Urban gardening

To quote my most favorite aunt, thanks to marriage I have become” a House broken Lisa”!  The new role is exciting and not without its challenges. ( The main one being what vegetable to cook and how? )  Settling down to being house broken has taken time and needless to say I have not being traveling as frequently as I used to.

Meanwhile  I have taken up gardening.

It is so thrilling to step out to your balcony and pluck a few leaves off your Basil plant to add to your omelette. In the evenings it is delightful to sit with a cup of tea midst the little greenery.

At this juncture I need to stop and make a quick confession. My plants are all dying!  After endless experiments I can safely say that I do not have a green thumb. I have watered my succulents to death and  left my coriander to bake in the sun all day, every day.

Only the really sturdy plants survive with me. Lettuce, Thyme, Oregano and sadly even chrysanthemums are too pansy to grow in my garden.

My mint is a definite survivor. Every time I think that’s it, its finally dead it springs new leaves.  My basil is used to my phases of watering, neglect and too much love. My poor peace lilies are still surviving from being nearly drowned in water. ( In my defense I saw a similar looking plant on the internet and the author had mentioned that her plants loved the water! Apparently that was a very different plant).

Gardening is like nurturing life ( and in my case death). It is exciting to see new shoots, see the progress of a tiny bud to a flower and sometimes witness  miracles when plants that are dry to the bone suddenly gives out a tiny new shoot.

Oh did I mention that my surely once dead chrysanthemums are coming back to life.

Shocking! Oh I love my garden!


World Pulse : Voice of the Future

World pulse is an incredible NGO that truly believes that when women are heard they will change the world.  In accordance to their beliefs every year they select 30 women from a pool of about 600 applicants and train them to be citizen journalists. This training program is called Voice of the Future.

Every year I contemplate applying and invariable I keep thinking about it over and over again until the deadline passes. This year I did not think. Instead without a moment’s hesitation I signed up to a Volunteer Listener. My tasks included reading the assignments of the applicants and giving my feedback to the organizers.

There were four assignments, each required the applicant to write a short essay on diverse topics like the WEB 2.0, their  journey before world pulse, what are the issues faced by them and how they intend to use world pulse to speak out against the acts of atrocities in their communities.

Unfortunately I cannot reveal details of the stories that I have read but what I read left a mark. Here were women who were brutally raped,forced out of their homes, sold,abused, oppressed and humiliated yet their writing exuded vigor and strength. There was hope in their writing. It was this hope that made them walk miles from their homes to an internet cafe to access world pulse. Some of these women had given up on life before world pulse. Now they are training other women to use the internet so that they can out their stories out there.

Through world pulse women from different parts of the globe and from varied walks of lives have given voice to stories of women who cannot speak for themselves. They have created awareness  of various social issues like breast ironing   and campaigned for funds to end female genital mutilation.

There is a rising chorus in the world today and the voices are powered by women , some of whom were too poor to go to school, many with no college education but their voices are reaching a crescendo and it is a heartrending song.

Tune  in at World Pulse .