I have changed the project name from Bunglow Ki Kandi Hygroscope, to Benog Hygroscope as the Benog hill refers to a larger area and includes two villages in the valley that I am also involving in the project.
Benog is also a forest reserve.
May 17th to 21st.
So far, the scientists made their second visit on location in the forest. They had with them the topographical maps procured from director of watersheds of uttarakhand. Very interesting, colourful maps, routing all the streams joining into the main stream and their sources. The scientist was tracing the map vis-à-vis the real location. Found one incongruancy and is going to check up on it before the next visit by 25th may. I filmed their activities in the forest, espcially found interesting the way in which he was figuring out the format
ions of the mountain folds in relation to the map, by tracing his hands through the air ahead of him. The movements the body makes to trace landscape physically appears like a performance.
Made a visit to a few village elders, explaining to them my project. They are amazed at my engagement, perhaps finding it amusing that I am interested in these weird things of seemingly little consequence to my lifestyle, and they are very excited to help out. Heard some stories about the springs in their area. Also, they promise to show me what they claim are 60 varieties of herbs, found in the jungle, used in the brewing of the alcohol they had drank on that day I had happened to visit, as there was some celebration in the village! Unfortunately at the time I had only my voice recorder and the interview with the happily drunk old men talking about their village spring and their forest was quite amusing.
Another old man whose hut is near the pine forest talks about the changes in the landscape over the years and in farming and weather. He has welcomed us to stay with him over night. He is the last of the old pahari farming men, walking up and down the hill at the slow steady pace. I will film him soon.
I am currently writing a series of short stories to bind together all the information I am gathering of the water cycle here. The format of the stories is inspired by the way in which the local pujari tells stories of satya narayan katha, which is extremely popular here amongst young and old. He is a wonderful storyteller and I may request him to narrate the ones I am writing.
The kids vacation starts on 25th may, from which point I have asked them to join me. That is also the date most artists collaborating arrive. We have been sharing ideas and plans over phone and emails.
I hope everything goes well and that I am able to work out the project as I dream it to be.