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Saturday, 31 December 2016

Paintboxes to Colour Nature

Mother nature is always there to display its technicolor to lull its beloved creatures. It's always eager in spanning its vividly eye-catching wings wide enough to take the life forms into its arms. It's manifested when it starts transforming its lush green summer colours into  colourful autumn foliage full of reds, golden yellows and brown.

Is there any world in the entire universe which is more colourful and attractive than the planet earth? Are there any mega smoky factories to supply harmful paints to colour this planet earth? Is there any tourism department to paint foliage and flowers to make the landscape beautiful? Is there any great architect destined to plan and design varied patterns of colours in the natural scapes? If any little inquisitive kid ask us these questions, then what would be our answer? As elders we simply laugh and say, "No, dear, that's by nature itsef."

If it were needed to colour all nature 
and plants in the world, one can guess how many petroleum rigs, petrochemical refineries and paint factories would be required and how much air and water bodies would have to be spoilt, is beyond anybody's calculation. But the nature isn't so foolish. It generates so many colours and their  mixtures without releasing any harmful fumes into air and effluents into water to endanger the lives of fishes, birds and other animals. The nature produces everything with an intention of doing benefit to its entire living community unlike that of the human kind who wants to show his talent with the sole aim of gaining falseprestige and business profits irrespective of the damage caused to the nature through obnoxious chemicals.

The natural wonder with concentric rainbow colours around the Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic hot spring is a reflection of a myriad of pigments in different microscopic cules. The beauty of watermelon snow, pink snow, red snow, or blood snow over the alpine and coastal polar regions during summer is  nothing but the hues of astaxanthin pigment exhibited by an alga called Chlamydomonas nivalis. The Red Sea get its shade due to an another alga called Trichodesmium erythraeum.The most beautiful river in the world “the river of five colours” in Colorado get its vibrant colours due to red plants called  Macarenia clavigera, the yellow and green sand, the blue water and all the shades in between. Even the hot chillies exhibit green, yellow and red shades as they pass through unripened to ripened stages.

Every plant, tiny or mighty, has billions of tiny paint factories, hidden deep in their bodies, to produce myriad of colours and their mixtures. These factories are called plastids. Some describe them as microscopic paintboxes too. But majority of these paintboxes are green and are called chloroplasts. Green paintboxes produce green pigments called chlorophylls. A chlorophyll is a tiny molecular solar cell that traps sunlight to produce food not only for its own plant body but also for the guest animals which depend on it. Obligations won't stop here, but increase further to raise a green canvas spacious enough to be splashed with ever changing  interesting patterns according to the days and seasons. Same thing is with respect to animals and their body complexion. No any fixed monotonous pattern to disgust its frequent visitors like insects,birds and other animals. That's how the nature is creative and interesting!

By the way the microscopic paintboxes that produce pigments of different colours are called chromoplasts. Each paintbox is filled with a colourful pigment or a mixture of different pigments. But in the case of flowers microscopic paint sachets containing anthocyanins are available which are called vacuoles. Even a mega paint company fail to present a catalogue with such a huge range of hues and shades. And no one architect or a painter dare to create the  aura of colours and their mixtures as so we visualize in the natural world. The colourful pigments are always there beside the green pigments either to protect green pigments or to radiate an additional quanta of light particles to enhance their food manufacturing capacity. In addition to providing a beautiful look to the landscape they lure a number of pollinators to come, pollinate, fertilize and produce seeds and fruits.

Red, orange and yellow colours of carotenoids; blue, purple or burgundy colours of anthocyanins; and red and yellow shades of betalins are always available without a no stock board! While carotenoids paint carrots, papayas and yellow flowers;  betalins colour beetroots; apocarotenoids  paintoranges; and anthocyanins paint red, pink, purple, violet and blue flowers and apples.

But the pigments synthesised in plants are not pollutants in contrast to those manufactured in paint factories.  Plant pigments are multipurpose in the sense that they are not only aesthetic with everchanging patterns but also synthetic in producing oxygen, food, medicines, fruits and vegetables unlike that of artificial paints which give fixed monotonous aesthetic sense along with suffocating gases and carcinogenic effluents. 

If it's so then where's the need for importing barrels of petroleum, petrochemicals and paints. Is it must to choke the breathing systems of workers in factories and on high walls of buildingsto create the fake and fading complicated designs? Can't we habituate  ourselves to live in smaller houses surrounded by bigger colourful gardens all around? Why shouldn't we enjoy the colours in the perpetual ever-changing garden rather on the ever fading saddened walls? A twist is urgently needed to be given to the never quenching economic greed an ever charming philanthropic lead!

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Why Do Plants Apply Scents in the Night?

There's a saying that days look beautiful in sunlight and nights in moonlight. As the sun starts sinking down a number of plants start rising up to wish the moon by holding the boquets of bright flowers, mimicking the twinkling stars up above. A wave of fragrance burst out from these smiling flowers to invite their beloved night companions to the alluring buffet.The thirsty and hungry guests start humming  towards them to gulp soft pollen pills and to drink sweet nectar syrup treasured all over their floral sectors. What a beautiful relationship between flowers and pollinators! It's beyond the comprehension of any modern man who's dazzled in the glare of the artificial wares!

Do you know how these night creatures are called? What that fragrance is? Why that's hustle and bustle in quiet dark environs all around? A great secret lies there. Nocturnal plants like cosmos, gardenias, jasmines, lavenders, lilies, roses and violets mate in that quiet gloomy nights only! The mating facilitators are the twilight guests like bees, flies, beetles, moths and bats. A great hidden sexual activity is always going on throughout the cool night to produce grains, fruits and vegetables for the teaming populations of not only animals but also human beings.

The thirst created by dry hot sun during day time elevate the desire in plants to produce volatile substances of low molecularweight. That's what we call as scents, fragrance or perfumes. Flowers emit these safe chemicals during the night. The fragrant chemicals diffuse all around in the cool breeze.  After sensing the sweet fragrance, the visitors approach flowers, pollinate and fertilize them. So a new generation of plants is born in the form of seeds and those later germinate into baby plants to perpetuate the future plants. The essense of these heavenly perfumes can be sensed well by all creatures except the modern preacher. Why is it so means he has numbness in his nostril rooms because of those petroleum and plastic fumes!

Days and nights are the two shifts in the nature for different kinds of entities on the earth. This could be an adaptation evolved by intelligent organisms to reduce pressure and traffic on the planet and also to maintain ecological balance.  Alas, this feature is lacking in the materialistic modern man. Instead he has been creating disturbances and hindrances to the survival of not only his own species but also to all other creatures. Night-loving plants can't flower in presence of night lighting. Even if plants flower artificial lighting on roads and radio signals from broadcasting towers will always be there to distract the pollinators from visiting the flowers. Even if the invitees are ready to visit they may be killed somewhere midway by calamitous chemicals and poisonous pesticides showered by this modern mortal.

The cosmetic deleterious development has hollowed our minds off common sense and instead stuffed with concrete sense. Let us behave like earthly inhabitants rather like hellish aliens. Though we are diurnal we are lavishly lighting the world as if we're nocturnal creatures, but it's ignored in the dazzling glare of development. Night-long lighting is not at all required. Wherever it's required it can be low-level lighting. Our conscience and practice can save not only energy but also biodiversity and humanity. God save this mindless mankind! 

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Tragedy of a Virgin Cow: A Milk Machine with a Heart

Dhenupur was a small village in the suburbs of Mangalpet. The village was situated amidst hillocks all around with plenty of green pastures. The pastures were merry grounds for social cattle where they meander around a lot licking lovingly, touching friendly and leaning mischievously on each other in a carefree life. They used to live in popular cowpeace by lying down ruminating and staring curiously into space.

There was a cute heifer called Nandini born to native parents. As soon as it got puberty it attained the attention of a young hero-bull of the dynasty called Manohar. The frequency of Nandini's urinations increased. She was becoming hyperactive. Manohar started hanging around there in her vicinity. The next thing was "Love at first sight!"  A strong hormone-driven, subconscious and passionate relationship started blooming out. He was for she! He sensed and confirmed Nandini's oestrus by sampling her urinal pheromones through incisive spurs on the dental pad. Nandini was also excited with increase in her natural oestrogen levels and sexual receptivity. The libidial heat periods of both Manohar and Nandini reached their peak. No sooner had he started pawing the ground and snorting as a signal to mount over her, than a couple of strong men came and forcibly took him away. Hysteric Nandini groaned and mooed a lot at his departing partner, but in vain. Manohar was left into the herd after a few days, not as virile as before, but as a castrated, desexed or neutered steer to the misery of Nandini. He was no more for she!

The days of her loneliness were still going on. One day she felt heavy under her abdomen. That's a baby bump! Udder was also seemed to be becoming more prominent. She hung her head down shyly and shamefully to question herself, "How can this happen to me? I was just betrothed to Manohar. No any sexual relationships with him so far. Now he is sterile also. Is it bestowed due to any miracle?" After a long contemplation she could recollect one incident - One day a man came, bathed her with warm water, raised her tail up, inserted some stick into her and did whatever he wanted (Artificial Insemination).

After a few months she underwent birthing pains to deliver a cute calf. She forgot the pain of her unwanted calving after seeing the vigorous female calf shaking its head and trying to stand up. As soon as it had got the first glimpse of her baby it started licking birth fluids over its body to sense it as her own calf. The black and white crossbreed baby was fortunate to have an affectionate virgin mother, but without father. Possibly the father might be of a Holstein breed living somewhere in Netherlands. It was named Maya by its owner. She was happy to feed her suckling the first milk, colostrum. But the happiness lasted for three days only. The warm, tingling, satisfying feeling of breast feeding to its nursing baby was replaced with irritating and straining teat cups of a milking machine.

The baby was not allowed to suck enough milk by her ownwer as her mother's never-ending worry. Now Nandini was not only a virgin mother but also a vacuum machine to produce milk. One day another shock was given to Nandini. The owner took her Maya away. The disappearance of her baby for several days was the worst possible grief for Nandini. The bereaved mother was left with difficult memories that had been harder to cope with. She used to stare out into space in expectation of her daughter.  Sometimes she used to sit in a corner weeping hours together. She was becoming angry and intolerable to find teat cups stealing her baby's milk.

As the village experienced severe drought the owner sold out Nandini also to a dairy farm in Mangalpet. She was aghast to find her beautiful Maya there tied to an ugly spot with little space to move, turn or get up in the filth of its own dung and urine. The mother wanted to run, lick and nurse her child but she was disabled to do so. Whenever Maya cried out of hunger, it used to increase the stress on the Nandini. She couldn't reach her crying child as she was also tied at a distance. Two things were immensely worrying the mother. One was that her baby couldn't get milk as humans were always there to drink and digest it. Second worry was for the sake of milk humans wouldn't allow her daughter to select and love mate of her choice and innate emotions. But the only thing what the desperate Nandini could do till her last breath was staring into the hopeful eyes of Maya as a prisoner of the factory farm. What the great civilzed  human beings can't understand till know is that the milk machines also have hearts!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

No More A Shareholder of Destruction & Pollution!

Sadashay was a young budding billionaire in the city. Though he was born in a small village he was grown up and patronized by his educated and rich uncle in the city after the death of his parents in an accident. One day his daughter Kutuhula expressed her wish to visit the village about which he used to praise a lot. So Sadashay started his journey along with his daughter and wife, Bhagya. He got off from his vehicle when Sahanpur was still half a kilometre away. He preferred to walk so that his wife and daughter could enjoy and appreciate the pristine scenery of his countryside.

The enthusiastic trio was on its walk. Contrarily the ever-luxuriant passage was no more green to give a cool touch to the dry eyes from the ever smoking city. The vicinity was merely a scrub jungle dotted with a few aged sick trees and a plenty of thorny bushes. The expected cool morning breeze from the nearby hillocks was also no more there to refresh the ever-congested breathing systems. The coo-coo of cuckoos, caw-caw of crows,  chirping of sparrows and screamings of eagles were hardly listened on the outskirts. It looked as if the bountiful healthy feast for the birds was no more available.

Sadashay was aghast and tight-lipped at the inquisitive looks of Kutuhula. The past glory of the rural peace and serenity  was no more there to show his companions. No sooner had he waken up from the shock than he found the once beautifully sparkling and pleasantly gurgling Meena river was standstill, choked with black, thick and immovable gel of dirty sledge. The same fate with respect to the Bagula tank, which was once a busy fish market for foreign cranes. The greenish water body couldn't be a spot for fishing and swimming by the village kids anymore!

One thing which consoled Sadashay was that the village was no more a bunch of modest huts with smell of damp wood, but a colony of concrete stuff. Village roads were no more due to earthy cool but with hot tarmac dule. The village was practically  barren without green grass around. Tall towering trees were no more there as roosts for brooding birds. The morning fanfare of diligent farmers was also hardly to be seen. Sadashay was at utter confusion. He met a number of elderly people and his own old friends. He came to know that a quarter of the houses were vacant. Some wealthy farmers had moved away to other safer villages or urban places. Remaining families were also planning to follow the same. 

The once habitable village had turned into a deadly graveyard not only for human beings but also for other flora and fauna. Pet animals and wild birds were  dying after eating crabs, frogs and fishes from the river and the tank. Buffaloes, cows, goats and sheep were dying after grazing the grass. Crop lands were nearly dead as they were being drenched with irrigated river or tank water sourced from toxic effluents. Carcinogenic chemicals were ruling all three spheres of life - air, water and soil. Villagers had to breathe foul air to experience breathlessness, headaches, numbness and nausea. Drinking water had turned distasteful and undrinkable but without a choice. The village had become a living museum of all kinds of cancer. A number of children, women and farmers had already died. Many were still suffering to redie.

What was the reason?  Sadashay looked around. The village was arched in the south-west with a cluster of monstrous factories. Tall chimneys were standing beside them high to puff out thick smoke all through the air. A number of effluent pipes were bowing down into the water bodies to vomit unwanted chemicals. Kutuhula enquired, "Whose factories were there, dad?" Sadashay was mum. He felt as if his flesh had turned into stone. But the mind was still active. "Certainly those factories belonged to my own share-holding company," his conscience said. "Let's go home," Bhagya said.

A lot of thought was given. The progressive family finally decided to cancel their shares in the company which was running the killer factories at the neck of the desperate villagers. No more they wanted to be the shareholders of pollution. The family decided to spend the amount for rejuvenating  the last glory of the village, for the  treatment and rehabilitation of the villagers. At last Sahanpur had become the adopted village of Sadashay and his family. The family's only one dream was to turn the village into an Adarsh Gram or a full fledged sustainable Model Village with zero destruction and pollution, but with multiple occupations.

He could motivate and convince local politicians, local government officials and non-government organizations to vacate the cancerous monsters out of the scene. Sadashay knew that most of the forests had been destroyed for agriculture only. But farming in turn depends upon forests! So he gave much emphasis on tree planting works. He did intensive agroforestry as a call for rains, roosting for predator birds and source of green leaf manure. Social forestry also started for fulfilling different needs of village people. And windbreaks were planted across the wind blowing directions at regular intervals to protect crops from lodging and consequent yield losses.

He educated farmers to introduce eco-friendly organic farming. He persuaded them to say goodbye to conventional homozygous monocropping and to adapt heterozygous multiple cropping. He inspired them a lot to reintroduce native breeds of cattle as the best complement to mixed farming. The poisonous era of chemical fertilizers and pesticides nearly ended. Some changes were also brought. Only low level lights were allowed in the garden village to avoid night long light pollution and also to attract nocturnal creatures. Vehicles were allowed only up to half a kilometre distance from the main village to avoid noise pollution and consequent scaring away of birds and animals. 

The other change what he could bring was giving a new life to cottage industry. Non-biodegradable products from fossil fuels like plastics and synthetics were gradually  replaced with biodegradable products from living pools like clay, bamboo, cotton, sisal hemp, sunhemp, and jute fibres. The village is no more polluted and the great Sadashay is no more the shareholder of destruction snd pollution,  but an ever shining star at the helm of the model village re-evolution.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Inner Voice of Girls

Swapna was a cute, elegant and gracious girl not just because of her external beauty, but also of internal qualities. She was a successful  graduate from a local college. She was the only daughter of her patriotic parents. Mrs. Dheeraja was a true lover of her motherland borne to a freedom fighter. Mr.Dharma Tej was a sincere government employee borne to a soldier. The well-knit family was living a simple life in a small house on the outskirts of Mangalyapur. The other members of the family were a couple of ever quacking geese about the lotus pond, a calf and its mother Gowri  under the neem tree. Butterflies, ladybird beetles,  sparrows, parrots and pigeons were other frequent visitors.

Swapna's most intimate friend was Lavanya. She was a girl of fortune. Her mother, Vilaasita was a daughter of a landlord. Her father, Nageswar was unfortunately a corrupt government employee. The family used to live in a big, well-furnished duplex house. No dearth of gold and properties.  One day Lavanya came with her mother and father to invite Swapna to her wedding.

As per promise Dharma Tej and his family were at Mahajana Function Hall, an hour prior to the muhurtham. That day Lavanya was quite different. Her body was dazzling with a plenty of sparkling diamonds and shining gold jewellery adorned over her gorgeous shimmering dress. A man in rich suit was beside her. It cost Rs.5 cr for Lavanya to own Mr. Naveen, a software engineer in a reputed company. What a mindboggling function! What a mammoth congregation of people! Even the ever bold Swapna seemed a little bit blinded in the transitory dazzle of the ceremony. The fanfare seemed to be scattering the dreams of Swapna out of her intact mind. "Could my simple parents do my marriage?" was the voice thrusting out of her tender heart. A joint call from the parents woke Swapna out of her shock. They smiled at her and said, "Swapna, what you are perturbed at is merely a weaving of two sets of wealth, not two souls. Don't worry my dear, virtue adorns great souls, not money and metals."

After a year or so, Swapna got a call. She ran to Lavanya's home. Naveen was lying dead there. It's told that he's a victim of a plane crash on a foreign land. Lavanya had fell into Swapna's arms, turned hysteric and whispered, "Some curse has haunted and finally hunted my Naveen down. Black money has burnt my dears's body black. My heart is forced to wear a shroud woven out of the blood and sweat of a number of poor and hapless people. My dad, out of my love, illegally  amassed a lot of wealth, that's know tightening  around my neck also like a black cobra!" No sooner had Swapna tried to console her, than Lavanya became unconscious. Many a doctor's tried to wake her up, but of no use. At last Lavanya was a block of concrete, as a never leaving companion, beside Naveen's grave.

A month later someone knocked at the door. Swapna opened the door. It's Adarsh, Swapna's distant relative. He had discussed something with her parents and left to bring his own parents. Dheeraja told her daughter with a bit of hesitation, "Swapna, do you like Adarsh?" "What, mom?" she suddenly puzzled. Dheeraja continued, "He is a military doctor in Golconda. He likes to marry you, but with a condition." Swapna's dreams started blooming out. Dad proudly said, "No marriage hall... No dowry... No gifts and ... No presentations...  Only register marriage... So ... Many ... conditions ... !" 

Swapna was no more a dream but a reality. A great virtue was there to adorn Swapna's life. What a rare personality she was going to  get! A real hero to value for girls of upright parents, rather corrupt ones for money and wealth!  "ADARSH," the only inner voice of Mrs. Swapna for ever. Swapna might be an old lady now. But her face might be still glittering - more than that of the Koh-i-Noor Diamond - in the crown of her Motherland!