Category Archives: Nature

Gaura (Giri River)

Nature has no bounds when it comes to surprise us…and you won’t disagree if I call it the best healer of all. 

So whenever there is slightest possibility to be in company of the Nature, this family of Wanderers leave everything aside and immerse wholeheartedly in its enchanting beauty.

By now, I hope it is evident that I have shifted back to Hills-the place I would never have enough of and herefore starts my old romance.

Recently explored some marvelous locales…

Have a look 😊😊😊

Hued Dusk and Dawn

One of the finest evenings it is,

The ambience around is difficult to miss;

The youth shouting jubilantly in the pastures,

Tender hearts wholeheartedly imitating the masters.

The merriment is at such extreme height,

Even the birds don’t feel like pausing the flight.

The old trying to relive their days of past,

Wondering how time has moved so damn fast.

Standing at a distance the witnesee I

Smile now, the other moment take a sigh.

Why the grown ups make an appearance so dull,

Where the child in them got lost, all left is a Gull.

The melancholy soon erased by the tiny sprouts on trees,

Sun will again rise in a new day, leave all fears, forget all worries.

To every end there was a begininng nodoubt,

And every start is destined to an uncertain fullstop.

What matters is a life lived happy and fine,

Humming from heart, how many emotions did it define.

Morni Hills-The Only Hill Station Of Haryana

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If you stay near or around Chandigarh, and have an urge to get a break from the monotony of city life, just raise your gaze, cause there is an incredibly quiet place just up the hills. I am talking about the Morni Hills’.

First thing that comes to mind while thinking about this place is that it might have Pea-pheasants in plenty, and who knows; the region is so blessed with diverse flora; I am sure there’s a hidden faunal treasure too, glimpses of which you get en-route.

The ride uphill was a gradual one. First we moved along the almost dry Ghaghar river beds witnessing the curvaceous carvings on the soft land that makes turn heads once or twice. For a moment, I felt like, it’s a different world altogether. The road is such a relief; you never realise that you are heading the countryside. The vista on the sides of roads is eye-catching. The rifts and valleys try their best to give some awe moments. The slope takes you to the lush green pine covered hillside; the needles swaying with a typical sound in the hilly breeze. We saw many unseen birds and heard many sweet songs of the vivid birds. Its spring season, everything is emerging slowly from the winter sleep.

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Morni hills is famous for its two lakes separated by a hillock. Though I was expecting more, what I got was not that bad. The water was little muddy but nothing compared to beauty of nature combined with some human innovation. The Lakes offer scenic view and a place for the love-birds to have some quiet moments. Haryana tourism offers very delicious, hygienic and cheap food choices. According to me, it’s a good option for weekend camping. And if you desire, you can paddle into the lake water at your ease.

The lakeside also has an adventure park however sadly it is not being maintained. But we had great time with a naughty kid along and clicked some memories too.

There’s also a fort at the hilltop which was closed for renovation purpose.

The forest seemed calling us in, to savor its real beauty but due to lack of time and no paraphernalia, we the wanderers headed back home with a promise to come back in the monsoons when I am sure the beauty will be in multiples.

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The sparkling lake was happy to have us, I guess. 🙂

Open Your Hearts; Spring Is Already Here!

Today, we here in north India celebrated the first day of Spring. 
So whole day was about getting yellowed all over…

Head out and spend some time with Nature and Naturals….

The Nature lover in me didn’t shy to get drunk with the mindblowing fragrance of the mustards along with the bumbling bees, and the eyepleasing scenery all around was enough to forget the life miseries. 

The vibrant fields  danced merrily to the tunes of sweet breeze as if welcoming the new life and we swayed along. what a feeling!

Though it is still very cold in the morning; spring has already knocked on our doors and  we happily welcome it…with a smile.

Frozen Memories (II)

[Sometimes emotions drag a post too long that’s why I have to divide it in two parts. I wish to share my frozen memories with you guys and I want that you go till the end. Not just click the like button and move on. So, those who missed initial part, click Frozen memories (I)

and then continue…

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…Snow time would bring a different kind of holidaying. The electricity would stay disrupted for days and the phone lines wouldn’t work. The temperature outside used to be very low and if anything containing water, is left outside overnight, the surface water would freeze. There used to be race to own the natural glasses so formed and I used to think ‘how amazing ‘Nature’ is!’

There would be no scarcity of water. Go outside, collect some fresh fallen snow from the roof and put it in a pot kept over hearth and  Ta-Da! Warm water, is ready for every household chore.

Once the magic called ‘Snow’ was enjoyed to the max, after-days would be spent with the family by savouring myriad delicacies, playing indoor games, and occasional outings to bid farewell to melting snow.

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I can hear a crunchy sound, even right now, in my ears which was produced after intentionally stepping on the left over snow patches under the trees or on the straw.

I don’t exactly remember how young I was then but what I know is that papa would clean the snow from door to the main street, and some sort of ‘gully’ would be formed, and when I  walked through that gully, I couldn’t see anything! This means either I was really small or it used to snow really huge, at that time.

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But Gradually, year by year, things changed. Now the ‘Sigri’ is replaced by heaters and blowers; hearths by Gas/electricity appliances. No one wishes to take unnecessary pain when they can afford luxury. Every room has personal lavishness.

Good! It shows our Nation is undergoing development.

Bad! No more real automatic fun! People do gather on occasions but fun part has to be added, voluntarily.

Moreover, it doesn’t snow like that any more! Even if it does, stays for brief time period.

The environmental conditions of my place altered supposedly after the installation of a cement factory in the vicinity. There are scanty rains and negligible snow-fall.

At larger level, the winter of this year, is supposed to be abnormal one with a raised night temperature. Everyone says it’s because of ‘Global warming’ caused supposedly by the over indulgence in such and many more luxuries, and is a return-gift of ‘Developing’ too much, from the creator (Nature).

Initially, Man survived the absence of such luxuries; he lived in harmony with nature.

Then, Nature stayed where it was; Man moved on. He progressed and made his life comfortable, well…at the cost of Nature.

Now, It’s a war between the creator (Nature) and creation (Man).

It’s payback time.

Global warming is a serious problem. We all read and hear about it, every now and then, and show some momentary concern also but it is today that I realized one more thing about Global Warming, “it is also capable of melting down your frozen childhood memories and strip any chance to relive them.

I feel pity for the next generation for their chance of experiencing the joy of ‘Snow’ that we used to have, is evaporating in to oblivion….

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Frozen Memories (I)

“Winter is here!”

“So, What a big deal? It comes every year!”

Right! But these days, the winter is totally different from the one during my childhood (early childhood to be specific). Winter at that time meant, ‘all play and no study’. Winter break would stretch for more than two months. A lot of fun time, you see!

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Today I am feeling somewhat nostalgic as the frozen memories of early days decided to thaw, making their way down the cheeks just like the trickling from snow laden rooftops after a meltdown.

Christmas, in our part of world, is also known as ‘Bara Din’ meaning ‘Big day’ and it always used to be white, back then. I have been quite fond of snow since my childhood. I would pray for snow, every night before sleeping, and in the morning would rush out to see it first. If it wouldn’t snow, disappointed but hopeful, I would wait for the next night!

Weather in hills is known for its mood swings and to the joy of our hearts, it would snow when most unexpected. We would stand outside our home, with outstretched arms to feel the light snow flakes on our skin. With a lot of uproar, we would welcome the long awaited merry-maker.

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Snow was an annual phenomenon, still, its charm never faded to us. I remember how each and every flaw of the neighbourhood would get covered so beautifully and it would look like a fairy land.

There used to be a hut with a grass rooftop in front of our house; snow would transform it to visual treat, receding slowly towards Earth and making icicles down the edges. Gosh! What a beauty!

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As children are always children! Our gang would break these icicles and pretend as if having some weapons of war. Our hands would give up soon to the freezing cold. As per its nature, heat would travel away from our body, thereby melting our weapons and making them useless soon. Granny would yell from the window not to play with the snow but who would listen?

After getting totally numb, we would rush to the fireplace. Mommy, on seeing our completely sopping clothes, would give new set of woollens to wear, however with strict instructions of not going out again! We would nod but once the body would regain the vigour, in no time we would vanish in to the locality to witness its new avatars!

We would climb up the low lying roofs and slide down with the snow capes. We used to make it a point to spoil the snowy possessions of others while preserving ours. The expeditions would continue until our body felt nothing but fatigue. On finding the untouched smooth snow spreads in the open fields, we would mark the territory with different symbols including our initials or body impressions (standing with our back facing the snow followed by a free-fall, companions would help getting up so that we get a perfect one!). Personal favourite was the portrait of heart with a piercing arrow (It wasn’t easy for little feet, trust me!).

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So simple but still so much fun! This might sound weird but we would eat fresh snow, however, always far from the sight of elders. Although, it was never desired, we had to return back home to get some warmth.

Life used to stop for adults as everyone had to stay at home. To make most of it, they would also indulge themselves in unusual activities. I remember Papa axing the logs, and Mom collecting the pieces, and piling them up on a ‘Sigri’ to be burned later in the evening. All of us would gather around the fire and relish funny jokes and stories of Kings and Queens. The ambiance would lighten up with the laughter and the togetherness…

To be continued…

PC: Google.

Is there a ‘Life’ after ‘Life’?

Have you ever thought what happens to us after we take leave from this world?

Where do we go?

Is death, the end of our journey or is it just the beginning?

We sleep over these questions every night and wake up again to be normal but what about the answers???

Many say, “Only body dies, the soul leaves for another life….”

I don’t know if it’s right or not! What I know is; Few days back, I planned a field-trip for my junior students where they had a rendezvous with diverse flora and fauna. They were really excited about it and enthusiastically volunteered for sample collection as well.

Back in the lab they disclosed, “Ma’am, we have captured something! Tell us what this radiant creature is?”

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Seeing their interest, I said, “Just put it in a beaker and cover that with of a cloth.”

Not getting the answer, the students reluctantly followed the instructions.

Two days later a student energetically entered the lab and went straight to the beaker and shouted,

“Oh my God, it’s dead!”

Everyone else ran to the spot only to witness the struggle of ‘the’ creature for it had climbed up the wall of the beaker and  became motionless and changed to a lifeless thing.

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Ma’am, did it die because we didn’t provide it enough food?”

Possibly!” I tried to be ignoramus.

So, from that day onwards, the ‘adventure’ ended for them and they got busy in their routine tests. During one of mine, I was strolling around the rows and happened to cross the beaker.

“God! I screamed. All the students turned heads to get a clue. I couldn’t contain the joy and signalled them to come over and see themselves.

All stand there with immense amazement on the faces; eyes and mouth wide open.

“Voilà! It’s a butterfly!”

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The happiness on their faces was unmatched. Now was the time to explain this magical transformation or process of Metamorphosis’ which changes a crawler to flier and the students got illuminated.

What about us. Are we illuminated?

We illusion the death as the end of everything,

however,

in reality, this is just the beginning…

of a new wonderful, beautiful and free journey….DSC01507

When Earth Shakes

Yesterday, tremors of yet another quake were felt in our part of Earth. I feel like sharing this information with all the readers. You can also visit  https://in.news.yahoo.com/understanding-quakefor more information.

Monday’s powerful tremors in North India came almost exactly six months after the April 25 Nepal earthquake that killed nearly 10,000 — over a 100 of them in India. The epicentre of that quake was closer to India than northeastern Afghanistan, where Monday’s quake was centred. Monday’s quake was measured 7.5 on the Richter scale — Nepal was 7.8 — and the extent of death and destruction appears to have been far less.

Depth matters

The seismic focus of Monday’s earthquake lay 212 km under the earth’s surface, compared to just 10 km in Nepal. The depth was the reason strong tremors were felt in Delhi — even though the quake was weaker than the one in Nepal, and its epicentre was located almost twice the distance away.

“Earthquakes originating deep inside the earth spread much wider as they move towards the surface. As a result, they are felt even far away. The energy carried by an earthquake declines with its depth, but its sphere of influence increases, as long as there is an effective medium for propagation of the waves. The terrain in Afghanistan extending into northern India has lots of solid rock which is conducive to wave propagation,” said Ajay Paul of the Dehradun-based Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology.

Earthquakes in the Hindu Kush region generally originate at depths greater than 100 km. At least five earthquakes of magnitude greater than 7 have struck the area since 1950. Four originated more than 200 km below the surface; the fifth was 100 km deep — all “deep focus” earthquakes, Sankar Kumar Nath of IIT Kharagpur said.

“This region has a peculiar tectonic formation. While the Indian plate is getting under the Himalayas, a phenomenon that is occurring all along the Himalayan range, the Eurasian plate is getting subducted under the Pamir mountains.

In addition, there are several other faultlines. This is the convergence point for several seismic forces,” Nath said.

Vineet Gehlot of the National Centre of Seismology in New Delhi said almost all major earthquakes in the Hindu Kush region have been felt up to Delhi, and even Rajasthan.

Not much damage

Hindu Kush quakes have never caused major destruction in India. “By the time they reach India, the tremors have very large wavelengths, and the higher frequency waves that cause the most damage have already dissipated. In such a situation, a normal-sized building would be sitting either on the crest (the highest point) or the trough (the lowest point) of the wave, and would most probably be stable. The problem comes when part of a building is on the crest and the rest on a trough. This happens when the wavelength is short and the frequency, consequently, is high,” Gehlot said.

Also, “deep focus” earthquakes are not generally followed by many aftershocks. “The energy released at these depths is generally more efficient, as a result of which it happens at one go,” Nath said.

Vulnerable region

Still, the western Himalayas are one of the most dangerous seismic zones in the world. Scientists say the the 2,500 km from the Hindu Kush to Arunachal Pradesh is due for a big quake, of magnitude over 8. A huge amount of energy is stored along the faultlines due to the continuous interaction of tectonic plates — which can be released only in the form of a massive quake. Harsh K Gupta, former director of the Hyderabad-based National Geophysical Research Institute, estimates that the area has barely released four or five per cent of its total stored energy.

The western Himalayas are more vulnerable than central or eastern Himalayas. “Much greater energy is stored here,” Nath said. Gehlot said the Indian plate is getting under the Himalayas here at a steep angle. “It dives almost at 70 or 80 degrees at some points. This angle is only about 10 degrees in the central Himalayas. The seismic forces at play are much bigger here,” he said.

How they occur: A major quake, probably not the ‘Great One’

Historical data from the US Geological Survey shows only one ‘Great Earthquake’ of magnitude 8 or greater on the Richter scale takes place anywhere in the world every year. This year’s Great one has already occurred — on the Chile coast last month.

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The Theory Of Plate Tectonics: How movements of sections of the Earth’s crust release the energy that we experience as earthquakes

The surface of the Earth is divided into 7 major plates and several minor ones. They move a few centimetres a year, riding on semi-molten layers of rock underneath the crust. As the plates move, they pull apart or collide, unleashing the powerful movements known as earthquakes.

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Types of Plate  Boundary

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Slippage Along A Fault

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Seismograph  Reading

Primary or ‘P’ wave, Secondary or ‘S’ wave

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Earthquake Wave Types

From top: ‘P’ waves, the fastest, travel at 5 km/second; ‘S’ waves, travel at 3 km/s; Love waves; Rayleigh waves. The last two waves are surface waves, the slowest

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 I hope by the time you finish reading this article, you will feel much informed about the reason why Earth actually Shakes?

Raining Blues

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“Rain” has different meanings for different people. For some, it’s a sign of relief from the scorching heat of summer; for some, it’s an opportunity to get wet deliberately and do some cha-cha-cha; for children especially, it’s is a time to do splatter; for elderly it’s a time to sit back and relish their favourite home made cuisines. Likewise, for a seed, it’s a hope of rejuvenation and for a bird it’s a blessing to quench its long time thirst. In fact, it won’t be wrong if I pronounce ‘Rain’ as the lifeline of this Earth.

Just like everyone else, rain used to have significance to me too. I come from a hill station and for me, Rain always meant an emerald mood; the revitalization; the rainbow extending between mountains;  the fog, rising up from valleys to cover the mighty hills and playing hide and seek with them; and a time when umpteen waterfalls glorify the mountains and even the barren rocks turn green in celebration. The ambiance used to be such that you couldn’t resist the feeling of picking up your favourite umbrella and handy camera and just disappear to soak in this nature’s jamboree. It used to be a time of jubilation. But as they say, Change is the law of the Nature” and same is true for me. However, in my case “The Nature” didn’t change its nature; I changed nature of ‘The Nature’ by changing place where the meaning of rain changed altogether.

The onset of rain (which is seldom) is welcome here as well because it signals the end of ‘Loo’ (summer hot wind); But along comes a huge crisis. The rains if scanty, makes your life miserable. You can barely stay outdoors as it is too much humid out there. Your entire body is drenched in sweat all the times and it is simply impossible to get rid of. You can’t bear the uncomfortable feeling. It’s a hell tough job to travel, deliver lectures entire day and demonstrate the experiments in such horribly baking and soggy conditions. You are completely exhausted; mentally, physically and environmentally. There is only one place where you can be optimistic to have some respite from nature’s bane that is the air-conditioned area of your abode. Consider it equivalent to heaven in this awfully trying time. You can’t stop yourself from blessing the person who invented AC. He made life worth living in such dreadful places and appalling times.

Though, I am aware of the fact that the usage of AC is not good for our environment. Air-conditioners are known for the emission of chemicals which are responsible for depletion of the life saving ozone layer in the upper atmosphere. Ozone is the safety valve against the harmful UV rays (the agent behind skin cancers). I am from science faculty. I often come across various other environmental hazards and frequently motivate my students to do something for the betterment of humankind. I personally do have good intentions and constantly try to improve my habits so that we have a green and clean environment. But when it comes to AC, I just want to go deaf even to my inner voice. Though, I never heard anybody dying of excess moisture in air. I mean you won’t die but you won’t feel alive either. All day, you just keep mumbling, “Oh God! It’s too hot today.”

Please people bear with me or pray to God to be little gentle and make seasons slightly endurable. I can’t explain how I miss that refreshing monsoon of hills; that misty beginning of the day; that floral umbrella of mine; that roaming on The Mall in the rain; that impromptu escape in to the countryside; that hot cup of tea at a stall along roadside. How I wish to get lost in those extensive woods and that eternal miasma. In short, I totally miss the fun that ‘Rain’ used to be.

Photo credits:

http://genius.com/Bob-dylan-a-hard-rains-a-gonna-fall-lyrics/