Calendar of the month

Desktop calendar for November 2012

RagooRao from Mysore has done some beautiful digital paintings, which we have converted into monthly calendars.  Please download these calendars free and use them as your desk top wall paper.

By clicking on RagooRao's name, you can read the numerous articles he has written for  He is also a superb nature photographer.

To download the calendar suitable for the size of your desktop, please click on the link below.


Surjivan village

Village Tourism

-Susan Sharma

Surjivan is a village approved for "village tourism" by the Haryana Government.  Here is a resort which makes a valiant effort to connect with the 21st century mall city of Gurgaon.  

About 40kms from Gurgaon driving through the Jaipur highway for about 15kms and then through metaled roads, one can reach the village.  For just Rs 950/- per person, you can enjoy the ambiance of the 50 acres, take guided tours and partake in an organic lunch cooked the traditional way.  All the ingredients used for cooking are grown organically in the 40 acre organic farm, which also boasts of a chicken farm and milch cows.

While sipping the welcome drink of masala lassi, we watched a large group of young families walk in.  Children were frolicking all over in no time leaving parents to chat and enjoy their drinks and music. It was a Sunday-a well reserved holiday for these back office employees.  Yet no one seemed to be complaining.  " I am glad to escape the claustrophobia of....." ,  I overheard a young smartly dressed lady remarking.

The manager, offered to show us around.   We have all the facilities for adventure games, he started and insisted that we first take a look at these.   The last part of "Survivor Series" on Television was shot here, he proudly proclaimed. 

Where are the herbal gardens?  In the very next plot, our guide answered.  Also the main ground has many local trees and ancient plants.

Kalpavriksh or Wish Tree

We were informed that the big "Kalpavriksh tree" the resort had earlier grown, died, suffocated by the red threads tied by believers!

As we watched village artisans giving the final touches to a motif, drongos and parakeets announced their roosting time and we realized that we need to drive back to Gurgaon before the highway gets choked by office commuters.

The resort has twelve mud huts complete with cow-dung plaster on floor and mud beds and seats- also equipped with fans, air conditioners and attached baths with geysers.  All these come at a price though.   The solar panels support lights and fans but geysers and a.cs are run in winter and summer using Diesel generators.  

Surjivan is a bold attempt to connect Maximum City dwellers with nature- Spend a day there and you realize what it is that we miss in Big Cities

Environment Education

Ground Activities by

Ground Activities by

  -Susan Sharma

Our online club has been active now for over 10 years.  We have not had many ground level activities to talk about except for the occasional photo exhibitions and screening of a film. We have also never appeared in print.

November 2012 saw us trying a make-over by organizing/taking part in some off line
activities. While our members are aware that we are very much a grass root level organization, we feel the need to spread awareness about the club's interactive features to all members and potential members.   Also we need to increase traffic to our website.

The efforts at reaching out offline will continue with a view to raise our revenue
streams as well.

We are grateful to AutoDesk ( who came forward to support a photoexhibition at Epicentre, Gurgaon during September, 2012.
We are also grateful to

  • SGS India Pvt Ltd ( (Certified Organic Farm Fresh Products)
  • The Altitude Store (
  • ( and
  • Indira Misra (
for giving advertisements in the booklets we brought out on local flora and fauna.

Here are some photographs of these events.


Nature and wellness


Datura-A common wild plant

-Susan Sharma

Datura (Botanical name Datura Stramonium ) is a common weed found all over North India especially in this season.  Look for bell shaped flowers, mostly white, on sidewalks and vacant plots and you cannot miss them.

Given below is the picture of a white (common weed) and the light yellow flower of Datura.


The plant's flowers, leaves and seeds are supposed to be having medicinal properties.  The seeds are considered poisonous as well.  The flowers have been used in the worship of Shiva.

Many Ayurvedic poultices and other preparations use the various parts of the plant to cure inflammation, malaria, asthma etc.

If you search for Datura on google, the number of pages devoted to this plant, which mostly grows wild in our parts, is amazing.

Yet, most Indians are quite unaware of the existence of this endemic plant.

Datura flower bud

(Text and photographs Susan Sharma)

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