and cookery.

One might think that swimming was the most natural activity for summer, right?? Well, not for me. I have aquaphobia, so I was not keen on swimming at all. However, my mom felt that I needed to overcome this fear at a young age, so she enrolled me for swimming classes. As you can guess, I did not have any fun in the pool. My swim coach did not help my case in any way. She felt that dunking me under water would bring out the natural survival instincts and teach me to paddle my hands and legs. It only made will cling onto my coach’s back more tightly. It was one embarrassing year for me. However, I did learn something. I learnt that I wasn’t scared of water as long as my feet were in solid surface. I only had a fear of drowning.

Cookery classes were a different experience altogether. I found my love for baking that year. While my sisters learnt to cook new cuisines, I had a knack for baking. I was finally able to bake a cake and eat it too. That summer, I had the most fun ever. We also learnt the combinations of flavours that didn’t go well together, by trial and error of course. I can still remember the horrible taste of the lime and banana cake.

All things notwithstanding, summer holidays were a time of self-discovery and adventure. I learnt that I like morning walks better than evening walks. I discovered I love classic rock music more than heavy metal music. I also learnt that the sun was the best compass to find your way back home. There are many more memorable and unforgettable lessons from each summer. I hope to hear some of your stories in the comments section below.

Indian home remedies passed down from my grandma

Every once in a while we have all faced some sort of health issue that was too small to visit the doctor, but troublesome enough to make us lose our sleep. Every time, in such a situation, we turn to those trusty home remedies that are passed in our family from generation to to generation. Sometimes, even suggestions from friends and neighbours help us. I have tried to make a compilation of those remedies that I have heard of an tried. I only hope to share them and see if others will find it helpful too.

These home remedies are those that I have learnt from my grandmothers and old aunts that did not have immediate access to a doctor in the old days. Some of these remedies suit Indian climate more than other colder locales. They are all harmless and can be tried at least once before you can decide upon its usefulness.

  • Curd and Fenugreek paste: They say that curd and fenugreek paste, when applied to scalp will help to fight dandruff. Make a paste of fenugreek seeds soaked in water and mix the paste with sufficient curd and apply to your scalp. The mixture leaves a bit of a stink if you do not rinse it off your hair completely.
  • Sesame oil mixed with Camphor: Mix camphor powder with sesame oil and massage it on your joints or painful muscles for instant pain relief. This trick worked well for me. It is an old grandmother’s remedy for arthritis and other rheumatic pains. It helps to improve circulation when you massage well.
  • Gelatine paste with Turmeric and Honey: This mixture helps remove blackheads and white heads on the skin. Mix 2 teaspoons of gelatine powder with a pinch of turmeric and a teaspoon of honey. Apply a thin layer of this on the affected area and leave it to dry. Peel it off your skin to see all your blackheads removed.
  • Paste of yellow split pea (besan) to lighten hair growth: This is an age old technique that South Indians use to lighten hair growth on hands and legs. This besan paste when mixed with rice flour and dried orange peel makes a bath powder. It is supposed to lighten hair growth over repeated use, but the process is very slow. It takes many months to see even a slight change. This paste however is good for the skin.
  • A decoction of cumin and coriander seeds will cure stomach cramps and period pains. This is another old wife’s cure. Drink half a glass of this decoction daily. It takes a few weeks of regular use to start showing results. It is good for digestion, smoothens skin, reduces pimple breakouts and alleviates cramps.
  • Toothpaste to remove pimples: Apply a generous blob of regular calcium toothpaste on your pimple in its early stage. The calcium and the anti-cavity medicine in your paste will prevent the pimple from aggravating and erupting.
  • Triphala powder helps with incessant toothache or bleeding gums. Triphala is an ayurvedic mixture of 3 fruits in the dried form. When you use this powder to massage your gums and teeth, it helps alleviate bleeding gums and received tooth aches. It also strengthens your gums and fights cavities in early stages.
  • Holy Basil: It is a commonly called Tulsi in most Indian households and it is a godsend for most ailments. A tea made with Tulsi leaves helps to fight the common cold and allergy symptoms. You can add a squeeze of lime and a spoon of honey to this tea in case of cough and sore throat.
  • Vaseline Jelly:  Petroleum jelly or Vaseline jelly works excellently for cracked heels. Every night, before you go to bed, wash and dry your feet and apply Vaseline to the cracked heels. Put on socks and go to bed. In the morning you can wash of the Vaseline. In a week’s time you will notice a big difference.
  • Hibiscus flower: Boil the petals of the red hibiscus flower in coconut oil until the flowers are charred. Filter out the petals and use this oil to massage into the scalp. This oil helps to promote hair growth and keeps the hair black.
  • Fresh garlic cloves with warm milk help with blood pressure control and fights cholesterol. Boil one close of garlic in a glass of milk and drink it on empty stomach in the morning. It tastes pungent and is basically yuck, but, is an effective remedy for high BP.
  • Aloe Vera: Aloe has thick fleshy leaves with thorns on the edges. Aloe Vera has numerous health benefits. The one that worked for me is that it helped me get over the acid burning sensation in my stomach and esophagus. How to use: scrape the outer green skin and the thorns. Take a piece of the white gelatinous part and wash it thoroughly in running water to get rid of as much slime as you can. I used a piece half the size of my pointing finger, dipped it in sugar and chewed it thoroughly and swallowed it with water. This has to be taken early in the morning on an empty stomach and do not eat or drink anything for the next thirty minutes. I did this for ten days. This remedy worked very well for me.
  • Coconut Water: Coconut water is the most wholesome food that one can survive on. It provides the body a concoction of all essential minerals and vitamins. In case of nausea, diarrhea or severe stomach agitation, drink a glass of coconut water every few hours to replenish your lost body fluids.
  • Potato peel is good for skin lightening and acts as a mild bleaching agent. Wash the potatoes to remove all dirt and take out thick layer of the peel. A paste made from this peel can be applied on your skin to help lighten it.
  • Onion Juice: Onion juice is known to promote hair growth. Take a quarter piece of red onion and grate to using a grater. You will be left with onion pulp and milky white liquid. Strain this juice and apply to your scalp and hair roots in the affected area. Leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse with water.
  • Ginger juice with Honey: Ginger juice with honey is an old remedy to remove impurities from the blood. When you have frequent acne breakouts and skin rashes you can try this quick trick. Take a tablespoon of Ginger juice and add a dollop of honey to it and take on an empty stomach in the morning. Sometimes you can also chew on a small piece of ginger dabbed in salt. It will reduce the occurrence of puss filled boils and those white top pimples too.

I am sure that you have heard of quite of few of these preparations from your friends and elders too. They have served us well in the olden days before advanced medicines and medical procedures were invented. However, do not depend on these remedies when a problem persists, always consult a medical doctor and take the right medicines. These home remedies are something to help along with the doctor rather than to replace them.

Unforgettable Vacation at Munnar

Last year in the month of July, I was finally able to take time out to visit the hill station of Munnar. It has been on my bucket list for a long time and Munnar is famous for being a beautiful and picturesque hill station that was reserved for the elite of the British Raj in colonial times. Due to the monsoon season, we expected wet and rainy weather with thunderstorms. The place kept up its promise and offered more in the form of foggy mornings that gave a chance for great photography. It felt like the best time to visit Munnar as the weather was conducive for enjoyable treks and pleasant walks.

I am sure you want to know more about this place and what we can do there. Munnar is a famous hill station in the Western Ghats. It is located in the southernmost state of Kerala in India. This hill station is famous for tea plantations, and a national park with an abundance of wildlife. The town of Munnar is located at the confluence of 3 rivers namely the Muthirappuzha River, Chanduvarai River and Kundale River. There is also the Mattupetty dam that is a concrete gravity dam and is used to produce hydroelectricity.

For all nature lovers, the Eravikulam National park is a must visit. It is home to diverse flora and fauna. Visitors can view leopards, tigers, jackals, deer, Mongoose and a wide variety of monkeys. You can also have seasonal visits from elephants at the national park.

If you are an adventurous person, you have many hiking and trekking paths and boating clubs. The Anamudi peak is located here and it is the highest peak in the Western Ghats in South India. You can also go camping at the Munnar Tent camp. I am not much of a camper, especially since I am scared of creepy crawlies in the monsoon. I, however, enjoyed my hiking trip to Pothamedu – Aanakkal viewpoint.

My trip was only for a few days and I did not get to visit all that was on offer at Munnar. But, I promised myself to come back and take another look at all that I missed here in the form of the tea museum, the spice gardens, topiary flower show and the old Roman Catholic Church. I leave you here with more of the pictures we took here.

Everyone needs a BFF in their life

BFF – best friend forever is a common term we hear nowadays. It is that friend who stays with us forever, who always stands by us in the time of need. One who gives us support and advises us when needed. One might say that all friends are like that, the point of friendship is for a person to stand by us and guide us through troubled times. There are many sayings, proverbs, anecdotes of great friendships that withstood time and age. Friendship is the single most valuable relation that we have and it is the foundation of most of the other relations like love, parent-child relation, siblings, teacher-student relation etc.

As with every blog of mine, there is a big BUT. So here goes….But, is it easy to find a friend like that? We make many friends in our lifetime, but most of them drift apart over time. There might not be a lack of affection between friends, but people just grow apart with changing time and life situations. We are inseparable from our friends in school or college, but after job, marriage, kids etc., we find it difficult to find common topics to talk with the same person. We still keep in touch, but are not as close as before. This is the most often used response to on this topic. There is nothing wrong in this response either. When we are in different situations or stages in life our mind frame varies accordingly. A person who was once impulsive and spontaneous might turn contemplative and back again based on their experiences. Each person goes through life at a different pace so for every friend to keep pace with the other is near impossible. For a friendship to keep up with all these variations and stand strong is a tough task. Having such friendship would seem like a crutch to help us. We are very dependent on it and life comes to a standstill without it.

For most of us it would seem like such friendship is a dream. It is like a mirage on a hot summer afternoon. However, I have an answer here as well. We can be our own best friend. We can be that one person who will not leave our side at any time or stage in life. Does that sound pathetic to you?? Maybe, but don’t discount the idea yet. If you are an extrovert, an outgoing and social person, it is easy to meet new people and make friends and lasting friendships. However, for an introvert, or a reversed person, or a socially awkward person, meeting people and making friends is a difficult task. Some people find it easy to make friends, but hard to build a personal connect with them. In such cases, some of us are just too prickly or sarcastic for friendship to withstand. If you are from any of these groups of people, life may seem devoid of true friendship.

Each of us has two opposing voices in our head telling us different perspectives to every situation. Listening to oneself and retrospection will help you find that true friend that you always needed. On a lighter note, you can be that one friend who can never ditch you, no matter how much you try. Speak to yourself, be honest about your true intentions, because, let’s face it who is your mind going to tell? It can’t snitch on you to anyone. You will get the best solutions that suit your personality and your requirement. Like in any friendship, you have to be honest with yourself and speak to yourself everyday about the events and emotions without the fear of bias or prejudice. I know that the thought I have put here today is a debatable topic. It is not a true solution or someone even say a healthy solution. I would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Being selfish is not all bad

We are always taught to be selfless and put others before self. This is one lesson that transcends religion, nationality, time and age. If you are a mother, it is always the child before self. For a father the family comes first. It is a universally accepted norm, but does it always ring true? Can you always deliver the results when you put others before self?

I have recently viewed a short video of Jubril Agoro, where he talks about how we need to be take time out for our self before we can help others. Here is the video, watch it and tell me if it is true.

I have felt the same way for quite some time, but I was ashamed to think like that. I felt that one cannot give peace to others when they have none in their mind. One cannot give joy to others when they feel none in their heart. It is essential to keep our stock of peace and joy filled to the brim, so that we can share and dispense some to others. Though my mind agreed with this idea, my heart always felt that being selfish was wrong and blamed me of being a bad person. I felt that I have no right to enjoy peace when my friends or family  were in distress. It felt like a betrayal of loyalty and friendship.

It took me a long time to realize that, though I would smile and laugh for their sake, my laughter was hollow and the smile lacked the joy. This applies to everyone. We all push our self to the limit and beyond thinking of others. We however, fail to notice that our loved ones can see right through the facade.

When I say that we need to be selfish, it only means that we are not being disloyal when we enjoy our day. We need not push all joy and enjoyment away because others are unhappy. We need to take a mandatory 10 minutes of personal time every day to just laugh and breathe peacefully. As the video suggests, in a situation of emergency, first put on your oxygen mask before you help the person next to you. If not, you are of no help to that person or yourself.

I know, some of you might say, how does it help others if I take time out to relax? The answer is simple really. Only when you are relaxed and calm, will you be able to take the best decisions and understand the problems correctly. If we are as worked up as the person next to us, then we will only add to the chaos. To be that one sane voice that calms the crowd, one should be sane in their mind. Believe it or not, when we pretend to be happy, we are fooling no one but ourselves.

So, how do we go about relaxing in a chaotic situation?

  • One sure shot way is to remove yourself from the situation and have some alone time to breathe and reflect.
  • Take daily break for 30 minutes to watch a good comedy that makes you laugh.
  • Start your day by counting your blessings, however small they may be, rather than checking your to do list.
  • Pick up any small hobby or pastime that is close to your heart and allocate a fixed time for it, on a regular basis. The hobby could be drawing, coloring, crafts, walks, gardening etc.
  • Try to see the comedy in every situation. It might be a difficult task, but not impossible. It will make any situation bearable when you can laugh at it.

All these ideas are there to help you to help yourself. Because, only a happy smile can spread joy, a forced or false smile never helps.

Gardening- Is it just a hobby?

Most of us practice gardening as a hobby, a pastime or some times as a relaxation. Recently, a friend of mine opened my eyes to a different thinking. Gardening can also be a therapy or a door to a healthy way of life. It might not be the most glamorous of hobbies, but it is one hobby that will pay you back many times. As with all my blogs there is a backstory to this too. So, here goes….

A friend of mine faced a personal tragedy and was totally lost. I would say he was in a state of depression, but he never approached a psychiatrist due to the stigma attached to it. For a long time he refused to accept the fact too and persevered on. We could all see him go on a downward spiral, but no one was able to get through to him. My friend strongly resisted any help in the form of therapy or otherwise. We were at our wits end on how to help him.

The solution came to us quite unexpectedly. One day we had a chance meeting with an owner of a nursery for plants. The owner was trying to market his plants and sat down to tell us the different benefits of each plant. The fresh and cool air around the plants, the aroma of wet soil and perfume of flowers gave my friends a sense of peace. From here his healing process started. Initially, he volunteered to take care of the plants at the nursery and slowly built his own terrace garden. He said working closely with a plant right from its germination up till it flourishes on its own, it gave him a sense of achievement. He considered them as his children and would spend most of his time in his garden. For a time we were worried for his sanity as he started talking to his plants about innate things and events. He brushed away our fear saying that he was just encouraging his plants to grow better. His smile and joy told us that we have nothing to worry anymore.

Though he found his peace and recovered completely, he continued his gardening and turned it into his own organic farm. At one time he was growing crotons and flowering plants for beauty. Now, he spent more effort to grow vegetables and fruits. He strongly avoided chemical pesticides and used organic means like neem oil, mango leaves, green tea, guava leaves, turmeric etc. He says using chemicals harms the nutritional value of the plant products. He also started growing more of plants like Areca palm, money plant, snake plant etc. They are indoor plants that produce more oxygen at night and day, while also removing harmful pollutants from air around us. More oxygen in the air not only makes breathing easy, but also helps keep the mind sharp and energetic.

Gardening involves not just growing plants, but also taking care of the soil, the air and the water quality. So, by making them healthy, we are in turn making ourselves healthy. This is one hobby that is worth trying.