Monthly Archives: January 2007

Stealing is tempting

I find that the internet acts as a barrier to the morals of many people. Many people who wouldn’t be causght dead stealing in their day-to-day lives steal without hesitation online.

A regular visitor here just brought it to my attention that another blog (which I will not mention here) has been steaking content from this site. She found out accidentally when she forgot the exact url (she has this site in her bookmarks at home) and tried to search for the site from some specific words she remembered in the article she wanted to access. Our site showed up as expected, but another site showed up too, with the same article.

Thinking that it was something I used for a reference, she browsed through it, to see if it was of any interest. What she found is the exact same article, copied word for word, including links in the article to other pages in the site at specific areas. The thieves didn’t even bother to pretend to cover their tracks.

Our logs here show plenty of hits coming from that site, so I’m not complaining. The articles refer to the links in a tempting way, so the thief is actually losing traffic, because people are very likely to click on those links. I’m not complaining :D
I doubt if it matters to him though.

I wonder what makes people want to steal people’s content. I freely allow anyone to use any information from this site, as long as a live link is maintained to this place. The reason is as much one of credibility, as the fact, that most of my articles and experiences are closely related to my knowledge and experiences from the very off-beat life I’ve led. It will simply sound fake if copy pasted, and the rest of the content in the site is obviously someone else.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter to me, because they can’t really steal in terms of removing content from here. This place is more important to me than some scraper who cares nothing about visitors.

Situational hazard. I shrug and move on.

Creative stuff to do with the kids

Surfing around for stuff to do with the kids on programmes, I came across this great idea. Of course, all the talk about short days in the winter, etc. is not really important to my interests, but what caught my eye is the exploration of the environment and collect materials for creative artistic expression. I can see myself using this idea in a million different ways, now that it has occurred to me.

Getting children to express themselves with materials of their choice is a superb idea to begin with. It will also be interesting to see the different kinds of materials that appeal to them, or get less interactive participants to open up, and express themselves in other ways. It will be a good tool for feedback, where you create and gift others “dolls” of themselves, which express how you see them, or feel about them.

Heh. Why not? I’d happily use this with adults as well. Let’s see where this new whim takes me :)

WWF warns that Climate change has birds out on a limb

Nairobi, Kenya – A new report released today by WWF finds a clear and escalating pattern of climate change impacts on bird species around the world, suggesting a trend towards a major bird extinction from global warming.

The report, Bird Species and Climate Change, reviews more than 200 scientific articles on birds in every continent to build up a global picture of climate change impacts.

“Robust scientific evidence shows that climate change is now affecting birds’ behaviour,” said Dr Karl Mallon, Scientific Director at Climate Risk Pty Ltd and one of the authors of the report. “We are seeing migratory birds failing to migrate, and climate change pushing increasing numbers of birds out of synchrony with key elements of their ecosystems.”

The report, prepared by international climate change specialists, identifies groups of birds at high risk from climate change: migratory, mountain, island, wetland, Arctic, Antarctic and seabirds. While bird species that can move and adapt easily to different habitat are expected to continue to do well, bird species that thrive only in a narrow environmental range are expected to decline, and to be outnumbered by invasive species.

The report also shows that birds suffer from climate change effects in every part of the globe. Scientists have found declines of up to 90 per cent in some bird populations, as well as total and unprecedented reproductive failure in others.

Scientists also analyzed available projections of future impacts, including bird species extinction. They found that bird extinction rates could be as high as 38 per cent in Europe, and 72 per cent in northeastern Australia, if global warming exceeds 2ºC above pre-industrial levels (currently it is 0.8ºC above).

“Birds have long been used as indicators of environmental change, and with this report we see they are the quintessential ‘canaries in the coal mine’ when it comes to climate change,” said Hans Verolme, Director of WWF’s Global Climate Change Programme.

“This report finds certain bird groups, such as seabirds and migratory birds, to be early, very sensitive, responders to current levels of climate change. Large-scale bird extinctions may occur sooner than we thought.”

If high rates of extinction are to be avoided, rapid and significant greenhouse gas emission cuts must be made, WWF says.

The global conservation organization also believes that the current approach to bird conservation, focused on protecting specific areas with a high bird diversity, will fail because climate change will force birds to shift into unprotected zones. A major change in approach to bird conservation is required, according to WWF.

END NOTES:

Examples of how climate change is affecting some bird species around the world:

Africa: The tawny eagle is an arid savanna raptor found in Asia and Africa. Small changes in precipitation predicted with climate change would likely result in the bird’s extinction in its African habitat in the southern Kalahari. If the mean annual precipitation stays the same but the inter-annual (year to year) variation increases by less than 10 per cent, the bird’s population will decrease considerably.

UK: The particular vulnerability of seabirds to climate change is illustrated by the unprecedented breeding crash of UK North Sea seabirds in 2004. The direct cause for the breeding failure of common guillemots, Arctic skuas, great skuas, kittiwakes, Arctic terns and other seabirds at Shetland and Orkney colonies was a shortage of small fish called sandeels, a crucial prey species for the seabirds. As a result, the nearly 7,000 pairs of great skuas in the Shetlands, for example, produced only a handful of chicks and starving adult birds ate their own young. Warming ocean waters and major shifts in species that underpin the ocean food web are thought to be behind the major sandeel decline.

USA: An unprecedented 2002 drought in southern California caused a 97 per cent breeding decline in four species: the rufous crowned sparrow, wrentit, spotted towhee and California towhee. Breeding success dropped from 2.37 fledglings per pair in 2001 (a normal year) to 0.07 fledglings per pair during 2002, the driest year in the region’s 150-year climate record. Precipitation in this region is expected to decrease and become more variable with global warming. Even slight increases in arid conditions would make these species vulnerable to extinction in a dry year.

Europe/Africa: Pied flycatcher birds and other species are shifting the timing of seasonal behaviors in response to climate change. Shifts like these can cause problems for birds if the plants and animals they interact with do not shift at the same rate. In Europe, earlier spring peaks in insect numbers mean that some pied flycatchers (long-distance migratory birds) no longer arrive from Africa in time to match food peaks with peak demands of their nestlings. This climate-change induced mismatch is strongly linked to 90 per cent declines in some European pied flycatcher populations over the past two decades.

Australia: Illustrating the vulnerability of mountain birds to climate change, the habitat of the golden bowerbird is predicted to shrink by 97.5 per cent with a future warming of 3°C and a 10 per cent decline in rainfall. The bird occupies cool habitat in Australia’s wet tropics on conical mountains surrounded by warmer lowlands. As temperatures rise, its suitable habitat will contract, and beyond 3?C of warming is expected to completely disappear.

For more information, please contact:
Anshuman Atroley
Communications Manager
WWF-India
Tel:+91-11-4150 4797
E-mail:aatroley@wwfindia.net

© [14 Nov 2006] WWF. Some rights reserved. WWF-India

Planning for what to do when I grow up

Heh. It’s a life long project. I’m 31 now, and I still don’t know what I want to become when I grow up. There are so many passions to indulge in. One life – so much to do. I’m making a note of my most wanted futures for this life time, in an attempt to get them on record. Regulars here know that this is subject to change – of course.

Yeah – so go on – yell at me for infecting your mind with these tempting little dreams and don’t blame me if you want to do these too.

  1. I want to develop a small farm. Organic farming is something I am really interested in. I plan to build a spacious home on the property, which I will be using to run programmes in as well. This home is going to be constructed with natural materials. Mostly stone and mud with some wood. Planning to make the property self-sufficient in terms of energy needs. Solar power and bio gas for cooking, heating water, light and electricity. Perhaps wind/water mills for electricity as well. Totally organic produce, which will provide for most of the food requirements of the people living here. Horses and dogs complete the picture of course.
  2. I want to become a mahaout and live a wandering life with my own elephant for at least 2 years. I don’t know much about elephants, but I’m a willing and hard worker, not to mention experience with other animals and a sharp brain. I will learn.
  3. I want to raise my kid away from the stereotypical city attitude. Living in the city is fine, but there is a whole world to explore, and chips are not the tastiest food on the planet, television and films are not the best source of entertainment, and having fun need not always be noisy. I’d like my child to learn the value of living straight from the heart. The importance of running full power behind dreams that we are sure about. Yeah I know I don’t have a child yet, but that is a matter of time.
  4. I want to put my memories on record. I’ve had some incredible experiences in my life, and am constantly advised by friends and family to write a book about them. I will. I don’t know how fascinating it will be, but I dare say its not going to be something that can be put down easily.
  5. I want to do something really nice for the environment. It could be in the form of creating awareness of environmentally friendly options and responsibilities in far flung regions, or it could be working in a forest department to help conserve the resources and protect the animals or it could be something I haven’t thought about yet. But I will do it.
  6. I want to get people tempted by solar cooking. Its really easy to build a solar cooker and it works to save a lot of money, natural resources, energy and effort. So why not. For those who don’t know, solar cooking uses heat from the sun to cook food. It is slow cooking, so the food doesn’t char and burn, and the utensils are really easy to clean quickly. The slow cooking retains most of the taste of the food and makes it really delicious. You can put food to cook and skip off to do your own thing for a couple of hours without haunting the kitchen or worrying about it boiling over, burning, or setting fire to something. You save electricity / gas / kerosene / wood / whatever you use for cooking. An efficient solar cooker is really cheap and quick to make, so if you need to cook more, you can simply make one or two more cookers. They can store flat and hardly take space when not in use. They can double up as a fridge at night (reversing the cooking process). If it gets old, you throw it out and make a new one, without worrying about the expenses. Tempting – isn’t it?

So much for now, but stay tuned to this page. I’m bound to drop in and make additions and revisions.

SIES College – Teambuilding and leadership development programme

I had gone to an organic farm at Bhadsavale in Neral on the 11th and 12th to conduct a training programme for the students of SIES collegeMatunga. I had conducted similar programmes for them last year, and this was now a somewhat established training practice they were trying to adopt in the place of the industrial visits that are mandatory for the students.

The students were excited to be visiting a real organic farm that was well maintained and catered ot their basic comfort requirements, so that they could really enjoy what they were getting into. The completely unexpected nature of the trip was an added bonus.

Off-beat transport

Out reasoning behind this tour was that while education provides the students with knowledge related with the subjects they have chosen, it does precious little to empower them with the crucial personal and inter-personal skills that are so vital in flourishing in the careers that their mark sheets help them enter. In many orientation and induction programmes for corporates, the biggest challenge for the new professionals seems to be adapting to this world of self-responsibility and accountability. Outbound training programmes are often designed for recruits to help them get into the flow of professional life faster. What if such programmes could be introduced as a part of education and preparation for a professional life? We feel that they would allow the students to get into action much faster at work, while improving on their capabilities and potential for learning even in their educational lives, by helping keep the focus firmly on the applicability and goal of their education.
Team building activity

Of course, such programmes cannot be conducted completely to compare with corporate programmes, as a lot of the sense of responsibility and stake in performing well only comes after an experience of a working environment. However, many other factors can be addressed well and enjoyably – not so much in terms of absolute perfection, but creating an understanding of individual status in terms of capability as well as an awareness of the need to consciously attend to the development of soft-skills. Such personal “targets” often include communication, planning, execution, co-operation, co-ordination, being oranized, ownership of responsibility, listening skills, etc.

These two days with the SIES batches went well. The first day was students from the banking and insurance batch, and the other day was accounts and finance. Young, enthusiastic and well motivated participants on the whole. The crunch came with the discipline. Not the end of the world, but yes, the levels of discipline were low enough to cause the participants real problems in their performances in the activity. But the good part is that they started improving almost immediately to adapt to the situations in question.

On the whole, the group was led very strongly by some individuals, while the others followed in a herd. Reminded me of the good old days in college, where being part of a group was far more important than being individual. Its a tough balance to strike. It creates very predictable problems in terms of poor planning, as there is no opposition to ideas that forces refinement.

Group discussions

The communication was pretty good all through, as were motivation levels, talent and innovation. This was one group that could have been outstanding had they managed to get themselves organised and focussed on the goal, rather than the “herd”. Planning, discipline, and assertiveness on an individual level, could have seen some remarkable acheivements.

But then, I’m expecting beyond what exists as usual. As student groups go, this one was quite good. In the world of experiential learning, no matter how good one is, there is always room for improvement, and no matter how terrible one is, there are always some strengths, so feedback is always going to throw up new directions. The trick lies in keeping what we want, and changing what is not working.

Video from the children’s outdoor programmes

I had blogged about the children’s outdoor education programmes Wide Aware is currently conducting at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. I’d like to share a brief and rather rough video of the proceedings.

Do share information on similar programmes you come across

Top 10 interpersonal hurdles between couples

I am planning to conduct some outdoor experiential learning programmes specially for couples this year. I saw a need, when I caught an angry exchange between a husband and wife there the wife accused the husband of neglecting her in favour of his friends, and the husband claimed that she just wasn’t “on the same frequency”.

This is very similar to problems we see in corporate and other training programmes, yet, there is hardly anything that targets such an important intimate relationship in terms of facilitating harmony. The more i thought on this exchange, the more I was convinced that it is definitely worthwhile to invest time in ensuring quality relationships with our spouses.

To plan for the programme, which by now was inevitable (in my mind), I decided to focus on common areas of difficulty in husband-wife relationships, so that they could allow me a framework to plan my programmes around. Here is a list of what I see as the cheif hurdles to harmoniour co-existence in couples.

  1. Great expectations of an ideal: These are actually stereotypes. Their chief problem is their unrealstic nature. Those ideals are not based on the person they are applied to and therefore are often seen as accusations when lack is expressed. This includes everyday things like “You should keep the house tidy” or exotic ones like “If you loved me, you would…..” The bottom line is that we can expect something from people, but expecting from concepts is always going to create fitting problems when we attempt to apply them to real people. It would be far better to expect from a person, and be willing to make an investment of personal effort to come half way. eg. “I think that if we work together, the house can be tidied quite easily” and then proceed to walk your talk.
  2. Immersion in “roles”: When people start playing and seeing the role, more than the person. When Anna becomes “my wife” more often than Anna the person. This kind of brings a certain anonymity to feelings. You may feel anything about Anna, but as your wife, this is what you think of her. The problem with this is that if you do it often enough, poor Anna has no way of knowing if you even think of her any more, or is she only a wife now? How many of us honestly make continuing efforts to keep discovering new interests and experiences our spouses collect? Do we really love some person who is now obsolete and is replaced by someone with different interests and more experience than we think?
  3. Taking for granted: Small things that attracted the couple together start becoming the background music, and the search is on, for a “spark of novelty”. The whimsical nature that once charmed, is now the usual when it does something outstanding, and the ultimate carelessness when it fails. The effort to find novel details in what we find charming is often replaced by an effort to find something altogether different. Well….. common sense tells me, if I have an apple, I can look forward to its taste, its smell, some apple cider, an apple tree….. and so on. There is a problem, if I hold an apple and search for the scent of citrus, while ignoring the apple smell, because its always there.
  4. Lack of creative expression: This is when efforts to convey a point stop considering it worthwhile to explore ways of communicating that will lead to maximum acceptance or an effort to make them interesting. Facts stated, and to hell with how they are perceived. What happened to the time, when you even dressed to tempt, and paid attention to everything you did and said, to please and gain acceptance. Why expect the fascination the efforts earned for you, if those efforts are now absent? It was a result of what you did. You do it again, and you’ll see the results again.
  5. Insufficient communication: Very often, small irritations are not addressed until they become big issues. Small things are easier to deal with, than greater things. It is far more easy to say “Please call if you’re going to be late” than reach a position where you need to say “You never care that there is someone waiting for you at home”. It is a worthwhile initiative in terms of hurt for both. I may not realise that I am doing something that hurts you, but if you point it out and I see that it hurts you, I am unlikely to want to do it regardless of what you feel. But if I am in the habit of doing something that turns out to be something that has been hurting you for a long time, I am likely to feel left out that you didn’t feel close enough to tell me so, until you were forced by circumstances.
  6. Auto-pilot: The married life becomes the launch pad for “real life”, where the married life ceases to be a significant facet of life and is simply consigned to “situation”. Well…. situation it is. However, this simplification overlooks that it is a situation you want. Overlook it often enough, and it will cease to matter. If the home is consistently considered to be a “non-happening” place of stability, it does help by making us more stable and balanced in our interactions with the world. But this source of stability also needs updates, if it is to work as planned. You cannot take a snapshot and hide behind it until eternity. For the home to truly bring that balance into our lives, we need to be alert to the stuff happening inside it. To see what is not working, to figure it out, to keep relationships fresh and involved, so that they are close by us. It is not the walls that are the home, it is the people in it and you’re one of them.
  7. Independent dreams: Well… dreams are always personal, but when we fail to communicate them with our spouses, until the first concrete action is taken, they suddenly leave the spouses out of the process, and turn them into spectators. In such a situation, i would feel completely left out and considered incapable of being trusted with dreams and plans or of constructive contribution. I would have felt that I was being considered irrelevant to the core wishes of my spouse and that would definitely have hurt me and made me feel unsure of what could turn up later.
  8. Acceptance of failure: We wouldn’t dream of accepting that we failed at work and meekly resign. Yet, many couples accept that they failed as a couple and contemplate divorce/seperation. No relationship worth having comes easy. To a certain extent, maybe, but if one has to go beyond that, it takes considerable skill and efforts. Accepting failure is simply admitting that you cannot get along well with someone on a close level. I fail to see how “people change” is applicable to such a great extent in explaining away this failure. Where were you when the people were changing that you couldn’t adapt to it? Professional scenarios change far more frequently, and you don’t even get to live with them. Yet, it is interest that sustains this constant adaptation, and if you cannot sustain interest in a spouse you fell in love with, it is indeed a failure – a failure to take relationships beyond the initial levels. Divorce may seem an easy option, but it doesn’t teach you anything expect “running away worked” and you run the same risk, until you learn to be careful to keep a caring eye on the relationship.
  9. Greener pastures: There is a certain ease and novelty in new relationships, that seems far more attainable than sustaining a relationship. The tempting “start with a clean slate” attitude fails to take into consideration, that every relationship will progress to deeper and more difficult levels. One can constantly keep making fresh beginnings that pose less risk, but these willl also bring less stability, until they can be enriched to a certain level. Most relationships I see failing are more out of personal shortcomings than incompatibility, and these problems will haunt the person until he or she learns to deal with them.
  10. The evil of compromise: Compromise is an essential aspect of life. It is easy to compromise on smaller things than take hold of ourselves firmly and make the compromises that matter. A compromise that works as a temporary patch to a lasting problem is very tempting to make, but hardly helps in the long run, while a compromise that fixes an issue well is difficult to identify and commit to, because if often brings a sense of “losing” an argument. Quick fix compromises need regular patch ups, while the more difficult ones last longer, but are difficult to make in the first place. It takes a lot of courage to resolve a difficult situation through compromise.

Enough said, I think.

Dissatisfaction at the workplace

Very often, when I conduct programmes for run of the mill employees in smaller businesses, a recurring dissatisfaction for employers seems to be a lack of motivation and initiative among employees. Employees on the other hand, seem to think themselves “doing what they are paid for” and feel it is unfair of employeers to be constantly applying pressure for performance. Not that anyone says it in so many words….

This mismatch of expectations and delivery mints me a fortune, yet it is such an obvious thing, that sometimes I wonder why people can’t see it.

If you buy an apple, you get to eat an apple. If you want an orange, that’s what you have to set out to buy as well. Yet, I find such a basic thing missing in practical life.

I have seen hiring scenarios, where “dependable”, “qualified” and “budget” rule. The eccentric geniuses are walked by, in favour of the “stable” guys. Paper qualifications are important, as is not spending too much. Why would someone you hire in such a scenario turn out to be a creative genius at work? If he has all the qualifications, but is willing to come cheap, surely, it doesn’t make him an equal in terms of delivery with the dream employee in your mind, who you can’t afford – of course. I fail to see where is the problem. You are eating the apples you purchased.

The truth is, that many small employers would prefer to get someone inexpensive and spend time and money grooming this person into the dream employee. I have even seen plenty of “management training” businesses do this. So many people do this all the time, that it never ceases to surprise me that this “method” is still in practice after a consistent record of unsatisfactory results. Goes to show that temptation goes beyond rational behaviour.

What happens in practice is that the work in terms of quantity as well as quality delivered by this budget employee is far less than the dream one, even if there were a ratio to be considered. That dream guy could replace three of these and still find time to skip off home early everyday. Yet, the temptation of “saving money” works each time. Now the employer is not satisfied with his apples, because they don’t taste like his favourite or

A filly injured by a bear was saved by love and care

This is a memory from a long time ago. Way before I figured out the internet beyond checking mail. This is a time when I was a nomadic horsewoman in the Himalaya.
I was living in the high pastures of the Kullu valley with my herd of horses. We were in the pastures below the Hampta Pass – about a 6 hour walk from Manali. The winter had been rough, and we were just camping out in the high altitude pastures where we leave them for the summers, supplementing their diet with some grain, to help them catch on on their health a bit faster.

What a place to be in! We were camped in the meadows at Juara. Alpine meadows – the air is crisp, the water is crystal clear and flows right through the pasture. A few empty stone structures that would later become nomadic tea stalls plus camps of herb gatherers dotted the scene, with sheer black cliffs rising on both sides in stark contrast with the lush comfort of the place. A place straight from some fantasy tale. Once could believe some nature spirits living here, particularly on moonlit nights, when the scene goes black and white, with the moonlight strong enough in places to register come colour. What a life – the horses living free around me, prancing with their improving condition. Pye, my bitch, by my side and the sounds of the stream for company.

The days were pretty idle. Feeding the horses a couple of times a day was no pain – they used to come happily enough for the treat. Beyond that…. not much to do. Cooking, enjoying the paradise I was living in, early to bed, early to rise. Perhaps an occasional visit to Sethan – the last village on this route, and the only fully Buddhist village in the entire Kullu valley, where my god-family lived. A timeless idyll.

Occupation came in an unexpected way. A gaddi camp was passing by, planning to camp a little higher than the pasture we were in. I recognised the shepherd, and invited him for a cup of tea. When he saw me, he decided to camp near our camp itself.

Over a cup of tea, I realized why.

A filly of his, had been attacked by a bear a week ago, and had been hurt badly. Originally, believing that she would die anyway, he hadn’t taken her to a vet. But she hadn’t yet died. She was in a bad way, with her wounds infected, and was struggling to keep up with the moving camp, to follow her mother. This was creating a problem, as the mare used to keep waiting for her, and slowing the caravan.

I had already gained a solid reputation as an animal lover, and my animals were often a point of interet for local livestock owners for the glowing condition I used to maintain them in. Plus, I was gaining a reputation as an enthusiastic “unofficial vet” from the knowledge of animal medicine I used to gather for the well-being of my horses in a land where vets were not easily available, and often very far from the place of need.

He wanted me to take a look at the filly and see if there was any hope for her, as well as see if she could be put down, if there wasn’t. I refused flat out to put her down, as I am not of the opinion that animals should be killed when they are fighting to recover. Plus I lacked the kind of knowledge and equipment it would take to put her down. I agreed to take a look and see what I could do for her.

We went out into the pasture and unloaded his horses to set up camp and then look for the filly. She was in a bad way. She was sleeping, exhausted at the end of the pasture without even coming to join the herd, once she saw that they had halted.

We got her up and brought her up to my tent and tied her in front of it. I started to take a good look at her and see what it was that I was up against.

She was a beautiful, black filly. Three months old, lovely conformation – she would have made a fine mare when she grew up, if she survived this scenario. Her rump and neck was covered with deep gashes from the bear’s claws, and a week of neglect had allowed infection to settle in. Most of the gashes had developed pus, and a couple had maggots in them. My whole being recoiled at the thought of having to clean up this mess.

If I had to save this filly, I had to do it, no matter how repulsive it was. I felt a surge of anger at the shepherd for neglecting her treatment like that, and vented my fury in choice words, yelling at him and his wife for being callous to the very animals that made their livelihood possible.

The filly stood there shivering from the early morning air and her exhaustion.

I made the couple promise to rest in the pasture for at least a week, before I would touch the filly – it was pointless to begin something, if it wouldn’t be sustained. As an incentive, I praised the quality of the filly, and asserted that she would become a very valuable animal and bring him good money and work very well, if she was helped to recover. This seemed to strike a note of interest.

I had some anitbiotic injections in my animal first-aid kit. I gave her a shot. She hardly noticed. Then I knew, that I had to get over my nausea and actually deal with those wounds, and took a look at my medical supplies. They were minimal. The anti-septic I had, would hardly deal with half the wounds she had before running out. The same with the creams. Now what? I shoved the supplies back into my sack, and kept only the bottle of phenyl. The rest would have to be home remidies (which was what I preferred in any case).

I made a strong solution of tea in a huge pot and used that to clean the wounds. Yes, I just plunged in, and cleaned them all thoroughly, pus, maggots and all, till the flesh showed clean. Some of the deeper wounds still harboured maggots – of that, I was sure, so I used some gauze soaked in phenyle on them to dress them. On the rest, I applied a light film of honey and stuffed them full with crushed garlic.

All done, I walked away from the tent area and puked.

The evening saw a repeat performance. On the next day, the maggot wounds were clean too, and they received the honey and garlic treatment, and by that evening, some of the lighter cuts had begun to heal, and the filly was acting more interested in life, and giving me trouble to catch for treatment :) But she seemed to understand that I was trying to help, so she flinched and nudged with her nose, if it hurt, but never tried to kick at me or hurt me in any way.

After that, I taught the couple how to do what I was doing, and told them that they would have to repeat this till ALL the wounds were healed, and that the filly could probably begin walking in a day or two.

They seemed to have got the point, and the two days were uneventful – so to say (not counting one of my fillies who seemed to be jealous of all the attention this one was getting)

The time was up, and the gaddi camp moved on, and the filly became another memory, until a few years later, when I ran across the same gaddi again. There was a beautiful mare in his herd – the one I had treated. I recognised her instantly and was happy for her. The couple put camp once more, to spend some time with me, and that evening, I was invited to a special dinner, where they thanked me with tears in their eyes for saving their beautiful mare.

Their animals also looked better cared for, since the last time. I was happy, that things had worked out well, and that they had developed some love and concern for the living factors in their “business”