Words beyond actions

The scars on the face of Sahyadri

Nevertheless, these visitors take memories of the luscious greens along with them when they return and also leave behind scars on the face of Sahyadri. These scars sometimes run deep enough to expose the red fleshy laterite bed rock underneath, adorned by small specks of plastic bits left behind, stuck amongst her facial hair like grasses. And again, these naive tourists aren’t quite to blame because the forest department in the name of collecting revenue, has made a common road for them to trek on from years together, leading to profuse soil compaction and destructive soil erosion.

The construction of home stays on places with the best views also are the most susceptible to land slides. Building of roads to reach the destination cuts triple the number of trees than the avenue plantings done. The wildlife is getting ‘disturbed and domesticated’ in the name of empathetic visitors feeding parle-g biscuits to ‘hungry’ monkeys, who have forgotten to climb trees.

The upgraded Kalpavruksha oil | Homemade hair oil

The plain old coconut oil does not have much nutritive benefits. Thus, the coconut oil is upgraded by adding many Ayurvedic ingredients to improve the hair health and reduce all sorts of hair problems. All the ingredients used like Bringraj, manjistha, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, hibiscus flowers are known as Rasayana, meaning rejuvenating ingredients which help to nourish your hair.

The secret of a healthy mane | Homemade organic shampoo

But something not everyone knows is that shampoo was in fact originated in India, and is derived from the word, ‘ champo’ in Hindi, meaning to massage. Traditionally, a shampoo is made by boiling saponin-rich soapberries or soapnuts with various herbs and fruits to get a lathery liquid that is used to rinse the hair along with various health benefits. This has been exploited by the industries and alternated with harmful chemicals to counter the high cost of using natural ingredients. Therefore, rinsing your already brittle hair with a fragrant mixture of Diethanolamine (DEA), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate(SLS), DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinyl urea and whatnot, can be less appealing indeed. Not to forget the number of dolphins and whales they are killing in the name of lustrous hair.

Now, the cosmetic industry cannot be closed overnight. But something we can do is to substitute the chemical-based Shampoo with the traditional plant-based ones, with actual health benefits and of course, happy dolphins. So, here are a set of homemade shampoos my grandmother had been using during her prime days.

The benefits of stained teeth | Ele adike

Not just in interms of cuisine, but the Ele adike has a cultural significance of its own. Right from its rightful place on the brass plate ( Hariwana) during marriages to being stuffed inside the deseased’s mouth, the betle leaf climber is found in everyone’s garden. The arrival of guests has some unspoken rules. And one of them is to get the freshest betle leaves plucked and neatly placed on the brass plate, alongside pieces of the gifted arecanut from the coastal relatives and an old yet faithful dibba, full of slaked lime. This is placed on the table for the guests to devour and gossip, after a hefty meal.

A crabby tale

The art of hunting crabs involves only two things- guts and more guts. The department I lacked in especially in this case. My guts was limited to flipping rocks and catching defenseless crab babies and letting them go. Repeating the process in a corner while the professionals handled the food classified, big crabs with sharp sphincters.

Let me introduce you to the art of hunting crabs. The crab hunting can be done all throughout the year but sometimes depends on the species. But the probability of catching one is more in the rainy season since these sassy crustaceans crawl out of the rivers and lives in the water channels and paddy fields. The crabs lay the eggs during December or January i.e., during the harvest season. The crabs store the eggs on the underside towards the back of their shells with fat pigments. These appear as red or scarlet coloured beads. The freshwater crabs unlike the salt water crabs do not undergo larval stages. The freshwater crabs hatch as young crabs and undergo larval stages when they are still in the eggs. The eggs hatch in April or May i.e., after 2 months of incubation. The mother crabs during this time are seen having hundreds of baby crabs under their belly.

The toadstool’s tale!

Toadstools or mushrooms are something that has created an unofficial Olympics for Mushroom hunting amongst families, from generations. I would rather bravely state that, mushroom is a cursed treasure unspoken of. I mean it literally because you would never find a person who’d yell at the top of his lungs about the mushrooms he’d found in his estate. If yes, that person is either a fool or not a localite. A person in Kodagu might leave a gold coin behind but never a mushroom. Be it even in somebody else’s estate, you see it first, it’s all yours. Such are its bewitching powers.
As soon as the first showers hit the dry earth and the lightning cracks it open, people after milking their cows head to the secret places, passed on from generation to generation. The sacred place where the mushroom grows, which is the place where the dormant spores lie from the last year…

A life before toothpaste!

Irrespective of the generation, the era, or the presence or absence of beauty pageants, the woman always wants to look pretty. The only difference is that my grandma had a slight gruesome method for beautification compared to my stick of Lakme colossal kajal. ” A species of small bat’s blood was used to make Kajal.

Huttari- A festival of reunion

Huttari, (meaning ಹೊಸ ತೆನೆ -New paddy stalk) along with being a promise of a reunion of scattered relatives is also a season of the rustling of dry, golden, and proud paddy stalks. A time when parrots soar the sky with a determination to taste the golden cereals of delight. A time when wild boars and elephants are head over heals to munch down the fibrous goodies. And thus, the season of sleepless nights for framers on stakeouts with battery torches, lighters ( Both to drag a beedi to keep them warm and also to light the sutli bombs) and two well trained dogs.