Shutterbug's Blog

Living with Multiple Myeloma in Hyderabad , India . Random musings .


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Drive to Shadnagar and a Tomato farm

This time we drove South towards Shadnagar .The town is on the right side of NH7 while going towards Bangalore from Hyderabad. We took a left turn as soon as we reached the town.  After driving straight for a couple of kilometers we took a detour just after a village named Buchigudem.

Very soon we came across a tomato farm. Several men and women were busy harvesting ripe tomatoes in the farm.

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As usual I was excited and hoped to get hold of some tomatoes.

Despite the hot summer there were a few fields here and there.

We moved closer to the labourers and asked if they would sell the produce to us. They told us to ask the owner who was sitting close by.

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The owner agreed and we managed to dump 10kilos in the rear of our car.

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He agreed to give 10kilos for just Rs 100. Whereas these were being sold for three times the price in the city.

I spotted goru chikkudu kaayalu or Cluster beans stored in plastic bags near the heap of tomatoes and we picked a few kilos .

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Felt good that we got some farm fresh veggies :))

The fresh air and gentle breeze was invigorating.

 

Love spending time away from the city once in a while. I have this wish and always dream of having a small house at the edge of a village adjacent to a farm  🙂

It was teatime . On our way back we stopped at a roadside restaurant named ‘Aashiana’ , adjacent to the highway , in Shadnagar. We ordered Mirchi bajjis. They were some of the best Mirchi bajjis I ever had . A waiter served the items while we waited in the car.

NH7 is a busy highway which connects Hyderabad and Bangalore. 

Wish to go there again just to eat those Mirchi bajjis 🙂 and also pick up fresh veggies.

 


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Summer brings its own set of woes and sweet pleasures each year.

Rather than crib about the heat , one should enjoy the yummy stuff that nature provides during this season . Yes , its the fruits 🙂 .

Mangoes and Watermelons make a grand entry during the month of February and exit in June. These are the Summer months.

During Summer , in Hyderabad,  Jackfruit , Seema Chintakaaya / Jungle Jilebi , Figs and Palmyra fruit also make an entry. Unlike Mangoes and watermelons which are sold in almost every street corner , these are usually spotted only at the bigger farmer’s markets.

I make it a point to regularly visit the farmers markets , locally known as ‘Rythu bazaar’ , to get my fix 🙂

There was a time when the city dwellers could lay their hands on the Palmyra fruit when they visited their parents / grandparents who lived in villages and towns , far from the city. That’s where the Palmyra trees grow. These trees almost grow wild. They are hardy and don’t require any special care. I too would get to eat this Palmyra fruit when I visited my Grandparents village during peak summer.

There were times when I used to spot a hawker selling these in the city, but they would be the more mature ones which are hard ,rubbery and bland  instead of the tender , sweet and juicy ones. The hard ones  can upset the tummy.

This tender ,jelly like fruit has a cooling effect on the body , does some good for the digestive system and has several vitamins and minerals.

Since past few years I have been coming across vendors selling whole bunches of the fruit. We can pick the fruit of our choice and they would cut it for us. One can buy the whole fruit or get the pods removed.

These are whole bunches of the fruits.

This is how the fruit appears when the top part is carefully removed using a sharp sickle.

Each fruit has three pods.

The pods have a creamy brownish layer.

Remove the outer creamy brownish layer to reveal the translucent fleshy fruit.

Trying to remove the pods out of the fruit is tricky and not advisable as the fruit is easily bruised and the sweet juice is lost.

Hence it is preferable to  eat these directly from the whole fruit by using the thumb and digging into the tender juicy fruit .This is an art :))

This method ensures that the juice is intact.

I have fond memories of eating these sitting under the Palmyra trees in Granny’s village . We would reach the fields by 5pm, a guy nimbly glides up the tree along with a sickle and cuts off a few Bunches. They fall from a height of 15-20m with a thud.

He then expertly cuts them open revealing the white translucent fleshy pods.

Time to hold the fruit in the left hand and dig into the pulp using the thumb of the right hand and squeeze out the jelly along with the juice and quickly suck the juicy pulp with the mouth :)) . I know , it does sound gross :))

There is an easier method to dig into the tender fruit. Using a spoon to scoop out the pulp and the juice is quite simple and requires no mastery 🙂

Grab these if and when you come across them and enjoy the delicious fruit !!

 


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Pics from a recent trip to our village

I was due for a BMA test in a week and  was a bit nervous and had this strong urge to spend a few days in our village before I went for the test.

Here are a few pics from this visit. These pics give a  glimpse of life in a village.

The winter months are here and village folks warm up with a bonfire in the early hours of the morning.
A group of women are warming up while discussing the days chores.

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A dish TV antenna has been fixed to a dried trunk of a Palmyra tree.
A Palmyra tree is one of the most useful trees in this part of the country. The leaves of the Palmyra tree are used as a roof for their huts ,cattle sheds and fence. It is called a thatched roof and can be seen in the pic. The palmyra fruit is relished during summer months. Palmyra Toddy is a popular drink in the villages.

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The cling clang sound of sheep bells is so soothing . The sounds from these bells , the cool evening sea breeze (this village is around 8km from the sea) and chirping birds can take us to a meditative state. This is bliss !!

I am back in Hyderabad now and as I close my eyes I transport myself to that scene and location :).

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Found a few feathers of the ‘Indian roller stuck on the trunk of a palmyra tree. The bird must be nesting on the tree. A very beautiful bird, often seen flitting from one palmyra tree to another ,is usually found near agricultural fields in this part of the country. The bird appears mostly brownish with streaks of blue when perched . While flying its light and dark blue feathers are open and the bird appears very bright ans beautiful.

Found a link to a video of the bird in flight.

http://www.arkive.org/indian-roller/coracias-benghalensis/video-00.html

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Love the contrast of a tender climber climbing up the rough trunk of a palmyra tree.

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Rural atmosphere is very peaceful , less polluted and life is very simple . A village appears to be another far away planet far far away from the noisy Urban world. Feeling energized and rejuvenated after spending a few days there. I am also done with my BMA test and awaiting the results.

” We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us “