Video Dreams in Bollywood


Watching a movie in an cramped congested brick shack in the company of atleast 40 men is a lively experience. Huddling around the large TV, the audience makes itself seen and heard at every turn of the plot - whistling at the wet saree number, egging on the Govinda as he takes on ten baddies, applauding and often repeating melodramatic dialogue about lost values and dancing and singing to the songs. Once it becomes clear that all ends well, the audience often does not bother to wait for the last scene and starts making its way out. This is how far twenty-five ruppees will get you in Dharavi if you are in search for some entertainment that is.

Floating Gardens of the Nagin

Images and Words from Kashmir


The Nagin lake is a peaceful cleaner smaller cousin of the Dall Lake in Srinagar is an unforgettable experience - is not only extremely relaxing but offers a close look at the almost amphibian life of the Hanjis, the boat people. The once floating gardens, approachable only by boat, are now rooted to one mace and only grow vegetables but still remain divided into islands by cries-crossing currents. A leisurely ride in a Shikara unfurls the mystique of this lake. A floating garden of exotic water lilies, the enchanting kingfisher, family of ducklings in a myriad maze of green man made canals.

So What is a floating Garden ?

Shodows in Green
[Floating Gardens of the Nagin]

Along thin strip of land about twenty yards by one yard is cut off from the side of a swamp containing the matted roots of a bulrush bed, which is cut off from underneath, allowing a thickness of about two feet and a half, and the whole mass floats up. The floating mass is anchored to a boat and punted to a secure position. In course of time weeds and mud settle down on it and lo! we have a floating garden. Sometimes it happens that a farmer steals away a garden of his neighbour. The Kashmiri name for a floating garden is rad. These gardens yield tomatoes, cucumbers, musk and other kinds of melons. The manure used is the rotting pond-weeds in coils. This rich bounty of vegetable once yielded is sold on the floating market (see this post to learn more).

Floating Paradise.
[The Hanjis collecting to aquatic weeds on the dall to feed their floating gardens and vegetable patchs.]

You sink slowly with every step, dabbing back and fourth as you walk on what you think is land but it's not quiet there. Floating patches masses of weed and mud anchored to a boat or a stray to pieces of land and held together by thin willow trees. These are the magical and ingenious floating gardens of the Nagin.


More Green Wonderland

Note :
On a secondary Note, I apologise for my absence from the blogosphere. It is just that I’m swamped with exams at the moment. Stay tuned all the same for I’ll have a lot of stuff to post once I’m over with this menace. Till then take a look at all of my Kashmir pictures.