Thursday, December 20, 2007

Nature Notes From Mhow

I remember reading an article in an American website about how military garrison towns in Europe and America often end up protecting flora and fauna because these towns are not allowed to 'develop' the way a normal town has to.

Mhow, where I live, is also a paradise of nature. The East India Company was given this town in 1818 after the Holkars who ruled Indore state till 1947 were defeated at the Battle of Mahidpur and the Treaty of Mandsaur was signed. Cantonment laws prohibit any form of building and the civilian population has its complaints about these laws being outdated and relics of the British Raj. The net result of all this is the sheer profusion of flora and fauna.

The English chose their cantonments well. Mhow, Pachchmarhi, Pune, Bangalore, Secunderabad, Wellington were some of the towns chosen in Central, Western and South India as being fit for training institutions. Pune, Bangalore and Secunderabad have changed beyond recognition thanks to the IT revolution and globalisation. But Mhow has still remained the same. The writer Jaisinh Birjepatil whose novel Chinnery's Hotel is set in a fictional Mhow and has been selected by Khushwant Singh as one of the best post Independence (post 1947) pieces of fiction written by an Indian had told me in an email that he chose Mhow because it has hardly changed.

I have spent most of my life in this small town. A few months ago I decided to make use of a modest sum I earned through my weblog at Sulekha and chose to buy a digital camera. This has enabled me to snap hundreds of pictures which have to do with various aspects of life in this small town. This includes the trees, birds and animals I see here. I am posting these as a series of linked blog posts titled Nature Note From Mhow in my Sulekha weblog.

Click here to see these posts and the beauty of the Malwa region of Western Madhya Pradesh.

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