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Showing posts from February, 2012

Sands and Wetlands

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A girl with hazel eyes disappeared in a cloud of glimmering sand. She wore a maroon dress. Wrapping her head was a long red scarf, her large green eyes – a symbol of this region – gleaming through her half covered face. We came to a halt at a village by the sandy road, our guide addressing the folks for directions in Kutchi. I was in an unfamiliar terrain in one of the corners of India, where the language is strangely beautiful to hear – a mix of sindhi, gujarati and rajasthani. An amalgamation that is only unique to the Kutch region of Gujarat. For as far as my eyes could see, the earth stretched for miles – its flat surface laid out for our feet to explore. A number of shrubs prospered in this semi-arid landscape, thriving on the scarce water received six months ago. This unique region, a part of the famed Banni Grasslands, forms a crucial habitat for many animals, resident as well as migratory.
On our way through the desert we glimpsed a large mirage stretching from one corner of t…

An Indian Winter

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Winter in peninsular India, and particularly along the coast, is always for the namesake. But this year was an odd exception. The winter was cold – cold for this part of the world that lies between tropic of cancer and the equator. It is La Nina to be thanked for this pleasant weather, just as she blessed the parched Western Ghats with good amount of rain.
Winter here usually starts with what is technically called an Indian summer – a rather unsympathetically  hot spell of crazy high temperatures, coupled with double the humidity. As the nights grow longer by the hour, the temperatures fall, staying usually well above 20C.
This year, the temperatures fell to a record 15C in the city limits. In rural corners, where the hills are tall and woods thick, the temperatures may have fallen below 10C. But this rarely gets recorded. Warm clothes were out of the wardrobe. Those who never imagined a cold winter walk to work in their lifetime had to buy warm clothes. People kept the fans off. Ele…