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Saturday, Oct 23, 2021
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The Nuts Roll Down

The Nuts Roll Down
The Nuts Roll Down
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
California means different things to different people. An irreverent American friend, when queried on why the state has so many unconventional people, said that the US slopes downward to the West, so all the nuts roll down that way, stopping in San Francisco. For me, it’s the geography that is so stunning. No sharp peaks, but rolling grasslands interspersed with wooded sholas exactly as in the upper reaches of the Western Ghats and the Nilgiris, where I grew up. The bushes and flowers are closer to Asia than the US East Coast. Eucalyptus, hibiscus, oleanders pink and white, and the California oak that resembles the sheesham in its chaotic growth. The sky has a vast, clear blue sweep and the stars have a special brightness which an Indian only sees in hill stations. Indians are everywhere, either in the techie uniforms of cargo shorts and rumpled T-shirts or the formal shirts of those who have filtered upward into management.

I once startled my American hosts by expressing the view that if heaven had any agriculture, it would look like California. Where else in the world do...

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