- It takes a village to raise a child - African saying
- Nature is our best teacher
- we are the world, we are the ones to make a brighter day!..

- Natural farming, food forest

- We dig our grave with our teeth

- Freedom of expression is my birth right

- Freedom of speech comes with great responsibility

- I become what I see in myself. All that thought suggests to me, I can do; All that thought reveals to me, I can become. This should be man’s unshakeable faith in himself, because God dwells in him.

- The Mother said - it is not this OR that, it is this AND that
- Life is for living not to understand
‎"Sometimes you can't see the forest through the trees."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"We are selling AquaGuard water filters"

  Walking to the 1 acre plot, just so you know; we are away from any main road or any civilized village; i bump into 2 men, on a bike, with bright white shirts with ties ~ WHAT?
  'What are they doing out here?!  Who are these people?!' i thought to  myself.  I couldn't help but laugh at this awkward situation :)  (far away, in a forest, early in the morning and out of the blue)
  "What are you doing?" i asked to make them feel a little welcome ;)
  "We are coming from Discipline (community).  We are selling AquaGuard water filters," they respond scared and nervously.
  "Do you have a water filter?" They asked.
  'Wouldn't it be more appropriate to ask me for directions?' i would imagine.
  Off they road off..back to civilization..
  Surely, makes my day.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Compost over here

  Just to say, yes the foresters were right, it did not rain on Friday when we had our regular monthly meeting :)
  Tine, a lady who rides horses through the land and yonder into the cashew trees, gave us 2 loads of horse dung.  Compost by now, as it has been sitting there for quite some time.  Really good stuff for our vegetable garden!
  The thing was bringing it here from not so far away by tractor.  The latest type of tractor; super power, assisted driving, etc.  The people whom we hired could bring the tractor to the spot but i had to do all the reversing and setting up for them to load it with "mumpty and chutty"..hmmm. It has been a long time since i drove a tractor.  When i used to work for the Road Service, then surely i would drive on a regular basis and that too a John Deere, best.
  It is one thing to reverse in a car or tuck but to have a trailer attached is again another thing.  This maneuver required going between granite pillars at narrow right angles..well get the picture right.
  So here, i am doing the thing.  Back and forth.  Again and again, getting closer to the spot.  Attempting to get there having assisted steering is great for such maneuvers.  Turning one direction was easy peasy with two fingers, then suddenly when i had to turn the other way it was so hard required lots of that was another thing to tackle :)
  Got it to the spot.  Relieved.  Went off to get tea made for them..on return they were finished and of course they drove it out easy; yeah, going forward is no issue.  Let's seem 'em get it back there for our second load! :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

It's raining again

Yep it is! :)
 All the foresters believe it will not be raining for this Friday's forest meeting over here. Paapum (let's see)
  Truly a relief to have rains even though our balcony roof leaks.  well not really anymore, as we recently changed it..The trees we planted this year are getting a good amount of rain to kickstart a great life! :)
  Come summer, we will still probably have to water them to help them but after that we are one happy family :)
  i have noticed that planting them in the wild grass is actually benefiting them in the long run.  i know, i know, weeds dont help; sorry i beg to differ :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

traveling to the east coast

Well, for quite some time we will be on the east you can follow us on "my blog"

Saturday, July 2, 2011

From the Auroville Radio

Life in AV Forest (click)
Just wanted to share a broadcast on Auroville Radio..of Catherine and i blabbing on our lives :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The 'whoosh-er'

Here it is the first time..
  All in one super ready made piece, the tower, arrived to the land on the small 'vandi' (motorized).  Unloaded it. 
  So happy and excited to get cracking on setting up to raise it above the trees.  it came to our attention that a little-big adjustment had to be made in this very specific case. There were 4 guy wire ring holders welded to the tower.  We had specifically..wait one second.  Can you hear that 'whooshing sound'? :) (that's the wind generator) lovely!
  So i was saying that we had already decided to have 3 guy wires and not 4; with many trees around the house it was wiser that way.  The mason had already come a long long time ago to make the foundation to hold the guy wires.
Drawing the tower

All the pieces to be welded

Muddy hinge
  Aureka who does a great job took an eternity to make the tower.  Their list of reasons were endless to postpone it.  I do understand how busy they are but i made sure that they would let me know when they could accommodate this little project.  Not to leave out my own slow time i took to decide what kind of tower we were going to use for a 6kg wind generator.  18 meters height was confirmed.  The higher the cleaner the wind.  A minimum of 6-8 meters above the trees will do.  We are using the house for support.  That helps!
  "you can pick it up, we fixed it." Palani, the supervisor in charge declared.  So, the tower returned.
Arulkumar at work

  Arulkumar nicely painted all the welded areas.  We used GI pipes, as the maintenance would be less.  We lifted it up locked it into the holder attached to the house.  Started to measure all the guy wires with a rope to get an approximate length.  Cut all the GI guy wires pulled them tight, adjusted so that the tower is straight vertically.  Catherine's eye was of great help.  and her master stroke of declaring it was right!
  In the meantime, we bought 90 meters of 6mm.sq.  The artful, creative and genius Akash mentioned that it was wiser to get different colors.  Our budget was short and they only provided in  90 meters batches :(

  I was tightening the flange when it occurred to me that i was not able to pass the cable through the pipe.  There was no hole!  Guess what?  It went back to Aureka to be doctored.  Now, how come so many clumsy mistakes.  Logically speaking there was a hole in the hinge at the bottom so why not in the middle?  I was overtime so happy to just have that post that i skipped the cross verification that is always a must! so i do take some blame..(sigh)
  Pathetic doctored hole done by a gas welder.  It totally burnt the super MRF primer and paint!  All done and returned, the truck driver asks, "On whose name do i put the bill?"  :)
  As i write, the wind generator is spinning to glory.  I can say it spins 80% of the time @ 1.25 Amps..we need to get an electronic ammeter so that we can tell the average.  It is very important the location of your wind generator vis-a-vis the wind capacity of the area.  We are at the top of the water shed therefore more wind available.
  Akash came by Monday morning.  He asked, "how long will it take?"
  i responded, "Ten minutes."  He suspected more..
  It took us the whole morning.  (clearing throat)  We are so grateful he came.  Electronics is not my forte.
  I have been super excited and nervous all along.  So i am more reassured today.  As i see the guy wires are holding well.  Little shake.  Minor.  The LED shines which means that it is charging!
trial run

..magic shop..

It is a matter of how much will it generate over the year.  I mean if you had a solar panel instead which generates much more power then the wind generator, it would be the best option and far cheaper.  In our case, we are harvesting the wind that is available and having a hybrid system is our goal, especially during the rainy season.
  Time will tell.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mr. Twitter

It began with a beautiful tragedy. Our gorgeous hen and her promising babies attacked by a cobra in the early evening; Mama using even her last breaths to defend her sole surviving chic.

When she passed, Martanda and I took the role of Mamma Hen, our pockets becoming for the chic the safe, warmth typically reserved for under a mother's wing. We hoped and prayed she was a hen. She was the last hope; the last female of a dying dynasty.

And we were thrilled by her. She became more than a pet -- a fragile baby who needed our love and protection, and a fantastic new playmate. She followed us everywhere, worked along side us killing centipedes and termites, kept on our heals as if we really were chickens. Thanks to Monica, we came to call her Twitter.

Slowly, slowly she grew… never quite fitting in with the other hens, enjoying special privileges (like living in a box in our kitchen). It became clear by her behavior -- the way she sat, the noises she made, the way the other chickens were with her, and even her modest crest -- that she was, in fact, a she! We paid no mind to her beautiful colors of the fact that she attacked everything -- including the cats. We celebrated and waited for months for her eggs, even as she became more and more independent.

Five months passed -- the time it takes for a baby to really mature. The lady who helps us around the house insisted that now that Twitter was an adult, there should be no more kitchen privileges. As the size of our babies turds grew, I had to agree.

And then it happened. A visitor called her and a him. We corrected the guest and told of Twitter's storied past.

Then more people came to the house, and they too thought our beloved hen was a cock. But it couldn't be true -- not after five months of being sure she was going to provide us with eggs and keep the country chicken line of Lumière in tact!

We showed her/him/it to everyone who passed by and asked: boy or girl? Without fail, they all said male. We started to look more closely.

Suddenly we noticed she was taller than the other hens… and the crest on her head, while a terrible way to judge hen from cock, was indeed longer than it used to be… and the nail in the coffin: her tail feathers were long, elegant, beautiful curves.

In fact, as I write this, I can hear her coughing out a squeaky, pre-pubescent "cock-a-doodle-do."

Just like a rooster.

So five months later we discover, SHE is, in fact, a HE.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Internet prolonged saga

  I sit and wait for Suresh (BSNL) at the junction box in the forest 783m away from the house.
  Of course, he is not on time.  It is called Indian stretchable time (IST) :)  As i have the computer with me i can write this little note while i wait under the eucalyptus tree.
  What a decision to go forward laying a cable to the house.  We have seen great sides to it.  A good 18 days out of 90 days!  When it did work it worked just fine.  What is the problem?  Where is the problem?
  "Did you call them?  When are they coming?  what does that mean?" i heard many times from Catherine. "usually!…."  i understand where she comes from.  She depends on it for her work.  I wish the internet cable in india specifically Auroville would be
  "hmmmm…" i would respond.  She has taken matters in her hand.  The usual way ;)
  They have taken the modem.  They have checked it.  They are bringing it now.  We will test it at one junction box 783m away from the house.  If that works we move on to the house. 
  So far the issue has always been somewhere between one of the junction boxes to the main box near the exchange.  Phew at least laying the cable was not all waste.  Gotta get the freakin' internet data working!
  So here i wait..
  It is lovely as it has rained quite a bit for several days!  it still smells fresh! :)
  (they have arrived…gotta go)

Monday, April 18, 2011

"twitter" hops her way

  Oh "twitter"!  She sure has healed well.  Her foot is kind alike all wonky now.
  At the time, i was so worried i would be hurting her as i cleaned her wounds and made sure it would not get infected.  I did notice that it was somehow crunched and that she could not move her paws..
  She has adapted sensationally well.  She hops and walks.  She is again normal.  Slowed down sadly when speed is of the essence in the forest with the wild hungry lurking mongoose and civet cat.  The dogs normally do the job to protect 'em.  But you never know at times i would think even the dogs would be interested :)
   She has started to make adult can i explain?  maybe i will record the sound one day :)  Expecting her to start laying eggs!
  So, i wished to have put in place her paws so that at least she could place her foot flat on the ground!