Tag Archives: Yeravas

Taking travel inspiration from busy bees

Aren’t honeybees good inspirers to travel? In a lifespan that’s as short as just a few days, they find a new place every day, explore a new flower every minute and taste new nectars on every flight! All this while still performing their assigned duties without having any complaints. Living a sweet life while being as busy as a bee!

It was curiosity that led me to learning about bee-keeping. This curiosity was a summation of multiple experiences accumulated through the years of childhood. I have been raised by my grandparents where honey has been an essential part of my life. We used it as a dip for breakfast and as a rice-mix for lunch, as an energy drink with hot water or even as a medicine with brandy or pepper corn. And yeah, stashes of several bottles went packed as souvenirs to guests who visited home and to friends who lived far away. You can call this honey with adjectives like pure, organic, handpicked, homemade, etc. ‘Coorg honey’ it was, after all!

Grandpa was personally enthusiastic about this particular hobby of his. I was often smitten with curiosity when he returned home with either a swollen face or with swollen hands. When I went nearer to him to check for his condition, he would only greet me with a warm smile and a piece of honeycomb dripping with fresh nectar. While at home, he would be busy with his bees in 75+ boxes that were kept around the house. It used to be a festival day for the family when drums of honey used to be extracted from his boxes all by himself. While at his favourite place- the Abbi estate, it was customary for him to have a daily look at this massive ‘Honey Tree’ as we called it, the single large tree where bee hives were formed annually. It was the family night out, an annual event that we all looked forward for. Honey tappers from a specific tribe called ‘Jenu Kurubas’ used to be called in, to climb the tree in pitch darkness on a no-moon night. The family camped in the darkness at midnight on the damp ground of the coffee estate with the rustling sound of the waterfalls in the background. While as a kid, I was amused with the spectacle of blue lights falling down from that tree, only as a grown up adult I realize the lights were indeed bees that were falling down after being smoked up in the process of honey tapping. And not to forget some odd days when he would pick out snakes from mud crevices that he had put his hands to collect honey from. And then there were days, when we made friends over a bottle of honey. These were customers who came to grandpa’s makeshift shop at Abbi falls with their unique ways of testing the quality of the honey sold there! Each customer, a unique character and every conversation, a story in itself.

For me, adding this new dimension to my travel stories was more of an emotional journey.. With the passing away of Granpa, the charm and life that his favourite place held too passed. The ‘Honey Tree’ eventually saw the ground leaving our family to buy honey from the market. Having relished the finest nectars from high tree trunks, deep mud crevices and those handpicked from the several bee boxes kept around the house, our family like all others are really not sure of the quality of those available in the market. That’s when this thought of setting up my own bee box struck me along with traveling in pursuit of knowledge sharing. These things led to me developing an interest about learning about honey bees and eventually respecting these tiny creatures more and more. I think being born in a community of nature worshippers gives me an instant connect with things that are natural and essential for our existence. Home is where primary and the most essential education starts and for me, Grandpa has been the main reason for one of the finest childhood lessons and home education I have picked up.

Albert Einstein said, “The Earth will come to an end in just 4 days if there be NO honeybees on this planet.” Honeybees are such an important part of our very own existence on this planet, Save them! Get in touch with an expert before you get that beehive removed from your concrete dwelling. Alternatively, get in touch with me for I would be more than willing to give a talk for awareness in your community. I signed up for a workshop to learn this art of bee-farming, and a certification came as a bonus. I did my course with ‘HoneyDay Bee farms’ who are thorough professionals and extremely knowledgeable in the field. They work with farmers right from the installation to extraction to marketing thus assuring you a 100% purity in their products. Go try them out!

OMG..!! Life has changed..!!

<18-Sept-09>
I want to go back to the time..
When “Innocence” was ‘Natural”
When “Getting High” was “on a Swing”
When “Drinking” meant “Rasna” 
When “Dad” was the only “Hero”
When “Love” was “Mom’s hug” 
When “Dad’s shoulder” was d “Highest” place on earth
When your worst enemies were your “Siblings”
When the only thing that could “Hurt” were “bleeding Knees”
When the only things “Broken” were “Toys” and
When “Goodbyes” only meant “Till tomorrow”.. 
Oh My God..!! Life has changed a LOT.!!
Enough of originals.. This one- I received as a SMS forward sometime back.. But, this still holds so much power and means much more every time I read it… Every time I read it: it makes me feel older- And then I start wondering “OMG– I’ve wasted so many years without doing anything constructive out of it.. And i’m already so old..!!! ” AAaaargghhh… it’s not a nice feeling at all..!!
 
And this one was my status quote on FB during my last year in college: 
“No poem, No beautiful thought, just a tribute to d times v fought.. another year more and then we part our ways.. No insane talking, no crazy pics, our meetings would be dependent on a mouse’s click.. The parties would be corporate, the innocence lost, we would be earning, but at a frnd’s cost.. we wud b professional, we wud b sane.. then these lines would be not more than a walk in the memory lane..”
And every time I find this on my wall, I’l be like: “OMG..!! what have I done to myself..?? What happened to all my dreams…?? Why don’t I have time to catch up with my friends and laugh over a plate of fried rice with ten hands grabbing for food from it..!! or whatever it means to being a student meant to be… ” Baaahhh… It’s definitely not a good feeling..!! 
A boy from the Yerava tribe in Coorg
A boy from the Yerava tribe in Coorg