It’s November and after a prolonged and bumper monsoon, the rains have finally stopped.
Diwali, the festival invoking wealth and prosperity, is now upon us and with it, the inevitable mega displays of celebration.
As the sun sets, the flick of a switch keeps the night at bay as thousands of multi-colored electric bulbs, draped over every conceivable structure, man-made and natural, flash into life.
Looking out of my 21st floor apartment, in stark contrast, is an empty space of land that stands out as an inky black spot in the midst of the psychedelic glare.
A year ago bulldozers came into the vacant plot and razed all the natural shrubbery and trees to the ground.
Though there is no dearth of people vying to grab a piece of this very lucrative pie, it continues to lie vacant until the letter of the law is defined.
Well, almost vacant.
Another interested party, and one that probably has the most right to do so, is quietly moving in:
While walking my dog recently, I spotted a few dragonflies and butterflies in the area. Which is why, more out of curiosity than conviction, I took my camera down last weekend to see what I could get.
It was amazing to see the variety of wild plants and flowers that have come up in the short span of time since the bulldozers were here!
I had to keep reminding myself that these plants are wild. There is no gardener to tend to them or water them. No landscape specialist to groom and nurture them.
They have to fend for themselves. And, all things considered, they seem to be managing pretty well without any human interference.
With the profusion of plants and flowers is the influx of other beautiful visitors.
On this weekend alone I documented no less that 25 species of butterflies, moths and dragonflies!
(As a true amateur I concentrated only on the ‘large’ and ‘spectacular’! The actual numbers I’m sure are much, much higher).
Just for the record, I hope these images will also serve to reassure neighbors who have seen me squatting among the bushes, as to my true intentions and purpose of doing so!
On a more serious note, the big question is: What will eventually become of this small piece of land?
Will Mother Nature be nurtured or at least allowed to flourish unimpeded?
And we all know the potential beauty that She is capable of bringing in.
Or will greed and vested interest prevail and banish Her from yet another corner of this once beautiful location?
I guess only time will tell, though the odds do not seem to be stacked in Her favor.
What’s also interesting here, and more in keeping with the current festive spirit, are the contrasting modes of celebration.
On one hand we have Nature’s quiet, eco friendly, yet incredibly beautiful celebration of prosperity close on the heels of a bountiful monsoon.
And on the other hand, the artificial, energy sapping, ear-splitting, and garish attempts of her human counterparts!
Diwali is here and we are all eager to celebrate.
How we choose to so, however, depends solely on us.
Here’s wishing you a Happy and eco-friendly Diwali!
PS. All the images on this page (including the header image) were taken on the vacant plot. In fact I got so many nice pictures that I had a tough time selecting which ones to put in!
message beautifully conveyed. I love the way you narrate. happy Diwali
Keep Writing !!
Happy Clicking !!
Thanks Rahul. Happy Diwali to you and your family too!
Dr Amol Ubale says
very beautiful pictures and the discription…i always feel very happy and excited to read your blogs and to see these amazing photographs…hatsoff to u for finding out time from such busy schedule to keep all this going on…
hope more and more will keep coming in future….
Thanks Amol. Happy Diwali and Anniversary to you and your family!
Glenn Mascarenhas says
Hi Ian, beautiful pictures from the vacant plot. Amazing photography.
Thanks Glenn. In case you forgot, just beyond the vacant plot there is an equally beautiful lake that is full of huge fish just waiting to be caught!
Rani Mathias says
Captivating pics and such a delightful style of narrating. Thanks for letting us know what beautiful butterflies and flowers exist in our very own colony.
Thanks Rani. I’m glad you liked it.
Vivid descriptions, Ian. Enjoyed it.
Narayan Swamy says
Ian, this was a great read and it was great to know that nature is getting the better of other land grabbers. Happy Diwali.
Trouble is She wins the battles, not the war!
Happy Diwali to you too!
Dr Mukesh shah says
Excelant photograph & ofcourse nice write up
great pics, Ian.
Errol Britto says
A masterful display of prose and photography. Enjoyed it. Keep them coming.
Thanks Errol. Missed you in Goa. Let’s try and meet up the next time you are here.
Well written Ian. Has construction begun, or is it still vacant?
From the frenetic pace of excavation it looks like ‘vacant’ has now become ‘occupied’ ….so the dumpers on the plot take on a whole new meaning!!