Lately, though, a lot of the coconuts have fallen from the tree before reaching maturity; some the gardener has cut down only to find that they had turned to dried husks. Last week one of the garden contract laborers who's been doing some temporary work here shinnied up to the crown of a coconut tree, and declared that it was infested with poochis (insects). He told Mary that if we purchased the ingredients, he would make them into a sort of poultice and apply them around the coconut stems, to kill or drive off the poochis. Rs. 25 per tree, plus a tip, for the labour and expertise.
Here's what Mary bought:
sambrani (a kind of incense)
edible camphor (used here in some sweets)
The work was completed very quickly. I don't know how long it will take for the results to show, but we are well-poulticed now.