Lately,I have not found myself inspired to write about anything .Writer’s block? Maybe. But there is no photographer’s block on the horizon so here is a tour around my personal paradise. Come along.

 
 

 

This flower fascinated me for a whole month last season……unfortunately I had no seeds to plant it again this year. A dust storm was about to hit the day this picture was taken and hence the brownish hue of the pic.

This is where the bountiful vegetables come from.In the left lower corner is the compost bin where all kitchen and garden waste is composted.Just showing off my GREEN credentials.

The paperwala arrives with my copy of the local daily and a day old copy of The Economic Times.

This is how serene the compund looks,bathed in the winter sun.Don’t even ask how it is in summers with temperatures at 48 degrees+.

The gardener gets busy watering. He has been nurturing this place for last 30 years, I am told.

This is the oasis his efforts create within the walls of the compound.Look  over the wall to see how it would be without constant improving of soil and watering.

The barbecue that is usually used as my gardening work bench to raise seedlings and carry out the re-potting of plants. What else can a vegetarian do with a barbecue?

The mid morning sun brings out the many hues of green that are there.

 OK, that’s it folks.See you again soon. Take care.

 
When all the effort of months of planting and nurturing bears fruit it is a sight straight from the Heavens.
I know,I know,I just posted a post yesterday but nature waits for no one so I do not have the luxury of being well spaced between my posts.

 

 

1) I spent hours today to get the Salvia right. The fact that it is a naroow spike was ‘spiking’ all my amateur efforts at clicking it well.I finally got it.I am happy that I have got the exact mix of blue and purple color.In most pictures it was showing up as only blue and that is not how the actual flowers are. Can you see a white blurry blob in the background ( at the top end of the picture)? Well,that is the Carnation of the next picture!
 

 

2) I thought of getting the fat ant off but he/she seems to be having such a party,I decided against interfering with his/her fun!
 

 

3) The orange Calendula looked prettier than the yellow one I clicked yesterday so it also deserved to be in this post.
  

 

4) The Snapdragons are also tricky(for me atleast) to click but I think these picture does capture the blushing beauties reasonably well.
 

 

5) The pink ones are gorgeous too with that little dusting of yellow freckles in the centre.
6) Verbenas don’t seem to like the cold, blustery winds(shamaals) of Bahrain but I still persist with my efforts to grow them.They remind me of my Dad. He always used to grow them at the front  of the flower beds.Mine are in a pot though.
 

 

7) This one looks so much like the Salvia in the first picture but is actually  not like it at all.It comes in a tight little bunch instead of a tall spike.
 

 

8) No post can ever be complete without my buddies, Petunias.They are not fussy at all. As long as there is plenty of sun they fire on all cylinders: in rich soil and poor soil, in sheltered corners and out in the face of the 35 knots ‘shamaals’.
This post is already too long but I just have to add some pics from the productive end of the garden,the vegetable patch.

 

1) The purple beans are out in a strong show and I love their sweetness. The crunch-o-meter is high too. I got the seeds from Australia and have been religiously collecting more at the end of each season to keep my stock going.
 

 

2) The tomatoes are making life miserable with their abundance. I have gifted so many to anyone who will take them and I am still snowed under !!
 

 

3) The family favorite, eggplant (brinjal) is looking to compete with the tomatoes in abundance. 
Bhartha anyone?
Ok that it’s folks. The show is over.Will return (whether you want me to or not) with aerial views of the garden from where all these pictures come to you.

 

 

 

In my previous post I had posted a picture of a mound peering through the morning fog and said there was a story to tell there.Well this is the story about the mound and the hundreds of others that can be still found in Bahrain. Often when one lives with history one tends to take it for granted.What if I tell you that this mound dates back to an era some 3000BC? That would make you take notice alright.

This is what the mound and its cousins(not in the picture) look like in the morning sun.Now ,what look like just some non descript heaps of sand were much higher and majestic till a decade ago.‘Development’ took over history  here in Bahrain too just as it does in other places.I post the history behind the mounds below.It has been taken from an internet site on Bahrain.

“History of Bahrain goes back to over five thousand years. Considered to be one of the many venues of Sightseeing in Bahrain, Dilmun Burial Mounds in Bahrain is the place where the ancient people of Dilmun civilization are resting in peace.

Dilmun Burial Mounds in Bahrain is one of the rare archaeological burial grounds that date back to the Dilmun era. Dilmun was an old civilization that flourished on the islands of Bahrain during the Bronze Age at around 3000 BC. The heydays of the civilization started as Bahrain was along the ancient sea trade route which linked this civilization with that of Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley Civilization. The civilization gradually phased off but their burial ground in Bahrain still bears testimony to this once mighty civilization.

Dilmun Burial Mounds in Bahrain was unearthed by a Danish team when in course of their excavation work they stumbled upon some tumuli. The tumuli contained items that proved the existence of this civilization around two thousand years before the Christ. Every tumulus housed a central stone chamber surrounded by a low ring wall with earth and gravel piled on them. The size of tumuli varies with smaller ones containing single chamber. Larger ones contained more chambers. Though there was only a person buried in each tumulus, some however contained more than one person.

The bodies found at Dilmun Burial Mounds in Bahrain represent both sexes. The bodies did not have many ornaments upon them. Neither the chambers were stacked with huge riches as were found in most Egyptian tombs. The bodies also proved the life expectancy of the then people were around 40 years. Notwithstanding that, it goes without saying that sightseeing in Bahrain is incomplete without a visit to Dilmun Burial Mounds in Bahrain.”(asiarooms.com)
 

I have lived next to these remnants of an ancient civilisation for some 14 years now.There are only 3 depressed looking mounds left now.There used to be some open ones (possibly opened by archeologists) also right behind the house and all those visiting us in Bahrain were taken on impromptu tours of these.I remember my mum noticing that the open ones had such a neat arrangement of graves that it looked as though a whole family might have been buried there next to each other and also that the stones, used to demarcate the grave spaces, inside the mound had fossils of little sea shells encrusted into them. We all then put on our (amateur archeologist)thinking caps and wonderd where the stones came from.

That was back then.Now there are large villas built over those open ones and it is only a matter of time before these ones disappear too.

All sorts of rubbish is dumped on and around the remaining mounds.You can see the construction rubble lying to the side in the picture. Cars and trucks drive all around and sometimes over them also.On summer evenings youngsters, on their noisy quad bikes, use them to do their stunts and get the thrill from racing up and down the mounds.They may not look like much in the picture but these particular ones are actually quite high.

Bahrain has one(barely) protected site of mounds  at A ‘ali where they are to be found one after another.Some particularly huge ones can be be found in Hamad Town. Initially there were great hopes that these, signposts of a past era, would be protected seriously but since then things have gone awry.The reasons are given below( from the wikipaedia entry on the burial mounds)

Attempts to protect the burial mounds have run into opposition by religious fundamentalists who consider them unIslamic and have called for them to be concreted over for housing. During a parliamentary debate on 17 July 2005, the leader of the salafist  Asalah party, Sheikh Adel Mowdah, said “Housing for the living is better than the graves for the dead. We must have pride in our Islamic roots and not some ancient civilisation from another place and time, which has only given us a jar here and a bone there .” 

When the religious leaders have such parochial views then what can one expect from the public. I took this picture a few days ago when a young local lad proudly parked his car atop one of the mounds and casually sauntered off to a nearby cafe. He is secure in his conviction that the ancient history, that he tramples upon, is not Islamic and therefore not his. A bit like the thinking behind the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas,in my view!

It would not surprise me if all that remains of this past is soon confined to the excellent recreations of the mounds in the Bahrain National  Museum.