South Asia

Coconut Plant: Kalpavriksha

Coconut grow in the coastal areas. In India, whole of the coast is dotted with coconut trees. Kerala tops the list in coconut plantations. Known as Coconut in English, Narikela in Sanskrit & Nariyal in Hindi, coconuts can grow to between 15 and 30 m tall in plantations. Their trunks are ringed with scars where old leaves have fallen. The top of the trunk is crowned with a rosette of leaves. Fruits are called coconuts. They are oval and covered with a smooth skin which can be bright green, brilliant orange or ivory coloured. Below the skin is a thick… Read More »Coconut Plant: Kalpavriksha

Professor Yasmin Saikia

One day a program on Ahoms-the kings who ruled the state of Assam for almost 700 years-was telecast on Doordarshan TV. It talked about how Tai Ahoms came to Assam from Yunnan province and settled here bewitched by the natural beauty of the land. I have been to the place and stayed there for 3 years and I can vouch for the fact. Although they ruled the state for such a long period, adopted the language of the region, married into the local inhabitants, the truth about the history is not all that clear. I searched on Google and the… Read More »Professor Yasmin Saikia

Cotton: The fiber that covers us

When Adam, the first man and Eve, the first woman, ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of wisdom, they become conscious about their nudity. They became so embarrassed that when the Father God came to see them, they were hiding behind the trees and God understood that they have violated the condition which was laid down for them to live in the Eden Garden without ever to do anything for their needs. When God commanded them to come out of hiding before Him, they wrapped their sensitive organs with leaves. They were expelled from the Heaven condemned to toil… Read More »Cotton: The fiber that covers us

Scaly Breasted Munia

There are grown up Ficus Shrubs with thick canopy of branches and leaves at the top in the small park outside our house. In the morning usually I sit up in the balcony and watch birds and green fields away. There are common birds to be seen dominated by the rock pigeons which are multiplying here at an abnormal speed and breeding in the niches of buildings.  Residents scatter seeds for them so that there is no scarcity of the food to them. Then there are mynas which have arrived here after the end of winter season. Similarly there are… Read More »Scaly Breasted Munia

Rescuing Oriental Magpie Robin Chick!!!

I have noticed this bird many a times. They are particularly active during the evening when the light is barely present. They make very sweet sounds. The color of the feathers is black with white on sides and at the bottom side. It is slightly bigger than a house sparrow. Particularly it is very active in the evening catching the flying insects. If I am not wrong, I have heard their sounds at about two or three o’clock in the morning. It is Oriental Magpie Robin!! Little did I knew that this is the national bird of Bangladesh where it… Read More »Rescuing Oriental Magpie Robin Chick!!!

Chinese Love this Delicacy

Soups made from bird nest seems to incredulous. Bird nests are usually made from twigs and other materials which are inedible by humans. But believe it that there are nests made by some birds called Swiftlets, which are used to make soups in China and this soup is amongst one of most expensive food items in the bird. Swiftlets are very small birds belonging to Collocallini tribe. They are mostly the inhabitants of South Asia and Australia. They live in the seashore caves. Most of these caves in the limestone rocks. The birds use echolocation technique to navigate inside deep… Read More »Chinese Love this Delicacy