From Above: Trees


A scene at Wangoo village in Manipur (NE India)

My submission in response to Majka’s photo challenge ‘From Above: Trees‘. This is a shot taken on the hillock in the outskirts of the village of Wangoo. I had written my thoughts on the trip on an earlier post. The river is the main source of water for the villages along its bank. locally known as turel achouba (the big river), its English name is the Manipur river. It drains off water from the Loktak multi-purpose dam. from this view point, it is the skies, the river and the trees that is striking.

The trees, however, veils the houses on either side of the river – something i appreciated on visiting the village after taking these shots.The river bank ran along the backyards of the cluster of houses on the east. It was approaching evening by then. there were people drawing water, washing utensils and checking on the fishing nets they had laid down earlier in the day.




Purple crown flower

crown flower * angkot

crown flower * calotropis gigantea * angkot                  

We had the white crown flower growing in the compound but this purple one was a latter addition. The parent plant was a sapling from Meghalaya but ever since then, it has happily stayed on propagating new saplings from its seeds. The pretty flowers can be made into lovely garlands using only the crowns. Like the Spanish cherry (bokul) flowers, the paddy grains and the soaked pea, the crown flower (angkot) makes exquisite garlands.


Another pink bloom!

Natonchabi * Pink baby rose * rosa multiflora

Natonchabi * Pink baby rose * rosa multiflora

Pretty flowers that happily bloom in clusters and tend to be gregarious rapidly spreading its branches along fences. For some reasons, this pretty flower is not valued and not particularly cultivated but grows more like a wild flower. with an infamous name as natonchabi , the beautiful blossom is quite underrated.


Nongmangkha blossoms



A nongmangkha bush grows at the gate of our house. If I remember right, it is at least twenty years old and has now grown into a nice little bush. In March, the dark green bush becomes tinted with amber colour as it blossoms in abandon attracting bees. The hues of amber, golden yellow, mustard yellow, orange are some of the colours that I have come to associate with March. Read more about it here

© Ingallei

Pink blooms

Hill glory bower * kuthapmanbi; photo ©Ingallei

hill glory bower * kuthapmanbi

Caught this ovely beauties while walking around the campus of Rajiv Gandhi University in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh. It grew wild in bushes everywhere inside the campus. I was drawn by the fragrance which was something like that of the honeysuckle. It had big leaves and the bushes were about five feet tall. The white flowers with deep pink tints in the middle from where the whiskers emerges bloomed in abandon all over the campus. It was a lovely good morning greeting to start the day!

© Ingallei

Idyllic winter: Fruit salad in front, evening sun on the back

Nobab Ametpa: Pomela Salad, a Manipuri recipe

Nobab Ametpa: Pomela Salad, a Manipuri recipe; photo: ©Ingallei

Winter is a time to enjoy the sun and what better way than to enjoy the afternoon with a plate of juicy nobap (pomelo) with the evening sun on your back! Ah yes! Those were idyllic winters spent in the company of friends and family in Manipur.

Pomelo is a citrus fruit readily available in the winter season in Manipur. In the native tongue it is called nobab and is available in two colours – translucent (or white ) and the pink (or red to the native eye). We had two plants in our garden – one of each colour. The fruit is big. An easy way to peel it is to make incision to a depth of about three-fourth of an inch into the fruit and draw slices from the stalk to the head. The incision would cut through the thick cover but would not be enough to cut the inside of the fruit. The next step is to break it open from the head and remove the cover slice by slice.  Make sure to remove the soft white insides of the cover before working on the fruit pulp. It tends to lend a slightly bitter taste.

For the garnish, add salt to taste, roasted chillies (one or two), toasted gram/pea flour and toasted pounded perilla seeds. The last two ingredients can be prepared in advance and stored in bottles. Sugar is optional and I usually avoid it as I have a bias for the sweet taste of the fruits matured on the trees. All you need to do is slightly crush the chillies with salt and toss all the ingredients together.  And it’s ready!

cutting open the pomelo

cutting open the pomelo


shredded pomelo with the garnish: toasted gram/pea flour, toasted & pounded perilla seeds, salt, roasted red chillies