Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Discussing my Coleus...the plant of Gods!

I will be adding images to this discussion soon but right now, my focus is on talking about the growing love for coleus. I chanced upon this plant last year. At that time, I did not understand the difference between foliage plants and flowering plants. Soon, along with my love the plant, a bit of knowledge also seeped in. Within a few months, I realized that the coleus family is rather high on colour combinations and bright, coloured leaves but does not flower. Yes, sometimes you get some seed stalks but these are not really pretty. This is a means to create some seeds which can be preserved for restarting the pot after the winter has ravaged it. Yes, the coleus is vulnerable to extreme winters.

Foliage plants like coleus cannot survive the extreme nip in the air and similarly, they cannot tolerate very high temperatures. You have to find the shady spots in your living space. But the coleus is not a window plant. It is not meant to grow in spaces where some rays of the sun visit for a few minutes during the day.

These beautiful plants need an open, airy and somewhat shady space. In my house, I have some cover in the balconies and the area underneath is largely shielded from the sun. This is almost perfect for any type of coleus. Guard against overprotecting the plant. Though the stalks don't look very robust, they have reasonable strength. They can survive the heavy monsoon shower but heavy winds can do some damage. The Coleus is best grown as a combination. Think of one planter that has the pink stripe, maroon vein, leafy green, and the popular purple variety growing together.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Is this Pandemic, the WFH reality-check that we needed?

Even as I write this, am glancing at the time, it is almost 5.30 pm here and my work for the day is far from over. Ever since the WFH / work-from-home schedule started, I have been unable to sign-off all of the tasks by the evening. At office, I was perhaps a lot more adept at time management. Still, I feel, I am more available throughout the day, more keen on working in tandem with the marketing teams because I conserve a lot more energy. The shortest breathers, like a 10-minute tickling session with my baby or changing her diapers, freshens the mind.

In many ways, WFH dynamics are making me question the modern workplace - especially the ones that have had an office-only culture so far. I realize that some organizations have relaxed WFH approvals, ensuring that at least a day in the week is flexible, but largely, most offices still follow the dictum of shift hours.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Things I can say with surety about these 'Perpetual Borrowers'....winners and sinners at the same time.

Ready to adapt: this couple didn't seek the most comfortable environment for raising a family. They were ready to use whatever little space was available. And this plot of nesting land too did come with plenty of distractions and lots of intrusions. However, they family has settled-in rather well. They ensured picking a spot that provided comprehensive coverage against the sun and rain. What seems like a combination of living room and bedroom, their one-room accommodation comes sans any pretensions. The think iron pipe in the background is their idea of home decor and the ugly remains of a shoddy cement job once done, represents the landscaping. Overall, if this was a home-to-rent deal, nobody would have bought it. But like true borrowers, this couple overlooked all the possibly not-so-great things and chose to set-up their nesting headquarters amid the ugliness.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Why corona hit restaurants businesses should and can pick-up...it is about mutual gains.

restaurant covid closure image news
PHOTOS BY KARI MASON
This was today in Google News' morning edition of the headlines - New York, which is quickly becoming the epicenter for the Corona tragedy has had to shut down nearly all of its restaurant businesses but what is more surprising is that this is happening across the US and job loss emanating from this trend is massive. Closer home, somewhat similar things are happening. While ordering-in the food remains an option, it seems that more and more permanent closures are underway. While a temporary halt in the daily trading does not mean the end of lifecycle for a business, just like the automobile sector, permanent closures mean permanent job losses - this is what is worrying me. These are jobs that can be saved. This is at least what I think, for overseas and for the shrinking food business marketplace in India. Just think of this - with the pandemic scare, all food biz' are required to follow a lot more hygiene and safety norms. In many places there are licensing and food inspection regulations.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Catching that breath of optimism when COVID threatens to pull down your mental reserves...

Watching this video can create two impressions, i.e. impressions regarding whether this mammal is swimming in serenity or it is a constant exercise to catch that breath of air in waters that are trying to put it down, sink it. This is also something similar to the mindset that is working-from-home during the Corona viral scare, in trying to stay upbeat or at least enthusiastic. The fact is that the knowledge around us, the sheer magnitude of the data being published, the oceanic expanse of expert opinions, news editorials, and special reports that are pouring-in every minute is also injecting a bit of negativity. Not just the healthcare damages, possible mishaps include the entire God damn national economy and job-future of nations that are the marketplace for us, for folks who need the projects to keep pouring-in as the trickle will not really help the cause.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Surely, Corona pandemic will inspire movie plots & Conspiracy Theory Web Series

This was when browsing for a new series to follow after having just wrapped-up Good Girls on Netflix that I realized that we are perhaps sitting on one of the biggest movie story inspiring moments - this not just speculation but a surety about the things about to come. I feel assured about TV series, web series, documentary series, and many types of conspiracy theory movie plots that will use this pandemic as the main story line. The ingredients are just about perfect for plot-creators. Just imagine using a Chinese angle where it is found that the Corona virus is the result of a man-engineering effort aimed at displacing the US from its super-power status. Other options include the Corona virus taking a more serious form and becoming largely air-borne. Now, the movie could be about how a family navigates cities razed to the ground by the virus, en route to some form of magical cure that cannot be found anywhere else. Other options include how the society in the aftermath of the Corona virus pandemic is divided into two sections - those who can easily afford the immunity and those who are shut-off and forced to let fate take over without the means to buy the treatment.

Gardening in the COVID Era is just like WFH - manage it better!! manage what you have!!

I cannot step-out to visit a nursery and select the best possible replacements for plants that were laid to waste by the winter of 2019. Just like most things in life right now, gardening too has taken a new form, something very different from the conveniences of composting at will, adding granular coco peat in heaps, and rotating the planters every time something minuscule seems wrong with the arrangement. Corona is to blame for sure but then, in some way, this is also making me realize the worth of making the best of what Life is offering right now, the best we can afford and accommodate given the current pandemic. I have changed my approach, not letting any aging planter go to waste. I am trying to re-purpose and recycle every bit of gardening supply I have.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Corona Times - Not Forgetting the Basics

Just to ensure that we aren't reading between the lines...

For those who have IBS in the times of Corona Pandemic

If you have a history of IBS, it is most likely that no one, and I mean not even the most qualified physician out there, would have been able to fully understand your set of symptoms -  that is the problem with IBS, it is highly symptomatic and very unpredictable. That is how complicated IBS can be but strangely, despite all the medicinal and guidance-based support, nobody really understands what the sufferer is put through. At this time, when the Corona scare is at its worst, you need to double-up your layers of protection to ensure a flare-up is prevented. For starters, the Corona global pandemic is about a lot of cynical views around you - don't let this get you into that space where you start believing that the world is coming to an end. It looks like it but in reality, we will bounce back - everyday folks like you and me and the governments that are responsible for protecting us. Don't read too much into how much more worse it can get. The idea is to control your anxiety levels on a daily basis since right now, when the more normal Joe seems to be slightly frantic.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Hygiene-up in times of Corona for the Fiddler

A quick adjustment of my spectacles, moving away the growing flock off my forehead, and the customary knuckle rub along the outer tip of the nose - this is pretty much a part of my personal conduct at the office, home, job interview, or when having a good time, outdoors. By and large, I am a fiddler, of they physical type. Until now, it was dropping these habits because they made me look a bit anxious, which I naturally happen to be without a good reason, and tends to undercut the impression. Now, living with Corona, has given a new twist to these things. Now, dropping these mannerisms is about survival habits. Now, with a 2.5 month infant to care for, and being at home, I have to cut-out the habitual fiddling. I had never mindfully absorbed these traits.