I am having indoor plants for a year or so now. Initially, I was a bit scared because I do not have a green thumb. As we shifted to a new place, which had a lot of places to keep these indoor plants I decided to have some of them. But going to any nursery and getting them was a tough task.
One day I visited the CP Ramaswamy Art Gallery in Alwarpet and found that there were some good plants kept in the exhibition. The one which struck the chord was the bamboo plant standing tall. I quickly got it along with a money plant and an Aloe Vera sapling. I was scared because this was the first time I had indoor plants. It has been a year that we have the bamboo and I have propagated money plant very well in four to five small saplings.
Aloe Vera has already delivered so many small saplings…
I got the plants from the exhibition and a stall of The Artium by Rajalakshmi. Rajalakshmi has a studio in Kottivakkam. I have not visited her studio but she has a lot of nicely potted indoor plants. You might ask, one can get indoor plants from any nursery why such a reservation about getting plants from The Artium. My only way of answering to this is that the plants which I got from other nurseries in the past could not survive.
There may be a fault in my ways to look after the plant but the Bamboo has survived for a year and a half, lit up the corner of our home. please visit The Artium by Rajalakshmi to get wonderful plants which survive. 🙂
Here are some points that are important while getting your indoor plants
The Direction of the House:
- My home faces south and there is not much light inside the house during the day. There are very few corners which are lit up in the house. So this was a primary concern while getting the indoor plants. I kept Bamboo plant in such a way that it gets indirect sunlight from the entrance door. I guess that was enough for it. Bamboo is also a water plant, so I keep changing the water in around 15 days. The same row where we get ample indirect sunlight has four indoor plants, Philodendron, Money Plant, Bamboo and Snake Plant. Philodendron is a relatively new plant, not sure how would it behave but so far going well.
Soil or Water
- My attempt at growing a money plant inside the house in soil was totally spoilt. For a brief period, I kept it outside. Aloe Vera and Money plant were growing together. But then, I tried taking out the growing nodes from money plant and kept them to grow in water inside the house. To my surprise, It was growing very very well. So, if any of the indoor plants are not doing well inside, please give it a chance to survive outdoors where you do not get direct sunlight. The sapling might bloom.
- If you are planning to have a money plant in water, please change the water often. For Bamboo, it is okay to refill every fifteen days. But while doing so, wash the roots properly so that the infections if any get washed away.
- For plants which are potted in soil, I feel a strict vigil on the water content of that soil and watering it when needed would help.
- Mobile phones, chargers, laptop chargers and other gadgetry should be avoided where the plants are kept.
The pots you use
- I have used glass vase, a bottle, a mason jar, a tea kettle and repurposed wine bottles for growing my money plant and aloe vera. You can try your unused crockery for the same. Check out the type of plant you are potting and give it a try. It is all try-worthy.
Let me know if you have any existing indoor plants. Would love to know how do you care for them.
As much as people disgrace summer for the heat, children
love to spend their time without any timetable, books, teachers and school 🙂 Each one of us have been through this wonderful phase of our lives “ Childhood”. Summer is the time to relive these memories time and again. While I face the scorching heat while on roads, these beautiful memories make me nostalgic.
Here are some of my very special summer memories:
- Waking up to the cuckoo’s coo, a typical morning alarm in India during summers
- The opening of the carton of Alphonso mangoes specially brought from Nagpur
- The breakfast of Aamras and roti. Topping aamras with ghee every single time before binging.
- Indoor games with cousines like carrom, rummy, chess and now pallanguzhi
- Filling water in cooler making it ready for hot and scorching summer afternoons.
- Making of pickles, aam panna, appalam and papads
- Relaxing on the lazy evening sipping on aam panna
- Playing with water for hours together, to beat the heat
- Reading champak, chanda mama, tinkle, chacha choudhary and saboo’s shenanigans.
- The red hot petals of Gulmohar and Blushing Bahava or Yellow Bells
- Evenings on the beach, eating candy floss
These are just some of them, I am sure you may be having many to add.
Let us know what are your favorite summer memories? Comment below.
An early morning packup
A vacation after a long
Srirangam Bodi and nearby
Arun planned it all.
Happy,excited and nerve wrecking
The roadtrip that it was
Arun was the driver
And he drove it all along.
Srirangam Trichy –
Beautiful calm place
The old trees and the new
The coconut tall and the bougainvillea bloom
The small town made the memories loom
The grace of Lord spread all over
the sunshine on the rooftops
The Gopuram shines bright
At the dusk and at the dawn
Takes us back to the old days
Of Rajas and Maharajas
Grandeur! Is its name?
Stand in the queue
Look at the Lord
A moment of Darshan
Of the resting God
Of several sannidhis
And great architecture
Hide and seek of the moon
The devotees and the devotion
Sing a Bhajan or join both hands
Blessed are those who come here to this great Land……
It has been a week that my routine had dwindled due to a viral infection. Following a routine is very easy for me because routines are no-brainers (true to my Taurean roots), put the bull in a changing situation and it would get annoyed for sure. That’s what happened over the whole of last week.
Come Monday morning, I stepped out of the bed listening to “Kausalya Supraja Rama Purva Sandhya Pravartate” MS Subbulakshmi at her best to wake up Lord Venkateswara in all his glory. Thanks to my neighbors, who start their day well before 5 AM. I mostly get up to the Suprabhatam and the smell of sambar which mami makes for their household.
My sister’s Mother In Law routinely listens to songs while she is cooking. She is a Carnatic music connoisseur and loves to go to musical retreats held in the city of Chennai in Margazhi Season and otherwise. Listening to songs in the kitchen is all about taste I must say. These songs which amma listens are not any way disturbing the peace of the household, it, in fact, mingles with the chores and the morning humdrum of the kitchen. This makes it more desirable. There is a harmony of filter coffee smell, Carnatic music, and her own so-hum.
I listen to a variety of songs in the morning which brings in a lot of positivity and goodness. Being in Chennai it is mostly Carnatic because Chennai Mornings are magical. The sunrise, kolam ( rangoli ), filter coffee, sambrani smell and mallipu smell. It all creates a space which needs to be filled with Carnatic renditions.
Starting with a swag:
As the day starts gripping everyone, I start my work and all I need is an upbeat song of Salman Khan mostly the trending one is “Swag Se Karenge Sabka Swagat” incidentally this is the favorite song of my 7-year-old along with “ Selfie Le Le Re”. It just takes you out of the sluggishness of the day.
Afternoons can be swept under the Justin Bieber/ Miley Cyrus songs. Little K is a fan of JB and as she comes back from school she likes to listen to all JB songs. I surrender myself to the new age music connoisseur and admire the freshness of the songs.
Once the tone of the evening sets in it is all about the melodious 90s. The “ Wadaa Rahaa Sanam” or “ Sundari Kannal Oru Sethi”. “ Rakamma Kaiyya Kattu” of Rajani to “Manram Vantha” of Mounaragam. The pehla nasha of JJWS or “Rang Bhare Badal Se” from Chandani.
The sky darkens one more shade and the evening slips into the night, the time when one can easily go to memories of the 60s. I usually set up Binaca Geetmala on my system and complete the remaining work. Switching on the radio and listening to 104.6, on a viewer’s choice program I often listen to Norwegian Woods by The Beatles or “The way make you make me feel” by Michael Jackson. Sometimes it’s Pink Floyd, or Top of the world by “The Carpenters”. Music soothes the soul and purifies it. I am sure you guys must be having your favorite songs which bring you back to life. Would love to hear about them.
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Amma:- “ Shrilekha, tomorrow Marghazhi starts. Naivedhyam kagu Pongal Senjikko!”
Me:- Ok, Amma!
Misty Sunday morning followed, and there was indeed an absolute divinity in the atmosphere. The morning was like never before. A flock of people went on singing what is called “Thirupavai” along the road. Barefoot they were all decked in white veshtis! What a heartwarming recitation it was on the otherwise cold morning.Thirupavvai is the work of the Alwar saint “Andal” who was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu.
No wonder the verse 35 – chapter 10 of Bhagwat Gita says:-
बृहत्साम तथा साम्नां ( Brhatsama tatha samnam )
गायत्री छन्दसामहम्। (Gayatri chandasamaham )
मासानां मार्गशीर्षोऽहमृतूनां कुसुमाकरः।।10.35।।
( Masanam margasirso Hamrtunam kusumakarah )
Amongst the hymns in the Sāma Veda know me to be the Brihatsama; amongst poetic meters, I am the Gayatri. Of the twelve months of the Hindu calendar I am Margsheersh, and of seasons I am spring, which brings forth flowers.
Today, we welcome the first day of Tamil month of Marghazhi! The month of inner peace and tranquility.The month when we can easily connect with HIM.
The month of music-Marghazhi utsavam!
The composers Tyagaraja, Muthuswamy Diskshitar, Shyama Shastri
The art form of music has always connected us to the divine. The various “kutcheries” Tamil word for music programs arranged in this particular month are instrumental to attain our higher selves by connecting to Him-the Marghazhi. He is the listener, and HE is the vocalist. The love for Music (Carnatic and Hindustani) abounds in Chennai when it comes to Marghazhi. The various Sabhas like Narada Gana Sabha, the Music Academy, the Brahma Sabha arrange various music programs in this month to promote and propagate the Carnatic and Hindustani music.
Rangolis, kolams are a beautiful sight to the eyes and the naivedhyam of Pongal makes this month even more pleasant.
God exists in all forms. God is the source of all: to know Him is to know all.
Hope you all have a Fantastic Marghazhi…
Shrilekha Arun, The author is an ardent Vishnu devotee. Her daughter Anusuya, her four-legged Best friend Caramel keep her engaged. She is excited about her new organic vegetable garden.