Home, Harvest and history in the making

The title just about sums up the content of this post.

I was away for almost the whole of August on deputation to New Delhi, and avoided the hot summer in Japan. Yes, it is quite hot and humid in summer – July and August – with the mercury rising to nearly 38 degrees Celsius. New Delhi was much cooler at about 27 degrees, and I feasted myself to fruits like papaya, pear, sapota and apples. I continued with my Yoga early mornings at that delightful park amidst pigeons, parrots and squirrels!

Scene from a New Delhi Park

A pigeon making a safe landing!


Peaceful co-existence with mynas also joining the party  – New Delhi Park

Where else can you find a scene like this but in India? Home to Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and other religions that co-exist peacefully (relatively and most of the time!).

I snapped some flowers to at this park – probably the spider lily and some irises. Here they are:

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Lily and iris?

I returned home to Japan at the end of the month surprised to see most of my vegetables intact and plants maintained well through watering everyday by the landlord! The result was a bountiful harvest all on a single day!


Bountiful harvest

Yes, I reaped a lot of green pepper, eggplants, tomatoes, and some Molokheiya leaves (good for soup), bitter gourd, and another variety of gourd and a cucumber. Thanks to Seto-san and Utiyama-san, my local friends who kept my vegetable garden alive in my absence.

And here is another close-up of the fresh veggies that delighted me:


Close-up showing two varieties of gourds



And a close-up of green peppers that I had planted in my home garden

Meanwhile, I was also happy that my home garden was diligently watered throughout the summer (although I had a heck of  a time pulling out the weeds!). Here are some blooms that brought me cheer.


The lovely Rose of Sharon


Another variety of the Rose of Sharon (with pink petals)


The exquisitely shaped Abutilon with its head bowed

Yes, I had to look up from below to take this snap. This is a shy flower and keeps its head down.


Dense growth of Morning Glory and Bitter Gourd

I had strung up the net in front of the windows and planted the Morning Glory and Bitter Gourd plants before leaving for India. They had not been led properly and the result was a dense bush. The space inside remains cool during the hot summer, so I’m happy.

Here are some other blooms from my home garden:

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Clockwise from top hosta, morning glory, fragrant ginger lily, and three-together morning glories

I must admit that the ginger lily is one of my prized possessions in the home garden. When I stand by it at night, a gentle breeze brings the delicate fragrance up and keeps me happy!

Coming to the last part of my post, namely “history in the making,” I was in New Delhi when a simple man, a soldier who fought for India, and well-known mostly in his village and his state of Maharashtra as a social worker who uplifted the residents of his village to a better life, announced that he was sick of corruption among politicians and would fast unto death unless the government took measures to accept a bill drawn up by him against corruption and vote on it. This man, Anna Hazare, suddenly struck a chord with people from all walks of life in India; the poor, the middle class, the actors, the engineers, the IT personnel – almost everyone. He had nothing to gain – he did not belong to any political party; he was not in it for money; he just wanted corrupt people brought to justice. I was in New Delhi when he began the fast; and I thought to myself that here was another Gandhi and history was being made.  I agreed with all that he had said. It seems that if all the wealth stashed away by corrupt persons in India in Swiss banks was returned and distributed to the poor,  poverty could be eliminated in India. I don’t know how far this is true but thinking out loud – why can’t some bright Indian (I know that you are out there!) set up a bank in India that accepted only funds from rich people in Switzerland – no questions asked! Hey!  After collecting these funds, the bank could lend the money at low rates of interest to Indian entrepreneurs, who I’m sure could make better chocolates and watches and give the Swiss a run for their own money! Any takers?

Until the next post, have a great day!


12 Responses to “Home, Harvest and history in the making”

  1. September 3, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Great harvest for a single day. So many bell peppers, so many possibilities. I’ve recently discovered smoked bell pepper dip, which is delicious. The pictures of your blooms are fantastic too.
    The Iris that you have labelled, may actually be a Canna. Though I may be mistaken.
    Your comments about Anna are so true. Anna mobilised lakhs of Indians, just like Gandhi did in the past. So many of us, who’ve never been part of any movement all our lives, are suddenly part of one. We’re so glad that there is some hope for a cleaner India. My husband signed up too. Now we proudly wear our badges proclaiming “India Against Corruption”. I like your idea about setting up banks in India for the rich Swiss. But come to think of it, we are grateful that national banks in India are built on strong foundations. They haven’t been found guilty of any gross violations like so many banks elsewhere.

    • September 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks for dropping by, Anita. I was kidding about banks in India. But really, I don’t see what gives them the right to offer a safe haven for corrupt people to stash their funds. According to an Indian writer “The Government (Indian) is unlikely to demand details from Swiss (and other offshore bank havens) banks about accounts held by Indians. That would put a lot of politicians and bureaucrats at risk. Perhaps the solution offered by Britain is a way out. Under a recently concluded agreement between Britain and the Swiss Government, the identities of account holders will be kept secret, except in criminal or money laundering or terrorist funding cases, but the Swiss will help Britain collect taxes on the funds. ”

      “Switzerland will immediately pay Britain $ 5 b. towards past taxes and henceforth will deduct, and remit, a tax of 48% on income earned and 27% on capital gains.”

      “Subsequent to this, the German Government also entered into a similar treaty and collected an upfront payment of $ 8 b. Tax evasion is not the preserve of India alone!”
      Anyway, we are moving out of the realm of gardening, so let me stop here. Have a great day!

  2. September 3, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Nice to meet you and yes, there must be a bank out there to help! I’ve had a Japanese friend staying in my caravan and helping in my new garden so we will read you together. So far we’ve cooked gyoza and tempura udon soup. Both amazing.

    • September 3, 2011 at 1:23 pm

      Both gyoza and tempura udon (especially with kakiage in it) are my favorite dishes in Japan. And yes, tempura soba too; you should ask your friend to make it for you.

  3. September 19, 2011 at 6:12 am

    I’m delighted for you that your neighbors took such good care. I remember when you first planted your gardens – it must have been scary leaving them for so long. Congrats on a great harvest!

  4. 6 k.suguna rao
    September 25, 2011 at 2:39 am

    I am delighted to see the fresh and healthy vegetables and flowers. Hats of to you and your freinds who helped you in watering plants in your absence.


  5. October 1, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    The combination of your morning glory and bitter gourd is so cool! Very productive, at the same time very pleasing to the eyes. 🙂

    • October 29, 2011 at 1:09 pm

      Yes, the combination provided a dense cover and shut off bright sunlight in summer. The disadvantage was that I could not harvest some bitter gourds that lay hidden, turned yellow and split to reveal red seeds! Thanks for your comment.

  6. 10 KL
    January 4, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Your growing of Indian vegetables are fantastic. I can’t get seeds from India as the US does not allow. So, I am buying seeds here from Indian seed selling places. This coming summer I have lots of plan for growing lots of Indian vegetables like you have done including parwal, drum-stick, etc. Do you have any advice for growing all these Indian veggies from seeds? Right now, I am growing mustard and fenugreek (methi). Hope to grow bay leaf and paan in pots as well :-).

    • January 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm

      Hi, sorry for the delayed reply. I presume that the Indian seeds available in the US should work well. Until now, I have grown Turai, beetroot, dudhi, carrot, eggplant, green chilli, and coriander from seeds brought from India. They grow just like any other vegetable here but mainly during April to October in Japan. I presume if you plant them during spring in the US, they should grow well. I plant the seeds directly in the ground in spring. Let me know if you have any specific questions. All the best.

  7. August 28, 2012 at 6:01 am


    We blogged using your photo of morning glory above on our garden living website, http://www.QuestionAndPlanter.com. If you want any changes, or prefer we don’t use the photo, just let me know. Your photos and writing are top-notch! We have over 48,000 garden followers, and are thrilled to steer them your way! Have a great week! Emmon

    Emmon Scott, Editor
    c/o Arden Companies
    30400 Telegraph Rd., Suite 200
    Bingham Farms, MI 48025

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