Just Look up – A book review

Backpacker is a book worm too and consumes at least two paperbacks a week when she is not travelling When she is on the move though , the book that usually travels with her is a field book on birds.

The book that is being read and reviewed today however is not on birds ; its rather about their perches .  I am referring to the green canopy of trees that line our cityscape , painting our lives with colours, if only we look up and see them. That is  exactly what the cover of the book says .. Just look up and see  the magic in the trees around you . I did just that this morning . As I walked around my house in Bangalore , the flowers were in full bloom and the colours refreshing. There was so much drama around as the squirrels chased each other and the birds were flitting around

Author Sadhana Ramchander is no academician and yet her childhood love for gardens and trees has urged her to write the book . She says that it all started when she worked with her children’s school in creating nature and tree walks and when she realized that its not just the kids, but adults like us who have forgotten to look up and enjoy the beauty around us. Armed with a camera, she went about photographing trees and flowers and collected little details and trivia about them and lo – the book was born . A simple book , but a wonderful effort nevertheless that enriches our minds and creates awareness about the world of flora that surrounds us .

Just Look up is more than just a ready reckoner of more than 20 common trees in urban sprawls. It has got a foreword by Bittu Sehgal , Editor , Sanctuary Asia and photographs by the author , Sadhana and Karthikeyan Srinivasan , Chief naturalist , Jungle Lodges .What really fascinates me about the book are the little nuggets and snippets , the lovely pictures and beautiful detailing .There is the fiery gulmohar, the golden Indian Labarnum, the raintree, the coral bead tree , whose beads were my precious collection throughout childhood, the sandalwood,the banyan, the badminton ball, the pink trumpet tree, the tree of gold , the jacaranda among others in this collectionAlthough Sadhana has referred to the trees in Hyderabad and Bangalore , most of these are found in almost all cities

I am not very good with names and even as a kid failed thoroughly with the botanical and zoological names . But trees have always forged a deep relationship with me. I grew up with fruit and flowering trees around my home in Madras and even today, some of them still remain. But ask me on the names and I will shake my head. The book is like a field book for dummies like me . In this slender paperback, the gardens open out to you as you read every page ..Next time you look up , see the riot of colours and the drama that they enfold everyday .

If you are interested in buying the book, you can pick it up online here 


  1. Uma 10 May, 2011 at 16:50 Reply

    Nice review!! Must pick up the book. Wish Guru-G would do a more detailed version. His flowering trees pdf has some 50 species…

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