What’s so special about summers?


Summers!! It’s the time of the year when the days are longer than nights and evenings are sluggish and dull, if you do not have enough to keep yourself engaged.  You’ll have the majority of people who would crib about the sweaty season, but there are always a few like me, who have less or no complaints with sizzling sunny days as there are ways to keep the summery gloom at bay. Why? For plenty of reasons:

Summers makes you feel light

Hasn’t it been long, carrying those overcoats, jackets, high necks, mufflers, stockings and just too many clothes for a body? Now, is the time when you transform your wardrobe with a stylish one with lots of space for your shorts, satin lace tops, floral dresses, cotton and linen shirts and trousers. Scorching sun gives you the liberty to flaunt variety of shades in various patterns. Summers gives your skin, ample space to breath. This is one reason to let go off repentance of the bygone winter.


Summers are fun for all age groups. If you plan well!

This is the time when you can plan a good vacation with your entire family. Take a week’s break from work and pack your bags for a cool place like hill stations, near or far, depending on the availability of leaves that you could manage from your office. Availing leaves is as difficult as booking an air or a railway ticket these days. So, make sure that you plan them well in advance. A well planned holiday can take away the last minute stress and you can completely enjoy with your family and friends. Remember, if you are looking for the fun aspect, try going in a large group. But, if you are looking for a vacation that gives you ample time to relax, friends and their families are an absolute NO.

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Plunge into some water sports and activities

Of course, who would want to do that in winters? But, this is the best time to go swimming or exploring water sports. These days there are amusement and water parks in almost every city. Plan a weekend and dedicate your day to splashing up and enjoying the water rides throughout the day. This will refresh you and you can plan it for days when you want to stay cool and enjoy some quality time with your loved ones. The best part is, you can do this over a weekend and need not take unnecessary off from work.


Best time to enjoy Beverages

A little health awareness does not take away the fun element. This season gives you lots of options to have fluids in variety of ways. Have fruits which are water enriched like watermelon, kiwi, strawberry, muskmelon. This will not just help you feel light, but also keep you rejuvenated. Fruits are the best source of vitamins. The majority of people complain of not feeling hungry during the hot weather. This can lead to weakness or dehydration. So, the best way is to have fruits and beverages, like fresh fruit juice or try some interesting mock-tail recipes at your home. If you succeed, then you can also call upon your friends and neighbors to try some. Isn’t it a cool way to enjoy and take care of your health at the same time?


Go pamper yourself

I know of some women who complained this winter that they did not feel like going to a beauty salon because of the freezing cold. Ladies, this is the best time to step out frequently and rejuvenate your senses with some spa, foot massages and facials. Try going the organic way like fruit products or gel based products instead of creams that will leave you look more like an oil paper rather than giving you a cool sensation. And, when it comes to self-pampering why should men be left behind. Try some aroma therapies or fish pedicure that will unwind and invigorate your senses.


Enjoy the evening stroll

Summer evenings are worth a stroll if you have someone to chit chat with and an ice cream shop just down the road. Walking has lost its charm with increasing dependency on machines. Cars have replaced our efforts to walk and smartphones have taken the place of your partner to walk. So, put your best foot forward and walk down the lane with someone you would love to spend time with. Make a pick and slurp on some mouth smacking ice-cream, and you can try some more. That’s the best thing about summers; you do not need to worry about the cough and cold.


Watching movies at home is fun

You must be going out to watch a movie almost every second week. But, this is the time when you can get some good flicks to watch in the comfort of your home. All you need to do is work a little on the ambiance of your living room to give it a cool, dark and cozy effect. Keep some snacks, popcorn and cold drinks ready. When, it’s all set, lie down on your couch and enjoy the theater effect of watching a movie of your choice with your friends and family.


And, the list of activities and engagements go on and on. Summers are so exciting, if you know the best time to do, what you want to do and the best ways to avoid the stinky weather, instead stay refreshed all the time. All that you can do in the summers, you probably cannot do in the winters. So, tell me now, what is it that you prefer–Summers or Winters?


On The Orchid Trail

Till recently considered exotic and hard to come by, orchids are now being grown in Bangalore that has the right temperature as more people are smitten by the flower

If there was one flower that stood out as a clear winner at the Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens during its flower show, it was the exotic orchid. And if experts are to be believed the demand for them has increased dramatically in the past few decades.
Valued for their long shelf life, orchids have become very popular in the cut flower industry and are now being cultivated all over the city. Ecologists say about one in every 15 plants is an orchid, thereby constituting about nine percent of the earth’s flora.
To date, almost one lakh orchid hybrids have been created across the world. In India, one finds references in ancient Sanskrit literature from the Vedic period, including texts such as ‘Nighantus’ and ‘Amaroksha’.
Back in the present, however, the flower show at Lal Bagh saw two stalls that were flooded with orchid fans – Indo-American Hybrid Seeds and Belmont Orchids flooded with customers.
Jayaprakash of Indam Seeds (Garden Centre) said, “We got a fantastic response from our customers. Being in great demand, many orchids are imported from Thailand and Malaysia while other species such as Emma Whik and Phillipinensis Manilla are cultivated here.”
Manjula Ramakrishna from one of the retail outlets said, “Orchids range from Rs 300 to Rs 1500 and popular species are dendrobium, cattleya, oncidium and phalaenopsil. As they stay longer, people don’t mind spending a little extra on these flowers. Also, the higher end orchids have prettier colours and very pleasing fragrances.” 
Most orchid lovers will tell you that price is never a factor. PV Devasaya from Belmont Orchids corroborates that. “Most customers, while buying orchids, don’t have budget. Many go for the most expensive ones — they easily go up to Rs 1,500. Phallanops and anthuriums are the most expensive ones and I get them from Holland and Germany.”
It’s not just flower buyers who throw caution to the winds where orchids are concerned. The flowers have inspired a whole spate of growers.
“I don’t know about others but I am very fascinated by orchids and their long-lasting beauty. It’s worth putting money into growing it as they add beauty to your living space,” says Preeti Jain.
Another such customer, Nisha Singh says, “I think orchids are flowers of heaven. Their beauty intoxicates me and adds a smile to my face.” The flowers seem to be the perfect gift for romance as well. Rishi Das said, “My wife loves orchids; it drives her crazy and I really find them very romantic. The colour itself tells a lot about the flower. It is just so pure and so aesthetic. I chose a pink one for her.”
Rohit Kulkarni, senior manager, at Karuturi Networks, one of Asia’s largest flower exporters said, “The plants are mainly imported from Thailand and Malaysia. In India, mass growing actually happens only in Kerala to some extent. It is still to catch on in other places.” 
What makes India perfect for these exotic flowers is the country’s conducive weather. Harish Bhatt, a scientist at the Indian Institute of Science, said, “Orchids grow well in the Western Ghats. Exotic orchids are cultivated in Bangalore too as the climate here is favourable. Both wild and cultivated types grow here. They’re used largely for decoration and in the bouquet industry.”
Explaining their popularity and presence in India, Harish said, “The flowers came to India quite a few decades ago and gained popularity due to exchange programmes at international levels. Used widely now in the cut-flower industry, people have started farming these flowers recognising their commercial viability.”