हरा-भरा वह,
रसीला मीठा,
गन्ने की तरह ।

साफ किया उसे,
काट लिया जिसे,Sugarcane
गन्ने की तरह ।

मजबूत गोल बेलनों ने,
रस निकाला उससे,
गन्ने की तरह ।

फिर वहीं माटी में,
फेंक दिया उसे,
गन्ने की तरह ।

Gauri and Budhiya

Dedicating to a characteristic – when a creature want to live for others, and she made me keep writing again.

Gauri was our cow 18 years old !

I reached home 24th Feb. early morning. And apart from human pairs of eyes, a so called animal’s eyes seemed waiting for me. Whether just for me, I don’t know.

Casual roaming around home premises, I saw her, our Gauri sitting permanently beside the walls, with occasional drops of tear flowing down her eyes. She was being feed in sitting posture since last few days as her hind legs got paralyzed without any specific reason.

I suggested Sambhu, our caretaker of cattle, to feed her favorite green grass (dub) , with that she may gain strength. She always needed our touch. I put more paddy straws, under her immobile belly as in these days we still needed quilts in night there. Veterinary uncle, who know all of our cattle, suggested not to put any treatment pressure on her legs. Let her live to her best, as she is.

And today is 2nd March. In the very morning, we all had wet eyes, as Gauri seemed to appear in just sitting posture but actually she left for the heavenly abode.

Green grass was still lying still in her basket. And a straw of yellow straw, she seemed chewing. None could believe that she is no more.

Ma told not to cry at all, as on cow’s peaceful death, one should not cry. Though controlled, was she honest really to herself !

Prior night, at dinner table we discussed about her falling health, but we all failed to get a glimpse at night of hers in talking other things, and we thought she will live for some more time or may gain back her strength to stand. Though I guessed that she might recover with some miracle, but I had a faint thought, if I leave for Bangalore after three days, will I be able to see her again.

She died with a wish of bearing a calf ever.

Our determination to keep an infertile cow for 18 years was a matter of non-sense decision with loads of suggestions around. For children playing cricket in front of our house, Gauri, having a short stature, was a matter of love, as she was the simpler than anything. Annoying point was that, she was the object of desire for the animal brokers!

To the needed persons, ma’s reply used to be “Her mother fed my all children, can’t I keep her last one without asking for milk.”

As Civil Surgeons’ specially regulated medicines and other uterine treatments, traditional medicines, and best possible fertility treatments could not help her conceive a calf ever.

Another reason we kept her without asking for anything was, Ma could not see the last day of her mother. Her mother budhiya was Ma’s best company to feed us with her nutritious milk.

On memorizing Budhiya’s last days, her voice saddens always.


From our farmlands in suburbs, majority of cattle feeding requirements fulfilled, we do keep cows as per Hindu traditions. The purpose never was or is for economical benefits from cattle, cows only, now just two. May be it’s for auspicious reasons and having pure milk of home.

Budhiya, was our first cow bought to feed my infant sister, Pinky. Her milk used to be full of cream. As we grew, we got habituated to take dudh-roti ( milk-bread ) after dinner daily and we saw several of her calves growing as we grew up. Most of her calves grown into milking cows and few to ox – sent to other places. Though the cows were never sold, was given to others.

Gauri was born as last calf of “Budhiya”, when we completed the construction of our new home.

Year 1889, when our griha pravesh ( house inauguration) function was being performed, along with my parents, as per customs, a perfect white calf , christened as Gauri, accompanied her mother Budhiya and took the rounds of our newly built home

Though Budhiya had little horns, she always threatened us in childhood, if we try to touch her little calves. Those times, we feared her.

Years passed off.

Budhiya became old. Her height seemed shortened, tooth eroded and used to take finer grains and straws only. One day she stopped taking food and water. And none of male member was at home. Ma at Nani’s place. Papa at working place and me in hostel. Sisters called up nearby uncle and veterinary hospital’s uncle. Every thing seemed useless to revive her health.

She sat down finally. Her ropes of neck were freed up, as it’s customary to keep without ropes, when hopes of cow’s life blink faint.

Day 1 passed off. She was looking for someone.. Day 2 and day 3 passed off. Blame the poor communication facilities those days. On those days Ma was eager to come home back, but she could not as having ill health of nani.

Budhiya Passed off with eyes wide open! Though, didi did all Gangajal rituals. While returned home back, Ma saw an empty cowshed. She could not see her last days. She cried for days !

Budhiya was buried at our backyards, on his burial place, now grows green trees.


Today is 2nd March. Her last calf – Gauri was being kept in the grave forever.

As now the backyard is full of teak trees, we men, carried her body (corpse!) to our farm land. At a corner, rectangular wide and deep land was dug up.

“In which direction her head should be kept ?” – Shambhu asked me, before our cow Gauri was to be put in grave.

I did not know exactly hence asked Patoriwala for the confirmation. It was north.

We kept pouring soil to cover her grave. While pouring soil with shovel, one moment , my emotions were telling jut to look her face back again for last time, taking out all soil put on her, as if how she looked !

But I know the five elements, I kept pouring and pouring !

And we made a square platform over the grave.

She remained a lowest maintained animal, with no complaint practically, with occasional fines that we had to pay, when she used to do graze someone’s paddy / wheat ignorantly.

We bore everything, as our insignificant fines were of no means as those of her of infertility.

Her eyes used to have tears when we bring back from hospital / Gaushala with hopes of fertility. She used to love all the calves grown in front of her eyes. She was several times hit by other cows for her this behavior! Gauri didn’t give us a single drop of milk, but we never complaint ever as we could understand her pains always. She couldn’t speak. While washing / caressing her back belly down, she used to stay calmer!

Today she is not more, with a perfect sitting posture till the last moment, she never let feel anyone that she is no more….. !

Dividing Cauvery Water

Today, some violence seemed to have occurred in some sensitive parts of the town. The issue has been so called unfavourable decision towards Karnataka, by Supreme Court’s on distribution of the Cauvery’s water among four states.

Last time in 1991, on the announcement of such decision the riots occurred, taking several lives. Hence today, thousands of police personal are deputed in some areas. Though I could not see any affect in my locality and even far around. Life is as usual to my eyes.

Cauvery OriginI have seen the origin place of the Cauvery river, the Tal-Cauvery hills, from where Cauvery originates. Before seeing this, I have seen only the Ganga, the Godavari and the Mahanadi with their mighty existence. On first sight of the Cauvery, I could not believe that the comparatively narrow river can be of such an importance. Being the rivers on hills, though flow rate is high, but width is quite less. Now presently, instead of measuring its length and width of a river as a geologist, I would like to call her as lean – thin mighty mother of four states’ farmers.

The mother is prayed, at the origin. People take holy water from there, calling it Dakshini Ganga (southern Ganga). The mother comes down with all joys and the willingness to meet her children to Cauvery in hills, in the rainy seasonfeed them. And down the line, among children it needs division, as if why she can’t feed all her children to their satisfaction!

The materialistic world, with more population, with human drawn boundaries in between stands the capital of Karnataka, Bangalore – with all its glory. Here emotions mostly flow in the binary computer bits within the outdated hardware of equally senseless political system.

I know these issues need practical approach to solve, not a poetic language of mine. And at the same time, I do wonder, how much practical and objective decisions, think tanks at centre make. I am not sure of the political , social and economical outcome of this decision and feel equally helpless to suggest them with some (surely unheard) alternative!

And I feel at this moment is, there lies the crave for fulfilling exponentially increasing needs from the mother, than the mother holds in her bosom. Until there is an unwillingness to know about her limitations,we selfish children may suffer more. The mother always gives her best, coming down from the hills, to the children herself. Everything can be resolved if we can really talk the matter among we so  called intellectuals, out of those our drawn state boundaries. I am not sure, whether I will be able to taste the water, when the Cauvery’s water gets mixed up with her tears, on these sad occasions !

Exploring Kerala (2) – Traditional foods and drinks

All the south Indian marriages till now I attended, are simply quite different than north Indian ones, and thats true regarding lunches too.

On the auspicious occasions, there are no non-veg items on menu. Foods were cooked with minimum spices. Thick small rice ( but tasty), sambhar, rasham, chutney, mazziga and at least 8 types of unnamed (boiled type) sabzi’s, papads and of course the famous banana chips. Finishing touch was with kheer in cups and ice-cream.

I was satiated, as I expected something different than north India. As I love variety in everything of life, I was pleased to have the meal with hundreds other there on a banana leaf.

The Kerala is a state with a good traditional knowledge of Ayurveda. Everywhere the water that was served to drink as normal drinking water used to be lukewarm and coloured pink or yellow or colorless sometimes. Customary, they prepare drinking water after boiling some herbs in it and cooling them down for drinking. The herbs ( I bought it later, its red wood type actually ) make the water coloured after inducing medicinal properties, appearing as if rose leaves extracts were diluted. And there is a slight specific herbal aroma in water. Though I drink a lot of water and that herbal treated water I took more than normal litres during my Kerala tour, the effect was better than packaged ones of Bangalore.

The main point about Kerala food is coconut. Though sometimes I failed to recognised the medium of cooking but most food items are cooked in coconut oil including egg curry and non-veg items. But the best thing about food is, for sure, cooked well and tastes well ( as per taste buds of my team there). Its difficult to find any trace of aroma of coconut oil that we find in coconut hair oils.

Over the head there one can find hanging thousands of coconuts everywhere, on the roadside – one can find broken coconuts drying in sun.

The climate in mid january is as if the climate of march-april in north India. Days and nights were warmer than Bangalore. So there was abundant in number of the shops, selling salt water boiled amla, carrot, mango, ber, anaras in glass pet jars. People buy them in considerable amount. For me two amlas were more than enough for my sensitive tooth. And that was a natural way for them to beat the heat in summers, I think !

Cofee and tea is mostly served unfiltered in one glass with an additional glass to pour and sip. The black coffee / tea many people prefer to sip after the dinner.

Loving the wild flowers

Many a times, I thought to write on big things but in reality the plans finished off fast before actual execution.

And I end up writing for small things like this again :

I would like to wander into my vacation destinations, my first love the mighty hills with springs, flora and fauna, second love – the cool beaches (and riversides) where the emotional tides play on the shores, third love the sand and barrens to know the harsh reality of life.

Among these places, wherever I go, I find one thing growing in all the sites – the wild flowers of various shapes and colours. Some growing in grasses, some in knee deep water and some orchid type on high branches and some poor fellow stuck in stones. )

There have been several occasions when roaming around our farmlands, I find small tiny flowers in grasses – pink,violet, red or blue. I used to pluck them and make a small bunch and tie them up to make a super-mini bouquet and bring back to home for giving to my sisters and make them smile. Though I know that , plucking these tiny souls must felt them hurt, but I could not resist to do so. Even while traveling the hill towns of Mirik ( Darjeeling still unexplored for me ! ), I brought home the bunch of wild hill flowers.

Again months back, while during Madikeri downhill journey, while my friends were busy buying honey and cardamom, I was busy collecting orchid kinda flowers roadside. In the light drizzle, I made a bouquet again with them. Should I add that it was again an object of laugh for my friends. Inside the vehicle, the wild bouquet again added to the beauty in front of windscreen.

The reasons may be credited to my unknown love for natural flowers or to be exact zoology. Still I can recognise well a Palmately compound leaves and Pinnately compound leaves. And then multiplied the taste, to realize the exact value of many of them, Ma’s love for Ayurvedic plants Blooming Wild Flowers - Harangi Dam - Koduguand volumes of books by Vaidayraj Shivkali Bhattacharya to identify medicinal plants from wild plants and their parts and make medicine. Wish I could had been a Ayurvedic doctor or at least married to, to make her efforts true. Aree haan ! One day I will write how I missed to fill the medical entrance exam form by one day !!

Anyway for the time being, you needn’t wonder if I pluck a flower from bushes and give you to chew for curing your mouth sore and telling it is ‘sipsipi’ flower, that will cure the sore with a sweet sensation on tongue for just few minutes, which is another  yellow little wild flower went unnoticed for many years for me.

We can grow the flowers of several variety at our home garden, but never tried to grow them so carefully. I think what makes them look nice and important, is the growing in the purest environment in the true care of nature.

Bihar – the write thing! -(5) – Tea Production

Chai – Chai! Garam Chai! The most commonly heard words in north Indian stations used by tea vendors. Next time you may be sipping the Chai produced in Bihar in stations or in home. Chai (tea) is the most common beverage used by Indians. The mostly used variety among different kinds of tea is CTC tea. The reason it is called CTC, comes from the words Crush, Tear and Curl. Crush, Tear, and Curl is a method of processing the tea during production in factory. The tea afer passed through a series of cylindrical rollers with hundreds of small sharp "teeth" that Cut, Tear, and Curl to give it specific taste we enjoy in morning cups. And the Biharis have started producing tea of this type. Adding to your surprise, this variety of tea is as par the Assam CTC and it’s proved by agencies.
And the place where it is being produced is Kishanganj, which is also my home district. Kishanganj is at the down belt of Darjeeling and it have appropriate climate to produce tea, which needs high rainfall and sloppy land. The lands of Kishanganj have produced several crore kgs of green leaves. This is done by more than 10,000 acres of productive gardens. There is an aim to cultivate it on more than 20,000 acres of land and it will be attained very soon. More than 15,000 people are employed in this industry.
Once you come to these tea gardens, it will make you feel the surroundings of the moist green tea gardens of Assam. Here in Kishanganj there are no hills but plenty of small rivers and highlands make the environment tea friendly. Some gardens are near the main town too. If I drive 10 minute from my home, I will reach the green gardens. The gardens are new, they use negligible quantity of the pesticides and the land of Kishanganj is highly fertile .All these together makes the flavour and taste of this tea unique (Unless you have tasted the varieties of different tea you can’t find the difference).Do the local people take the local tea? Due to high cost of production and high demand outside Bihar the price of the locally produced tea is not less than the Assam CTC tea. So local peole buy Assam tea too. Despite the high competions in tea sector and the dominance of Darjeeling and Assam tea the Bihar tea succeeded in making it’s own place. From overall perspective it compares the well known CTC tea in local market and is being sold outside Bihar too. This tea is being exported too. In market if you see a tea with a brand name Kishanbari tea, be sure it’s from Kishanganj. And you can be sure that Biharis are good entrepreneurs ! Chai! Chai! Han Mere Bihari Bhai!
Get a glimpse of the tea garden in Bihar.