Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Giant guava season, in Mumbai

If you ever had a guava tree, then you must be used to the sticky gum. Caterpillars? And a profusion of birds in your garden. In my childhood in Vellore and Chennai, Tamil Nadu, every garden had a guava tree. In that arid climate, it never died and managed to bear fruit. . Even in Mumbai, and now in Bandra, I've lived in two houses which have had guava trees. Once time, aeons ago I  spotted an owl near it.  That was in Borivli, and it is close to the National Park. Now, in Bandra too, I have a sprawling guava tree in this old building where I stay, and parrots are regular feeders on the plant's bounty.
Last season too I remember buying a large guava and marveling at the size. As big as a grapefruit. .Today, I stumbled on one more. And here, its pricing matched its size.At Rs 200 for a kg. The one you see here 550 gms. And the shopkeeper gave a ten-rupee discount because it seems I was is first customer. It is always pleasant to me, that when I do not bargain, somebody will give me a discount.. feels like a lottery:)
The large guavas come from UP, I just learnt. Sardar and Safeda are the popular varieties.
I was scouting for info on guavas and just learnt that they are anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, soothe the skin, soothe the digestive tract (in vomiting, diarrhea and other upsets), soothe the throat and settle a cough, and hey, help with serious weight loss. It's the poor man's apple, in its humble avatar.
This one, was less seeded, had a firm skin, a tarty-sweet flavor. Interesting taste!
And of course, one has had the Goa guava sweet. But did you even know there is a guava curry?! Check it out, here http://www.tarladalal.com/recipes-using-guava-463!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

"Mothley"-Art in Bandra

Often, you can spot the moths at the fruit-sellers in Mumbai. Moths have intriguing color patterns on their wings. But unlike butterflies which make everybody ooh-and-ha, moths provoke a shrinking withdrawal -- possibly because their bodies are heavier and hairier. Even kids who do not know the difference between a moth and butterfly often shrink.

I recall, when we had just moved into Kandivli Thakur Village, we used to see the large Atlas and Moon moths inside the buildings -- a foot long wing span. Jaw dropping! We used to get a pandemonium (btw that is what a group of parrots is called:)of parrots at our windows. But that stopped once the human population in that area grew and it became over-crowded and polluted and traffic-jammed!

While writing this blog, I found out, happily that if there are moths in your area, it means the place is less toxic (see the article in the link I've given) because according to lepidopterist V. Shubhalaxmi moth population contains mosquito population. Another article, attributed to naturalist Isaac Kehimkar says that they are crucial for pollinating food plants.

Overuse of pesticides will kill off these insects crucial for ecology, including in an urbanscape.

So, yes, Bandra still has a green heart. Let's keep it that way!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The rhino statue at Juhu

I saw this rhino statue at Juhu junction last month, during Diwali. It was covered with some green protective sheet. According to Mid-day (here at this link) it has been shifted from south Mumbai.
Any body has more information on it.. please share:)