Monday, January 4, 2010

A visit that brought us a lot of delight and happiness!

The early morning coffee and the newspaper ritual is no more the pleasure I had anticipated it to be! I wish that the papers abstain from reporting politics and other exasperating news at least once a week. If one can fast once a week, why can't newspapers abstain? I am sure there are better things to write at least once in a week.

My friend Raghu consoles me when I feel totally frustrated. He assures me that while I may find many things disgusting, I will also come across a few which delight. It was so when we met Prof. Nalini Sadhale at Shubhadaji's (Tara's music guru) house in Aurangabad. She is Satishji's elder sister.

She chose to be near her brother when she lost her husband. The twin houses, Ishavasya and Swaravasya, are even inter-connected by doors. Breakfast is with her and lunch at Shubhadaji's. It gets even better as when Shubhadaji goes to Mumbai to teach, Satishji has company!This arrangement surely delighted us!

We were also very happy to learn that Nalinitai is a Sanskrit scholar and has authored many books in Marathi translated from Sanskrit. Her late husband also wrote in Marathi and his well catalogued library has an impressive collection of Sanskrit and other language books.

As she spoke about her association with The Asian Agri-history foundation, It delighted us further more! The way this came about is amazing. She knew Dr. Y.L. Nene while he was Deputy Director General, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). While they knew each other, they had lost touch for a while. When Dr. Nene established his non profit organisation, he located and met her and asked if she would translate old Sanskrit books on agriculture. She agreed and has since devoted a lot of her time doing voluntary work with the foundation.

The many books she has translated or edited for the foundation!

This book translated by her deals with plants and its protection. The oringinal Sanskrit manuscript with the Bodleian Library, Oxford, UK was loaned to the foundation. It surely is worth a read and a seperate blog!

I found the section 'Horticultural wonders' rather intriguing; here is an example: 'A healthy seed of a properly ripened mango should be soaked in the blood of a tortoise and a hare........(and so on)....... Then it blossoms into a tree with thousands of branches and produces lovely flowers and fruits round the year!

The script is a pleasure to see!

The books are very well made!

This very much describes her personality as well!

A proud moment! Presenting a copy of her work to the President of India.

More about Prof. Nalini Sadhale

AAHF Award of Gold Medal 2002 to Prof. (Dr.) Nalini Sadhale

Prof. (Dr.) Nalini Sadhale was born on 3rd November 1934. She had her early education in Pune, Maharashtra. She obtained MA degree in Sanskrit in 1957 from the University of Poona, Pune and Ph.D. in Sanskrit in 1985 from Osmania University at Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh). She retired as Professor and Head, Department of Sanskrit at Osmania University in 1994. Prof. Sadhale has had an illustrious career. She was a member of several prestigious committees and boards at different times. She was a Resource Person for the University Grants Commission (UGC) and also a UGC Shastra Chudamani Scholar. She was a member of the Marathi Sahitya Parishat, Andhra Pradesh and Surabharati Samiti, Hyderabad. She was Chief Editor of Panchdhara, a quarterly journal in Marathi, published by Marathi Sahitya Parishat from 1979 through 1996.

Prof. Sadhale has published several books namely, Samshayaratnamala and Tulasi Manasa Nalinam (Balakanda) in Sanskrit, Urvashi, Vasantasena, Nammalvara and Sitajosyam in Marathi and Katha in Sanskrit Poetics in English.

Prof. Sadhale was honored by His Holiness Shankaracharya of Shringeri, His Holiness Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti and Jnyanaprabodhini, Pune for her contributions to Sanskrit.

Prof. Sadhale has made very significant contributions to the activities of the Asian Agri-History Foundation (AAHF). She voluntarily translated two Sanskrit Manuscripts, Surapala?sVrikshayurveda and Krishi-Parashara into English. She reviewed and editedKashyapiyakrishisukti and contributed articles to the journal, Asian Agri-History. She has been a strong supporter of AAHF and made a generous financial contribution to the corpus fund of AAHF.

Prof. Sadhale continues to be professionally very active and the AAHF trustees wish her many more active years.

To recognize her contributions to AAHF and to the field of agri-history, the trustees of AAHF hereby award Prof. Sadhale the AAHF GOLD MEDAL 2002.

About the foundation: The Asian Agri-History Foundation (AAHF), a non-profit trust, was established and registered in 1994 to facilitate dissemination of information on agricultural history to promote research on sustainable agriculture in the South and Southeast Asia region. This region had generally provided food security to its population for several millennia, with only occasional famines in a few limited pockets (due primarily to drought). Farmers in the region had evolved some of the most sustainable agricultural management technologies suitable for different agro eco regions. In recent years, however, South and Southeast Asia have often been projected as food-deficient regions where mass-scale starvation could occur in the future despite the fact that modern technologies have been adopted over large areas.

Ironically, in the past few years, the sustainability of agriculture by following modern technologies has been questioned, and with good reason. How can we make the agriculture in South and Southeast Asia sustainable? The trustees of AAHF believe that there is great deal to be learnt from the traditional wisdom and the indigenous, time-tested technologies that have sustained the farmers of South and Southeast Asia in the past.

The historical perspective of gradual development of traditional technologies will provide clues for (i) understanding how farmers adjusted to changing environment in the past, (ii) developing appropriate technologies leading to prosperous, sustainable agriculture.


Varsha Nair said...

This is so great to read... what incredible work! I would love to get hold of the books, or even one of them. Are they available in a bookshop?

Arun said...

Many Thanks, Nidhi, for introducing us to such a respected scholar, teacher and writer- and a field of research we did not know was studied in such depth and detail in our own land long ago! ... talk of going Back to the Future!

Arun said...

Many Thanks, Nidhi, for introducing us to such a respected scholar, teacher and writer- and a field of research we did not know was studied in such depth and detail in our own land long ago! ... talk of going Back to the Future!

Nalini Sadhale said...

Dear friends,
It was a delightful surprise boosting up the brightness and the spirit of 2010.
MANY THANKS and I reciprocate the good wishes for the new year to you and yours.

Nalini Sadhale

Rama Gopinath said...

It sure was a delight to read about Nalini Sadhale. What an impressive lady. You two were lucky to meet her in person.

I read couple of the research articles, one about Ganges. We need to be able to prove certain
claims made by our ancients by modern methods. But most importantly, I hope the average farmer gets to use all these research claims and not just be a research paper for scientists for their fame. I would like to see actual practical farming applications published. Having been involved with master gardeners, I am very interested in Integrated pest management (IPM), which discourages use of pesticides and encourages natural biological controls.

Keep us informed of all the interesting things you have been up to.

Best regards,


srinidhi said...

Rama Thanks for your comment. Very relavant. We did hear about one who tried out the ancient methods on a tea estate with success. But do not have the details. I do hope more and more people will try them out.

Vasudeva Siruguri said...

I came across this blog while googling for Smt Nalini Sadhale. Smt Sadhale passed away this morning at Aurangabad. May her soul rest in peace.

srinidhi said...

We are deeply saddened by the news of Prof. Nalini Sadhale. She was such a wonderful unassuming person. We have such sweet memories of her, our conversations, The morning breakfast with her at her home in Aurangabad.

Varsha Nair said...

Dear Nidhi,

I was talking about her yesterday as I handed a copy of Vrukshayurveda to my sister... Sad news indeed..

Varsha said...

it is sad to know the death of smt nalini sadhale.

regarding mrs. rama's comments, we wish to inform that we have implemented many of the methods of farming on large scale using the vedas and other books. krishi parashara, vrikshayruveda, vishvavallabha are some of the books.
we have been now extending these methods for all crops in karnataka after the success in arunachala pradesh.
we can help any one who is in need.