Journeys and Jottings
People Make Places - Issue 13
“September is the month of maturity; the heaped basket and the garnered sheaf. It is the month of climax and completion. September! I never tire of turning it over and over in my mind. It has warmth, depth, and colour. It glows like old amber. – Patience Strong (1951). “The Glory of the Garden”
Hello September. A new month dawns and with it, there is a new perspective to life with fresh goals and budding opportunities. I can feel a change in season too - it is autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the South. However here, the monsoon slowly recedes in most parts of the country, painting nature in shades of lush green. And it’s a great time to step out and be outdoors. What are your plans?
Hello and Welcome to the 13th issue of Journeys and Jottings. It is a packed issue and we have an interesting quiz and a giveaway too. Travel news and views, a workshop alert, a trip to Warangal Fort and Ramappa Temple, one of the latest UNESCO Heritage Sites. In People Make Places we say hello again to Subhashini who has shared some gardening tips, especially for the season. But before that, some fascinating historic trivia around September.
“Give us back our 11 days”
There is a very interesting story that happened way back in September 1752 in the UK, when 11 days went missing. “Give us back our 11 days” shouted the people, when the UK decided to shift from The Julian Calendar to The Gregorian Calendar. As a result, “September 3 became September 14, “ and 11 days were completely erased from the lives of the British in 1752. People apparently rioted and felt cheated that they lost out on 11 days. How would you feel if you woke up one morning and realized that time had marched ahead of you?
Pic Courtesy - Paul Émile Chabas, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Controversies surrounded the Matinée de Septembre or September Morn, a famous painting by the French artist, Paul Émile Chabas. The painting of a young naked girl bathing at the Lake Annecy in Haute-Savoie and soaking in the warmth of the morning sun won critical acclaim in Paris in 1912 where it was exhibited but by the time the painting travelled to the United States, it was embroiled in controversy for the nude portrait. Even the identity of the model was shrouded in mystery. But that did not stop the soaring sales of the painting even though it was eventually declared as kitsch. Some even say that the controversy was created to sell the painting. However, there is of course a beautiful album composed by Neil Diamond as well, with the same name. Have you heard it?
People Make Places
A few issues ago, we met the charming Subhashini Chandramani. Experimental gardener, botanical artist. Subhashini brings nature and art together and creates a magical world by itself and that’s how in a nutshell, The Garden Art Journal was born. While she then spoke about her inspiring creations, we had featured more on the art and less on the garden.
Subhashini is back again in this issue with some gardening tips, but she has also graciously offered some giveaways of her amazing Garden Art Journal. And to make it more exciting, we have a short quiz in store, and two winners will be awarded the journals with her creative art. Here, she talks about the monsoon and how to manage the plants.
Gardening Tips for Monsoon
Kalidasa’s Megadutha speaks about an elephant-shaped cloud bringing hope for a forlorn young Yaksha. Yaksha, suffering from the pangs of separation from his beloved, requests the cloud to carry a message to her. He describes the path the cloud has to take to reach his house: through mountains, rivers, fields, flowers, and storms. Does the cloud deliver the message, we don’t know. But the healing touch of a monsoon rain flows in the descriptions.
Monsoon is the season when rain nourishes your plants with a magical touch. It takes care of all the watering and nutrition.
Here are a few gardening tips for you to enjoy the benevolent rain from Subhashini
Harvest all the excess water that accumulates in your garden. Unclog all the holes in the bottom of the pots for a smooth flow of water. Stake the tender plants with a bamboo pole so that they can withstand heavy wind.
Move sensitive plants to a place where they are not smothered by water. Keep succulents away from moisture. Keep your saplings in a safe place away from the pelting rain.
Many Indian vegetables grow well in the rainy season. Sow the seeds before the rainy season begins. Loosen the soil regularly so that the soil doesn’t harden between rains enabling water to drain smoothly.
A mini-quiz on gardening:
1. Do all plants require the same type of soil composition?
c. May be
2. What is staking?
a. Loosening the soil
b. Repotting plants
c. Supporting a plant with a stick
3. Which of these plants require sunlight for six to eight hours.
Comment below or send your answers to email@example.com and the first two winners get copies of the Garden Art Journal
Travel News and Views
I have just got back from an amazing experience of staying in a tiny container home in a vast expanse of lush greenery. My husband, Sharath, and I along with our dog, Raju went off the grid for a couple of days as we spent a night in Heidi, a charming container home built by Tenpy at Vishaal Farms, a campsite near Tumkur and DD Hills managed by Linger. I will be blogging my experience but for now, you can see some of my reels and posts on Instagram to get a feel of it. Have you stayed in a container home before?
Meanwhile, here are news and views from the travel industry which is slowly opening-up
Two new hostels opening up, one is Zostel in Munnar and another is Eness Backpacking Hostel in Pondicherry. The latter is also recruiting and so do pass the word around.
Srilankan Airlines has offered a buy one, get one free ticket for all Indians travelling on a tourist visa
Vistara receives official approval to operate flights to the US (although got to check if India still remains on the US’s red list)
UAE is issuing tourist visas to vaccinated Indians. RTPCR on arrival is mandatory.
Fully vaccinated Indian tourists can travel to Oman now but with 96 Hrs Prior RTPCR test with QR code
Spain has opened to vaccinated tourists from India, but only Covishield as of now.
And for those interested in trekking, here is one organised by my friend Arjan and you can email him - arjan@getupandgo for details. Dates - Oct 10-17.
This trek starts from the Holy shrine of Gangotri to Gaumukh, the actual source of the Ganges and beyond to the high altitude meadows of Tapovan Explore the Meru glacier and the surrounding towering peaks including the iconic Shivling standing at over 6500m
Workshop alert - M for Monetization
Just three days to go to sign up for this workshop which gives you an overview on how you can make money by blogging and content creation. The workshop answers these questions.
1. What is the intent of your blog?
2. Why does audience matter?
3. When can I start monetizing my blog?
4. How do I monetize my blog?
5. How do I collaborate with brands?
6. What is a media kit? Why do I need one?
7. What are the opportunities beyond the blog?
8. Is there a pot of money at the end of the rainbow?
Join me and ask more questions and I will answer them to the best of my knowledge from my 15 years of experience in traveling, writing, blogging, and content creation.
100 Stories of India
We followed the road along its curves until it led to a fortified stone wall which took us in a completely different world. The arches were embellished with sculptures and yalis carved in stone. We were inside the old Warangal Fort. I had no idea that an entire settlement actually lived here. As we walked inside the old fort, I realized that we were the only visitors.
The 12th century Warangal Fort or Warangal Kota built by the Kakatiya Dynasty. The stone pillars were more than 30 feet high and they symbolised “gateways of glory “ called Kirti Toranas. The four Kirti Toranas guarded a Shiva temple. A couple of elephants, another Nandi , yalis, a few pillars, broken sculptures, a Gaja Kesari, and even an old throne lay enclosed by the Kirti Toranas , opened to the sky.
I walked over to the map and read a bit of history about how Warangal got its name. “This is Warangal, earlier known as Orugallu or Orukal, referring to the one single boulder or hillock where the fort is located. It is also called Ekasilanagaram.” The map said that the fort was built in the 12th century by Prola Raja and his son Rudra Deva, but it was ruled by Ganapathideva. The most important ruler of the Kakatiyas however was not a king, but queen Rudramma Devi who ruled from here.
Feedback Please !
I do hope that you enjoyed reading this issue. Stay safe, stay at home, and get vaccinated at the earliest. Looking forward to your feedback as always. We are going to keep the flow of conversations going and I would really appreciate it if you will share my newsletter with your friends and family.
See you soon! You can also read my travel stories on my blog and follow me on my social media
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