Of Paddy Field Ecosytem

Backwaters in Goa, further away from panjim

How many times has a group of butterflies flitted around you and made you felt at one with the eco system? Before Goa, seeing a butterfly was an event to be celebrated. But here, its now a normal occurrence. Butterflies, along with snails that dot the soil, ducks that quack and fishes that swim around the water, you find it all here. Birds fly around the field seeming to dive towards the water and then back into the sky.

I found all of this within the km stretch connecting to a village. Need to pick closeup lens fast, for all those things that I missed.

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Walk down the hill

I’ve been living on this hill for past too many days. Today the steps led me down to a old part of Panjim.Its called Mala.  Morning time was filled with the usual. A Goan grandmum in her skirt, readying the kid for school, an old gentleman gently sipping his beverage in his Balcao( courtyard room). A Brahmkumari was picking up some essentials from the corner shop. Bakery had the aroma of cakes, but hardly any visitors at this hour. A Tailor, a blacksmith and a handy repair person were busy at their desks, from the comforts of their huge heritage homes. Tomorrow, I go back with my camera and some money to buy a fresh baked bread.

The Earth: An Inheritance

Just when I thought that the two waterfalls which we saw while driving through the hills was the best of adventure we had got today, the vehicle stopped. Turned around. It was everywhere. We were on the highest slope in the vicinity and the horizon from left to right was water…the sea…. An expanse of blue. A man, with two front teeth broken and an equally broken native language, stood to watch us climb out of the vehicle to take in the scene. He, along with his family, was perched on haunches on the roadside, ready to guide us down the steps to the beach. But we stood right there…taking in the air and the purity of the landscape. We saw from here, the Earth meeting the sky. All across…. from left to right. As far as the horizon. Dear magical Earth, we are glad to have inherited you.

Could he have etched these on the hard surface with a purpose, or was it done in those moments of leisure by the quiet river side? Prehistoric artists were rather talented, it seemed…over 5000 yrs have passed but it remains here. On this rock surface, surprisingly in the heart of Goan hinterland, we saw prehistoric carvings of animals, birds, unidentified motifs and more….(the labyrinth symbol above is a mystery)

Slippery rocks during the monsoons is not the best time, but here were the springs and a little further was this bubble pond, where bubbles mysteriously seemed to surface from the ground. And tons of tiny fishes were ready to give you a fabulous foot therapy.

Suresh, our self appointed guide, had this tattoo on his arm, which was reminiscent of pre historic carvings which we had seen earlier. One of the 400 natives, he helped tourists walk across the paddy fields to reach a solitary rock, which till this day bore impressions of a fine chisel of a prehistoric artist.

Most pictures taken here, were on an auto mode considering how enthusiastic I was simply two days after getting the camera. I was also extremely lucky to have a photo companion (view his photostream here) and an august guide, otherwise so many things in a single day would not have been possible.

Water, earth, red soil, rock carvings, paddy fields, panaromic views, waterfalls…constant reminder of time on earth and how it preserved and nurtured all within it. We also saw land stripped of stone and mined for ironore. But the Earth, in all its modesty, looked beautiful even though it cradled the waste and the scars on its surface, as a caring, nurturing mother to the ills of its children.

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River meets the sea

These may look like a typical scenery what we imagined from the comforts of our art classes. The river meeting the sea, the hills afar and a random solitary boat. So it was rather refreshing to doodle these out during one of my random walks around a hill last week. Here is Mandovi river meeting the Sea on the western coast of India viewed from Panjim.