He who knows, and knows he knows… He is a sage: Seek him. He who knows, and knows not he knows… He is asleep: Wake him. He who knows not, and knows he knows not… He is a child: Teach him. He who knows not, and knows not he knows not… He is a fool: Shun him.
Look carefully at your mother…she’s the person you will probably become. Look carefully at your daughter…she’s the person you probably were. And both of you, look carefully at the grand-daughter…she’s probably going to be more than both of you.
The fifth Sunday of the month, when it occurs, is an occasion when the “bngbirds” umbrella birding group of Bangalore does not have an organized bird walk; it’s time for most of us to earn back some brownie points, or at least get out of the doghouse, by attending to home,families, and other social commitments.
Butterfly id’ing, expertise levels.
- Playschool: Pwetty yellow buttefwy.
- LKG: Emigrant.
- UKG: Common Emigrant.
- School level: Oriental Lemon Emigrant.
- Undergraduate: Catopsilia sp ,Oriental Lemon Emigrant.
- Master’s degree: Catopsilia pomona,Oriental Lemon Emigrant.
- Doctorate: Catopsilia pomona pomona, Oriental Lemon Emigrant.
- Post-doctoral research: Catopsilia pomona pomona Fabricius, 1775, Oriental Lemon Emigrant.
Post-processing of photographic images: I’d divide this into two broad categories: image enhancement, and image manipulation.
Adnan and Sarrah, who are two of the most impressive young people, with unbounded talent only matched by their humility about those talent, invited me along on their trip to the places mentioned above, and I jumped at the offer…such great places to visit, and such great company to do the trip with!
We went on a nature/birding walk to Kalena Agrahara today, and skirted the lake at IDBI Bank Layout. I was amazed to see several Nano cars parked, and rusting in the monsoon weather.
Sometimes a blanket is quiet…
The morning walk, in cool, cloudy weather, is a great joy.
What do you call a bee that comes from America?
A last-minute decision, and six of us, including a birder from Noida, Delhi, who will be moving to Bangalore in a while…off we went, in the predawn dark, to T G Halli Reservoir.
Every now and then, a glimpse into lives very different from our own, brings us up sharply against alternate realities.
It was still rather cloudy and overcast as several of us met at Vajrahalli Gate, on our way to the Turahalli Forest Trail, where a few more nature lovers from the nearby areas also joined us.
Today I volunteered for the very first Butterfly Festival in Karnataka.
What started out as a plan with 3 people rapidly developed into an outing with 15 other people! It was a very enjoyable outing to Ragihalli and then to Jaipurdoddi.Here they all are, at the MCS (Mandatory Chai Stop) where the group meet each other.
I found an interesting root being sold on vendor’s cart.
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It seems as if I was welcoming The new year only yesterday… Here I am, at the beginning Of the sixth month. Time seems to seep past me Like a silent, wet flow From a leaking tap Rather than elapse In clearly marked segments. Time slowly settles In deepening wrinkles on my face In accumulated dust In babies whom I cannot recognize From my last visit. It peeps at me from obituary columns. It winks at me from old photographs. It bewilders me and fogs my brain When I stop thinking of what was, And try to think of what will be. The dim veil of the past, The curtained future.. As I contemplate them, Each second of the present Slips away, forever, from me.
Everybody can dance…
I like to think of myself as green, but apart from plastic bags, here’s a partial list of the things I use and see around me , which have plastic in them…the list goes into the hundreds each day. I started with the morning and moved through the day:
Are those enough B’s in the subject title?
We visited Kolkata
I thirst… Not for love, money or Even happiness. I thirst for water To quench the parched earth To bring green to the brown To bring fresh hope to those Who raise crops and food for us. I need water To fill the pots Of each slum-dweller Who puts her (it’s never a he) Vessel in a long line of colours, Waiting to drink, wash and live. I have had enough of grishma ritu. I want varsha…not just the odd shower Or thunderstorm, but a steady, Cloudy, drumming season That will replenish the depleted Plateau,that we live on And call home.
Yellow small flowers
Rush,rush, rush… Around me, the seconds flow past The minutes fly The hours march, The months creep slowly. I hardly feel the year’s progress Into the lap of what-has-been. I live in the present… That’s a conondrum As with every ticking second My present becomes the past. As I sit here, writing, My heart starts the next beat. I take my next breath. I am not what I was When I first thought of writing this. What a relentless river Time is.
Should I wait For it to be exactly six months Since you decided To change the plane of your existence? Do I not remember you Very often, never mind what date Or day, or time it is? When two of my friends Had surgery recently To remove growths You come to mind Whenever I lift a camera I often see you, Before I see the scene in front of me. When I see good planning And crisp execution You slip into my thoughts. When I laugh at jokes I recollect how you used humour to heal yourself. The determination that got you through so much, The travels all over the world The staunch affection… You are there in every thought I have About such things. Time will flow past: Six months may turn into years. My friend, you are always here Where it matters. In my heart, and in my memories.
Kiran Kannappan and I went to Shivamogga to help conduct a summer camp for 85 rural children, under the aegis of
It was still very pleasant when several of us met up at the Millennium Avenue gate of DFRS, and Harish led us, literally, up the garden path.
As I returned From an outing, back home I chanced upon this sight Of a superhero on the roam.
Snip, snip, snip, go the scissors and bits of my hair fall (the best kind of hair fall there is.) I relax and close my eyes. Will this end well or will I look like Raggedy Ann? I don’t know, but I am content to leave it to fate, and the hairdresser. The lady in the next seat, with her hair in a made-of-dye-cap, smiles at me. Snip,snip,snip…every haircut is a calendar, measuring out the time in the length of my hair. Short hair has been a great thing for me; I learnt how to swim, I didn’t have to put up sweaty hair in a perpetual bun….with a light heart, and a lighter head, I walk home. Snip, snip, snip…a half hour more out of my life, but gone in serenity and peace.
One of the things that interest me very much is the wonderful colours of the buses that ply on our roads….the mofussil (sub-urban) buses, and those that connect the various towns of our State.
This morning’s walk back home: Women dotting freshly-washed front yards with rangoli in the making. The carpets of Honge, Copper Pod, and mahogany flowers on the roads. The smell of onion cooking as a lady makes morning palya at a mobile cart. Walkers with their morning filter kaapi, exchanging notes and spreading newspapers. Sunlight filtering through the trees, haloing the head of an old man as he walks with difficulty but determination. No school buses or sleepy-faced students. Milk packets and newspapers on mopeds,being distributed. A young girl stopping for a minute in front of a small shrine, her eyes closed over her hands folded in prayer. Cut watermelons making red stars. I reach my home, content, looking up at our resident bulbuls as their burbling song pours liquidly over the lawn.
Having seen for myself the deteriorating quality of food on trains on the Indian Railways, I watched this interesting documentary on IRCTC:
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We saw a White-cheeked Barbet, idle, and free.
Inside her little box of an apartment Lies the elderly woman, While I tell her about the rain That is wetting the roads Outside. Confined to her bed, She cannot even move To the window, without help, To look at the few drops Falling from the sky. The plants she has in pots Cannot feel the rain, either. All they can get Is the “filtered water” Whenever the sullen maid Remembers them. The woman is able To have a roof over her head… But some simple joys, Like savouring the raindrops Which wet that roof, Are beyond her, Small deprivations Can sometimes be big ones.
What if the reflections Of faith and belief, in my soul, Are different from yours? I might see a temple in the glass; You might see a church spire. Should we then fight And argue and shed blood Over what is right and wrong? Surely, all these paths and reflections Lead but to the innermost soul Where resides the Force, the Being That we believe in…both you and I.
Several blooms to delight the senses!
My friend Janet asked for 10 prompts about which she would write haikus.
In all this debate about organic and diet and exercise and longevity, I find that aging seems to have become a kind of terrible thing that must be avoided at all costs. Anti-wrinkle creams, hair dye, anti-aging serums…People seem to forget what the alternative to aging really is :D
Another walk from my daughter’s home to mine. It’s never the same… this time: my usual lane completely dug up by an excavator, with pedestrians inching along the trash-filled edges; boiled corn and peanuts being readied in pushcarts for the evening; lots of people sipping tea or filterkaapi at the darshinis; a young couple, completely engrossed in each other across the handlebars of the young man’s scooter; an old lady peering up into a lime tree to see if she can pluck some fruit; a man cutting a blind boy’s fingernails; an old man in a car looking sourly at the two-wheeler antics of the youth in front of him; maids returning home at the end of their working day; the ironing lady getting piles of clothes ready; jacaranda blossoms, and mahogany leaves, piling up and swirling at my feet in the breeze… the walk just goes past in a flash.
Who will drop loving kisses On the cheeks of motherless children? Who will hug them, tease them, scold them, Dance with them, sing to them, Tickle them, cuddle them, laugh with them? Children need food and sleep… And so much more, to thrive. I sing two little children to sleep. Tears fall from my eyes as I think Of every child without parents in this world. The refugees, the orphans, the lost children…. Surely the greatest cruelty in our world Is to let children live…. without love.
Contrasting, in my mind, the tennis match that happened between two men, recently in Australia, and the US Presidential election process over the past year.
Just love the lyrics of a jewellery ad, which is something I never thought I’d say!
In front of the waving grasses in an urban park Facing the calm waters Lies a small brick, upon the ground, That carries your name. O dear one, my firstborn’s firstborn, You went away before you even came into this world. Souls of great ones, our scriptures say, Do not have long to spend on this earth. Coccooned within your mother, You had very little time. But you were here long enough For us to love, remember, and cherish you. You remind us how every live birth, Every normal child, Is nothing short of several miracles. You were a lightning flash that touched our lives; But,like lighnting, you had great power To open our eyes to the fragility of life. Your home in our hearts is eternal, As is that of every being whose lifespan is small.
We often lament about our children using tablets and X-boxes all the time…but I find, often that even our urban children are quite in touch with the traditional games of childhood.
Just four of us: Jayashree, Padma, Ramaswamy and I…went to
I look at my daily calendar, And feel a sense of closure When I see that there just two leaves left To tear off, with the passage Of each day. It then occurs to me That it’s only we humans Who seem to thus divide Time Into comparments, and mark Endings and beginnings. Time flows continuously in Nature: The days, nights, weeks and seasons Follow each other at the same pace. If I can let go of my need To compartmentalize Time, I need not think of what’s ending And what’s beginning. But, perhaps… Taking stock of my life At regular intervals Is not a bad thing to do. So yes, I will tear off the two leaves Left on my daily calendar. I will hang up a new one, And watch the progress of the new year: See it slip past, day by day, Much as the old one went, And the ones before that.
On Christmas Day, I went to the 4th Sunday outing of BngBirds, which I had organized this month at Hoskote Lake. It was foggy, and I got some mist-erious shots:
I read something, nearly every day, on the desirable quality of excellence. In whatever I do, I am told, I must strive to excel. I must hone my skills at that particular activity until I am excellent at it.
Many years hence, we’ll gently look back On fading, black-and-white memories… Of seeing many birds, of the winter sunshine, Of the drive on roads with many trees….
Something strange on the 3rd Sunday outing to Jigani kere today.
There are some eateries in Bangalore which have become quite renowned.
I decided to show K2 how tops work, and I wondered if I still had the old skill. The first two tries did not work, but on the 3rd attempt…
We drove down to
मेरा देश बदल रहा है।
India does not have Hummingbirds, those tiny creatures of the light and air that so delight those living or visiting abroad, especially the western coast of America. Our smallest birds are our Sunbirds and Flowerpeckers.
To see more photos, click on one photo and it will take you to the entire album on Flickr.
I had a conversation with a friend who asked me, “Why do you spend Rs.3.5K on repairing your camera instead of getting a new one?”. My response:
YOU THINK MUKESH AMBANI DOESN’T HAVE PROBLEMS. ….
My friend Jayasree Thiagarajan sent me
I go thinking that I’ll see a nice bird, that’s the Beliefbird;
I finally spot a bird that others have seen five minutes ago, that’s the Reliefbird;
There’s one bird that’s the highlight of the morning, that’s the Chiefbird;
There’s one that I fail to see, that’s the Griefbird; There’s the bird that steals my heart, that’s the Thiefbird; I spot a bird for just a few seconds, that’s the Briefbird; The bird that poops on my head, that’s the Mischiefbird….
I was requested by Irina Ghose and Gopal to conduct a nature/birding walk at Lalbagh for their daughter Divya, who was celebrating her birthday.
How the monsoon breeze blows Into this empty room! Bereft of the person, It’s just memories that blow Into my mind. The laughter, the tears, the hopes, the love… The past echoes In this cleared, and cleaned room As it awaits another shell To be brought in, and then sent On its way to rejoin the elements… The soul has already merged into eternity.
Aravind, Sharmila, Raji, Tarachand and I went to Ragihalli
Bithi Agrawal, seen here with one of her school’s buses
Today K1’s doll-or-friend-or-whatever, Lottie, did some gymnastics. She was, apparently, the last competitor.
Another day, another picture of the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher from one of the organized Shoot-the-Kingfisher tours with hundreds of likes. One of these tours has a rule that “members shall not move from the position assigned to them when shooting the kingfisher” ..or words to that effect. Charges are several thousand rupees from point X, which seems to be about 2 miles away from the bird’s home.(You have to get to, and from, point X at your own cost.) Each “Oh Dee Kay Eff” photo must cost lakhs, if you add the cost of the equipment. But, ofkose, all those likes are worth it!….Bird photography tourism at its best.
I see you moving in haste To get the next thing That will ease your husband’s pain Just a little bit. Night and day, you manage so many things: Your job, your suffering in-laws, parents, and others. Your household, visitors.. Your own pain, that you do not talk of. You show him a smiling face, always. You did all this through the years, Twenty years ago; For the past eight months, With less and less to sustain your hope, You have continued to be a rock of support To your ill spouse…cocooning him in your love And selfless care. Yet, you’ve also found time To visit other friends during important times In their lives.Your generosity, your large heart, The incredible amount of hard work… I cannot even begin to be like you. I can only admire the wonderful person you are, And be intensely grateful that you are my friend Since that first day I saw you, as a bride… You learnt music from me, but you have taught me So much over the years. I truly believe that, like Savitri, You would bargain with Yama For the life of your spouse. Your name means victory… You are victorious over the many petty thoughts And failings which the rest of us have. My dearest friend…you are more than I can ever understand. I wish there was a way I could take some of your pain and your tiredness. But I stand near you, helpless…and just watch you suffer. Beloved friend, you are the sister I never had… I wish I could take away your difficulties And give you the life of happiness that you deserve. Life…has not been fair to you: And yet, you never complain, but go about each day Coping, managing…and smiling when you can.
I get the news That a life, once vigorous, Is ebbing. I do not know how long The tide will remain And when the waters, receding, Will take the light with them. The skies darken, But there is no beauty from the stars; Instead, there is the gloomy Overcast darkness of heavy clouds overhead. Helpless, powerless, I remain Distant: no amount of my love Can let me experience what that ebbing life And those who are part of the family Are going through now. I move… Like a pendulum, from worried grief, To acceptance of what must be. A life of trying to think positively Does not allow me to let go of hope altogether. Perhaps, something will work? Some herb will stem the irrevocable tide Of galloping illness? Hope, hopelessness: if I swing So uncontrollably between these two, I can only imagine what those who are close must be feeling. On top of everything else lies guilt: Did I do enough when I could? Is there anything I can do now… Which I am not doing? Why am I healthy, when my friend lies there With health leaching out? My mind tosses and turns, It seeks peace only in meditation. Let me let go for a while…and try and sort myself Find inner peace in the midst of the turmoil. Life and death are, and will be, eternal mysteries. Let me not try and solve them, Eroding myself in the effort.
On the road back from Valparai, my friend Manivannan spotted, in a small empty lot near the place where we stopped for our evening chai,
One of the unexpected sights on our journey to Valparai was that of this
Every now and then, the “experts” start fussing that the
Tiny little voice, from a fever-flushed face on the sofa, over and over again: “Two wittle dicky birds, sitting on e vol. One is named Peter, one is named Paul. Fly yeway, Peter, fly yeway, Paul! Come back, Peter, come back, Paul!” Me, my heart melting: “Shall I laptop you?” Tiny voice (with great decision): “NO! GO YEWAY!”
On a visit to Cauvery Wild Life Sanctuary (CWLS) on Sunday, we found a
Fun with puns….
A variety of insects can be observed in the gardens and plants around us.
What can be better than a meandering path through the hills, amongst greenery, under monsoon skies?
How would I look, if my body gleamed With the sheen of metal?
From a friend.The last page of my notebook…
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Inspired by a friend, who, in response to my saying I would like to meet her, gently reminded me that we already HAD….
While we are out looking for birds, I find everything interesting, and this Sunday, when I led a walk in Jaipurdoddi, I spotted a
As I led the birding-nature walk for the 3rd Sunday outing, we walked through the village of Jaipurdoddi, adjacent to the Jaipurdoddi Reserve Forest. Walking through such settlements gives me glimpses into lives that are so different from mine…but now and then, there are elements that formed part of my own life, too.
She first looked at the Hindi alphabet in March of this year…and I think her progress (while handling so much that is new and tough) is excellent. Here she is (as usual, in the car!) reciting a Hindi poem about a bird:
We recently had a debate on a birding group I belong to.
I give him pieces of apple to eat. He shoots me with his tiny forefingers, with what he thinks is a gun noise. I have to slowly wilt, with my tongue out, on to the chair he’s standing on. He then gives me a “Vitamin K2 kiss”, and I instantly revive with a “whoosh” sound. Repeat 843 times.
Day before yesterday (22nd June, 2016) my driving licence (along with many other cards and quite a lot of cash, but that’s another story) was stolen.
Whenever I go to a wooded area while birding, one of the birds that provides a special delight is the
On a dark desi highway, cool wind in my hair Warm smell of parottas, rising up through the air Up ahead in the distance, saw a lorry headlight My eyes grew squinty and my sight grew dim I had to stop for the night There she stood in the doorway; Wearing nariyal tel And I was thinking to myself, “I’d like Pav Bhaji or maybe some Bhel” Then she brought me the menu, but current went away There were voices from the bathroom door, I thought I heard them say…
I notice that every well-known (and sometimes “world-famous in Jayanagar”) photographer likes to talk about his/her genre of photography. There’s art photography, creative photography, soul photography (no, I am not talking Kirlian here!)…so here goes, let me tell you about MY kinds of photography!
It would be nice to climb above The level of the ground; To sit amongst the boughs and sway With the breeze’s sighing sound.
The air cools rapidly, and the light dims as boiling, heavy clouds boil over the landscape. The breeze builds rapidly into a wind, whipping up the summer dust, lashing the palm fronds into a frenzy. The first huge drops splash upon the parched ground.
Aradhana Academy is not on the list of “elite” schools of Bangalore. But here’s our experience.
Everyone talks about the wonderful days of childhood, and wants to be a child again. But just think about it. One has no control over anything in one’s life…where one lives, what one eats, right down to the small details…everything is decided by Somebody Else, even if that person is the child’s own parent.
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I’d just asked them to listen to this stirring anthem of ours, and they’d got the first line, when I left to return home.
Mohit Aggarwal has started
At the lake in Lalbagh, one can often find the water snakes called
Shy as a young bride, the monsoon hints at her presence,but does not actually come right in. I, the lover of Varsha,as enamoured as any infatuated swain, ardently wait. The grey will turn a richer hue, the clouds will boil and scud across the sky, the air will cool magically….the life-giving drops will patter upon the parched earth, and grishma ritu will lose her hold, at least for a while….
I’ve written earlier, in
I have a friend who completed the course to teach transcendental mediation. He seems extremely impressed by it, and he’s someone whose thinking processes I respect. Therefore, though I had tried learning the meditation many years ago (I found the initiation very lackadaisical and superficial) I decided to take up the offer he made, to teach the first five people who responded to his FaceBook post, for free.
One doesn’t have to visit distant forests or wildlife sanctuaries in order to find the beauties of Nature…a visit to the local park will do just as well. Here’s what I did on a recent morning visit to Lalbagh.
Do not be angry If you are met With silence from another. You may not know what screams Echo in the silence of that person’s soul. Screams, not uttered,unheard But no less a torment To that other one, Who cannot, through those screams Hear your words, or sounds. I wish we could speak and hear From soul to soul, heart to heart, Instead of from mouth to ear, and ear to mouth.
I’ve been musing on the way we interact with other human beings, all through our lives. Of all the relationships we have, those that involve love (and especially, romantic love) are praised to the skies in all our cultures and literature, and held in high esteem.
I just flew back from St.Louis to Bangalore.
It’s very difficult to get videos of Kalyan, as he’s too fast for me, and the ambient noise with two children is always too high!
See what happens when I procrastinate…Mark does all the work for me! See his account of the bird walk, at the bottom of this blogpost.
Whenever LJ “opens”, I rush to make a post. I miss so many things in the meantime…
Having reached St.Louis in response to an appeal from Ye Daughter (the call came on Wednesday, the ticket was bought on Friday, and I was here just past midnight on Wednesday!) I decided to peep out at the birds that were coming to the front yard as I could not sleep, on the 16th; and on the 18th, I had two hours to walk to Forest Park, walk around the Prairie area, and walk back.
A tanka written by
I had one rare visitor…my friend Abhijit Menon-Sen (AMS) who is building a home in Lweshal, in Uttaranchal, in the lap of the Himalaya.
Many people say, “Let me know when you go somewhere, I’ll join you”. So I call up or message people.
NRI Poem ना इधर के रहे ना उधर के रहे बीच में लटकते रहे
ना India को भुला सके ना videsh को अपना सके NRI बन के काम चलाते रहे
ना हिन्दी को छोड़ सके ना अंग्रेजी को पकड़ सके देसी accent में गोरो को confuse करते रहे
ना Christmas tree बना सके ना बच्चो को समझा सके दिवाली पर Santa बनके तोहफे बाँटते रहे
ना shorts पहन सके ना सलवार कमीज़ छोड़ सके Jeans पर कुरता पहेन कर इतराते रहे
ना नाश्ते में Donut खा सके ना खिचड़ी कढी को भुला सके Pizza पर मिर्च छिड़ककर मज़ा लेते रहे
ना गरमी को भुला सके ना Snow को अपना सके खिड़की से सूरज को Beautiful Day कहते रहे
अब आयी बारी Mumbai/Pune/Delhi जाने की तो हाथ में mineral पानी की बोतल लेकर चलते रहे
लेकिन वहां पर………….
ना भेल पूरी खा सके ना लस्सी पी सके पेट के दर्द से तड़पते रहे तिरफला और डाइज़िंन से काम चलाते रहे
ना मच्छर से भाग सके ना खुजली को रोक सके Cream से दर्दों को छुपाते रहे
ना इधर के रहे ना उधर के रहे कमबख्त कहीं के ना रहे.
Today Mr R, 88 years old, and I, applied for a renewal of his passport online. We had to apply for him and for Mrs R. He’d already downloaded the application form for himself, fill it up, save it as a .xml file. What we did: we registered his name, and got an authentication email, where we clicked on the link to activate the account. Hah, sounds simple, doesn’t it! This took about 2 hours. (“This ‘copy the letters and numbers in the image’…is that an ‘I’ or a ‘1’ ? Is that a zero or an ‘O’? Is that a J or an I?…and so it went.)
I see a dead puppy. Crushed, upon the road. Hit by a speeding car.. Or van, or bus….
One of the results of building flyovers to ease traffic in our city is that the spaces underneath them are often a kind of wasteland. In an effort to address this,
When Vaibhav called me to come and guide the residents of a gated community on a bird walk in Madivala kere, I was very happy to do so. So off we went to the kere at 4pm. I first got a photo of him with the bird board that
In south India, we are now used to the
Exchange on the Mobirds egroup:
I enjoy visiting resorts which, apart from their purpose of hospitality, are created with any eye to detail and perfection, and which aim to use vernacular architecture with traditional touches.
Pretty, lively, and young; A head full of dreams A prattling tongue; Once Upon A Time.
I’ve often watched raptors (that’s birds of prey) zoom in on land or water and catch their prey, which they then take to the nearest roost and devour, with great promptness.
Having realized that the Bar-headed Geese, our winter visitors from When we birders realized that the
Aravind, Mallika, Prem, Raghavendra in one car, and Honne Gowda, Pavitra Kumar, Shilpa, and I went in two cars to look at the
The music, the instruments, the lyrics, the lovely voice of Sujatha Mohan, the beauty of Revathi and the scenes she is in…everything comes together in this song. I often think of the late 50’s and 60’s as the heyday of Tamil film music, but songs like this are jewels!
I’d responded to a request from JaagaDNA (one of the 3 arms of
It was very pleasant to sit on the lawns of Bangalore’s premier management institution. In the gathering dusk, people drifted in and took their seats. The stage was well-lit. Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia started the evening off with sweet notes from his “bansuri”, with the lilting evening raga, Madhuvanti. One can truly say that, with his flute, he literally breathes his music! For the audience, also, the composition in raga Yaman that followed, and then a bhajan, breathed relaxation and serenity into them
I am, personally, an agnostic. I do not know if there is a God, or not…and am of the opinion that I may never find out. But I enjoyed the lyrics of this song, with deep meaning, from the very old movie (1963) Ananda Jothi (Flame of Happiness…named after the names of the leading characters in the movie.)
We went to attend the Bird Marathon (so called because the total length of all the transects put together is the same as that of a marathon) at Kaiga.
Every year, I feel touched and happy that many people would like to go with me, as a single group, to take part in the annual Bangalore Bird “Race”. Last year, we were 34, this year, the number was less, but still large enough to merit a lot of planning.
Right now, the rains are a distant memory, but it wasn’t long ago that we felt our city was just soaking in water…and though we didn’t have the major deluge that Chennai had, we too had our share of dampness and moisture.
After having attended the 3rd Sunday outing at Turahalli, Gurjeet Singh,Mohit Aggarwal, Tarachand Wanvari and I decided that Tara should also be able to see the Demoiselle Crane, and off we went to Hulimangala. While we were there, I found that many young lads still delight in the simple pleasures of life.
At the last minute, on Sunday morning, I convinced 20 other birders that instead of going to Valley School, we should bird along the Kaggalipura-Bannerghatta stretch, and then go to check out Hulimangala. And there, at nearly the end of a long birding outing, we saw a migrant which has never before been sighted in the Bangalore area…the
Here are three poyums (well, I’m sure that’s the way she’d spell it!) by KTB on a single sheet of paper,with her trademark spelling. The erth, the “gordon” (garden), and bees…
It was by sheer chance that I happened upon the sight. I’d gone to see “Court” at Max Mueller Bhavan, and the house was not only full, there was no way to enter! So my friends and I went to “Murugan Idly Shop”, and then walked back…and along a lane leading from the road on which we were walking, we saw a blaze of light. Though we were initially hesitant to walk in with our footwear, we found others doing so, and then went right up to the temple. We found the ground alight with lamps. Nearby was a newly constructed kalyani, which was also set about with lamps. The two goddesses of the temple, Mari Amman and Savari Amman had their Utsava Moorthis out in replesendent procession: I took a quick shot of one of the idols inside, through the thronging crowds. Prasada was being distributed. As we watched, the event wound down, with the lamps slowly flickering out. We resumed our walk towards our bus stop, facing the beautiful full moon.
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For many years, I’ve missed this event in Bangalore as I was always out of town. But this time, when my friend
Anjana Mohan 47 mins · St. Louis, Missouri, MO, United States ·
It was a cloudy, misty day, but enough friends were enthusiastic about a birding/nature trip.
Got this from Vishwa Prakash…
On the 8th of November, Ajit, Kumar, Kumuda and I went to Muthanallur lake (beyond Kaikondrahalli lake). They’d visited earlier this year and the lake was bone-dry,and filled with trash. Well, trash was still around, but the lake had plenty of water…and plenty oflife!
I went to meet the participants in the latest Naturalist Training Program (NTP) at JLR Bannerghatta.
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When did you grow up, my little baby? The tears that I wiped, The messes I cleaned, The questions I answered, The little body that I rocked Through sleepless nights… When did this adult Emerge from her girlhood? Herself a mother of two today, Balancing work, home and much else, Thinking for herself, compassionate and caring… The little worm that emerged from my body Who was a pupa which I could not peer into For a while as she went abroad…. She’s truly emerged as a beautiful butterfly Who, being happy herself, delights others.
“Deepa-ja” translates to “Born of Deepa”.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, goes the saying.
The recession has hit everybody really hard.
My neighbor got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.
CEO’s are now playing miniature golf.
Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.
A stripper was killed when her audience showered her with rolls of pennies while she danced.
I saw a Mormon with only one wife.
If the bank returns your check marked “Insufficient Funds,” you call them and ask if they meant you or them.
McDonald’s is selling the 1/4 ouncer.
Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America.
Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children’s names.
My cousin had an exorcism but couldn’t afford to pay for it, and they re-possessed her!
A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico.
A picture is now only worth 200 words.
When Bill and Hillary travel together, they now have to share a room.
The Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas is now managed by Somali pirates.
I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Hotline. I got a call center in Pakistan, and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck.
I’ve often seen lizards, agamas and geckos bathing themselves in the rays of the sun.
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I see you so often wishing everyone else, so affectionately…
As we meandered through Lalbagh on Sunday (2nd Sunday outing of the Bird Watchers Field Club..we didn't stay with the group very long, though!)…we came upon this jumping spider, which landed on the ground by us, on a long thread of silk.
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“You looked so good back then! I can hardly recognize you!”
The air rapidly cools. The wind blows, and the smell of the waiting earth Fills the air, as The first heavy raindrops fall. Soon (monsoon) it’s a heavy downpour Washing the dust off the leaves, Muddying the roads… My heart swells with emotion As I come out of my home To stand in the street, Face turned up to the clouds Letting the rain soak my face. The monsoon touches a place deep in my heart. My longing for the rain, too, is washed away. I think love is like the monsoon; Little acts of affection Nourish the yearning heart Wash away the pain of many small hurts, And make joy bloom into smiles Of pure, deeply-felt joy.
I decided to take a close up of a dragonfly:
Here’s the original song:
When he comes down to breakfast/ Be it eggs, or toast/ He hopes it’s good, and so/He has his fingers crossed! STL, 200815. (I really don’t know why he does this so often.)
We worship power, but we need to see the light, too!
Would you light up my life In many glowing facets? Would you turn bits of my days To gold? Or would being with you show me The holes in the fabric of my existence, The black doubts That riddle my mind? Would I shine Or would I feel the shadows When I’m with you?
A wanted to take K1 and K2 to play, and so we went to
Letter to my cousin, Guru:
Discussions about hardship and privilege (of the financial kind) remind me of the story about poverty, written by one little girl from a well-to-do family. “Everyone in the family was poor. The father was poor. The mother was poor. The children were poor. The butler was poor. The maid was poor. The gardener was poor.” It took me quite a while to realize, coming from India, that a family could be dirt poor in the US while owning a car, a TV set, and a phone. These material possessions spell prosperity in India.
My nephew (cousin’s son), Rakesh Raghunathan, is a very versatile person; he is, amongst other things, the “sutradhar” for “SuttralAm suvaikkalAm”, a show that travels through Tamil Nadu, showcasing the different cuisines.
There’s love and sharing in our family
Danny Brown, Brenda Hente and Barb Brownell helped me see more of the natural Missouri, by taking me to ‘s
I’ve written about Bob Shaffer before,
You may be a weed Sprouted from unwanted seed But you can survive Indeed, flourish and thrive And try to touch the sky. Dreams can be big, and high.
I loved the light on this silken web:
For every arch that’s carefully built
At well-past-eight, with the setting sun The day’s work and outings are all done. How nice it is to take a peek At what my friends have done, all week. There may be those who’ve moved the earth There may be those who’ve just proved their worth In simple, everyday, tiny deeds. News about you is just what I need. Thank you, my friends…each shared word Through my eyes, in my heart is heard. I’m off to sleep; the world does not end Nor sets the sun on a place without a friend.
Music is the sound of children’s laughter. -Deepa Mohan
She was happily playing house
All this worry that we’re not eating, sleeping, living right….here’s a quotation that Shobitha Kedlaya cited on a wellness group I belong to, and find increasingly uncomfortable….
I grew up with my mother buying and reading a lot of Tamizh magazines.
I was just walking in, saying something else, when I heard two sweet young voices raised in song. I instantly pressed the “record” button.
It was great to visit my nephew Nagraj (aka Praveen), his impressive wife Nithya, a foodie who blogs
We had family visiting us from Ocala, Florida.
My friend had posted, asking if anyone had any “contacts” to enable a darshan of Lord Venkateswara at Tirupathi on a certain date.
I’ve interspersed these commandments with pics of commmon birds that I took on my ramble in Milwaukee on the 29th June, 2015, many on a single large conifer, where this squirrel was taking her nesting material, too!
Names…are so tough.
The sun sinks westwards. The lights come on. The day’s work may be done… But the evening’s work is just begun. Very soon, we will be gone. But while it lasts, we can choose To savour the moment, its pinks and blues.
Not being familiar with the customs and rituals of a place of worship, and a religion different from one’s own, often inhibits one from visiting such places. But when our friends Laxmichand and Vandana told us that they were visiting the
It’s been two occasions that I’ve been given great opportunities to watch the fastest birds on earth.
KTB: “I’ll tell you a story, instead of you always telling me one.”
Email to my friend Mayank, who posted about some “cereal-free porridge” made by someone.
I took her to the public library, and she cuddled up to the teddy bear in the children’s section.
I am thrilled with KTB’s creative spelling. In a country where “unnecessary” vowels were deleted from words like “colour” and “favour”, this girl goes out of her way to “olsoe” do her own thing on words!
Dawn Kimberling and I volunteered for
The first Saturday of June dawned pleasant for the bird walk…and clear.
KTB had International Day at her school a while ago, and as part of the Indian display, her mother decided to display a game that she calls “guttE”
In the grass across the street
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Father, children and Play-doh. Judge: D. Pama. The father won in the Realism category with some realistic Peas In A Pod and some Blueberries (he comes last in the Original Shapes category. as he seems content with rolling things into balls. ). The daughter won in the Creativity and Color category.P Her creation was a Salute To Play-doh. She also recited: “Oh, Play-doh, never leave me, I know why/ I’m sad when you leave. Because I cry/ I love you and you love me.” It was a riot of colour. The judge has never before seen a Play-doh creation celebrating the material itself! The son won the Drama category, pretending to eat the “boopies” (er, NOT poopies) as he terms blueberries. He also won the Devil Can Be Angelic When He Likes category. Mother won in the Absent Because Of Study Upstairs category.
I was wondering why iPhones had apps developed for them first, instead of Android phones, though there are many more of the latter. June asked the question when a new app was announced for eBird on the iOS. Kevin Wehner responded: Here’s an excerpt from an article on that topic: Developing iOS apps means ensuring they work nicely on a small range of iPhones and/or iPads: generally 6-8 different devices depending how far back the developer wants to go. On Android, it’s a different story: nearly 12,000 different devices out there in the hands of people, with a wider range of screen sizes, processors and versions of the Android software still in use. Many developers’ lack of enthusiasm for Android is down to concerns not just about the costs of making and testing their apps for it, but also the resources required to support them once they’re launched, if emails flood in about unspotted bugs on particular models. Full article
The first Saturday of every month, SLAS, along with Forest Park Forever, organizes a Beginners’ Bird Walk, and the 2nd of May was a great day, when a huge number of birders (54, according to Amy Witt!) met up in the morning, at Kennedy Forest, the wooded area at the southwest corner of Forest Park.
Here’s the Robin, probably the most common bird in North America:
Yes, I know children are magic…but here is KTB with magic:
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Hair like corn-silk Long-lashed eyes,shut in sleep. Tiny body, curled into my lap. Is this the destructive imp Who’s broken the window blinds, Smeared cake all over his high chair, Who’s peeled a banana Then eaten it sideways, All mushy in his hands? His new words, Often parroting his older sister, But getting clearer all the time… They whisper themselves in the ears of my memory As I look down on the little waif, The glow of whose halo of innocence Sheds its gentle light on me As I sit in the dark room Having sung, and rocked The little one to sleep.
KTB is now the right age to enjoy simple card, board and concept games. For her birthday, this year, she was given the game of
Though her birthday is on the 29th, the party happened on Sunday, the 26th.
I saw this cute little monster at St.Louis airport:
Left home, winging through the pre-dawn skies.
I was sitting in Detroit airport, waiting for my flight to St.Louis. I heard this announcement: “Due to overbooking, we are looking for volunteers who are willing to go to St.Louis tomorrow. We will give $600 Delta vouchers (one year validity) and hotel accommodation if you are from out of town.” A family was awaiting my arrival in St.Louis, so I thought about it.
On Saturday the 18th April, 2015, my friend and I decided that the “bandh” had died down, and we went to the Bangalore Fort to attend a photo exhibition,
My friend Sharbari sent me
I was sitting in the waiting room of the eye clinic. I’d just been told that I was one of the few people who suffer complications as a result of eye surgery. My cloudy vision, I had been just informed, might, or might not, improve over the next few months, after which, the alternative was more (and possibly not effective) surgery. I was feeling sorry for myself.
A K Raju, wildlife photographer, writes about this image:
My darling A,
My fried Uma, on seeing this photograph of a priest in the temple town of Melukote (that I visited last Sunday) said, “A poem might be written about him.” So…here it is….
There was a blood moon, but we missed the eclipse, and sighted it as it was about to set:
So…one MORE visit to the eye clinic to find out why I am misty-eyed at the end of 3 weeks after cataract surgery. Apparently, as a result of the surgery, some separation of the vitreous humor from the retina has taken place (in both eyes.). Either I will have to live with it, or the vitreous humor might “shrink” and my sight will improve “in a few months.” So much for the clinic counsellor’s blithe words, “No risk madam! Absolutely no risk!” The retinal tear in my left eye, accelerated as a result of the surgery, has been “stitched” by laser surgery. What are the chances of its occurring in the other eye as well? Cannot be estimated.
This one definitely made me think of
LJ, for me now consists only of a handful of friends, and it’s just sheer persistence that keeps me going, especially since it doesn’t even “open” for me most days. But here’s an appeal from the LJ team:
I am slowly getting over the “mild discomfort” that the laser/retina specialist warned me about yesterday before starting laser surgery . The discomfort was so mild that I had to stop her several times to recoup my forces, and take deep relaxing breaths…to bear the next bit of “stitching”. (The anesthetic was on my cornea…the laser was working on my retina, directly on the nerve layer.)She also added, once the surgery was done, that I would have “deep pain”…thus proving that very different words will be used by a doctor before, and after, a surgical procedure! My heart goes out to those who are chronically ill, in pain, and who need surgery.
Apparently, as a result of cataract surgery, for people who’ve had short sight (myopia) retinal degeneration (this vairety is called a lattice tear, see
Increasingly, it doesn’t matter to me whether it is Podalangapriya, Pijiyoni pooponcarum, or Pseudoplantus iknowmoreii. Enjoyment does not need classification; only sharing does… to some extent. Extreme precision can, sometimes, become intellectual snobbery.
“Is your dog well tied up?”
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‘Six kgs excess,’ said the lady at the check-in With a charming, engaging smile ‘Would you please pay by cash, rupees As the card will take quite awhile?’
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There seems to be some particular joy in assuming that I will break the medical “rules”after my cataract surgery. and go out/ cook/walk a tightrope….generally, do something before I am cleared for it, and then making judgmental remarks about it, without finding out whether I am allowed to do it or not. (Or, if I say the doctor has cleared it, the reply is, “Doctors will say such things, but you must be careful.”)
Was “India’s Daughter” a good documentary? Did it deal with a matter that is sub judice? Was at least one of the convicted rapists paid for his interview? Should the defence lawyers be banned?
Fact: I had the cataract removed from one eye (with laser surgery) on Thursday, 12th March, 2015.. The other eye, Friday, 13th March, 2015. Reasonably painless procedure.
Had the cataract removed from one eye (with laser surgery) today. The other eye, tomorrow. Reasonably painless procedure. Typing is automatic on my laptop keyboard…but reading is still problematic, about 7 hours after surgery, as the eye that was done still seems to have a not-very clean plastic sheet over it. The other eye was already giving enough fuzziness through my spectacles to make me want to go to the eye surgeon.
Though it poured for 3 days of our stay in Bandhavgarh, we still saw a lot of interesting things on our safaris, and within the grounds of Nature Heritage Resort where we stayed. I’m just going to put up the birds that I was able to click (my friends Karthik, Manjula, Nitin and Sharmila, who were all carrying DSLRs, definitely got more, and better shots!). Let me start with the Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, a flaunty beauty which was a lifer for me.
If one thought that violence against women was something very recent…here’s a song which justificaties drunken violence against women: it says, “Ithu thAn iyarkkaiyin niyathi” (This is the law of Nature). Vannakkili was a 1959 film. The song makes me cringe
Why do relationships die? I’m sure I can’t tell you why. The sweetness, the joy… They turn sour, by and by. One person seems to stop Loving another; a sigh Of sadness, a teardrop… A wariness, a fear… Happiness in each other Turns to an attempt to smother The fact that it feels No longer the wonder That it was before. Before things go under… Perhaps there’s time to shore Up the weak spot, and retrieve The magic…but life’s not fair Or kind, or just. Is there hope in the air.. Or is it just dust?
We were five of us on the trip to Bandhavgarh, in Madhya Pradesh,over the past week….in alphabetical order, Karthik, Manjula, Nitin, Sharmila, and YT. Manjula and Sharmila had never seen a tiger; so naturally (with Bandhavgarh being a tiger reserve), the focus was on sighting the big cats.
On the Kollegal-Malavalli trip, that was such a great outing, I sighted several interesting things apart from the birds.
We set out to go to Gulakmale.our plans changed as we got into the Lions’ car..and it turned out to be a memorable day of excellent birding, and much else besides.
Here are some specimens of KTB’s art, and her life with her sibling, my precious Kallubhai aka The Booda..
Though an aero-show concluded last week in Bangalore, I’d like to share other air shows I attended!
As we finished our birding transect and came back towards the backwaters of the Kali river, in the Virje area, I found this figure in the courtyard of a little home.
As birders, it was a very warm welcome that we got from the people at NPCL (Nuclear Power Corportion Limited) when we met at Kaiga, for the Bird Marathon.
Let me start with the iconic bird on the area…the Malabar Pied Hornbill.
LJ has not been opening up at all for me for the past few days…but just now…I must have said the LJ equivalent of “Open Sesame”….
It was a lovely sunrise at Lalbagh.
I looked up the Wiki entry for the
Do they not look delightful Perched upon the wire, Chatting together Against the sky?
We were a nice round dozen this time…
On the way back from Sira, I just clicked this message on the back of a truck as it intrigued me…
Most of us shudder at the sight of spiders,but they are really fascinating creatures. Did you know that most spiders are solitary…and cannibalistic? Many female spiders eat the males after mating!
Thanks to Anjana for this.
He started out life as a small dash on the pregnancy-test kit. He was a peanut in his first scan, then he became Thupples, slang for “thappalai” or frog, because he looked like a tadpole….all while he was inside his mother.
As we walked along the campus of Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR) Galibore, on the banks of the Kaveri in the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, I found something rather intriguing.
We (Ashok Sengupta, Nitin Achari, Prashanth Bhat, Rama Warrier, Rohit Girotra and I) left while it was still dark:
The Bangalore Bird “Race” is an annual event, where teams of birders scour the quadrants of the city and its outskirts (up to 60 km radius) and try to spot as many birds as they can, until sundown. Since last year (2014), the “race” is just a race against time; the competitive element has been removed.
A friend, Vasu Ramanjuam, living in the US, posted on a mailing list:
On the 10th only 3 of us went there, but we did find quite few other birders. We were able to meet and exchange notes.
A has been talking to Kavya about Martin Luther King and the problem of racial discrimination.
No one hunts for a job any more. They explore options. No one does a job anymore. They work in spaces. No one is creative anymore. They think out of the box. No one is a spoilt child anymore. They only have developmental issues. No one is shy any more. They only have social anxiety. No one is interesting in something any more. They are into it. No one talks to anyone anymore . They engage with the others. No one does something from now on. They do it going forward. No one feels something any more. They have emotional experiences. No one agrees with you any more. They hear you. No one understands your point of view any more. They can see where you are coming from. No one dislikes what I’ve just written. They give me analytical feedback.
We went to the Cauvery Wild Life Sanctuary (CWLS) for a volunteer initiative…crowd management at the Chikkala Siddappa Jaatre (pilgrimmage). This is the largest jaatre in the Cauvery Wild Life Sanctuary (CWLS).
20 of us went to Gulakmale again on the 4th, and as I am off to the Kaveri for a couple of days, starting early tomorrow, I’ll only talk of one of the highlights of the outing….the sighting of a
When Jaysingh Morey from Mumbai requested my company to Nandi Hills, I was also able to invite Kiran Kashyap and Gayatri Rao along.
In the mist, this beautiful fellow
As we climbed to the tank bund, I saw these puppies rolling around in the gutter. They were squealing and rolling around! One looked up at me curiously as I clicked.
The Reindeer’s grandfather was visiting Cochin, so her mother asked for an ethnic umbrella (The Reindeer specified purple.)
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I tear off the leaf of my daily calendar.It’s a habit that’s a long-standing one… for many years, I always asked my sister in law,
A friend said, “More than a decade ago, you’d produced a list of ‘Arab’ words, beginning with ‘al’….let’s have the list again!”
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This morning, I went with Savithri Singh, her son Kartik and his friend Karuna, Brinda, and Sharmila, to Nandi Hills.
While birding on the road to Galibore, Karnataka,on the banks of the Kaveri, in the Cauvery Wild Life Sanctuary (CWLS), we obseved some abandoned nests of the Baya Weavers.
I love spotting funny signs..and here are a few!
Obviously, I’ve been musing on this phenomenon of terrorism. War, in itself, is a form of terrorism; it’s always the innocent pawns who get slaughtered while the King and Queen look on from their safe fastnesses.
I just posted about the death of children, so I must definitely post about the celebration of life and a return to good health.
I always meet the most interesting people on train journeys (another reason why I prefer them to quick-yet-painful plane journeys in India.)
Visiting any large city,and observing the different worlds that co-exist, is always a thought-provoking experience. Gurgaon is no different.
I have made
What does a wasp feel When it’s about to land? Does it feel a sense of relief To alight on the leaf? Will it land on toe or heel? Will it fly off, or will it stand Still, for a while..? I wonder all this…with a smile!
I went for a walk today, and was awed by the size of the highrise buildings all around me in Gurgaon, Haryana…now a suburb of Delhi, the capital.
Since Snehasis could not join our group for Skandagiri on the 6th, I wanted to take him to a birding spot that he had not visited before.
GOD AND ST. FRANCIS DISCUSSING LAWNS GOD: Francis, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect, no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles. ST. FRANCIS: It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers “weeds” and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass. GOD: Grass? But it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It’s temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there? ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn. GOD: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy. ST. FRANCIS: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week. GOD: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay? ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags. GOD: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it? ST. FRANCIS: No Sir. Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away. GOD: Now let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away? ST. FRANCIS: Yes, Sir. GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work. ST. FRANCIS: You aren’t going to believe this Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it. GOD: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It’s a natural circle of life. ST. FRANCIS: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away. GOD: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose? ST. FRANCIS: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves. GOD: And where do they get this mulch? ST. FRANCIS: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch. GOD: Enough. I don’t want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have they scheduled for us tonight?” ST. CATHERINE: “Dumb and Dumber”, Lord. It’s a really stupid movie about….. GOD: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.
While in Florida, KTB’s mother says, “she wrote a wonderful recipe at Thanksgiving that I wanted to share. She did this entirely on her own, and we applauded her effort and the whole family got to exclaim. This was her longest single writing effort, and we were thrilled at the confidence level that allowed her to get through a full effort like this, which is a level of focus we haven’t observed before….This translation should help.”
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For some years now, we’ve been celebrating
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Instead of the pictures, this time I decided to try and make a movie, and here goes:
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A few days ago, Amith Kumar introduced me to a rather unusual bookshop in Jayanagar…“Book Bonanza”.
- Gas disconnected. For “my protection”, I am locked out of my connection if I do not book for 180 days since the last booking. I am consuming less, and so I should be praised, shouldn’t I? But no…I get locked out instead.. I have to give a letter of request, a proof of address, and a proof of id. Several visits to reactivate it, and waiting for the cylinder to be delivered.
Sometimes a lot of the hard work is done for me!
I was going to write a review, but found that
As wildlife volunteers, Kumuda, Siddharth and I went to Bandipur to help celebrate Children’s Day with about 150 children from three local schools: Hangala, Mangala, Bheemannabeedu.
After the Children’s Day event, both the children and the volunteers were taken on a safari by the Karnataka Forest Department, and we were, on three occasions, given a big treat.
Here we are…Janaki, Nayantara and YT…at Ranga Shankara, where we watched an excellent play,”The Tricky Part”, a solo performance by Martin Moran, who also wrote the book and the play.
Usually, they work well together… But,sometimes The mind and the heart Go their different ways. The mind calmly accepts That all is well, and that Technology can keep me in touch. But the heart Pines, and longs, and yearns… Reason crinkles the eyes in a smile; Emotion squeezes tears out of them.
Though highly jet-lagged, I decided not to miss the buttering outing, and joined Rohit Girotra and the buttering gang at Adigas; after breakfast, we went to the Reserve Forest. Here are some of the interesting things I captured on camera:
Home to home, the journey took 41 hours. Very tiring; and though I managed to get an empty seat next to myself on both the long journeys (Detroit to Paris, and Paris to Bangalore), there was a lot of turbulence, bad service, terrible food (especially Paris to Bangalore, which is an Air France flight) and noisy co-passengers, so jet lag is still killing me. So I’m alternating the sights I captured with the chores I am doing.
A thread about cross-dressing, trans-genders and homosexuality prompted a friend to write the following mythological/religious reference on a mailing list:
A lesson I have learnt from the moon.
A drew “sight words” (words that need not be spelt out but just recognized) in this drawing, and asked KTB to look for them.
I was quite thrilled to be invited to speak (with a few photographs and videos) on the topic of “My experiences with birding in St.Louis” at the St. Louis Audubon Society (SLAS)which jcompletes 100 years of existence in 2015.
Under the Ash tree swing the little one, and I.
Medical science tells us That we can, indeed, live With little holes in the heart I know this to be true.
D and I took the children to a pumpkin farm, while A studied for her exams.
This run had a great slogan:
We’d already had a marathon Lego session in the morning:
Fall is a time when red seems to appear everywhere, amongst the green.
We pay a lot of homage To success. I’ve been watching a music video. I see the packed halls; I see the roaring cheers. It makes me think about the road to this place, Success… The gigs in small towns, the half-empty places, The wondering if, after all, One has the staying power That, allied (or not) to talent Could reach that elusive goal….Success. The road that leads to Success Can often curve, imperceptibly, Into the blind alleys of Failure, too. Success and Failure are like the two faces Of Janus; one looking forward into the light, The other, fading into the dimness, the darkness, Of oblivion, sinking away into the numbers That are described, in racing parlance, As “also-rans”. The efforts that lead to Failure Are no less than those that fetch up at Success. I feel for those who end up at the wrong destination….
Edge drove down all the way from Columbia to take me to Tower Grove Park, and it proved to be an enormously rewarding outing.
It was a nice chill morning as I set out early to Forest Park.
Some images I took, though half asleep:
Here is a spattering of Starling wings:
I got a very affectionate email from
Children are…A R T.
Some people have trouble coming out of the closet.
I went and met Danny Brown in Forest Park, and spent a contented morning. There were no new birds, but I was trying out shots in different light settings.
It’s amazing to see what tiny scraps of feathers have song, and life, in them. Sitting on a twig, with his ratty little tail,this little bird still called loud enough to get my ear.
When we finished at the dam, and had our coffee (thankfully, they didn’t say it tasted odd!) Edge suggested we go to the Confluence Point.
Edge Wade and June Newman, two birders whom I hold in high esteem and have long wanted to meet, planned on a nice birding outing for me, to Riverlands Bird Sanctuary, on the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. I felt instantly comfortable with them…it made for a lot of enjoyment! I am very grateful to them for the lovely outing.
ஜென்மம் நிறைந்தது சென்றவர் வாழ்க சிந்தை கலங்கிட வந்தவர் வாழ்க நீரில் மிதந்திடும் கண்களும் காய்க நிம்மதி நிம்மதி இவ்விடம் சூழ்க
We are having a discussion on retirement, with someone asking for thoughts from others. Various points of view, and tips for managing one’s life after one has quit one’s corporate career, were given. I decided to add this:
We played with bubbles last evening.
A friend on a mailing list had talked about Krishna, and said:
After I caught sight of the Osprey fishing in the Grand Basin in Forest Park, my friend Danny Brown pinged me, and we arranged to go to Forest Park again on Sunday to try our luck.
I am an Unashamed Worshipper at my grandchildren’s feet. Here’s KTB’s rendition of a sunflower:
I started in Kennedy Forest:
Pankaj fell in love Pankaj married Pankaj divorced Pankaj udaas
Derek felt unwell over Sunday and Monday, with fever, nausea and stomach-ache. On Monday evening, the doc told him to have a CAT scan the next day, and on Tuesday, the scan confirmed that he had appendicitis. An appendectomy was performed on Tuesday night, and though he had a lot of pain this morning, and afternoon, he was able to come home by 5pm or so. Here was his update just before leaving Barnes-Jewish Hospital:
Though not greatly impressed by the self-conscious “I am a star singing” rendition of the singers…it’s still a very beautiful poem, and very rarely does one hear all the stanzas sung (just like many other national anthems, I suspect!)
KTB explaining about the two Spidermen that she’s drawn:
KTB’s drawing is improving apace; here she is, explaining who the people are (her friends, Ananya and Aditi, along with Teddy Naryanan, who was given to her mother by her mother’s uncle in 1988…and Pinky Bear, who was a gift from KTB’s great grandmother.)…and how they are sleeping:
Boodi Ma’s writing and art are progressing very well, now that she’s started kindergarten.
When I say my grandson is de-lightful, I mean it!
I do not know who I am. I seem to be an uneven mix Of so many persons; Someone’s daughter (Though that person Is now, several years, In the past tense) Someone’s sister (Also in the past) A friend to several people, The wife of one man To whom I gave several decades Before that, too Slipped into the past. I am the butt of many jokes The object of scorn to many; Yet others regard me with affection. I too have given my heart, For life: I am the mother of one, The mother-in-law of one, And the grandmother of two. I feel, though, that sometimes One person in me predominates Over the others. What I would like to be Is a complete person: An amalgam, a balanced mix Of these people who live And breathe within me. But I seem to be more Like a Ferris wheel Where first one person, And then another Rise to the top, and the others Sink below into unheeded Oblivion. Where is the singer? The theatre critic? The writer? The quizzer? The lover of languages? Where am I? Who am I? I am mixed, indeed…and do not know.
The days pass by Like small notes Slipped under the door To someone who will come home Only later. Later is a time that arrives Almost at once; And the moment that makes up the present Becomes the past, with each tick Of the clock; Living only in memory. Existing only in chronicles and history. Life slips away In the leaves, torn daily, From the calendar That mark the inexorable passage Of time…and our lives upon this earth.
Even if school has begun, summer evenings are fun times.
DnA suddenly decided that there would be a scientific experiment for the education and edification of KTB, and they chose one that involved baking soda, vinegar, a glass bottle, and a balloon.
Yesterday I went to
Here’s the patch of “weeds” at the bus stop where we wait, to send KTB off to school, and get her back again in the evening.
Sparrows mud bathing:
It felt good to be out, after a killer few days, walking in Forest Park. I strolled on(thanks to two fractured big toes,and a sprained ankle, my walking is only strolling these days) towards the Prairie area, and the stream.
As I took the bus to the Ibis Hotel (near the Arlanda airport) from Stockholm Central, I saw what I thought was a parked and exhibited Jumbo (Boeing 747).
KTB starts school on Monday, 11th August, 2014; she will attend Wilkinsons School, where she will also participate in a program for gifted children (but will be most of the time with ALL children.)
I was looking at a Facebook post, made by Viju JB,of a very old photograph, of a couple, taken at their wedding. This suddenly put me in mind of an old English magazine that was very much a part of our lives…the
Anno Domini is not inimical to birding; indeed, it’s a great hobby for the silver years.
An attractive young woman on a flight from Ireland asked the Priest beside her, ‘Father, may I ask a favor ?
When we went to Valparai in April 2014, I was able to meet Ananda Kumar, and of course, I know Ganesh Raghunathan quite well (though I’ve never been able to meet him at his “workplace”!)
I was a bit worried about the weather when I was packing for Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. My friend, who lived in Sweden for many years, told me, “Sweden has two seasons: July/August, and winter.”
When I’m gone…when my time is done.. Let me rest my weary head.
I did not know, until now, about
I got a well-meaning email saying that my photography was getting “worse and worse” and explaining all my faults. Now, I am a HCP..Hopelessly Content Photographer, who posts SMS (Shamelessly Mediocre Shots). So…I thought, what if my photography was verse instead of worse? Here goes…I saw all these in Scandinavia.
I took this pic of a Northern Shoveller in a pond:
My friend Pallavi Singh wrote on FB:
There is a peace At the beginning, Before things happen; The peace of the not-yet. There is a peace while in the centre of action, The peace that takes a break In the middle of the whirlwind. There is, too, the peace That is the aftermath of war And toil, and struggle: This peace is not always happy. This may be the peace of death, of regrets Of waste, of what might have been. Is this sad peace, the deteritus of destruction, Always welcome? Is peace always better than war? Peace…without serenity, without prosperity Is just the cessation of foul acts Without the hope of its continuance. Peace can often be Tears in a widow’s eye A maimed limb, The passing of what was good and happy In a life lived just a while ago. Peace can the quietness Of the broken body of a girl, Mauled bestially, and left to bleed. Peace can be the loneliness In a home when one partner has walked out. Peace can be the quite of a crash site Where people are looking for bodies. Peace…not welcome when it’s just a piece Of conflict, pain and sorrow.
I had a lovely video chat with my daughter, and the added bonus (bonii!) were:
Broken-wing behaviour (or
“Ale’s Stones (or Ales stenar in Swedish) is a megalithic monument in Skåne in southern Sweden. It is a stone ship, oval in outline, with the stones at each end markedly larger than the rest. It is 67-metres long formed by 59 large boulders, weighing up to 1.8 tonnes each,” says the Wiki.
I’ve been wandering around a good deal, and have got back to good internet connectivity. Here are two of the very interesting places I visited in the Skane area of Sweden, thanks to
What better way to observe the eve of American Independence Day than by meeting two Americans who are now independent of their country? It has been a long time in the planning, but I finally met up with
A: My beautiful brown eyed sweetheart… K: Nnnyyy, I want blue eyes… A: But why, you have lovely eyes K: But everyone pretends they are chocolate and tries to eat them A: But if you have blue eyes, then people will pretend they are blueberries, and try to eat them too. K: No, Madison says that blue eyes are water, and no one likes to have water that much, so I want blue eyes.
It was a wonderful experience to go to Gamla Linkoping (the old town of Linkoping), where heritage buildings have been brought in and re-built with every possible care. There are several museums, housed in these old buildings, that visitors can walk into. In the whole area, many people who are in period costumes walk about; and today, when the local newspaper was pushed into the mail slot, I found out a bit more about two musicians whom I met there.
I am Sweden for a few weeks; when I went around a jumble sale yesterday, I had no cash whatsover, and even if I had some, I knew I would only be accumulating junk that would be of no use to me or the person I am staying with. This allowed me to go around the sale area without buying anything.
As I came by bus into Linkoping, I caught sight of this very large hoop adorning one of the roundabouts:
Here are a few pics clicked by AM ….whether it’s video games or board games, our little fellow is involved…..!
After looking at the Midsummer’s Eve celebration, I realized that the
Though I’d asked Prashanth in the morning, he mistook the midsummer’s eve Maypole dancing to be taking place on the next day; at about 4pm, he realized his mistake, and we set off to the place where it was taking place.
Since PC told me there was a free community washing and drying area, I’d asked him to book it for a date after I’d arrive, and show me how to do it; I could then do the laundry in my free time as long as I was visiting (my standard operating procedure whenever I sponge off someone for any length of time.)
Yes, I know I have plenty of Linkoping posts to catch up on, but a couple of days ago, PC and I had been to “Biltema”, where he buys a lot of cycle stuff. I’d looked at a folding bike (with longing) and at the price tag (with revulsion…at 2190 SEK, the revulsion was strong!)
We started with the Linkoping Station.
As PC and I walked to Roxen Lake, I suddenly saw this beautiful sight…a
It was to be a 4-hour bus ride to get to Linkoping (by the way, the latter is pronounced lin-show-ping and the “shoping” is similar to the modern English “shopping”…there were markets which then grew into these towns/cities .) Linkoping, the wiki entry tells me, was founded in 1287!
It was Sunday, and I was leaving for Linkoping in the afternoon….so we decided (after clearing up a lot of ticketing mess) to go for a nice ramble, with a picnic lunch.
The past few days, I’ve been enjoying windows, and doors, and buildings…along with friends, and their friends!
Advik put on the new anklets I bought for him, and looked more of a laddu than ever:
Sumana gave Advik his food:
Wow…Ruth…thank you for sending me this link.
I’m just going to say it with flowers…!
I started from Bangalore International Airport, which looked beautiful in the middle of the night:
ससुराल में साली का बाग़ में माली का होंठो में लाली का पुलिस में गाली का मकान में नाली का कान में बाली का पूजा में थाली का खुशी में ताली का——बड़ा महत्व है
I find almost everyone I meet interesting! Whether it is a random encounter or it turns out to be a long-term friendship..from one end of the spectrum to the other, I rarely meet people whom I actively dislike (though it happens, of course.)
Does it move? Kill it! Does it sting? Squash it! Does it grow? Cut it down! Done with it? Throw it out of your window! Need to go somewhere? Take the car! Have some money? Consume more!
KTB drew these for her father’s birthday…
Rosita called and invite me to go with her and Mark to his yoga teacher, Rama’s farmhouse in Bannerghatta, and I immediately said yes.
There was a time when palm leaves And birds, too, were used To communicate between lovers And ensure that their souls fused.
Saturday, 240514, Day 7
There was an early-morning “Malabar Whistling Thrush” walk, the highlight of which was the sighting of the Blue-eared Kingfisher.
Sarath made a presentation on the tiger, the facts and figures of this charismatic animal. There were several inputs from VMR, regarding recent findings and theories.
VMR then talked about the Wildlife Protection Act and its ramifications, enforcement, and otherwise. Rather than a dry disposition, he showed the participants the other side of the Act…the ways and means that poachers and traffickers adopt, and the measures the Forest Department takes to counter them. The Forest Department is hobbled by limitations such as jurisdiction; the poachers are not limited in any such way. He showed the photographs of sandalwood being smuggled, especially “Rakta Chandana” or Red Sanders, as well as other trees like teak and mahogany. He mentioned how Red Sand Boas were trafficked for as much as Rs.20 lakhs each, during the Bellary mining boom. Other trees such as Durvasane mara, Saptarangi Selicia chinensis, were also being poached.
VMR talked about poachers-associates/ Carriers/ Middlemen and buyers, and the nomadic people..Pardhi, Bawaria, Bahelia, Banjara, Kalbelia, Kanjar, Sapera, Gujjars, Bangala…central to northern Indian tribes, called Khanabadosh, who are repeat offenders. The Bawarias rule now; they are from Panipat in Haryana.
The “official” account:
The official account:
The official account:
Email to the bngbirds egroup:
I’m busy posting about my Kudremukh program, but when The Boods intervene, they take priority.
Day 3..My official account:
Here’s my account of day 2:
We (the budding volunteers of the VTP) reached Kalasa in the pre-dawn light:
My daughter just posted this on FB…so I cannot resist sharing the flowers that fill my life with beauty, colour, fragrance and sometimes a lot of peskiness…
Her FB update:
As we went around the grassland landscape during the Volunteer Training Program, Kiran spotted this large Scorpion, and I took a short video of it as we slowly passed in our vehicle. The creature was on the banked slope of the hill, and it was both rainy and late evening.
The residents of Casa Ansal, in J P Nagar 3rd Phase on Bannerghatta Road, have been suffering from the shifting of the trash area from the Mini-Forest area to their southern wall, where it was both an eyesore and a major health hazard.
In several years of visiting the Valley School area, I’ve passed this abandoned house so many times…but it was only yesterday, when we did “waiting” birding instead of “walking” birding, and when Mark went into the house to explore, that I also decided to walk around and in it.
AM has shared this on FB, so you do need an FB account to see
Thomas Job, his friend (and first-time birder) Sushil Nahar, and I went to Valley School, and we were certainly rewarded beyond our expectations!
Thomas Job and his friend Sushil Nahar, who was coming on a birding trail for the first time, picked me up, and off we went, to Valley School.
I went to Langford Town, and was saddened to see another beautiful heritage home hit the dust on Oleff road.
I’ve been lucky enough to spot the
Amith, Deepak, Sachin and I went to do a bird census for some friends, on their coffee estate in Sakleshpur. I must say, I didn’t expect such a dream list of birds at the end of April!
On the spur of the moment, my friend Rosita Sequiera came by with her son Mark and picked me up, and off we went; I wanted to show her the magnificient trees of Hulimangala.
One of my favourite melodious songs, from the movie
Yesterday, April 29th, was the day Eli/Biddli/Boodi Ma/Beedool turned five.
Since my friend Uma is shortly to relocate, we decided to meet up and do some gallivanting as well, and almost at random, wound up at
Untranslatable…so I am just leaving them as is.
I’ve always been drawn to owls, and the
I got the Orange-headed Thrush singing:
On Good Friday, Anjali, Gopal, Rohan, Tharangini, Yeshoda and I went to
The first meeting of Eco-volunteers (those who took the Volunteer Training Program, or VTP), was held at ThoughtWorks, Koramangala, Bangalore, on 120414.
I was dozing off in a fit of heat-induced somnolence from somewhere out of my dull brain came the thought of my mother…and her love of wildlife documentaries. She was far, far ahead of her times…she had Salim Ali’s bird book with her, though she only watched garden birds..and we often went into the jungles of West Bengal and north India. In a time when wildlife was plentiful, she enjoyed reading about it and going to watch it. I still remember the trips we used to make to places like Betla Game Sanctuary in Bihar, where we saw magnificient tigers…
On the 31st of March, the siblings had water fun:
As we waited for dusk, so that the Slender Lorises would become active, we were treated to the sight of a beautiful sunset.
As I boarded the bus to go and meet my friends (we were going to Nagavalli, in Tumkur District, to sight the Slender Loris, aka kAdupApA), I saw this artwork silhouette of a tree on the bus:
Gopal called me and asked if I’d like to go to Nagavalli village, in Tumkur District, where there is a colony of
Since David Frye, of Detroit, Michigan, had contacted Chandu to go to Hoskote, Thomas, his son Aakash, and I also joined in from south Bangalore.
There is a park close to KM’s apartment where children are charged Rs.5 each for entry (adults get in free)..this goes, I think, towards maintenance of the playground equipment. At one edge of the small park is a stage, and children can dance to the music. Both the Boodi and the Booda had a great time there, in spite of recurrent fever and fretfulness.
Eliot Miller sent an email on the Mobirds mailing list, concluding about Forest Park, “Can’t wait to get back there again!” That brought the words tumbling out…
We excrete, and then call those who clean the excreta, untouchables. We rape, and then ostracize the victim. We sit apathetically, and complain about the state of the nation. We kill animals, and then pay high prices to see them. And ….we pride ourselves on being logical and rational beings.
Playing with tops is a boy’s sport in India.
I got two images at Bannerghatta, which I liked…
Scurrying across the path I saw this little ant. It bore a heavy burden, Its legs were all aslant.
I do not like the places I go to, in my dreams. My sadness at separation From the beloved children Is, while being worked on, Hidden deep in my heart. The sorrow of the end Of more than three decades of marriage Lurks there, too, In the dark crevices of my heart The wrongs I have done: the hurts I have caused The many things I could have done better…. All these are not, as I thought, Dealt with, and forgotten. They hang, with sharp little burrs, In my subconscious mind. Perhaps this is why I rarely dream; Because, when I do, I go to these places. I feel, once again, What I do not want to feel. That I thought I’d discarded… No, I just seem to have buried them Beyond the reach of my everyday thoughts. They come out, and mock me. Sadness, loneliness, regrets: They once again assail me. I wish they would not. I do not like the places I go to, in my dreams.
First my daughter had two Banjara girls, whom she asked to thread together various name beads for all of KTB’s friends at Urban Sprouts, the daycare back home:
Yesterday I was far too knocked out by the migraine, but this morning, I did wake up in time to leave for my walk by 5.45 am. It was the lovely “ushat kAlam” ..the pre-dawn darkness slowly glowing into ambient light.
After I left, she’s been learning more songs at Urban Sprouts, her day care….
I first visited Dr H Suresh’s clinic in 4th T Bl ock in Jayanagar, in 1979, when my daughter was 6 months old. She’d been having severe diarrhoea for two weeks, and I was at my wits’ end as I was staying with some friends and desperately worried about her health.
As we entered the Woodlands Hotel just off Richmond Circle, to attend a wedding, our attention was riveted by this little gem, parked in the campus:
The full moon of
Amazing what a difference hair makes to the appearance of a person…even when that person is just 14 months old!
The children have arrived, not too well, but we managed to take them to our monthly family quiz meet.
N arrived this morning, and both Boodi and Booda had a great time dancing to the
On the way to Sundaghatta, I suddenly was struck by a truly majestic, dead tree!
Something I’d like to share with all of you is this wonderful video by a couple who are good friends, Raghunath Belur and Sugandhi Gadadhar. The audio for this is a percussion “conversation” between two Indian musical instruments that often form a part of a classical Carnatic music concert. Apart from the great visuals, they have very creatively incorporated this percussion passage, which, in my language (Tamizh) we call a “thani Avarthanam”. After the flute,you hear the
In Sundghatta, we stopped the car to watch a few birds, and as usual, these beautiful little
Methods of Teaching
Here’s The Booda, all dressed even when there was nowhere to go…
I was with my friends, at the edge of the valley:
I went with N C Mohan and Raja Bandi to do a recce of the area around his farmhouse, and by sunset, he took us to a point nearby which was called “Bilekkal”. This is a corruption of “Bili Kallu” or white stone…
As I wandered around the kalyANa mantapam (festivity venue) at Chromepet, it struck me that there are so many trees that are inextricably entwined with Hindu rituals and customs…and I was lucky to be able to photograph some of them, right there. I am giving the Tamizh names and the link to the Wikipaedia entries about them, too.
A response to a somewhat intolerant email on the topic. My response:
My childhood friends, Rajamani and Savithri, celebrated their sadabhishekam on the 26th of February, at the Sankara Matham, Chromepet.
EXERCISE FOR PEOPLE OVER 60..indeed, any age..
I wish we were like birds, with the ability to fly.
That’s a local saying, gently ribbing anyone who is getting their names in the news or talked about…it’s literally come true for me!
These words occurred to me:
I thought it must be lovely to rest, with the winds from the field blowing one’s way, the sun shining around, and open to the elements:
She’s beautiful, the Goddess Kaveri:
Google maps, google maps, Where have I been? On my way to my destination, The whole world I’ve seen. When there is, to journey’s end, A short road, straight and true, Google maps ensures that I Travel an extra forty-two…
18 of us went together to cover the areas of Ragihalli, Bannerghatta Zoo area, Valley School and Vaderahalli Lake, to document the bird species and record their numbers. Here’s the photo that I took:
I’ve been having sudden flashes of “light” at the periphery of my vision; as I’d received a warning from my opthalmologist, in 2012, to go to him if ever it happened, I went immediately.
Happy Something Day! July 22, 2013 at 10:34am This Mother’s Day, Brether’s Day, is all getting too much I say. Only last month, on June 15th, my cousin brother called me at the ungodly hour of 6.00 am.
Having participated in the Manipal Bird Day, my friends Prabhakar and Savita
I first saw the pushcart in the evening glow.
On my visit to Manipal, Karnataka, walking in the Saralabettu area while participating in the Bird Day, I saw this scene:
Since yesterday, the internet on my mobie has not been working. Several calls to tech help etc did not help. I am doing a night bus journey tonight, going to Manipal, and returning by night tomorrow. I thought I ought to get the problem rectified.
Our visit to Nandi Hills provided me a great opportunity to watch several birds’ behaviour. I found that several birds, such as the Orange-throated Thrush, or this
Kamal Hari Menon was kind enough to take me along to Nandi Hills, and it turned out to be an awe-inspiring morning, on so many different levels.
I often notice that two, and sometimes three, female Bonnet Macaques join together to care for a baby. This morning, at the Nursery area in Nandi Hills, I watched these two females. The one on the right is the “actual” mother; you can see the afterbirth, still, around her tail.
SIMPLE TRUTH 1 Lovers help each other undress before sex. However after sex, they always dress on their own. Simple Truth: In life, no one helps you once you’re screwed.
I just saved them on Flickr, so putting them up here for me to view Later, When I’m Too Old To Do Anything Else.
Here’s the family, on vacation in Hawaii:
After getting her car stuck in dug-up areas of Bangalore roads, my friend KV yielded the wheel of her car to me. We were going to visit the Gavi Gangadeshwara Temple in Basavanagudi.
This time, HSBC got into a lot of controversy just before the annual event, with people accusing it of “greenwashing”, covering up less than green business practices by sponsoring “green” events (though how the Bird Race is a green event, promoting the driving of cars all around the cities where the events are held, is beyond me.)
I don’t know if any other countries are as innovative as India is, when it comes to “lateral application” of technology. One of these lateral applications is that wonderful
Our eyes pass over cows and bulls, we are so used to them being around that we sometimes see them but don’t notice them at all!
If you can write a post criticizing wildlife photography, please do. It’s the Flavour Of The Moment. Even the most mild and qualified criticism will do. Adopt a holy, halo-over-head “I feel so bad when I see evil wildlife photographers” pose.
As usual, I cannot log into my Vijaya Bank account. So I call up tech support (VNET Banking.)
All rights reserved. I am going to fluff up this one simple sentence into a 700-page book and mint money and become a Concept Guru.
Today, 200114, is, according to the Hindu calendar, Bahula Panchami, and this is the day that
Top 13 establishments in India…
As the sun came up,
Movie stars…are often known for their beauty, and less often, for their histrionic talent.
An e-magazine has a schedule of payment whereby, if someone contributes, they will pay on the 5th (or whatever date) of the following month. This is already not a very contributor-friendly practice, because it could mean anything up to 4 weeks of delay in payment. But very well, contributors accept this.
This is going to be an unabashedly proud-grandma post.
It was a wonderful visit to Ramngara, with Abhinandan, a birder from Calicut, Amith, and Mani.
Abhinandan, Amith, Mani and I went to Ramnagara yesterday…and though we could see only one Long-billed Vulture, the sight filled us with happiness, because it was a female…sitting on a nest!
Visit 1 to a new branch of this bank, which is closer than the one where I have an account (no. X). This branch is 2 months new. So, expecting excellent service, I go in. I say I want to move account no. X to this branch. I also want to open a new account. This is on Friday the 27th of December.
Everyone who enjoys birds and birding must always respect wildlife, its environment, and the rights of others. In any conflict of interest between birds and birders, the welfare of the birds and their environment comes first. Code of Birding Ethics
- Promote the welfare of birds and their environment. 1(a) Support the protection of important bird habitat. 1(b) To avoid stressing birds or exposing them to danger, exercise restraint and caution during observation, photography, sound recording, or filming. Limit the use of recordings and other methods of attracting birds, and never use such methods in heavily birded areas, or for attracting any species that is Threatened, Endangered, or of Special Concern, or is rare in your local area; Keep well back from nests and nesting colonies, roosts, display areas, and important feeding sites. In such sensitive areas, if there is a need for extended observation, photography, filming, or recording, try to use a blind or hide, and take advantage of natural cover. Use artificial light sparingly for filming or photography, especially for close-ups. 1(c) Before advertising the presence of a rare bird, evaluate the potential for disturbance to the bird, its surroundings, and other people in the area, and proceed only if access can be controlled, disturbance minimized, and permission has been obtained from private land-owners. The sites of rare nesting birds should be divulged only to the proper conservation authorities. 1(d) Stay on roads, trails, and paths where they exist; otherwise keep habitat disturbance to a minimum.
- Respect the law, and the rights of others. 2(a) Do not enter private property without the owner’s explicit permission. 2(b) Follow all laws, rules, and regulations governing use of roads and public areas, both at home and abroad. 2(c) Practice common courtesy in contacts with other people. Your exemplary behavior will generate goodwill with birders and non-birders alike.
- Ensure that feeders, nest structures, and other artificial bird environments are safe. 3(a) Keep dispensers, water, and food clean, and free of decay or disease. It is important to feed birds continually during harsh weather. 3(b) Maintain and clean nest structures regularly. 3(c) If you are attracting birds to an area, ensure the birds are not exposed to predation from cats and other domestic animals, or dangers posed by artificial hazards.
- Group birding, whether organized or impromptu, requires special care. Each individual in the group, in addition to the obligations spelled out in Items #1 and #2, has responsibilities as a Group Member. 4(a) Respect the interests, rights, and skills of fellow birders, as well as people participating in other legitimate outdoor activities. Freely share your knowledge and experience, except where code 1(c) applies. Be especially helpful to beginning birders. 4(b) If you witness unethical birding behavior, assess the situation, and intervene if you think it prudent. When interceding, inform the person(s) of the inappropriate action, and attempt, within reason, to have it stopped. If the behavior continues, document it, and notify appropriate individuals or organizations. Group Leader Responsibilities [amateur and professional trips and tours]. 4(c) Be an exemplary ethical role model for the group. Teach through word and example. 4(d) Keep groups to a size that limits impact on the environment, and does not interfere with others using the same area. 4(e) Ensure everyone in the group knows of and practices this code. 4(f) Learn and inform the group of any special circumstances applicable to the areas being visited (e.g. no tape recorders allowed). 4(g) Acknowledge that professional tour companies bear a special responsibility to place the welfare of birds and the benefits of public knowledge ahead of the company’s commercial interests. Ideally, leaders should keep track of tour sightings, document unusual occurrences, and submit records to appropriate organizations. Please Follow this Code and Distribute and Teach it to Others
My friend Vasu Ramanujam’s post on the New Year:
I received a loving email (which made it past the spam filters!)
A fairly eventful, momentous year. Some moments brought a tear. Many brought a smile. Each phase lasted a little while.
While on the birding trip, we visited the large Hennagara lake, and Prashanth, who lives in Jigani and seems very knowledgeable about the area, pointed out he nAga dEvathA temple at Hennagara Kere (lake).
Oh…apparently it is now called the
Recipe for sour lady finger curry: 1). 200 grams lady finger, washed and chopped into small slices. 2). Half an onion - finely chopped 3). 5-7 pieces of Kokum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garcinia_indica) soaked in warm water. You can add more kokum depending on how sour you want the curry to be. I usually like it very, very sour. 4). 2 tbsp rice flour 5). 1 tsp red chilli powder 6). 1/4 tsp turmeric 7). 2 tsp coriander and jeera powder . Green masala made with coriander leaves, ginger, garlic, green chillies and jeera. About 3 tbsp of green masala. 9). Salt to taste
My email to the bngbirds egroup:
भरी महफ़िल थी । हम सब मिले । दोस्तों की कमी न थी । पुरानी यादों में दिल रोया पर आँखों में नमीं न थी । हॅसते हैं हम , और अपना काम किये जाते हैँ । जाम पीते हैं कुछ लोग महफ़िल में; हम अपने आँसू पीए जाते हैं ।
On an FB post of mine (which is where, now, all the interesting conversations and debates happen for me….LJ is a closed door), someone asked me, “What is your definition of age?”
sAmnE manzil thI.. peechE thI AwAz uskI.
My arrival at Ahmedabad…sunrise on the 12th morning:
Let me start with a beautiful bird…
I clicked all of these in the “wilderness” area of Atma Santulan, my friend Kalpana Raval’s 5-acre estate. She allowed me to wander all over the place…and I had a wonderful time. Even though the sprawling house was full of treasures, the garden was a place I could hardly tear myself away from. She’s got wheat and vegetables growing in one part; she’s retained a kind of unkempt, natural wilderness in another; large lawns on two sides of the house, and an office, where she, her son Nikunt, and sister-in-law, Dharmishta, practice law.
List of things/services broken, or locked, or stopped, when I returned after a 9-month absence:
I took the train to Ahmedabad, and am attending KM’s IIM class Ruby reunion (It’s called CSB…Chaalis Saal Baad).
On a tour organized by Geetanjali Dhar’s IT Nature Club, ten of us visited Nameri (a morning’s birding) and Eaglenest Wild Life Sanctuary (WLS) at Lama and Bompu Camps.
Here are two videos of a
I was away in the foothills of the Himalaya, very far away (the journey from Bangalore to Guwahati alone was 2992 km, and passed through 8 states…Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Assam!) and came back with such a variety of experiences.
No one would believe that watching a worm would be a learning experience, but so it was, at Puttenahalli Lake, where I went with Chandu and Kamal.
An email to the egroup of the Bird Watchers’ Field Club:
Here’s an email from Edge Wade of Missouri Birds:
Some time ago, in Bannerghatta, I’d sighted the
I will no longer be able to record at Muziboo, the site when I had an account and where I had recorded some songs. So I recorded this small song for KTB at Vocaroo:
I wrote to the MObirds listserv, mentioning a piece of doggerel that I’d written about birding.
Among the several migrants that we saw in Nandi Hills last week, this
Two people posted photos of very common birds on the birding egroup, and asked for ids.
On our visit to the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, several birds thrilled us through the day.
I was given a sudden, late-night query: Would I like to visit the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary?
AM writes to a friend, who says she’s had a quiet Deepavali:
Listen to my very talented nephew, Rakesh Raghunathan:
What could be a better medicine for severe jet-lag and symptoms of serious withdrawal from one’s grandchilden (who, as the miles slip away behind the aircraft, progressively become the best-behaved, most ideal children of all time)? A visit to my favourite haunt!
When you’ve been fasting, you tend to break your fast…and overdo it! I’d not seen anything of Indian birds for a longish time now, and when we went to
November First is the date on which
What to do when stuck into a window seat on an airplane? Take photos…these are views of St.Louis, Atlanta, Paris, dusk, passing-over-Iran at night…
For several years now, I have taken Air France flights, and in that time, their service has deteriorated very sharply.
A surreal day……a series of happenings. First, having to repack my bags dumping several things, at the airport, because they were ONE kg over the correct 50 kg weight.
Our witches need a break, too!
Ek bachpan kA zamAna thA, jismE khushiyOn kA khazAna thA;
On Sunday, the 20th of Oct, I went on
These are four short videos I look of the work of
I decided to go to the opening event of
The Hindu piously said To the fez-adorned head: “Even if it is Bakrid… Does not the slaughtered goat still bleed?”
How I followed this recipe (with some variations).
I squeeze his little body to me In an involuntary cuddle. I smile at his sister in the morning. We enjoy our time together, giggling and cuddling. I’m leaving a happy family To go on with their lives While I pick up the threads on mine, Across the world. Why, then, should separation Be such a heart-wrenching ache? Why should I mar moments of happiness, When I am watching brother playing with sister, With thoughts of not being able To see the minutiae of daily life In their home, and share them? All too soon, I will be back with them; I am sure that the bonds will remain strong And I can take up where I left off. Let me take an aspirin To cure my aching heart… Let me not dwell on the days That we will have to spend apart.
We visited a few homes for the golu, and I was most impressed by the collection of dolls the ladies seem to have acquired over the years:
I suddenly remembered a song I’d heard in my infancy…after months of not wanting to learn new songs, Kavya is suddenly keen again, now!
“Hi, A!” “Oh…HI, B! Sorry, I just didn’t see you in the crowd. This is my fourth golu visit this evening, you know, things are so hectic…so how ARE you? My, you’re looking just gorgeous!” “Oh, thank you! Is your saree a new one?” “It’s just a simple one I picked up on my last visit to Sun-Dry Silks, they have such a unique collection!…Oh, hi, C! You haven’t aged a bit!” “Hi, B..and A is here, too! Have you brought your adorable children? Oh yes, there they are…such beautiful princesses. How they’ve grown! It’s been a while since we’ve met.” “I know! It’s just one mad whirl, you know? How are your daughters doing?” “I have two sons, A. They are doing fine, thank you!” “Oh, yes, I’d forgotten…one of them is doing medicine, isn’t he? Such intelligence, after all, they are your kids!” “Oh, I don’t know….well, we MUST get together soon…muaaah! I’m in a rush, I have to pick up my younger son from practice, so bye…!” “C always seems in a bit of a rush, doesn’t she? I don’t know how she juggles so many things, B..I’d never be able to do it, A, I’m sure!” “Oh, you and I are just simple people, not career women…we take more pride in our homes and keep everything nice and organized. C doesn’t need to bother with all that.” “I do agree. A..did you get the number of the Hispanic couple who come do the house cleaning?” “I’ll get it for you the next time, I don’t seem to have it on my mobile. Oh, my, I just LOVE your jewellery…C wears more traditional designs, you know…” “She’s not into jewellery at all. Some of us are just different…she’s quite casual about her cooking, too.” “How I wish I could be like her! My husband and children want everything just so, and I really slave over the dishes…our children are at a growing age, they do need the best nutrition possible…” “I did notice that C’s younger son is a little short…” “Oh, well, nothing that can be done about it. Tell me, how do you manage to remain so slim?” “Ha, ha, there’s really nothing to it…I asked C also if she’d like to join my gym, but she’s so busy that she doesn’t have the time for it.” “Is that the new gym, Fat2Fit? I just LOVE the way they make the exercises fun. Next week will be my fourth day!” “I also tried to suggest a good nutrition consultant to C.” “Oh, just tell me the name and number, I would love to have some good advice for my hubby! I think it’s his metabolism, I just can’t get him to lose weight. He has no time, with his business taking up all his energy. Poor C, life must be tough for her….” “I can imagine, and she must have been so disappointed when her younger son didn’t get into Wonderful Academy…they say it’s the best school in town.” “I can vouch for that, the children are enjoying it so much! It’s nice when your children are gifted! My little one won third prize in the kindergarten art contest!” “That’s incredible! Wow, I’m sure she gets her talent from you. C’s children are so natural…they don’t get all formal-mannered, it’s nice to see a change.” “Oh yes, we can never hope to emulate her easy-going attitude to life! Even with a husband not doing too well, she never complains. Well, it’s been great running into you…we must meet up for a coffee or something one of these days.” “Of course! Let me take down your mobile number. Ciao, catch up with you soon!”
A glance at a bush can sometimes take one world-wide.
It’s not given to everyone to watch the Sea Lion show sitting on their 91-year-old great grandmother’s lap!
The Bird Watchers’ Field Club outings are as follows, each month:
When the angle is right The photograph is good. When the image is of right angles, Seen, and reflected, That’s a right-angled, right-angled image!
I used to have small “golu” every year, until my daughter left home. By that time, it was difficult to set it all up by myself, without anyone to appreciate it, and even worse to put it away…so I gave up the yearly practice. (My golu dolls still lie in a trunk in the attic of my flat.)
Vince Eitzen was DS’ grandfather. Marilyn, his grandmother, left for Florida today…and was talking about her first husband (he was the first of her 3 husbands.) He must have been an amazing guy…
At the Sea Lion Sound , an award-winning exhibit at the St.Louis Zoo,
I find that I take the shots, but am often not able to decide which is the good shot and which ones can be discarded.
orukkAl, nIyum nAnum nam iruvarin uravu needitthu nilaikkAthO?
galtiyon se juda tu bhi nahin, mein bhi nahin. donon insaan hain, khuda tu bhi nahin, mein bhi nahin.
We’d gone for “lunner” or “dinch” to the Boathouse at Forest Park,and I looked out of the enclosed seating area at people who were sitting outside, at the edge of the water.
Here’s DS trying out an
Why is he rushing to get that door?
Do not be put off by any short-and-terse comments I am making on your LJ post.
I got an email from
I was walking to meet Eliot Miller and his girlfriend, Sarah, both of whom are postdocs in bird science; Eliot is studing at UMSSL, and called me over to go birding with them.
When a couple move from love tomarriage..they begin to navigate the thorny thickets of social customs, unspoken expectations, implicit equations, and the general interaction of personalities…marriage in India is not to one person but to the immediate, and extended, family…and is more complicated than any corporate management job!
Thanks to Santosh Oak for these.
It’s most enjoyable when children develop their own personalities, and give their own spin to things!
We adults had events all chalked out…we’d go boating in Forest Park. We finished our activity, the children did enjoy it…but while we were waiting for our cars, KTB and her friend Ananya ran around the grass, playing so happily…
I made post of the beautiful
Boat House, Forest Park, 140913
He raises his head above the crib
Life…is fitting together the pieces And making sense of it. Your parent’s there to guide you If the pieces don’t fit!
I went out to the backyard, it was cloudy, today. I thought I’d send the usual Starlings flying away. Perhaps a Robin, and a Sparrow or two…. But the birds that I saw…were something new.
For a superb video, please
There’s nothing the matter with me, I’m just as healthy as can be,
I left for the birding outing as the sun came up.
AM had come home from the De Baliviere garage, where the installation of the new fare-boxes is under way. As she spoke on the phone, she looked out of the window, and in the conservancy lane parallel to our home, she noticed a fire in a dumpster:
I was just about to drive off, when, outside the open garage door, I noticed a lot of fluttering on the bush in the corner between our backyard and our neighbour’s…
A Poem on the Human Anatomy
The crescent moon and the attendant star were still bright when I took the Metrolink train to Central West End Station:
If you think you’ve thought of it Someone’s thought of it before; Someone’s thought, and said, and written it Earlier…nothing’s new anymore!
A very enjoyable chat with
Our little fellow is now 7 months old; he is our very own creepy-crawly at home, starting to get around to near where he wants to go.
…And here’s the Lone Elk!
The piquant and witty observations of “shEr”
Whether it’s aground or on a wing
As I got it, spelling mistakes and all.
I got a message from Flora Williams, and since I wasn’t able to guage whether it was “genwine” or not, I replied, and asked her for more details. Now…you evaluate, from her reply:
This cartoon, which I drew when in college, proved to be so popular that I must have drawn dozens in the notebooks of my friends, teachers, and college mates…decided to draw one and send it as a greeting card to someone today.
Suddenly, I was able to see, and comment, on friends’ posts. And ofkose, it’s closed up again..but I peeked into several lives, and minds, and my dear, dear friends, it’s good to know you are all doing those interesting things!
She sleeps in exhaustion, my little one.
I decided to make mooli (radish) parathas. Ofkose I didn’t photograph most of the donkey work…the grating of the mooli, the mixing with the spices, the draining of the mooli water, the kneading of the dough, and the rolling out the parathas…I’ve just photographed the parathas being cooked on the tava, with oil and a touch of ghee (lower that cholesterol!)
I read about the
I went to the Farmers’ Market with my friends Divya and Chinmay, who’ve just arrived in St.Louis, with their son, Siddhartha. I love mushrooms, and I saw a nice lot of it there. But AM had told me they are not everyone else’s favourite, so…since I love my daughter, I came home without buying them
Here we are, playing “Go Fish”, a set-making game..
Lalgudi Jayaraman was truly a musical genius, one of the top-class violinists I’ve known… and a very creative musician. He was a close family friend was a long time, and I was privileged to hear him practising when he came and stayed with us, and often saw the process of his creating some of his thillanas.
Life has a way of suddenly rearing up and throwing stink-bombs at you….a young friend of mine (25 years old!) has been diagnosed with a 2-cm hole in the heart, which, by virtue of its position, needs major surgery for closure (sometimes such holes can be fixed laparoscopically.) In the course of the diagnosis, diabetes was also discovered, and the path towards surgery has become further complicated. I feel miserable that I am so far away from this young couple at this time. However, the internet allows me to keep in touch, and I wrote to them, likening their lives now to a train journey….the Passenger Train to the Good Health Terminus.
Here’s an email from Shyamal:
My favourite photo of the Gateway Arch; I took this when I’d gone with the TenToes Express to visit the City Garden.
When the mother turtle Calls to her offspring…
No words, just a list of some of the beautiful creatures I saw in Rockwoods Reservation:
We all went to Rockwoods Reservation, and Marilynn Motchan, who was baby-sitting her daughter’s German Shepherd pup, Benny, took us on a short trail and showed me a lot of plants. I also saw some wild mammals, but that’s for another post.
We heard about the
We gathered and walked out of the Visitors’ Center:
After we were done at the Lewis and Clark State Historical Site, looking at the old boat and the settler’s houses, we went to Alton:
Where did 180 days go?
Ruth was kind enough to take me to the Lewis and Clark Historical Center, Hartford, Illinois, venue of the Hummingbird Festival. We were going to watch the
When people jump to entertain him, he cackles…
Dear Blogger, Photographer, or anyone else canvassing for my “valuable vote”.
A set of beautiful posters, by
“Soft as sin”, said the words Of Jonna’s haiku. The words imprinted themselves In my heart. Yes, I thought…sin is soft. The soft temptation that calls one In the darkness of the soul To do things against one’s conscience. The soft sibilancy of illicit love Whispering in one’s ears…lust. The soft delight of food that is eaten For sheer love of eating…gluttony. The soft, insistent wanting Of more than one has…greed. The soft sounds of sleep That is beyond rest…sloth. The soft heat that comes to a head In a burst of temper…wrath. The softness of a poisonous remark Made against someone…envy. Sin does not stride boldly Into one’s soul; It slides in, softly, Slinking in, with slime.. With unseemly haste, we surrender While our good selves sleep. “Soft as sin”….so descriptive. The sibilance of the Serpent Is in those words.
I went to Forest Park for a shot walk, and was delighted by a certain red gentleman:
September 5th is usually celebrated as Teacher’s Day in India, but a lot of people are thinking of their preceptors today, which is Guru Purnima. Here are my thoughts…
Devin Peipert picked me up at 5.15am this morning, and we went to the Lost Valley:
Throughout the evening, after she returned from daycare, she troubled me. Didn’t want to wash her hands or feet…didn’t want to start, or finish, her dinner…kept pushing me to see how far I’d go…I was exhausted by the time her father took her upstairs to brush her teeth and go to sleep. Between her and her baby brother, the noise level was enormous, too…
- Most of the friends who were on LJ have moved on.
- All the comments, debates and conversations have ceased. I find FaceBook a place where all this happens now.
- Some days, I am not able to even open LJ. If I do, I am sometimes not able to post. If I can, I am not able to see friends’ posts, or comment on them. Sometimes I can’t even reply to the rare comment that someone leaves on my post.
- I think that spammers are the only visitors I have. My stats have recorded 190 unique visits yesterday, 160 today. ONE comment, and 80 spam comments (in Japanese, mostly, nowadays.)
One creeper’s enough for several insects, as I found when I looked.
Perhaps a little sexist…but I still liked it!
What lovely common names butterflies do have! Amy Witt’s mother, Linda Witt, helped me id this little beauty that I followed for a while, forsaking the ancient civilization at Cahokia Mounds.
Letter to MOBirds mailing list:
A head of fuzzy hair With a Mohawk, And a long Dennis-the-Menace cowlick. Silky, satiny, velvety skin. The most amazing, almond-shaped eyes That look at me with utter innocence. Pudgy little arms that fly up In an arc, when disturbed. The chubby cheeks of one who has Only food custom-made for him, By his mother..and Mother Nature. Dimples everywhere… On his knuckles, his cheeks, his chin, His knees, his toes…and his hips. Fatly little legs, and strong thighs That kick strongly. A rosebud mouth, a toothless smile. A round “O” of anger and a demand For instant attention. Little dumpling turnovers, Rolling along the floor. Drool, and often spitups, All over his round face. Happy cooing, like a pigeon. High-pitched whistling that seems To go beyond human hearing. Pees too often, poops Not often enough. This, then, is the bundle That my grandson is. Oh…I forgot to mention: Wrapped around his tiny little finger Is my heart, and those of his family. Can someone who cannot speak, Cannot walk…be so vitally important When we lived without him for many years? Yes…he can…and he is.
I went to Cahokia Mounds yesterday, with my friend, Ruth Hartsell, who is very kind-hearted and takes me to all sorts of interesting places! In so many years of visiting St.Louis, I’d never been to this World Heritage Site. It was well worth the visit, but I’m writing about an exhibition of native American (Indian is politically incorrect word now?) art and craft there, and I talked to this musician, who had several flutes for sale, made from Cedar and other woods…
It’s Sunday morning, and our little Pink Princess has come downstairs, decked in her tiara, two pearl necklaces…
Many years ago, when I visited my cousin Harini, her young son Dushyant sang this song very sweetly:
KM’s cousin, Raju Srikumar, put up a lot of family photographs on FB, and I downloaded these….
How apt a sign for our times, when God is incorporated!
I think I caught both his expression and his thought, on his first-ever flight…
Some names from the past that just go together…Hall and Stevens (geometry), Wren and Martin (English grammar), Swan and Edgar (shopping in London), Lakshmikant and Pyarelal, Shankar and Jaikishen (Hindi film music) Viswanathan and Ramamurthy (Tamizh film music), Simon and Garfunkel (pop music)….
I decided to see the first show of “Shrek”..the musical, based on the movie…at the Muny.
My daughter encouraged me:
I’d finished my walk, and was coming home, when I suddenly looked up, and saw a Red-tailed Hawk being chased all over the sky by Grackles and Robins:
Dad said he had some work to do… Sit on the porch, and on his lap Keep his computer and work… tap-tap-tap.
I’d decided to go for a brisk walk. NO birding, I’d promised myself. But I knew it was a hollow promise when I slung my camera around my neck! (well, even without the camera,I’d stop for any interesting bird or other creature…I knew it.) Like an addict who’s determined to kick the addiction, I set off at a brisk pace.
One tends to think of origami as a purely art form, for children to learn….and forget the fact that it’s very useful in daily life, too. You can take a piece of cardboard, shaped thus:
I was moved watching this, and I hope you will be, too…
I went to the Muny to watch the opening night of the musical season, with “Spamalot”. It had been raining heavily all day…but as if in salute to the never-say-die spirit of the cast, the rain petered out, and we had the most amazing sunset colours, before the show began! I thought of
It strikes me that none of the management schools have any courses to deal with “after”….the years after one’s active career is over, the “vana prastha” that Hindu scriptures deal with. Ambition is great while it is applicable, but I find that very few people, who have been driven by their careers, can deal with life after retirement; indeed, to many of them, “retirement” seems to be synonymous with being “useless”. Shifting down the gears does not come easily, nor does finding other interests to occupy oneself with, particularly when one has not had the time to cultivate such interests in the hectic pace of one’s career.
They may be the most common birds here, but babies are still fascinating….
I was just musing on a few lines in a novel by Dick Francis, “Smokescreen”…“You can’t keep a good Dakota down. There were two of them …..sitting on their tail wheels and pointing their dolphin snouts hopefully to the sky.”
Circus Flora, this year, put up a theme of “A Trip To The Moon”, based on Georges Melies 1902 film, Le Voyage dans la Lune.
- Kareena has dandruff problem, Katrina has dry hair problem, Shilpa has hairfall problem and Priyanka has chip-chip.
I take the same route on my walk every day, and the variations I make are now very limited, because time is a constraint (today KTB started yowling well before I got back, and ruined her parents’ sleep.) But I feel that every day’s walk is different..I see different things, or see the same things differently.
Don’t you know, little infant, As you push away that bottle, That this one ounce of milk (That you’re reluctant to finish) And the need to get it into you… Is the reason I’m here, Halfway around the world? Caring for you is… This tiny bit of milk, Washing bottles, wiping your tiny, Dimpled bottom, and changing your nappy. Bathing and then massaging you, And hearing you chortle with delight. It’s also watching you, as you sleep, With your pudgy little arms Slowly coming down to rest After flying up when you get disturbed. It’s my delight when you begin to coo; It’s my wondering when you will begin To turn over, instead of lying, curled With your tiny frog-legs up in the air. My home may be far away: But my heart is here, with you, In your soft skin, and your toothless smile.
I do understand the need for scientific names, but I also must add the caveat that they are not required by everyone; some of us ambling-along nature-lovers find some scientific names very off-putting indeed. How interesting it is, to tell a group of children, “See the Spittle-bugs!
I wanted to do the Miniature Museum, but here’s one review that I found very unsettling:
I’m on the mailing list of the
That subject title needs a lot of explanation :)
Diamond dew drops glisten In the morning sun The very light seems washed, and fresh… The rule of night is done.
Kanian Chatterjee sent me a rendition of Robindro Songeet.
I tend to notice an elitism about Knowing Names. I start out by looking at a beautiful bird, or a pretty butterfly, or a lovely tree. I then look up to the person who confidently identifies it for me. A Bulbul! I am thrilled that I have this knowledge.
Here’s KP, cooing and gurgling happily to the nonsense verse I am spouting at him:
Yesterday, I was able to go to friends’ LJ pages, and comment, too..and it lasted for a while. Well, at least today I can open my own LJ page….!
This was supposed to be a walk to the Norman Probstein Golf Course, to see the gourds and boxes of the
Milk…is white…and the job of feeding it to a baby every day (and the other care associated with it) can be bland and boring.
Instead of waxing eloquent and wasting words, some people have a great knack of conveying what they want to say, with great style.
On a recent visit to Chicago, I went to visit the famous
Here’s the moon in the clouds.
DS’ mother, LS, asked, “So how was the great Chicago trip?” and the answer is….
My own LJ is opening up, at last…I still can’t see friends’ pages, but this is a slight improvement…
Here’s her own positive spin on “Jamaican Farewell”!
I was listening to this song (OK, it must be pretty old hat for most of you,but I was listening to it for the first time:
I went to see Twelfth Night at Forest Park. But it had not yet become dark. I went to hear some immortal words; But everywhere I saw the birds.
I went to the U City Library, and was waiting..it was 8.45am and the library opens at 9am. I looked at the flowers along the wall of the building..and found the bees active…
Sometimes,it’s more fun to see a landmark in unexpected places….
At last, LJ opens up for a few minutes…let me rush to post.
When housebound, taking care of a little baby, one can still enjoy a fair amount of bird-watching!
I gave birth to my only child, a daughter, about thirty four and a half years ago. On that winter morning, of the second of November, the pain of childbirth made me a mother…it was Mother’s Day for me.
As one grows up, one discovers the discovery power of the question mark, then the exciting power of the exclamation mark. Then…the slower power of the comma…the sedate power of the semi-colon…and finally, the restful power of the full stop.
My friends Sujata and Ravi Dube’s son Akash passed away exactly a year ago, to leukemia. Akash had fought back spiritedly, and even organized a Terry Fox Run in Chennai. I think he conquered the illness with his outlook.
Six men were trapped by happenstance, in the bleak and bitter cold. Each one held a log of wood, or so the story’s told.
Today’s Forest Park Forever/Audubon Society first Saturday bird walk was very rewarding for me. It was great to walk with experienced birders; I saw a variety of Warblers that would otherwise have been Anonymous Brown Jobs!
He came into the world, a little scrap of a human being; he was “asked” to come into the world as further residence in his first abode would not be of benefit to him…so he was a smaller baby, at birth, than he might otherwise have been.
Siddharth and Karthik came home to celebrate KTB’s 4th birthday, and were instantly up in the tree. KTB stood on the grass, advising them not to climb the tree as “you will end up in hospital!” she scolded.
Here’s an FB message I got today:
KTB’s fourth birthday is tomorrow, the 29th of April So we had a pool party to celebrate:
Here’s my email to Bob Bailey, who led the walk:
I’d been to a fund-raising event yesterday, by the St.Louis Academy of Sciences:
I was reading a few emails about travelling on faster and faster trains….I am wondering, apropos of this thread…is speed everything?
Children’s education includes fast food very early, these days! Here’s what she’s learnt at her daycare:
My email to Mike Grant (in charge of birding/field trips, Audubon Society of St.Louis):
When the ground is covered with snow, Where do the birds go? When the earth is soaked with rain, Where do the birds go for grain? When the sun bakes the fields with its heat, When the cracked earth burns our feet.. When the very air is hot and dry, Where do the birds go…and why? When the dusk deepens into twilight, When rules the darkness of the night… When no chink of light can show, Where do the birds go? We treat many people like the birds: When they’re with us, we have kind words. But when with us they are not, We do not give them a thought. Where do the people go? Where do the birds go?
Birds of Missouri:
Will be uploading photos later, but couldn’t resist sharing this video of hundreds of American Pelicans soaring in the sky above the Mississippi:
It really is worth taking along the camera, no matter where and when I go….I got ample proof of this when I decided to take KTB for a walk in Forest Park. I put her in her stroller, and entered the park at the History Museum, as usual, and was walking along the edge of the golf course towards the Grand Basin…when I suddenly saw a
Thanks to Deepa Vaishnavi, who posted it on her FB page:
DS’ grandfather, Bob Shaffer, is 97…and he’s truly a gentleman of the old school…gentle and kind. He’s also a highly qualified man; he was the Dean of Indiana University (and my cousin met him when he…the cousin…was studying there!)
This guy is going to be a Future Rocket Scientist, because his clothes proclaim so:
I didn’t get the email informing me that the meeting point for today’s walk had been changed to
Sumeet is a person with very interesting ideas, and in a recent conversation, he talked about his liking the following definition of independence by M K Gandhi:
The mainstream Indian educational system is, to my mind, utterly stultified. We follow an ancient tradition, but not ancient enough…we follow the old British school system, not our own Vedic (or any other equally old) kind of education. We place extreme stress on rote learning, and make only token concession to modern methods. In fact, it seems to be nothing but memorizing facts, and repeating it in the all-important examinations. Shakespeare and Euclid are not studied for knowledge, but to get a few more marks in the exam…and they are studied with “key books”.
The weather may be cold, but our temperatures are not, down St.Louis way. We start like this…
Sometimes, the very air is charged with the colours of happiness.
We say “black and white”…but it’s never just black and white. There are always the various shades of grey, the areas that are neither here nor there….but I can’t talk about fifty shades of grey any more!
Snow is supposed to be white; But many colours seen to hide in it. The snow catches the band of the prism: Indeed, it can even widen it.
Ruth Hartsell kindly took me along to the Trash Bash at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers…
I was trying to locate some bird photos on my LJ, and suddenly got a “site stat:
Recently, KP (that’s Kalyan Mohan Shaffer) seemed to look exactly, I said in an email, “like PiNK Mama”
I’ve been recently seeing pictures of several places of worship…all of them very ornate and fancy, indeed. (The latest being a very grand Gurdwara in Dubai..
At KTB’s daycare, they never use the words “disobedience” or “bad behaviour” (or behavior, as it is spelt in American E.) But each child has a clothes peg assigned to hem, and depending on how the day has gone, the person picking up the child can see where the child has been…well…pegged.
One blooming flower Takes many a weary (and expensive) hour But the first flower of a weed… It blooms at great speed!
I made a movie, using one of Picasa’s features for the first time.
We all receive them…emails with some text, and then a long, pompous, legal-sounding warning at the tail-end of the message. We’ve learnt to ignore them, by and large, but, once in a while….
We are very lucky to have a fruit fiend at home. Cherries, strawberries, kiwis, blueberries….and, especially, bananas…
This was the scene when I went to drop Boodi Ma at her daycare, a few days ago.
This morning, when I woke up, I’d lost an hour. Permanently.
When a woman too busy to know Working in a parched field A wet construction site Or a sweltering factory floor Nurses a sick child
Kavya decided to play noughts and crosses on her dry-erase slate with her dad. She took the first turn, and here’s how the slate looked when she asked her dad to put down his first nought!
I buy a certain brand of bra, which has adjustible straps, and a plastic doohickey to connect the bra to the strap.
One of my friends, on a mailing list, sent me this picture,
When I went for the monthly bird walk today, I felt that I was not in the US, but in the country of Chile…the temperature was 0 deg C, but the wind chill factor brought it down several degrees below that! However, in spite of frozen fingers, I had a very enjoyable time!
Q. What are Jokkus?
I made friends with Kiran Srivastava at INW (I’ve still not met him face to face..the one time he visited Bangalore, I was out in Nandi Hills or somewhere.) He has a great sense of humour, liked this piece very much!
Here are the colours of a young life, that I snapped….
When a bottle of whisky is finished, we like to chase the devil out of the bottle.
I am trying to articulate a theory that I have…that one of the reasons we, as a nation, don’t accomplish things, is our culture of Letting Someone Else Do It. We always delegate whatever we can (and several things we should not) to others. Power seems to be equal to Not Having To Do Things Oneself. There are always Anonymous Minions to carry out our mundane tasks. (I receive requests from so many people on this mailing list to unsubscribe them or add on another email id!) We do not feel empowered unless we do not have to do things ourselves. What we forget is that if we don’t do it ourselves, the other person assigned the task of doing it, will not do it as well. This, to me, explains the shoddy, chalta-hai ulture that vitiates much of our industry and endeavours.
Here’s the officialese about the Big Bird Day:
This family wins, hands down…
Every friend who’s gone with me on the UGS (Usual Gang of Suspects) nature trails this year, has enjoyed the sight of the Pakshi Darshini (Eatery for birds)…
I didn’t get it till the very end…see if you do!
How much wood would a Wood Duck duck If a Wood Duck would duck wood? I don’t know how much wood he could… But he certainly looks good!
Terraces….I look at the houses around me in St.Louis, and this is one feature I miss…all these houses have sloping roofs, so that the occasional snow can slide off. However, in India, most houses and apartment buildings are topped by flat terraces, which have multiple uses, and which add to the rich texture of life in my country.
I had made
We get amazin’ stuff from Amazon….
After visiting the temple, Anjana acceded to my request to drive through Lone Elk Park (more than that was not possible, given a 12-day-old baby in the car, and the cold weather), and it was a good drive…as we were able to see
There’s no one on the bridge now. The turgid, frigid water may be slow; But still, I watch it flow. I can remember how The earlier water felt How, before the melt The water iced my heart And tore it apart. Now the old days are gone . The time has flown. The bridge is empty: the water beneath No longer chills: My heart now is in an armoured sheath. I donn’t plumb the depths… or climb the hills.
Which photo appeals to me more?
I read this interesting article:
Born on the twenty-eighth, just twelve days ago, You’d think his growth would be very slow. Au contraire. He has been fleet… He seems already to have grown…two feet!
Another rare chance to be able to post to LJ…I really do NOT know why I’m not giving up…just cussedness, I think. My dear friends…I can’t read your posts any more, most of the time…I can’t even post to my own LJ….I can’t reply to your comments (though I can see them most of the time)…Oh well, I’ll continue as long as I can.
Some of us use only our field glasses; Some take informative, educative classes; Some go with others and watch what they do; There are multiple paths to learning how to watch birds, too. A different path may be liked by each… Including the level each wants to reach.
I woke up in the middle of the night To see a world swathed in silent white. The snow came down in a luminous cloud One little flake landed on my palm. And melted into water; no fuss, so calm. This is the way one should accept death…. The calm cessation of drawing the breath Everything stilled in the billowing cloud Where the angels’ white, is the white of the shroud. Melting, not into liquidity But quietly into eternity.
Rudyard Kipling We and They “A Friend of the Family” From “Debits and Credits”(1919-1923)
Every now and then, I get internet forwards which purport to be “scientific” explanations of our “age-old culture” and “traditions”…The latest one is too good not to share; this is about how good it is to visit temples:
“Deepamma, will you sleep with me?” The soft voice is irresistible… As are the two tiny arms That twine themselves around my neck. I sing the soothing monotone Of a traditional lullaby That’s been sung to children for centuries. The arms slacken, the breathing deepens. The gentle curve of the cheek, the sweep of the closed lashes The slight opening up of the fingers in sleep. The soft rise and fall of her chest. I remember the day when she, too Was hardly more than a Peanut… I called her Eli (mouse) then… In the past three years, she may have often Slipped her arms around my neck. But it’s my heart that she has fettered. I kiss her, carefully, and think of her brother, With whom I will revisit these heavenly places… They send tendrils of love all around my heart, These two: for ever more, They have me wrapped around their tiny fingers. I am surely the most willing, the most happy slave! Grandchildren are even more joy-giving than children can be, I find.
How, Madhavi says, some of us sight far more birds than others do…
On the banks of Kunigal Dodda Kere (big lake), I found the age-old temple of Someshwara, and on the gopura, which has stood for centuries, I found this already broken wasps’ nest:
I’ve been interacting, on FaceBook, with the MD of BESCOM (Bangalore Electricity Supply Corporation), Mr Manivannan (though our interaction is not mainly on civic issues..he’s quite a poet!). I have been getting the sense that he’s shaking up this behemoth and making them more accountable and user-friendly.
It was great not to be in any kind of competitive mode, but to take a lot of people (and children) around, to show them as many birds as possible.
On Friday, 11th Jan 2013, a few of us were going for a birding trail, and we were waiting at the chai shop at Mantri Residency Apartments, on Bannerghatta Road, for a couple of others to arrive.
Had a hectic week and weekend…but before I write about it all, here’s something to make you smile!
I think everyone who uses the internet must watch this:
The sadness we feel at the fall of heroes is less to do with their frailty, and more to do with our need to set up heroes in the first place. If we deify humans, they are bound to prove to be only human, after all….!
Some of the BULBs (Bangalore Urban Lady Birders) decided to meet up for lunch at Halli Mane on Sankranti Day:
Amith Arun Kamal Naveen Rashmi Rohan Roy Swethadri
Things haven’t been going well for me, and not only on LJ. Well, I suppose it’s really my fault. But that doesn’t make it easier to bear, and today, I felt pressurized and sick…and suicidal. But I posted a message on FB, and immediately, friends reached out, with messages and emails….and my friend Arun sent me this link:
These two prepositions were in, and on, my mind over the weekend.
With not much hope, I clicked on “Friends entries”…and was astounded to see that the pages actually opened up, AND I could post comments! AMAZING! I could see my friends’ posts, and comment too! I rushed to comment on a few…and a few is all I could comment on. WHOMP! I suddenly got a blank screen when I tried to comment on
My first birding outing of 2013….
I’d been to attend a multi-media event at the Bangalore Fort.
It’s Christmas Eve…Silvesterabend…and here’s one of my favourite children’s songs.
When my child sighs In distant shores… It brings tears to my eyes. She misses her child, But her separation is mild… A matter of a few hours.
I found this incredible video and would like to share it with all of you…
I’d posted in Facebook: “There are times…when I wonder whether people do like me..or are just too polite to tell me otherwise!”
We see, in Bhutan, a land full of prayer, in the form of wheels and flags that flutter in the breeze:
In a small improvement, I can now post and comment on my own LJ,at least and at last…
A ghazal is, technically, Urdu poetry. But Hindi is very close to Urdu, and some of the most beautiful ghazals are from Hindi movies.
Deepak Edwin, one of my FB friends, asked, “Do you ever rest?” The answer is….
I am still young-at-heart enough (or foolish enough) to love a train journey.
Chandu Bandi, Job Joseph, and I went on a nature trail at the Valley School yesterday (071212, Saturday), and the Valley never disappoints. We managed to see 66 species of birds and several species of butterflies, and we were also able to observe many things at leisure, such as the courtship dance of one Coppersmith Barbet pair all over a couple of trees, ants tending to aphids, wasps laying their eggs on figs, and a wasp collecting mud for her nest..
When the sun’s rays pierce the clouds, that effect is called the “Fingers of God”. Surely, I feel, God lays His (or Her) fingers on this magic country of the Thunder Dragon! No more words…just enjoy what I saw and want to share with you.
Mostly, I am not able to see the “post to journal” button and cannot post. I cannot comment on my friends’ entries and sometimes, I am not even sure I am seeing them all. I am getting Japanese spam as well, nowadays. I am on the verge of quitting LJ…it’s only that I hate something getting the better of me…today I am able to post!
In Bhutan, anything….a human hand, the water in the mountain streams, the sunlight, the breeze…can be used to “power” a prayer. Surely this establishes that prayer is an energy, a force….?
The latest article in my Nature feature column in Citizen Matters:
A damsel (a fly) saw a female spider; She looked very happy when she spied her. She opened her mouth wide, and then wider: And ate till the spider was inside her!
Pune has been a great place to wander around….I attended a reception; some circles become ellipses depending on the angle of the camera….
This was a day when we left Paro, and travelled through Dochu La (La is a pass) to Thimphu, got some permits (which also allowed us to explore the main street of the little capital at leisure while we waited for the paperwork…Geetanjali got us special permission to go to Phobjikha, which is no longer allowed, to see the critically-endangered Black-necked Cranes)…..and on to Punakha.
Have just a few minutes of wifi at the hotel in Paro, but I’ve put up a few photographs of our flight into Paro from Kolkata,
On the advice of
I often post photographs in Facebook under the album, “Votzit”…and I ask friends to identify what’s been photographed. Since I loved the colours in my latest set, I am posting the set here, and I think you will not find it too difficult to find out the answer!
On my way to the bus terminus in Pune, I saw parts of this historic city that I’ve never seen before…
We have recently been having a discussion about wildlife rescue…and here are my two cents.
A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.
On the train to Pune, I watched the effects of the clouds, sky, sunlight and storm as we sped past the landscape:
I am, most often, NOT able to post comments on friends’ blogposts. Forgive me friends, I’m not guilty of snootiness…it is increasingly rare for me to be able to post comments.
I’ve returned from a memorable trip to the north of Karnataka and then Pune, and part of Maharashtra….but that’s not what I want to write about.
The creatures we saw in Ganeshgudi, and Dandeli, came in all shapes and sizes. Some were on the ground, some on the leaves, some on the trees…but all of them were fascinating.
I’ve spoken before of my friend
Those who are arachnophobic, SKIP!
I canNOT understand probability theories. I think that everything is just 50-50…either it will happen or occur, or it will not.
Back from a great trip to JLR Old Magazine House, Ganeshgudi, Karnataka…but more about that later. A series of misunderstandings , and a song that my friend Pavitra Jayaraman sent me, set me musing on relationships, and how proper communication is vital…
Going around, visiting my friends and also checking out the condition of lakes, I got some images I’d like to share with you. No LJ cuts in this post!
For the past several (I think it’s eight now) I have had a pair of Blue Rock Pigeons (these should now be called Blue Apartment Pigeons!) sitting on a strut on the ventilator shaft of my apartment building.
How did all my friends Become so precious to me? We just started exchanging a few words. But more than words were heard. Through the words, like the string in a garland, Affection expressed itself, And mutual liking was established. We sought more opportunities to meet: We also exchanged more words online. Soon the bonds formed, They tightened as time passed. I do not know which friendships Will last the length of years Until the years themselves pass. Today, with the internet, There is no reason but apathy (And lack of time) To not keep in touch. My heart has room for many people But my life, and the daily grind, Does not. The days are like A kaleidoscope Where each day brings different friends, Or sometimes the same friends, Into view. Accepting this, I am able to have so many close friends Rather than trying to have An intense relationship With each one. Friendships…my greatest treasure. But I cannot count each gold coin every day! I accept that some coins might tarnish Or be spent. But the others that remain Fill the coffers of my heart.
Weekends are my busiest time, and also the time I enjoy the most, as I am either taking out a group of children (sorry, that sounded as if I am some kind of Herod or mass murderer…I meant, taking children on an outing) or adults, or both, on nature trails, or going, myself, with the UGS (Usual Gang of Suspects…our group of friends).
I’ve been doing this for years, and been reviled as “cheap”…but now recycling has become “cool” and here’s my how-to….
Several of us drove down to Daroji and Hampi, leaving on the 29th of September and returning on the 2nd of October, 2013. The group from Bangalore conisted of: Manjula Sridhar, Rama Warrier, Rohan Chakravarty, Santosh Bengaluru, Samrat, Tharangini Bala, and myself. We were very lucky to meet up with Dr Arun S K, Dr Nagraj C S, Pompayyaswamy Malemath, Samad Kottur, and Santosh Martin, all from Bellary. They made it a very memorable visit for us.
When there are power cuts for long periods, when money is an issue, children are happy with traditional toys, too. Here’s a video of a boy with a toy:
I’ll just let the photographs tell the story:
Here’s the gopura of the Virupaksha temple, Hampi, reflected in rainwater:
We had a wonderful trip to Daroji, Kamalapur and Hampi, and of course, the highlight of the visit was the wonderful World Heritage site at Hampi, and the Sloth Bears at Daroji.
I look at the pile-up of emails. From my male friends, and females. Amongst the whole varied lot There is one precious one that I spot. Like a miser, I save it away To look at, later in the day When my regular work is done When I take a break from the run I savour this mail from my friend. It gives me joy without end. Who is this email from, so Blessedly dear? Wouldn’t you like to know!
On our trip to Daroji/Hampi, we took the Chitradurga/Hospet route, and near Chitradurga, we saw the majestic sight of the windmills turning:
Off for 4 days to Daroji/Hampi, let’s see what we see! We are 8 of us (6 NTP members) and we’ll be meeting
The memories locked in each heart Could bring so many joys.. It could take us back to golden times When we could be happy, and rejoice.
I posted on Facebook just now, “With so many interesting YouTube clips today, I am that ancient Chinese lady, Wat Ching.”
I was looking for the amenities available to passenger in various Indian railway stations, and just could not find anything that told me what was available, especially in the way of staying at the station itself. I posted on FB, and promptly got a lot of excellent links from friends.
Thanks to my cousin, Ganapathi Vibhu, I got this amazing treasure…the invitation to my parents’ wedding!
The first Junglecapes non-profit wildlife excursion.
While I realize that the scientific names of creatures are a kind of Unique Identification, and very necessary, I feel that often referring to creatures ONLY by their scientific names, and not the common ones, is a form of elitism….I-know-this-scientific-term-you- don’t-so-look-it-up…..if all and Sundari start doing this, it can be a lot of Bos indicus.
Seven colours of the rainbow Each vibrant, bright Melt together in light To a gentle,quiet white. I wish I too go This way.. Having experienced the colours of life Into white serenity dissolve my strife.. In my life..may peace hold sway.
There is only one real “parrot” in India, the Vernal Hanging Parrot. (The others are Parakeets). We got to observe a lot of them at Nature’s Nest, Canopy Goa, at Tambdi Surla, and I got this video of one feeding off the Powder Puff blossoms:
Nature, to me, doesn’t exclude humanity..what’s created by humanity, especially in the past, is very fascinating, too. While in the Melagari forests, I went to take a quick look at the old Dabbaguli temple.
You can see the sun, when you can bear the ferocity of it splendour:
I was re-re-re-re-reading “Emma” by Jane Austen, and impressed afresh by her wit and observation…but this time around, I decided to google for the unfinished and unexplained riddle that Mr Woodhouse keeps referring to:
A review of “An Evening with Anton Chekhov” by rafiki and TFA:
It is the practice, at many temples to any goddess, to offer sarees as a votive offering to the deity. But when I visited the Melagiri forests, I saw this shrine that was actually constructed of sarees…
I wake up early, and I think it’s usually the most wonderful part of the day. Yesterday’s cares seem distant and behind me; the air, and my mind, are fresh and ready for today. It feels wonderful to stretch one’s legs, and walk…not much, just about 4.5 km….and it’s a great time to think one’s own thoughts, introspect, say a few prayers….
On Saturday, I went with fellow volunteers of Kenneth Anderson Nature Society (KANS) to the forests of Uganiyam, to check on four camera traps that have been set there. These cameras have been recording a wealth of wildlife…leopards, tuskers, boars, birds, deer…and I wanted to see Uganiyam, too.
On the visit to the Pais’ farmhouse, I enjoyed the various flowers they had in their garden. Here are a few…
I had made
My lover Woke me in the middle of the night With sweet words. At that hour, Sleepy, with only the light Of the moon upon my bed, I said…. Something that only my lover heard.
In the same tub/sump where we found the two fieldmice, we saw this deadly beauty:
Since I’ve not totally got back to (ab)normal after my “stag”gering accident, I cancelled my proposed trip to Honey Valley in Coorg…but couldn’t keep away from ANY outing altogether, so the UGS (Usual Gang of Suspects) got together, and we went to the Bannerghatta-Kaggalipura Road, wandered along the area where the Waterlily Pond is, and then went to the Pais’ farmhouse.
Last weekend, I had been to Masinagudi with friends, and on Saturday evening, something happened that I still have no recollection of.
A Temple to Death (this was the place of the Parsi Tower of Silence, where the dead were offered to the Vultures as part of Nature’s food chain):
On Id-ul-Adha, the Moon, too, seems to have sacrificed some of Herself:
I got this lovely sight of two Thunbergia sp flowers together.
The Brahminy Kite Has a head that is white The rest of it is a lovely red-brown; He sat for an hour, at least, With this fish for a feast, As he pecked and gulped it all down!
I’ve started getting oodles of spam again. I do wonder how much longer I am going to last on LJ.
Been looking at old photographs…can you believe that one is me, and one is
This caterpillar seems To have a garden on its back. Green seems the watchword As it follows the track. Bright red flowers Bloom amidst the green; It’s one of the most lovely cats That I’ve ever seen!
At the NTP, we came out for a chai break to find it POURING with rain. (The monsoon always waits for the official announcement in the newspapers, that it is a failure, before unleashing its fury on the city.) We found this
Tell me what this is (it took me a while to work it out):
Freud’s theory that bad experiences in early childhood may have a great influence on one’s attitudes in adulthood seems, certainly, to be true in my case, with many subjects. Having had very different exposures to different “subjects” in school, my attitude towards them differs greatly.
I’ve known many wildlife artists, and usually I think of them as people from urban centres, who paint and exhibit in the city. Surprisingly, what was in front of my eyes for a very long time, I had not really noticed…until Sunday, when I met this wildlife artist.
Once in a while, these phrases come alive….on Saturday, while we were watching a field of Egrets, we saw one…
Two incidents have cut us off from the forests of Karnataka.
I’d posted about
During the nature trail on Sunday, we were able to watch some
Baitu Filter Kaapi, that is….
My daughter works for the St.Louis Metro, and one of her colleagues, who was leaving, wrote this farewell message to those who work for public transport in a culture of private transport. My daughter shared it with me. I found it very beautiful, and would like to share it.
I went yesterday to review the play, “Moliere Tonight!” at the Alliance Francaise de Bangalore…. and blanked out in actually removing my trusty MLC (Canon SX30) from across my shoulder and leaving it on or near the seat I was sitting. I realized I did not have it, when I came home….and was very sure I’d get it back.
I always knew that snails retreated within their shells, and then slowly came out again…but I had never really thought about “how” until I saw this African snail on Saturday, and decided to video it close up….
…since I last posted, and goodness knows how I coped…but I feel happy to report that I have coped.
We watched the Fourth of July fireworks from a friend’s apartment terrace:
Hearing a loud whistly call from a Lantana bush, I approached a wee bit closer and got the tailor:
A thread on a mailing list to which I belong, started talking about old Readers’ Digest, and of course, I fell to reminiscing (why does one have to fall to think back? Can’t one maintain one’s balance?)
I was looking at photos of a new place of worship coming up somewhere in the world, and felt strongly….I feel contrary once again, and wonder, why do we have to invest the objects of our faith or reverence with so much opulence? Why must we decorate our gods with gold and diamonds? I very often find that devotees seem to appreciate the materialistic opulence more than the deity enshrined.
Dawn approaches. But there is dusk in my heart. More than three decades later, We are moving apart.
Life Can Present Some Nasty Turns
It was a wonderful production of the Disney musical. I was asked not to take videos, so I did not. There were “Ali” fez-es and “Jasmine” tiaras being given away, and a magician entertained everyone, before the actual show. In spite of the thunderstorm, it was a wonderful evening, as Dawn, Rani and I had dinner (I made mooli parathas, buttermilk and dal) and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly…our row (Z, the last one) was the only covered one!
I’ve seen many
The dentist (or either parent) has apparently told her that she must brush her teeth after dinner, but she’s upgraded that to DURING:
A friend wrote on a mailing list:
Since many of the firework displays around St.Louis were cancelled due to the high temperatures and fear of fire, we figured that the display under the Gateway Arch was likely to be immensely crowded.
I am just below “good” in everything that I do. Writing,sketching, photography, music, quizzing, learning….and I am repeatedly told, “You can do so much better at x, y, z…why don’t you realize your potential?”
!. Communication in the line of sight or hearing. Sign language, speech.
- Communication beyond the line of sight or hearing. Written language.
- Communication, instantly, by aural means,beyond the line of sight. Telegraph, telephone.
- Communication, instantly, by aural and visual means, beyond immediate sight or hearing, only one way. Television.
- Communication, instantly, as above, and conversation across the world. Internet, email.
- Communication, and conversation, as above, with photographs. Attachments, digital images, video/audio phone networks.
- Communication, and conversation as above. Blogs.
- Communication, and conversation, on a wider platform. Social networking sites.
I put her to sleep…I think she’s off And slowly slide from the bed… Oh no, she’s not, she raises Her curly-tangled head. When her arms go round my neck, A tiny voice whispers in my ear, “Deepamma, don’t go away!” I want to spend forever here…. Children are the sweet tendrils That wind themelves around your heart. It wrenches me, each time I have To tear myself apart.
To most gardeners, insects on their plants means bad news, and something that must be dealth with drastically.
Sometimes, it’s a little girl who bathes…
After my laptop and I went flying over a granite surface last January, in Chambal, my friendly neighbourhood laptop repairman, and my dear friend
Do you want to see the face of true love?
While in Memphis, we also spent a morning at
This post contains Sol
A Tamizh transliteration of a song (Vennilava?…“is it the white moon?”)
When Afreen and I went to watch the Men’s National Gymnastics Championships (the finalists get to the Olympics trials!), we saw this baby Northern Mockingbird:
It suddenly occurred to me that punctuation marks are such an important part of any written communication.
When someone whom you’ve always talked to about your concerts, doesn’t even bother to react when you tell them you are singing, never calls, and is no longer bothered?
I got introduced to
Don’t have much to say, as life is very difficult right now…but when that happens, the best thing is to smile!
How to do the Hula, as demonstrated by DS:
D and I had taken KTB to Forest Park, and we found a beautiful kite up in the air, that we could see far away….
I had, with my usual memory, completely forgotten the celestial event that I could go and see, and after D and I picked up KTB, we took her for a picnic dinner at Forest Park:
My friend Saritha Rai writes in the New York Times:
I had a wonderful morning, as great as any nature trail in my beloved Bannerghatta forest….in Forest Park, it was the monthly birding outing of the Audubon Society and Forest Park Forever. By now, many of the group are well-known to me, and since I call my Bangalore nature group UGS (Usual Gang of Suspects)…I feel I can call this group US (US Group!).
First, the family assembles, having decided on a “staycation” for Memorial Day weekend:
One member of a mailing list I belong to started by showing a statue of Marilyn Monroe in the famous “billowing-up skirt” pose on a ventilation grating, being put up in Chicago. What was interesting to me about the photograph was that the head of MM was completely covered…but obviously, the men on the list took off in a different (northward) direction.
I’d signed up for the
Here’s a well-written account about
As I walk in the morning, I often find the sprinklers on in various homes, and sometimes, in the early morning sunlight, they look utterly beautiful…
Recently, another unusual bird (the Oriental Pratincole) was sighted in Bangalore, and its location kept “secret” (that is, known only to the elite few!) for “conservation” reasons. Several of us, including
This topic has been, well, on my mind for a while, and contrary to the title, I’d like to share my thoughts!
Yesterday, at Lewis Park, I was walking around, and thought I saw some mosquitoes….
I learnt this nonsense rhyme as a child, and as part of my cultural heritage, I’m carefully passing on the nonsense to KTB, as well as the sense!
Here’s KTB the Mother cuddling HER daughter (her name is Yaya Papa…papa is baby in Tamizh), changing her nappy by stripping her, and wishing everyone Happy Mother’s Day, at our behest…
I do enjoy the wit wherever I find it, and on the Hasiru Usiru egroup, a civic citizens' forum that I belong to, S. Nityananda has posted, regarding car-free walking zones in Ahmedabad, which has been recently introduced:
<div>"at least something gets done in some cities. In Bangalore, we also do things… like deciding the dates for a preliminary meeting to discuss whether it would be advisable to consider deciding a date for discussing initial ideas for car free zones."
I'll probably be thinking about this at odd timed, and there will be an unexplained smile on my face!</div>
How I miss the pre-monsoon showers in Bangalore! (But not too much, as weather.com tells me the high in Bangalore is 30 deg C, and it is 24 deg C in St.Louis…I propose to go for another long hike in Forest Park when I am done with housework!
Some of the very common birds I'd
The Brown-headed Cowbirds and their mates seem to be out, and the "treeeee!" call of the Red-winged Blackbird can be heard everywhere. Mockingbirds and the immigrants….the European Starlings with their bronze-green sheen, and the House Sparrows….are briging forth families. The American Robin (called Robin Redbreast in Britain) also has babies trailing along, chirping loudly for worms.
As I walk along Des Peres Creek, the Mallards and the Green Herons look up alertly at me in case I am coming to catch them. Several Kildeer are now to be seen on the grass along the banks…… A Snowy Egret quickly spears a fish, and takes it off. I go to watch the Great Horned Owls, but can see only the mother today….the other birds, such as the Common Grackle, also show their shining plumage, and as a bonus, I see the "Woody Woodpecker" Red-headed Woodpecker, at her nest:
The migratory warblers (they arrive in St.Louis in summer; alas, Missouri is not a hot-spot birding location, but it's great for my level of ignorance!) show themselves here and there, and once in a while, I get a lovely video like this:
This kind of nature ramble is certainly not the stuff of National Geographic…but it's my morning "battery recharger", and I come home by 7am, ready to take on my daily duties, with a happy smile on my face, that lasts the whole day long. Just this morning, an elderly lady (er, I mean, MORE elderly than me!) smiled back at me and remarked, "It's so nice to see a smiling face early in the morning.)
I watch the mink family in the creek, which I've been following from last year:
I can't see any young ones now, I was very lucky last year, as my friend Danny Brown informed me!
Dear Subbu…thank you for inspiring me, with your descriptive post, to write this….and Zafar Saab, I want you to know that halfway around the world, when I joined the Audubon Society's monthly bird-watching outing (exactly like our Lalbagh outing) this time, there were THREE people who knew about you, and were awed to think that I knew you personally.
First of all, here's a post from one of the Grandmother's Day:
click here for it
….and here's the photo, one of my favourites….
Whether one is a mother from one's body, or one's heart (I've had a couple of children that I didn't personally give birth to, but who grew in my heart), caring for a young one is one of the most difficult, satisfying and frustrating tasks, in the whole world….
'The "portions" set for the exams were from "A" to "M" but the questions asked were about "T"…that was out of syllabus…several students said that if the letter had been "P" they would have done outstandingly well, pissed, sorry, passed with flying colours and even given a practical demonstration.'
(Thanks to Hari Menon for some of the above.)
I loved the triangles that make up this image of the house opposite ours in St.Louis…..
I could not let this wonderful interview go into the mists of the Internet, so I’ve saved it on my blog. Those of you who are not interested in Carnatic music, wait for my next post!
She’s always been fond of “pAttu pAdavA”, an old Tamizh movie song. So when she suddenly decided to put Wally the walrus to sleep (on top of a measuring scale, for some reason), I asked her to sing a lullaby and she sang the song instead!
KTB’s paternal grandmother gave her a pedal-less “balance” bicycle. Apparently the idea is that the child will learn to balance without the traditional training wheels.
Life-changing….that’s the right way to describe events in my life, lately, and part of the process is a journey to the USA, where I will stay for 2.5 months. I don’t want to talk about all of it now, but I’d certainl like to share one of my favourite parts of the awful, tiring trans-Atlantic travel…the View Out of the Window.
I don’t even remember posting the video, but now…
My dear friend, Gita Viswanathan, sent this link where her husband Vish, is featured on Bloomberg TV:
The sunlight streaming golden through the heavy clouds and the glittering rain and the Gulmohar’s fiery reds. Coolness in the air as the rain goes on. Slowly, the shapes of the scudding clouds change…..how I love rain.
I was asked what my IQ was and I replied that the IQ test I had taken was, to my mind, not a test applicable to all human beings, it needed a certain kind of culture and upbringing, and so I could not hold such a test as valid. I also intuitively felt that intelligence is of different kinds.
I got this from Dinesh…
I’ve watched Swan Lake being performed at Chowdiah Memorial Hall in Bangalore, performed by the Kiev Ballet, many years ago, under the aegis of ICCR, Indian Council for Cultural Relations(which seems to be a moribund organization now.)
Jerry Rao writing in the Indian Express:
To understand a person, walk a mile in their shoes, goes the popular saying.
I got this interesting, er, view on another list to which I belong:
It’s wonderful to see things of beauty growing from nothing but a length of string (or wool). Knitting, crochet and tatting have always held a fascination for me. I liked knitting, but thanks to my myopia, the other two were beyond me. But when I saw my friend Savita engaged in tatting while she was helping out at our friend’s sadAbhishEkam (80th birthday ceremony of her father, when vows are renewed) I could not help trying to document that….
The problem with political jokes is they get elected. ~ Henry Cate, VII We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. ~ Aesop If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these acceptance speeches there wouldn’t be any inducement to go to heaven. ~ Will Rogers Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ~ Plato Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river. ~ Nikita Khrushchev When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I’m beginning to believe it ~ Clarence Darrow Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you. ~ Author Unknown If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates. ~ Jay Leno Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel. ~ John Quinton Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~ Oscar Ameringer I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them. ~ Adlai Stevenson Campaign Speech, 1952 A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country. ~ Texas Guinan Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so. ~ Gore Vidal I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians. ~ Charles de Gaulle Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession . I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. ~ Ronald Reagan Politics: [Poly “many” + tics “blood-sucking parasites”] ~ Larry Hardiman Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks. ~ Doug Larson Don’t vote, it only encourages them. ~ Author Unknown There ought to be one day – just one – when there is open season on senators. ~ Will Rogers
A very enjoyable trip to Gir (even though often fraught wich too much eventfulness for my liking…being slapped on the head by an arrogant guard at the Somnath temple, and nearly missing our flight back to Bangalore because of an incompetent cab driver….made sure I could just about find time to check my email, and not post anything to LJ…but a recent photo of mine is on the Conservation India photo gallery (I don’t know if they accept all photos or not)..
Naayaki naayakanidam irunthu piriyum pozhuthu sonnathu:
Why is it called “Rain” When it flowers in the hot sun? By the time the monsoon arrives The flowering is done.
The second day of the waxing phase (shukla paksha) of the moon is always very difficult to see, but this time, as we were coming back from Bheemeshwari (Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary) last Saturday (the 24th of March), we came to the small village of Muthathi, and found the villagers standing around, pointing at the western sky. When I asked some of them, they took the trouble to explain that this moon, after the Kannada New Year,was considered an auspicious sighting. So I too took aim and sighted the dwitheeya, or the second day of Chandra:
Harish Bhat, who is a friend on Facebook, and posts a lot of interesting stuff, posted about
…I’m not sure if this is the smallest bird in India, but it must be one of the smallest. It’s also a very common bird….but it’s so incredibly beautiful!
My friend, Saritha Rai, has started a new fortnightly column in the New York Times online-
SOMETHING TO OFFEND EVERYONE
KTB recently took part in a march against Cystic Fibrosis, along with the rest of her daycare, Urban Sprouts….here she is (from their newsletter)…
I usually don’t do memes, but I actually asked
There are many of what I call “algorithm songs” in old tamizh film music….and this beautiful, melodious song from
I’ve heard this song so many times, and liked it a lot, but somehow, it’s become so specially beautiful, and I’d like to share it….it touched my heart so deeply.
Today is World Sparrow Day, and I too will be taking part in a panel discussion on the topic of these lovely, perky birds, that suddenly seemed to vanish from the Bangalore urban scene.
I went to Lalbagh on Friday evening, because a friend wanted to try out the 300mm prime lens. I’ve not often been to Lalbagh in the evening, and was freshly amazed at what one can see and observe, in spite of many more people being there than in the morning.
I am amazed that less than 25 km from my home is a lovely forest…..and I am able to enjoy this treasure whenever I wish to! Will be posting pics a little later, when I get home this evening…..
It’s been a while since I posted some of the photos from my sign collection, which I find easier to put up on Facebook…
It’s raining. The air around me has cooled. A refreshing breeze blows across The newly-wet earth, That gives off that incredible aroma. Leaves shed their dust, And will look green in the morning. The rain will pass: But the feelings ,,,, being refreshed In mind and spirit…will remain. Those…are the rainbows of the mind.
Franz Lizst is a composer whose works (I mean, those that I know of!)I like…and one of my great favourites is this wonderful cartoon of Tom and Jerry, which uses Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, S.244/2, the second in a set of 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies…the others are, alas, not very well-known.
Sridhar Comaravalli is someone I’ve got to know through FaceBook, and I enjoy his talent very much. It’s not easy to produce a cartoon every day, but he seems to do it with ease! I was very honoured when, recently, he posted this cartoon of me on FaceBook, from a photograph taken by the Indian professional woman wildlife photographer,
I find that lyrics that speak of the love between a man and a woman are very beautiful indeed, and in my language, Tamizh, it is as true as for any other language.
I saw a very enjoyable update on Facebook, that says, “Dear Math (Maths, for us!)..I’m sick and tired of finding your ‘X’….just accept the fact that she’s gone. Move on, dude!”
KM turns 64 soon, but since he won’t be in town, we celebrated with coffee and cake….
Our trip to Bhadra was wonderful, because there was never any rush for time…we sighted, observed, and watched at leisure.
The Bhadra property of JLR is one of their most beautiful. However, there are the minuses….eturning from a3 day trip, with hundreds of photos…..and a huge sense of relief that our boat did not (as it threatened to, for a few moments, after the boatman carelessly rammed into a submerged tree-stump)capsize during the backwater safari…..great company, lovely, leisurely sightings, and lot of happiness in my heart.
How beautiful it is to drive through the Arsikere area…. And see the roadside trees….the Neem, the Tamarind, the Mango….. And the varieties of Ficus, Peepal, Banyan, and others, sporting different colours of leaves, from the reddish copper of the new leaves, to the bright green, and then the darker green of the mature leaves. Even the exotics like the Rain trees, the Gulmohar, the Copper Pods, the Tabebuia aurea,, and the Jacarndas, are in full bloom now….
When a man in our community (Tambrams, or Tamizh Brahmins) attains the age of 60, he and his wife undergo a wedding ceremony again, this time with greater emphasis on the Vedic rituals, and the spirituality.
An email from my young friend Anvitha Satish, whom I often exchange emails with…
Everyone feels festive, and rather generous, on an auspicious day…and many people like to tap into this vein of generosity.
Am very sad…but also boiling with anger and helplessness. Someone from the family who’ve practically brought me up had come to visit Chennai from Kolkata, where she lives. Last night she was unwell…and was taken by ambulance to Malar Hospital, where she was refused admission because, they said, they had a doctors’ strike. After more confusion, during which critical time was lost, the ambulance had to take her to Royapettah Hospital…by that time, she passed away.
I’d been to the Gavi (Cave) Gangadeshwara Temple earlier, and watched the wonderful phenomenon of the sun’s rays lighting up the lingam in the garbha griha (sanctum sanctorum)…but what I had not known was that there is (at least) one more temple in Bangalore, where the same phenomenon occurs…right now (UttarAyaN,the southern traverse of the sun) and between end of September and first week of October (DakshinAyaN…southern traverse of the sun.).
Harish, Lakshmi, KM, Poornima, Sugandhi, Yash and I went to the JLR property called the Old Magazine House, at Ganeshgudi, near Dandeli, in Karnataka. KM and I have visited Dandeli many, many times, but have always stayed at the Kali River Lodge….and the Old Magazine House was a revelation. We’d stayed here once before, during the first INW meet; but in those days, my birding was in its infancy, and my photography, non-existent. I still remembered, though, what a bonanza it was for birders.
It was nice to see Gauri, the tiger who gave birth to four cubs….we saw three of the cubs, too. As usual, it was past sunset, and quite low light when we saw them, but I managed these videos…
Sometimes, when I take a video, I get more behaviour than I bargained for….
Off to Ganeshgudi today, but after
Do black veils have all the colours in their hearts… As well as over their heads? Do their thoughts fly, over the skies, In blues and greens and reds? Or are they tied down, with strings attached, To the black of the veils? Will they soar, only when freed… When the power of the anchors fails?
I've been thinking that this phenomenon was iconic to Bangalore….
These are our "autos" …auto-rickshaws, an inescapable, convenient, irritating, frustrating method of transport in our city.
The guy at the back IS pushing the one in the front, sometimes to a fuel station, sometimes until the auto in front starts its engine with the momentum. The foot is then withdrawn. I have never seen by what form of signalling the auto guy in front requests the help of the auto guy at the back…ESP?
I posted this on Facebook, and I now realize that every Indian city seems to have this great "auto-foot assist" method of aiding movement!
"Journeys end in lovers' meetings", goes the saying…but journeys also start with lovers' partings! I watched two lovers (I don't think they were married) parting today, dealing with their joy in each other (no, I was not eavesdropping, they were in plain sight until the bus came to the bus stop!) , and their pain at parting…human emotion is so incredibly complex…I've not seen anything as sweet as the smiles they gave each other. Each smile was a kiss, and the moisture in the woman's eyes at the end, hurriedly wiped away, spoke poetry to me. Love, in joy, in pain, is a magical thing.
After weeks of difficulty, it feels so good to be back on LJ….and be able to comment on friends’ posts, too. Not having posted any funny signs here for a long time (I just add them to my album on Facebook, you can see my collection if you
I have, of late, been going to the Bannerghatta Zoo to introduce schoolchildren to various animals and birds, but, of course, I never expected to see a wildlife drama straight of out of National Geographic while I was there!
There was a discussion about how pets Could affect the health of people, and it suddenly elicited this very string reaction from someone…
Here’s what I wrote to the wildlife/birding community yesterday:
I’ve always seen that Bandipur is one place where I find so many mothers with the children….whatever the creature may be. Here are a few mothers and children that I saw on this trip, with
Am sitting in the luxury of a Volvo bus, on my way to Indira Nagar….am two hours late, and am rather irritated by the way thing come apart here..
The write up, published in an edited form on Citizen Matters, has been put on the India Bird Races blog:
There have been two examples, recently, where people had to exclude others.
Woohoo the relief of being able to TYPE properly again…!
.Just when I thought I could start accessing LJ posts again, and comment, my laptop started giving trouble, and would not connect to the net at all. I am still not used to the two-finger typing on the blessed iPad…and in any case, for some reason, I am unable to upload any photos through it.
Recently, D,A, and KTB had visited Seattle (over the New Year weekend.) So here goes the “Lookit my family!” photos….
Sometimes, I cannot put my finger precisely on why someone’s dealings with me make me feel bad….but in spite of assuming goodwill, I continue to feel not-good. Sensitivity is, sometimes, more important than practicality…particularly amongst friends.
I do not often indulge in nostalgia, being a person who enjoys the vibrancy of the present as much as the glow of the past. But once in a while….
I posted to my birding egroup:
I have had, as usual, a lot of interesting things to do…and one of them was the Origam workshop I attended at
The Russian spam comments have started, once again, in force…and I am not even able to see anyone’s posts, much less comment on them. I just finished deleting 13 Russian spam comments.
Been gallivanting as usual….Lalbagh on the 25th morning, to Gulakmale on the 26th, to Bannerghatta JLR on the 27th, to volunteer with 48 children from Vidya Niketan, Bangalore…. it’s been a wonderful time.
It’s been one hundred years since the
The Deccan Herald has been delighting me lately. Here’s a headline from the Spectrum section of the newspaper, 250112:
It’s all very well to decorate one’s car with the symbols of one’s faith:
To see my article on Citizen Matters,
As a “conservationist”, I am constantly worried about human encroachment, and when I visited Pulicat Lake, near Chennai, I was happy that the backwaters had been preserved as a bird sanctuary.
Over the past few months, we have formed ourselves into an informal, very supportive and affectionate group of people, who always go on nature trails together. I organize the outings, taking care that as many people as possible get included. I call this group the UGS…the Usual Group of Suspects!….and we have a lot of fun on every outing.
Overlooking facts and hoping for the best is a human trait….both D and A have breathing difficulties, and, indeed, A could never live far away from her inhaler, when she was in Bangalore. But of course, I was hoping that KTB would not develop any breathing issues….well, reality supervened, and they had to take her to the doctors’ to help her breathe a bit better.
I got this leaflet with the newspaper a day or two ago (I think the reason why newspapers are delivered late is because the newsagents need time to insert all the various leaflets into each copy!)
When I was about to go to my tent at JLR Bannerghatta, I looked up at the full moon, serenely riding the night skies.
Here’s a video of a lovely song, from the movie
Quite unusual for me to be off LJ for three days, as I subject myself (and the rest of you!) to the discipline of an entry a day. But it was a full weekend…Saturday morning, to Hessarghatta, getting back only by 3pm and then having visitors…Sunday morning, to Valley School, back at 1pm, and then off to JLR Bannerghatta (where neither mobile phones nor 3G seems to work) to volunteer for a nature trail with 49 students of Vidya Niketan, on an overnight camp. Got back yesterday evening, and was rather tired…and today all the home chores demanded attention, so had to turn down an invitation to go on an overnight visit to Chik Yelchetti for Junglescapes work.
We had a wonderful outing at Hessarghatta today…16 of us…but this post is about something I’ve seen for the very first time.
It’s been quite a long while since I posted some of my sign collection on LJ…I’ve got used to posting them quickly to albums on Facebook. You can see them;
The official report on the trip we conducted for the children of various Government schools of the Hosur/Denkanikotta area is on the Kenneth Anderson Nature Society blog,
Via Yogesh Rao, someone whom I know through the cycling community:
No profound thoughts are occuring in my cauliflower brain today (come to that, not in the past 57 years, some would say!)…so here’s a very beautiful bird that I photographed on the way to Kabini, on 140511…
Our entire family (excluding us in India, of course) got together over New Year, and had a skiing holiday ( as I posted
Our pavements and footpaths are full of people who are trying to eke a living in a city that they have moved into. Amongst these are the immigrants from Rajasthan, who make these ceramic artefacts:
The Maidanahalli Blackbuck Reserve, in Tumkur District, Karnataka, is famous for the critically-endangered Blackbuck:
I have a spelling checker. It came with my pea sea. It plane lee marks four my revue Miss steaks aye can knot sea.
Had a lovely day yesterday, wandering around the Bannerghatta zoo area..and was going to post about it, but I received two delightful photos that made me change my mind…..KTB apparently like “kating” a lot, and here she is with her dad.
Is there anything special about the last day or the first day of the year? We ourselves calculate two different years, the Anno Domini and the Tamizh year…and I know several more….Parsi, Hindi, Bengali, and so on…I personally feel that it would be logical to begin the year in springtime, not in mid-winter…but a procession of Roman emperors saw to it that whether or not people have a white Christmas, in many parts of the world, they will have a white New Year.
It’s been quite a hectic time, as I’ve been doing some amount of volunteering and some amount of for-me nature trails, too. Last Sunday, 18 (yes!) of us went to
On KM’s classmates mailing list, we are having a very interesting conversation. It started with Vasu, who teaches in Ohio, posting a link to Louis Kahn’s work, designing the IIM-A campus:
I was delighted to take 15 children of Sindhi School, Malleswaram, to my favourite zoo area in the Bannerghatta National Park. Subbalakshmi, a teacher in the school, enthuses the children and organizes nature trails for them entirely on her own initiative…the school does not take any responsibility. Even the van was hired by her! More power to her and may her tribe increase!
How can you miss someone “day in, day out” after a hundred years?
I got this lovely pic from
A very eventful and enjoyable week, travelling in Kerala and then Tamil Nadu, attending, first, the COSTIIMA (Class of Seventy Three, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad) annual meet, which was held at Cocobay Resort, Kumarakom, Kerala…and then the Shashti Abdha Poorthi (60th birthday) of Anand, KM’s close friend and IIM classmate (a friendship that dates back to 1971!) and Devika, at the beautiful temple of Thirukkadaiyur, seat of Amrita Ghateeswarar and Abhirami.
The iPad2 is certainly better than its predecessor, but there are many things I am yet to learn how to do….that I do easily on my laptop. For example, I Have the photobucket window open ,but am not able to copy the HTML code from the photograph and paste it here.
I am in a tearing hurry to catch the train to go to Kumarakom, Kerala, to attend KM’s annual IIMA class gathering…but for my niece and daughter, I’ve uploaded photos of the Jathre (fair) for Hanumath Jayanthi (birthday of the Monkey God)…
I just saw something on Facebook (I suppose a friend sent the wrong link) which showed a photo of three girls smoking, and a series of comments about them being “bad girls”.
A friend of mine, Kiran Srivastava from Mumbai, went to Aromas of China in Mumbai, and here’s the bill he got:
“Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast”…though this is a misquotation
Here’s what I wrote to the egroup of the Bird Watchers’ Field Club of Bangalore just now…
Nice to be written about, instead of writing about others, for a change!
Today, it’s the birthday of a very dear friend….but since she’s in a very high-powered (and therefore busy) job, we met for coffee on Sunday.
“Jugaad” means, “innovation”, often thinking out-of-the-box. A mode of public transportation, with the engine of a tractor, has already taken on this name in several states of India.
I really do not like to miss a single day of a nature trail at the weekend…and so it was that we were able to go out on both Saturday and Sunday! On Saturday, the group was relatively small….Hrishikesh, Rama (that’s Raama, actually :D ), Vaibhav, Vara and I. We’d thought of the Bannerghatta zoo area again, but since none of us had a time-bound return plan, I changed the venue to the quarry area, beyond the various residential layouts…a venue where I do not go (or take people) often.
It’s taken me an hour and a half each time, with several tries, to get three entries up today…
For many of us, Calcutta cannot really be written as “Kolkata” though, of course, that’s the way we say it in Bengali….and our memories of the city are of several landmarks and important things….
For the past two days, I’ve not been able to post; today, it took me six attempt to post something, and I am not able to comment on friends’ posts even when I can see them, which is not always.
Sometimes, happiness just looks out from a photograph….
This time, the theme on the
Some old some new….
AM sent these lovely photographs of:
I used to review books for the Indian Review of Books, long ago, in Chennai. Then I gave it up, for what reason, I still do not know…but after a very long time, another book review of mine, which I had put up in Citizen Matters, earlier,made it into print in the Deccan Herald,
On the 6th of November,2011, I was privileged to be at a gathering of some of eminent birdwatchers of Bangalore. The gracious host was none other than the doyen of birdwatching in Bangalore,
Today, the 23rd of November, seems to be the date of birth of a lot of people known to me. My dear friend Raji, my well-loved nephew Govind in New York, my cousin Jaishree in Whitefield….and Govind’s great-grandmother, too, who’s past the 95 mark, I think…this lady’s now no longer oriented to time and place, alas, and is being cared for devotedly by her daughter (Govind’s grandmother) who, herself, is in her late 70’s.
It was a very enjoyable ramble over the slopes and through the scrub jungle (rather prickly at times, and on two occasions, very muddy as we waded through muddy streams). The location was Kasavanakunte, in the Bannerghatta forest area:
I’ve been interested in, and involved with,
On my way to and from the Bangalore International Airport, one building often catches my eye:
I am, right now, teaching two friend this Hindi song, that Latha Mangeshkar sang… “O SajnA” in 1960, for the movie “Parakh”:
I’d attended an audition by
Firstly, I must mention that going by all the signboards in this small town, we were visiting….U.K., which is the way the state, Uttara Khand (northern area) is referred to. Well….
Do I sound like one of those “Carry off the elite evening with this excellent sable coat” fashion types? Sorry, because the fun that I have with fur is in capturing it, not for putting it on, but on the original mammal!
A friend just sent me a message (probably typed on a tiny mobile keypad) that he’d seen a black naked oriole. He hurriedly corrected the ‘k’ to ‘p’ but I requested him not to, this bird seems far more interesting!
As usual, by consensus, Nandi Hills was agreed upon as the destination for Saturday’s birding trip, and 7 of us….Kannan,Nandan, Naveen,Poornima, Santosh,Sumeet, and I…left very early in the morning, so as to catch the sunrise at Nandi Hills.
Today I am feeling lazy to write, but I was thinking of my “Oho” friend.
I’ve been trying all yesterday, and up to now, to load some photos to Photobucket, so I can write about the Trash Trail I went on yesterday…but I think the internet connection is terrible, so I’ll write about it and you can see the photos (with the narrative) at my Facebook account,
I received this delightful picture of GD-the-Boodi’s having a drink with a friend…
Seems strange to be posting after a few days’ gap…I usually make it part of my daily routine to post something to my blog. It sort of clarifies my thoughts, let me share my experiences, and is also good discipline for a champion procrastinator.
Wealth and power…I’ve been thinking about them, and one of the ways of demonstrating wealth and power seems to be related to how much space one can get to call one’s own, and how few people one has to share it with. The more wealthy one is, the more space one seems to want…a large house, either a sprawling bungalow or a multistoreyed palace…perhaps several homes, spread out over the globe. And the next thing, of course, having acquired that space, is to prevent as many people as possible from sharing it….except the chosen few of one’s friends, and those who will help maintain that space. Only those invited can breach the walls…walls which are, very often, physical walls around the residences of the rich and the privileged, with security guards to ensure that the hoi polloi and the uninvited do not gain access. Telephone lines are private or unlisted, mobile numbers are not given out…the rich person is veiled in a shroud of his or her personal space, and inaccessibility is the mantra.
Photography…is it documentation, or is it art? Now that the enhancement or manipulation of images is in the hands of the photographer,in these days of digital photography, rather than the faceless “colour laboratory” that used to process film, the question arises with unfailing regularity.
On the slopes at the outskirts of Dehra Dun, we wandered along, looking for the sub-Himalayan birds that had been seen in such plenty in March of this year. While the others continued their search….they climbed down a steep slope that I had no intention of negotiating, with two cameras and a pair of bincoculars….my attention was riveted by a colourful vision that climbed up that same steep slope, and came up on to the road….
Here’s one of GD’s favourite songs:
I have been posting most of the funny signs I’ve snapped on Facebook
It’s nice to go on holiday, and I can stay without the internet perfectly well…but it’s when I come back that it hits me that I do want, after all, to see what my friends have posted, what has been happening…and the backlog is just too much, sometimes.
What with inflation, even the spammerers have scaled down their operations, it looks like! Last week I had a enquiry (probably from someone’s hacked account) asking for suggestions for bed bugs “to go away from home” (sic). Just now, I got this:
On a mailing list to which I belong, the subject of silence came up….the list is of people who have studied at IIM, Ahmedabad and the architect of the campus, Louis Kahn, was a man who understood silence:
LS was a math major in college; after her sons were born and were in school, she decided to study architecture. A few years ago, she took the very tough 9-part licentiate exam and qualified to practice on her own.
I wanted to write about the Urban Lakes workshop that I went on…but I found someone has done it much better than I!
Staples. A “staple” is something that is supposed to be very good…it forms the main part of what we eat, for example. But another kind of staple…those ubiquitous little twice-folded pieces of metal that hold two surfaces together…seems to be taking over the world. They are so popular that a famous chain of stationery is named after them!
The Betel Leaf
Here’s a very witty piece written by one of the members of my ccyling egroup, on the theme of “What do you say when people ask you the price of your cycle?”
Another internet forward that I enjoyed a lot, even though I’d read some of them before:
Today, I was asked to judge a debate on the theme, “Are Women Truly LIberated?” for the Inner Wheel of one of the Rotary Clubs of Bangalore.
Yesterday, as part of the
Here are some of the common butterflies that one can see around us, right now. One of the good places to look for them is the Reserve Forest in the MICO Arikere Layout; but quite often, you will find these beauties in the gardens near you, too!
PNLIT (Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust), see the website here:
We had gone to Gulakmale Kere (lake) a couple of weekends ago, and when we reached there, the reeds were on fire….
No racial profiling in Israel. Israelis are developing an airport security device that eliminates the privacy concerns that come with full-body scanners at the airports. You step into an armoured booth that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on your person. Israel sees this as a win-win situation for everyone, with none of this crap about racial profiling. It will also eliminate the costs of a long and expensive trial. You’re in the airport terminal and you hear a muffled explosion. Shortly thereafter, an announcement: “Attention to all standby passengers, we now have a seat available on flight 670 to London. Shalom!”
A great loneliness sits upon me. The world seems a vast desert tract Where exists no human being That I can call friend, I am alone…I cannot attract A single living thing To myself….I see Only a thorny path without end.
A lot of people impact the world in many ways…but some also have that elusive quality…charisma. One such, I think, was Steve Jobs.
One of the things I did in college was to return my Economics books after a couple of months, and change my elective subject to Philosophy. The reason, then, was very simple; I found Philosophy interesting, and Economics less so. But…it meant that I had a liberal education before the term was invented…… it’s been a lifelong companion, this study (more often, musing) of philosophy. However, so many arguments for the different types of philosophy are compelling and acceptable, that i have come to being an agnostic. I do not know what is true (I suppose no one ever can know)…but though I do not like rituals any more, to me, agnosticism is not ……not knowing what to believe, but…willing to accept that any philosophical view may be valid, What I feel is…I simply do not know enough to embrace any one form of philosophy. And so often, philosophy shades into religion…so that, too, is a grey area for me.
I called them on Magic Jack, and we came on to Gtalk video….which, alas, had no audio at all. But meanwhile, D was organizing to donate some stuff to the Kidney Foundation, and this seemed to include a Kid, if not the Ney….
Here’s something that I wrote to a friend, who’s just taken up photography:
I am finding it harder and harder to post here. Either I can’t post, or it’s too slow…and though my stats tell me that plenty of people are reading the posts, all I get is one…or two comments. The old days of exchange of viewpoints, and debate, seem gone for ever. And the spam…I am getting more and more and more spam, from faux LJ ids and others, too. Since I have so many people (presumably) still reading my posts, I don’t want to convert this to a “friends-only” blog, either.
To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
I had decided that I would not go any nature trails this morning (Vijayadashami Day) as it was a holiday…but since KM suddenly announced that he was going for golf, I decided to join Rohit Girotra and visit Valley School.
I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.
Today is the ninth day after the new moon, and it is the Navami of Navarathri, celebrated as Ayudha Puja or Saraswathi Puja…the worship of all our implements and gadgets, that we use the rest of the year.
You have to watch this video carefully to get the effect.
What a binary date the 1st of October is!!
I had a wonderful trip to Bandipur with a great group of friends…but of course this post is not about that! On the cycling group I belong to, someone had said that someone on a cycle had yelled at him (while he was in a car) to stop wasting petrol, and added a rather delightful word to quality the statement. Someone added that many people use the car to go to the shop down the road. My response: “ I am not disputing that there ARE EAC (Evil Anti-Conservationists) of the type you have mentioned above…..I am just saying, you cannot assume that everyone is of the car-for-crossing-the-pavement category! Eg, I often take senior members of our apartment complex, or student of a blind school nearby, for medical checkups and so on. They need to be taken by car, they are often frail and in bad health. At these times I will certainly not use the cycle, or ask them to do so. I may have a large amount of shopping to do, which I may not be able to do on the cycle. I will definitely use the car at such times. “Actually the increasing jams are having a good effect on our worthy citizens. I find so many people now saying, “We take the bus because driving and parking are such a hassle”….so every cloud does have a silver lining! “A great source of entertainment for me is…. let me give you one scenario. The lady of the household said they had gone to attend a wedding. “The traffic was so bad!” she exclaimed. “First my husband went to the reception in his car, he had to park so far away. Then I went with my driver in my car, and he had to circle around four times after dropping me. Then my son also brought his car and he didn’t find parking at all!”…. They never see that they ARE part of the problem. I was once advised, when I wanted to walk about 3 km to Marina Beach in Chennai, “The traffic is terrible…you will be unsafe..take the car.” The person saying it had no clue of the irony in his words….he was genuinely concerned for my well-being.” When people realize that when they are complaining about the traffic, they can try and do something about it at least on a few occasions, our snarls may start improving!
I’m much entertained and educated at the various kolus that I visit. Little vignettes of life that I see in each drawing room seem as intriguing to me as the dolls decorated and arranged before us.
I sing…. I sing for all the worlds that I see Spread before me In weird sizes, small and large Plastic grass, papier maiche mountains, Men, women and children of wood and mud. I sing for the idols Of gods and goddesses…. I sing for the gods and goddesses themselves, Not just their figurines. I enunciate the Sanskrit words That describe their attributes…. …A funny thing happens. My eyes close, and I lose myself. Am I amongst the dolls in front of me? Am I at the feet of the god whom I praise? I do not know where I am…. I do know….I am in the music. In the notes, the voice, The melody that escapes from my lips. It is my soul, emanating with my breath. I am deep within myself, and everywhere outside me, too. I suddenly see the perfect, ineffable beauty That the composer of the song saw. I yearn for it…. But the song comes to a close. I open my eyes, the spell reluctantly broken. I see admiring looks, faces filled with friendliness, Happy at my singing, compliments flow from those around me. I’m glad I’ve given others this pleasure.. But it is I who have experienced the most joy. I sing….not for the world; I sing for myself. And that’s why the world likes my singing.
I decided to visit my friends Ganu and Hema, and their daughter, Janani, who’s recently come home for good, after having done her Masters’ degree at Pittsburgh. They always put up a lovely display for Navarathri:
Those of you who are not interested in photos of GD…pass on please, this post is nothing but.
I don’t know if it happens as often with Hollywood movies but Bollywood (Bombay or Mumbai, movie capital of India) certainly sets off fashions every now and then.
I don’t know why my LJ suddenly opened at the same date, but it did, and
Obviously, I haven’t got too many images of GD to share, since I came back…but I just got a lovely one of her, with her special-sized trolley, at the store (I’d say this was Trader Joe’s)….
Even the shortest step on a nature trail can yield something fascinating to the observer. I was walking down the path at Turahalli, when I looked down:
We think of hard work only as something we do on our routine work, and something that is not fun…but occasionally the two come together.
A round dozen of us decided to go to Turahalli, yesterday morning (we’d also had a great time at the Zoo area on Saturday morning…. more about that later!)
We’ve been discussing all sorts of birding here, but today I had the first-ever experience of post-birding birding.
When I visited Bangalore in 1989, we stayed with some friends in Jayanagar 9th Block, and visited a small hlllock, on which stood a small idol of the monkey God, AnjanEyA (son of Anjana). His other names are Hanuman (He of the broken chin), vAyuputrA (son the Wind)…in fact his 108 names are something that I recite every day, as he is one of my favourite Gods!
On the old, sits the new, like an interloper:
I love rangOli and kOlam, the traditional art of door and floor decoration. Is it art? culture? tradition? hospitality?
I got this forward from a friend:
When I’m sinking into the slime of despondency… Holding me from sinking deep. When I’m wallowing in the mire of self-pity Helping me out…but gently, so that I do not slip in further. When my heart is weighed down with sorrow Being near me, perhaps talking to me, perhaps not… And knowing which to do, and when. When I’m happy, Sharing my joy When I’m smiling, Knowing why, without saying a word. When I’m cranky and whiny… Putting up with me, patiently Then making me realize my lot is not half as bad as I think it is. Being a rock of strength. My friend…you do all these things for me. I thank you. I thank my fate, that I have so many dear friends.
I just want to see what appeals more, visually.
Recently, someone posted that there are many people on the pavements of our city who are invisible to us for the most part…
There is such an incredible variety of creatures around us, it’s like having a treasure house surrounding us!
To find out what this
Wishing Donna the very best for the years ahead!
A life amongst the flowers….
A brilliant piece of verse; Suhrita Majumdar Basak says it is a very old verse in Kolkata:
I just checked my friends’ page and there are NO new entries….is that possible, when all I have to do is to be absent for a couple of days and I find that everyone has made the most interesting, debatable and intriguing posts?
I got a message on my mobile phone, showing some AWFUL stick figures, and saying, “Happy World Tribal Day”.
On the cycling group that I belong to, we’ve been having a big debate about cycling…and dogs…rather the menace that many cyclists face from dogs. Though some of us were only advocating getting stray dogs in the city neutered, several people thought we were advocating killing the dogs, and reacted heatedly, saying that dogs have as much right to life as we do, and must not be exterminated. In one instance where a young boy had allegedly been bitten to death by dogs, they quoted a newspaper report that said that the boy had been murdered, and THEN dogs had bitten his body, and that covered up the murder (which I think is as horrible.)
The deepest sorrows are those that one cannot share with any other person….they are the private wounds, that bleed into one’s heart and soul, opening up now and then, in spite of our best care….. for glimpses into one’s own personal hell.
I’d booked a flight on Cleartrip dot com, and they’ve been reminding me to book my “free” ticket. The reason for those inverted commas was that they said only the base fare was free, and the taxes (which usually amount to 3 or 4 times the base fare) was to be paid by me.
I watched two almost identical retrospectives on
We generally dress in our oldest, dull-coloured clothes to go on nature trails, because many creatures are sensitive to bright colours, and vanish as soon they see such colours moving around. In Nature, blending in with one’s surroundings is often the key to survival…what stands out is often what’s eaten, and also what could be dangerous.
Instead of writing about Profound Thoughts and boring the bejeesus out of everyone else, I feel it would be better to post pictures of a few lovely flowers and inflorescences that I have seen lately!
Every day, in the newspapers, there is one terrorist attack, which fills us with fear and sadness. I also realized that every day’s newspapers are the same…they contain:
PONDERISMS · I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes. · Life is sexually transmitted. · Healthy is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die. · Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing. · Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to? · All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism. · How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire? · Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, ‘I think I’ll squeeze these dangly things and drink whatever comes out’? · If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests? · If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from? · Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster? · Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle? · Do you ever wonder why you gave me your email address?
All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all.
From an internet forward that I got:
When the festival is over, Ganesha does not always merge with the elements and reach Kailasa as he is supposed to. He is often abandoned in public places:
For my review of the play, “Amrita”, directed by the noted film-maker, M S Sathyu,
Life has been hectic….and with a lot of power cuts, and an erratic internet connection, I’ve not been able to post at all. I sang on stage this evening, at our apartment Ganapathi Puja..and it felt deeply satisfying. I realize I’ve neglected my music…
This is an excellent wildlife/conservation magazine, which I subscribe to in St.Louis…and of course, I thought of writing to them to appreciate them…and here’s my letter:
KM had brought back a selection of cheeses from the US, so when some friends suddenly decided to drop in, out they came, along with some Tapena wine….
Though I had planned to go on the Bird Watchers’ Field Club 4th Sunday outing to Sarjapura, several friends persuaded me to go to the Zoo area instead (which is, anyway, a great favourite with me!)…so off we went in the cool, cloudy, misty morning.
Today…was supposed to be a day of intense writing. Having watched the play, “Amrita, A Sublime Love Story”, at Ranga Shankara, I am supposed to do the research on Amrita Pritam (and her abiding love for the lyricist, Sahir Ludhianvi) and write the review for City Buzz. (I typed City Buss…!) Then, for Citizen Matters, I am writing about Priya Venkatesh’s trip to the South Pole…the first woman from Bangalore to have visited this continent.
This was brought on by a discussion on Facebook, after I’d posted an observation, that the front page headlines of newspapers remain the same all the time… Vikram Hiresavi suggested I begin to get along without newspapers.
At dawn this morning, I was standing in front of the Raghavendra matth (religious centre), when the temple was opened, and I watched the priest:
Walking down Malleswaram, I saw this strangely moving sight….it shows that our footpaths are put to far more uses than the BBMP envisions…
Not everyone is capable of starting a revolution, but sometimes, when one person stands up for a cause, many others identify with him.
On my Facebook page, I posted a joke that was sent to me by a friend, and
On the roads in Bangalore, you just never know what you are going to see, and when. Yesterday, I was going into Arikere Layout with my friend Jayashree, on her two-wheeler…and….
There seems to be a little confusion as to which day JanmAshtami (the eight day of the lunar calendar, which, in this month, marks the birthday of Krishna) falls. Yesterday at my friend’s home, I was told it was yesterday. Today, when I visited my friends Hema and Ganu, she had just lit the lamp and made the little “foot marks” of the baby Krishna:
I visited the home of my friends on the 19th floor in Mantri Greens, next Mantri Mall (an incredible mess to get to on a Saturday afternoon), but got this lovely view from the terrace:
Am off to Kalkere State Forest for the 3rd Sunday nature trail in a few hours,but meanwhile, was thinking of the many happy hours I’ve spent in Forest Park, St.Louis….
For more than a year or two, I have, at random times, had the experience of a brightly pulsating, geometric-design spiral “unfurl” within my vision field….
I must have taken hundreds of photographs, but would like to share this image that a friend sent me, with all of you, for World Photography Day….
On Independence Day, I found that almost every auto had a Tiranga flying:
Thanks to Sethu from Chennai for sending this along to me:
Water is everywhere during the monsoon; one drives through it….
The trip to the land of the
In Gudavi,at Vinutha’s home stay, we were thrilled to get this lovely sight of four Blue Mormons, fluttering together:
Celebrating one’s patriotism is not a matter of flying the flag on one day…it also means not littering, not breaking the rules, being polite and helpful to other Indians…EVERY day. Pride in one’s country should be a daily state of mind, not an occasional token statement. That minute of pride in the billowing Tiranga should extend into a lifetime of doing one’s best for one’s country.
I’ve just caught up with everyone’s posts from the past few days, but I am unable to post any comments, and it is SO frustrating for a loudmouth like me. I want to comment on Trish’s lovely pics of chillies fried in olive oil, I want to tell Gilda how much I admire her paring down: I want to tell Arun that his poem about his daughter’s cycling is wonderful…and so it goes…but I can’t.
It was a jam-packed trip, and I managed to visit three temples and a hitherto unvisited cave temple, too….I’m off to Sirsi/Banavasi again later today and have just not had any time (a quick trip to the Bannerghatta-Kaggalipura Forest area with Rosita and her son Mark took away whatever little free time I had yesterday!)..so let me just post a few videos…I hope you don’t find them TOO boring…I love the train,which looks like a toy from the hill where I was standing, and driving through the gOpurams of the ancient temples!
Yesterday, near the downtown area (very close to the Gateway Arch) where A works, someone spotted a small strolley, and it was treated as a bomb threat. (A took the two photographs from her office window.)
Since I realized that the chosen destination for Rathika Ramaswamy’s workshop field trip (Jaipurdoddi) was unsafe, as a tusker had been sighted there, I suggested that they join us at one of my favourite places…Ragihalli, both the sheet rock area, and the koLA (pond)…the second being a destination that not many people seem to know about.
When two legs are not enough to take one everywhere, one resorts to four wheels….
I went to attend a wildlife photography workshop by Rathika Ramaswamy, for Pixetra…but that’s not what this post is about. As I walked to the venue, I saw this old house…
HP Unveils Non-Computer For Those Who Don’t Need A Computer
I’m contributing quite regularly, nowadays, to
One would think that a hospital, being an abode of ailment, accidents, and amelioration, would be a sombre place, and one that could not, possibly, yield much in terms of entertainment. But no! Here’s the Hospital Visitor Multiple-Ring Circus! Behold the poor victim, The Patient (TP), lying hapless on hes (that’s her/his) bed of pain, with that pain sharply elevated by the following animals (except for the last-mentioned.)
One of the most talented music directors to shine in the tamizh film industry’s firmament is the still-young
I suddenly decided to read the Kenneth Anderson ombibus of stories again, and while reading “Tales of the Supernatural”, I paused while my mind went back to my childhood, and the days of being told horror stories.
On a birding/wildlife egroup that I belong to, someone had asked where the Mottled Wood Owl could be seen in Bangalore, and several people had replied, saying that they can be seen in Lalbagh. To this, there have been several responses of protests, saying that if locations are shared, harm may result to the birds/wildlife. The latest email, expressing this point of view, goes:
I received this lovely forward:
I’d like your reactions to this:
Was there a good part about the LJ DDOS attack? For me, it was going out for two days, and not having to worry about how many interesting posts I’d missed!
Frankly, I must say that I feel insurance in India is often a racket with no accountability. When the premiums are being collected and the papers signed, all is gas and gaiters, but if the consumer suffers a loss and wants to claim insurance, it is incredible how the insurance companies try (usually successfully) to weasel out of the claim settlement.
As we flew from Chennai to Bangalore, we almost immediately hit the rain-bearing monsoon clouds….first they were fluffy cotton wool fleecy:
In my cousin’s car, I found a decoration that I was curious about:
Sometimes the world feels upside down, Sometimes a smile feels like a frown. But sometimes upside down is lovely too.. When you look into the water, at the view.
Apparently the DDOS attack this time was particularly vicious, so it felt good, when I opened up LJ just now, to have my favourite blog back! LJ people, thanks for the work you’ve put in to stave off the attack.
Good design is needed everywhere, not just in consumer products and clothes. In the early hours of the morning, after about 22 hours in the aircraft or at the gates of various airports, we had to jockey around, to join the various queues in front of the Immigration counters, trying to speculate which line would mean the least waiting time. Surely, a common queue, with the passenger at the head of the line going to the next available counter, would have been far more efficient (and, therefore,a better design) than these separate queues, especially when officials ask people to move from one line to another, which results in further chaos. Good design is people-friendly…but it always needs some imagination.
When watching the House Sparrow, Common Grackles, and Northern Cardinals at the bird feeder on my cousin’s deck, I suddenly found a
I was very impressed with the elegance of the design of this watch:
Packing is, I find, a very idiosyncratic process. I think each of us has a different way of packing! My way is to try and get some space where I can leave my suitcases, and keep throwing things into it; and then, at a suitable time (which I keep postponing, alas) I sit down and pack it all in properly.
I’ve seen a lot of
All the residents on our block got this email from the residents’ association (or whatever it is called!) a few days ago:
I know I have to go back home, and in many ways, I am looking forward to it; there is a lot of work (and life) waiting for me back home. I normally have a fairly neutral frame of mind, accepting the fact that my child, her spouse, and their child live very far away from me…and that when they lead happy lives of their own, we are both fine.
Early in the morning, I went off for my usual walk to Forest Park, and the weather was kind enough to allow me to wander around for two and a half hours! And one of the last things that delighted me was the sight of a beautiful litle
We were driving down to Columbia, Missouri, yesterday, when a huge plume of black smoke alerted us that something was wrong:
Sometimes I feel that patriotism, or its negative form, jingoism, causes a lot of strife in this world. We are , I think, now so interconnected that surely we don’t belong to just ONE country any more? I feel just as comfortable in Europe or the US or in Africa, because I do feel that people are the same everywhere…it’s just that customs may differ, and appearances. But the emotions and ties the bind us and the thoughts and ideas that move us, seem to be much the same all over the world.
I was actually on my way to the Muny to watch the musical, “The Little Mermaid”, but this beauty stopped me in my tracks:
We have at home, a reader of books…
When I posted about the
The Great Horned Owls are some of the most stunning wildlife I’ve been observing in Forest Park.
This morning I took Malvika to see the minks, and we did see them, though they were not cavorting at our feet like they sometimes do…but the treasure of the day was happening upon a stand (or a float?) of
History lives on in fossilized bones; In memories, written chronicles, inscribed palm leaves. It whispers in crumbling buildings’ ancient eaves; But it also echoes in cobblestones. As I walk on these bricks with a pensive tread; I muse on the hundreds of people, now dead, Who walked and rode their horses over stones like these. Their steps echo in my heart, across the centuries. The light on the street seems to shine from the past… Beyond my future, it seems, the paving stones will last.
Happy Birthday to
I’d “e-met” someone through email, when I added him as someone belonging to a e-group that I moderate. I found that he had a sense of humour, was very atypical of his general demographic (I can’t be more specific), seemed to write well, and be interested in many unusual things. So, when I came to the US, I was looking forward to talking to him.
Why am I getting so much of spam comments on LJ? Makes me feel like quitting.
Yesterday I posted the pictures of a little one at home…here’s a little one who came and unabashedly looked up at me in Des Peres Creek, in Forest Park!
“Hello, Senor Rod? This is Ernesto, the caretaker at your country house.” “Ah yes, Ernesto. What can I do for you? Is there a problem?” “Um, I am just calling to advise you, Senor Rod, that your parrot, he is dead”. “My parrot? Dead? The one that won the International competition?” “Si, Senor, that’s the one.” “Damn! That’s a pity! I spent a small fortune on that bird. What did he die from?” “From eating the rotten meat, Senor Rod.” “Rotten meat? Who the hell fed him rotten meat?” “Nobody, Senor. He ate the meat of the dead horse.” “Dead horse? What dead horse?” “The thoroughbred, Senor Rod.” “My prize thoroughbred is dead?” “Yes, Senor Rod, he died from all that work pulling the water cart.” “Are you insane? What water cart?” “The one we used to put out the fire, Senor.” “Good Lord! What fire are you talking about, man?” “The one at your house, Senor! A candle fell and the curtains caught on fire.” “What the hell? Are you saying that my mansion is destroyed because of a candle?!” “Yes, Senor Rod.” “But there’s electricity at the house! What was the candle for?” “For the funeral, Senor Rod.” “WHAT BLOODY FUNERAL??!!” “Your wife’s, Senor Rod. She showed up very late one night and I thought she was a thief, so I hit her with your golf club.” SILENCE……….. LONG SILENCE………VERY LONG SILENCE. “My new Ping G15 204g titanium head golf club with the TFC 149D graphite shaft? Ernesto, if you broke that driver, you’re in deep shit!”
In St.Louis, at the home of DnA, cushions sometimes have feet:
I was watching this video, where an honest and committed IAS officer talks about the Service, and “babu”dom, and several people who realized their dreams:
The Coneflowers are blooming all over Forest Park, and for once, I thought I’d post just a single photo of their wild beauty:
There were fireworks at 9.15 pm scheduled on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of July at the Gateway Arch. We went on the 2nd….on the 3rd, rain resulted in the fireworks being cancelled, and on the 4th, we looked up at the sky at the fireworks everyone around us was letting off (private fireworks are permitted on the 4th of July.)…and enjoyed the flowers in the sky from home.
If it is “Manjunatha Stores”, selling cotton shirts, they will be Rs.200.
I found this at the bottom of the forward I got:
Life has been very hectic…visitors, visiting, travel, a lot of activities over the long (July 4th) weekend… well, one outing I enjoyed very much indeed was to the Air Show on Saturday, though the temperature was over 100 deg F, and felt like 100 deg C, sultry and stifling….
I was going to finish unpacking, the cooking and the laundry, and post about some of our journey home…but I have other things to look forward to, and that includes
We had three doctors in Ocala this time, so I cannot fault KTB for arranging to have her delivery here….
Being a large family has some great advantages; playing games (alas, until 2 am each morning) is great fun and we don’t need any other form of entertainment at all!
Derek’s dad Jim (who lives in Portland, Maine) and grand-dad Bob (who lives two hours away, near Daytona Beach, Florida…Jim’s visiting him for a week) drove over to visit us at Kumar’s place, and it was a memorable moment to see four generations of Shaffers on the couch:
I always love having the window seat, but on the flight from St.Louis to Orlando, I got only an aisle one. Yet, as I saw the sun sinking in oranges and reds, I started aiming the camera….and the gentleman in the window seat (the middle one was vacant, luckily!), a paralegal from Orlando, asked me if I’d like the window. I accepted with alacrity!
We got here very late and this morning, got up to find the house full of immediate and extended family….and it feels good to catch up with everyone again….some of my relatives I am meeting again after long years!
I’ve posted a lot of photos of the visit, to my Facebook album; you can use your FB account to view them
We went to see the bells exhibited at the Bell Convention yesterday, because
Today was overcast but there was decent light, and it was mid-morning when I decided to go for a long walk. I went to Danny’s Hide, by about 11.30am….but I could only see the mother mink swimming back and forth; once she had a crayfish in her mouth, but she dipped under water before I could get a shot of here.couldn’t stay very long though, had to leave.
I am, in general, a happy person and prefer to believe that difficulties will sort themselves out, and when I see a random poster somewhere that says the same thing, I love it!
Prelude: Two snorers (KM and KTB), two yakkers (AM and HS), and one thrasher (KTB)= woken up from sleep and hopeless to get back!
I’ve been itching to use the macro on the S30, so when a
Caution: this is an AWWW post and probably not of interest to anyone not related to KTB :)
This post is for
Saw this duck-walk and was totally enchanted, this morning!
I went for a walk to the
I truly do think That the semi-acquatic Mink Needs its own fur coat To keep afloat In chilly, bone-freezing water; If a modiste wants fur, Deny it to her: She mustn’t wear mink…or even otter.
Since that’s about the only useful thing I do all day (I don’t want to tell you about my cooking and the laundry!)…let me take you on this morning’s walk to Forest Park and the short stint at the Des Peres creek….
As we returned from the Taming of the Shrew, we were crossing the usual Fire Station (E30, that I have written about
I never knew just what
While reading a book this morning,(Georgette Heyer’s “Faro’s Daughter”,if you are interested!) I fell to musing on the various scripts in which our languages are set down. I’ve learnt English from early childhood, and it took me, therefore, a while to realize that its script is most quirky…..compared to the orderliness of the scripts of most Indian languages.
Here’s the 1950’s set of the play:
At this point in time, I am sort of figuring out what to write, man. At the end of the day, all said and done, I want more people, you know, to check this out, like, for original language. I don’t want them to think I’m being majorly cliched, and so on and so forth.
We went to watch
Jeddy Narayan is a bear of somewhat ancient vintage; he’s the only bear I know, who has moved from Europe to Asia to America.
N L Narayanan, or N Lakshminarayanan, to give him his full name, was my uncle….to be precise, my mother’s younger sister’s husband. He was known to the family as “Ambi” (a dimunitive of “thambi” or younger brother, being, as he was, the youngest of three sons). (My own father, in another Thanjavur variation of this nickname, was “Ambu”….though he was the eldest child!)
Since the days are so hot, and there is no relief, the only thing I can do is to go for my walk very early in the morning; I leave at 5.30am. This morning, I also thought I’d look in at the Mink Hole, as Danny calls the waterfall area. So it was a two-hour walk.
Each of these made me smile.
Here’s the forward, first:
I’ve been speaking to an Indian friend of mine (we were LJ friends before we met face-to-face) and this friend’s choice of spouse is being heavily criticised by the parents…on the basis of that person’s “not being fair”. No, not “fair” as in “fair and kind and just”…it’s just that the intended spouse in dark-skinned. There seems to be no worry at all about what sort of a person this intended spouse is going to be….it’s as if a fair skin automatically brings with it intelligence, wisdom, and a loving personality!
According to the news report
This morning, I decided to go and meet
I got these as a forward from a friend, I’m posting them without comment!
It was almost exactly a year ago that I posted about
I call this dear friend of mine, the Polish Woman, because…she went to the South Pole recently…something that not many of us are likely to do.
I’ve posted all the pictures from my long walk to my Facebook album, which (if you have a Facebook account) you can see if you
On the way back from the Lake of the Ozarks, we had a brief halt at
Are you aware that a bottle can contain more than 100%?
This morning, as I walked in Forest Park, I inhaled the heady scent of the magnolia blossoms, and though I am not a nostalgic person usually, the scent evoked memories of what I call the “pre-IT Bangalore”…the sleepy, lovely city that we moved into, in 1988. One of the loveliest memories from those days is that of inhaling the scent of the Sampige trees as I walked, and cycled, in Cubbon Park…
We watched a lovely firework display as part of the Memorial Day eve celebrations at Lake Ossage:
On our last day at the Lake of the Ozarks, Memorial Day, we decided to go on a short hike…the hike had to be short because of two reasons….several things (including a very late night the previous evening!) made a very late start, and it was rather hot and humid.
We’re spending this (Memorial Day) weekend at the Tan-Tar-A resort in the Lake of the Ozarks:
I’d wanted to go and renew my acquaintanceship with the
I found these three “message rocks” in front of KTB’s daycare:
Sometime’s it’s not the car….
I’ve been having conversations with a couple of friends; one is waiting for a response on the personal front, and another, on the professional front. And a feature that strikes me as common to both these processes of waiting is the way a “no” is communicated.
The creatures of Kabini…well, the large ones are what I am talking about here (remember the yellow-thighed tarantula that I photographed in
Hi,I just came back from oversea trip to Scotland.I am Miss.Pushpa.A.Hayley,I work with Avocet Mining PLC in UK as assistant senior supervisor.We may not know ourselves for now but it is my heart desire to take vacation leave from our company to visit India for the first time because my father originally came from New Delhi in India and my mother from Indonesia.It is no longer a news that Asia is developing so fast and catching up with developed countries with a lot of tourist attraction centers,it gives me so much joy because I want to witness it and be part of it.
Though I am usually up at 3.30am, I carry on with my walk to, and in, Forest Park…
This trip to Kabini was a real bonanza in terms of birds; we sighted a 103 or 104 species of birds in the two days that we were there, and also got to observe a lot, rather than just looking and passing on.
I just got a reply from Ameen Ahmed, who was very active on the wildlife front in the Tumkur area before he joined WWF (that’s NOT the World Wrestling Federation.)…he said he’d drafted a reply to me but suddenly spotted it only now!
No, we didn’t get that “apex of sightings” (according to the Artificial Heirarchy of Jungle Sightings, developed by wildlife tourists)…no stripes. But on two of the three safaris we went on, we spotted spots. Here’s Panthera pardus, giving us a profile pose, nonchalantly:
You can read it
- Suggest a rate of payment when that author starts writing for you. For five years, never increase the rate, during which time period, the cost of living has shot up incredibly. Compare the price of petrol between 2006 and now, in India…or the cost of, say, tuvar dal.
Had to go to Chennai for some
Orrible Essential Paperwork and got back just now. My laptop was not able to pick up on the cable internet in Chennai.
It was an incredibly eventful trip,apart from the stupendous variety of sightings and observations we had at Kabini….what events, you ask?
I suddenly thought of the things that delighted me when my daughter was young..
The photographs of KTB were sent by the other grandmother, who’s called “Nanna” and who lives in Portland, Maine. The grandparents had come over for her second birth anniversary (I had been there the previous two April 29’s!) and I enjoyed the photographs they sent…
It was an NTP outing…. I accompanied Radha and Shreeram to Lalbagh this morning.
Someone whom I’ve yet to meet face-to-face, but who has impressed me with his many-faceted skills, wrote this and emailed it to me!
I do understand that the tiger is an icon of the Indian jungles, and it is endangered, probably critically so. It’s always been the dream of the wildlife enthusiast, and the wildlife photographer, to get a sighting, and a good photograph, of the tiger.
To read about this book on trees, click
“Sumin”, as my young daughter used to say, is what I do regularly in the summer. Sumin is such a great all-round exercise; and if there is a pool in your own apartment building, like I have, you don’t have to brave the city traffic to get to the pool, either. A quick change of costume, and there I am, ready to slip into the pool (this is a nice way of ssying that I am still afraid to jump in!).
Sometimes one does not have to see many species of birds (or animals or insects) in order to feel very satisfied with a nature outing. And it is fun to meet up with so many like-minded people.
I forgot that
It was a baker’s dozen…Alexis,Chandu, Fauzia, Gopal,Hrishikesh, Neha,Priyanka, Neha, Sushil,Tharangini, Vaibhav, Yash, and I…who went to Hulimangala this morning (070511). The sun came up as we stopped near the magnificient stand of trees….
Our pavements (or footpaths or sidewalks) are very interesting places. No bland stretch of tiles or cement for us; we have a rich variety of life teeming on our footpaths (indeed, I often think they are called footpaths because the local Government makes them a foot higher than the road…so they are not meant for the easy use of pedestrians, but for people to earn their livelihoods on space-without-rent!)
Why is it so hard to have unalloyed joy? I went for a walk to do a lot of chores, and was actually singing under my breath, I was so happy. The sun was out; after the rain, everything was washed and free of dust… I was enjoying myself.
Here’s a nice image of the past and the present, juxtaposed…
It’s taken 10 years, but Osama bin Laden is dead, killed in Pakistan.
I get profound, earth-shaking thoughts and insights at 2.45 am in the morning. By 6 am, they are gone, and I have nothing to write about!
I was musing on humankind’s relationship with Nature, and it struck me forcibly that humankind’s need to dominate the environment is the source of much of the problems our planet faces now. Ohter animals, and humanity, in days gone by, were part of the environment, and accepted it as such; they have (had) no need to tame what was around them. But humankind…has become different. We need to tame the trees to manageable proportions, we need to tame plants to give us food, we need to tame animals to do our work for us…and we need to tame the forces of Nature to do our bidding, too. Development, to us, is not the sustainable path of use that can be cyclically replenished, but the “let’s take more” model that lands us in difficulties. We don’t want certain animals, and birds, and insects, and organisms, near us, or in us…. we work to eliminate them. We want others for our own short-term needs (or just desires)..and in the process, almost eliminate them. We want a particular thing and don’t seem to count the cost of getting it by eliminating others. We build a pyramidal model of dependence, and are surprised that it is not sustainable. We break the interconnected web of existence…and exclaim when it floats in tatters around us.
Though the bird count at the Bannerghatta Zoo area was on the low side today (this seemed to be more of an “audio” than a “visual” day, with many more birds being heard than seen!)…we did see a lot of interesting stuff as usual. Here’s one:
I was tickled pink to get this after watching the Will Kate (Yes, will she? was the question!)…wedding…
Sunday’s trip to Nandi Hills was particularly satisfying, as Kannan had his wish for the Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher fulfilled..really FULL filled! Here are two poses by the beautiful bird:
I feel that highway driving in India has always been hazardous, and it continues to be so. Earlier, highways were single-lane roads, and it was, obviously, dangerous having the oncoming traffic, and the oncoming headlights, coming at you under all kind of conditions…night driving, rain, and so on. One slip on the part of an oncoming vehicle could mean disaster, no matter how careful one was as a driver.
I attended a lovely wedding today; here are the happy couple, exchanging garlands, a ritual signifying one soul in two bodies:
I don’t even remember how, or when, I learnt this song. I think I learnt it by osmosis! I didn’t know that it was a movie song, and I didn’t know the movie. I just suddenly decided to google for it….and there it was…in Asha Bhonsle’s lovely voice.
Having had to postpone our trip to Nandi Hills due to torrential rains on Saturday, we decided to make the trip on Sunday morning, and Anand, Kannan, Priyanka, Sushil, Vaibhav, and I left at 4.30am on Sunday morning.
We had a very productive and enjoyable trip to Nandi Hills on Sunday; the trip was postponed from Saturday, when it poured buckets. On Sunday, too, we did contend with very low light for the better part of the morning…but Nandi Hills never disappoints.
Why go to all the expense of getting married, when easier solutions are advertised at the top of Nandi Hills?
Kannan had wanted me to take him to Valley School, but earlier, there were too many people coming, so we went to Ragihalli instead. But this Friday, though it kept raining pretty heavily, Chandu, Kannan, Jayashree and I set off….. the rain actually made several things more beautiful…look for example at these lovely berries, dripping diamonds!
This was sent by A Madrasi in Missouri…
Unki gali se guzre..ajeeb ittefaq tha Unho ne phool phenka..gamla bhi saath tha.
Durga, the slayer of the Buffalo-demon, Mahishasura, appears astride a lion:
This morning, KM suddenly took out a disintegrating scrap of paper from his wallet and said, “Write this down for me on a stronger piece of paper.”
On the cycling mailng list I belong to, we are having a discussion about how “peddle” is often being used instead of “pedal”…so here’s my usual erudite, serious contribution:
One of the pleasures of the summer is certainly….mangoes! From the most unripe to the most ripe, we can enjoy mangoes in a variety of ways…and with unripe mangoes, we can make a variety of pickles.
Often, I come across topics of great interest to me…but if the article or write up is very lengthy, I find that I start skimming towards the end, and perhaps (though I don’t like to think so) missing important points. So I was wondering…how long should write ups and articles be?
Frogs and toads…their new scientific names are quite horrific. Gone are the simple old days of Rana and Bufo. Now, Seshadri the Frogman informs me…. there are names like Fejervarya, Philautus which is now Raorchestes…..! and then, he says, there is Nasikabatrachus (nasika=nose batracha=frog meaning pig nosed frog!)
As we wandered along the edge of the half-dry Dodda Kere (Large Lake) in Anekal, my friend Chandu suddenly stood stock-still, gazing intently into a thicket of reeds at the water’s edge. “Hey!” he called, in a carefully pitched monotone, “I think I’m seeing a crake here, come over!”
Geetanjali had mandated a bright and early start, but of course all of us arrived at intervals, so each us seemed to find our own way down into the semi-dried Anekal Lake bed, and moved around to try and spot the birds.
Let me begin with this lovely
If a friend tells you, “All my other friends are shit, you are the only nice one,” you may be sure that you are going to join the shit-list shortly thereafter.
Here is one of the magnificient beasts that I saw in Kaziranga….
No, I’m not referring to the birds here! There were two creatures that my friends were very eager to see….the
Thanks to Vittal for these!
…and that subject title is literally correct, as when I was taking these photographs, a Black Kite soared past on the thermals at eye level.
The Asiatic Wild Buffalo, found is Assam, is the species from which all buffaloes here are descended…or related to. And we had one lovely scene in Assam, when the Wild Buffalo proved how it could easily become the Water Buffalo that we are used to everywhere, in our country!
Posting on LJ at the usual times has become nearly impossible. I am unable to post, unable to open friends’ posts, and if I finally do, I can’t comment.
On a mailing list that I belong to, we’ve been having a discussion about the increasingly skewed sex ratios in India (there are less females to x no. of males than there ought to be.). Someone then wrote:
Scientific names are a very valuable id tool, and that the unique names mean that they won’t let anyone get confused.
Priyanka, one of the people who volunteers regularly at the
We first watched this magnificient tusker cross the jeep path in the Kaziranga Central Range:
I read in Citizen Matters about
She’s halfway across the world, and occasional “skyping” is the way I keep in touch. But I love the anecdotes that make their way across the ocean….
When we went to Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, on the last day of our (well, Gopal and I….Vinay and Yash are still not back!) trip to Assam, butterflies were certainly not on my mind. I wanted Gopal to see the Hoolock Gibbons, and perhaps some of the other macaques.
Many years ago, KM’s brother bought us two books, where unexpected 3-D images would “pop” out of the printed mass of patterns on the page.
…But I am still stuck with some pics on my iPad, some on the HP tablet, and some on this one…collating all of it is going to take a while, and I hope I have the patience to Get A Round Tuit!
At 8.30 pm on the 4th of April, I took the BIAS Vayu Vajra (BIAS 12, to KuVemPu Nagara)nfrom the airport to my home.
Found this lovely name on a restaurant signboard on the way back from Kaziranga…
Yesterday, thanks to
I enjoyed seeing this at Nandi Hills:
Was thinking about silhouettes after
I do love playing around with my camera, and I enjoy the reddish morning light…so, instead of doing my morning chores, I used my foot, a beanbag, that lovely light, and my MLC…
That’s the past tense of “simplicity”….
Losing one’s mobile…and trying to get a duplicate SIM card…is an Utter Pain.
It’s funny…I’ve always enjoyed writing, but recently, after contributing regularly to Citizen Matters and latterly to City Buzz, I have begun classifying this as “work”. I suppose it’s not so much being paid for the writing (the pay is PEANUTS!) but the fact of having to finish within an externally-set deadline, that makes it “work”.
One may go to see the birds, but everything is interesting and awe-inspiring, so I like to call these “Nature trails”, rather than birding outings.
If God is great….
 Regular naps prevent old age, especially if you take them while driving.
The Ramakrishna Ashram, Shivanahalli, updated their website, and it’s
Architecture….can be just solid oblongs of colour…
NEVER TRUST A CRICKETER
While we were waiting interminably (3pm to 5.30pm!) for a bus from Dadigal village to Denkanikotta on Saturday, Geetanjali decided to try out a “local” drink…
I know that it is the lovely music that makes me go to Youtube to revisit old hits….but since I was (and am not) a regular movie-goer, I’d never seen most of the movies that these songs are from, and so I also like to see the visual part of the song.
On our way around Mathigiri,and Denkanikotta, I spotted a lot of interesting stuff….
One of the great things about good friends is that you can disagree with their views and not have it affect the friendship at all….in fact, in some ways, it seems to strengthen it!
The 3rd Sunday outing, this time to the Hulimangala area, was a very enjoyable one, with a huge stand of majestic trees that were truly breathtaking to see…and which we must enjoy before the “development” of our city wipes them out. However, squinting up into the trees to see the birds meant that birding was,literally, a pain in the neck!
Yesterday, at the mall near my home, I watched the dance sequences of a movie being shot…all through the day.
As you go around the city, don’t forget to see the flowers of spring and summer, in all their glory…..here they are:
Feels like summer, but some of the trees think it is spring….
These sentences are supposed to have been completed by first graders…whether that’s true or not, I enjoyed them!
Words… Have the power to move me. They are birds That beat their wings In my heart…. The song each bird sings Can be a balm…or a dart That may make me think…and improve me.
A Dream Within A Dream Edgar Allan Poe
Others may build garden walls, but you can rent them:
For many months, KTB used to listen to this song every day…let me post it before a copyright violation takes away this one, too, as happened to “poo pOla poo pOla pirakkum”…
A group of NTP members…Radha, Shreeram, Tharangini, and I…decided to bear off our Guru-G, Karthik, to Valley School on Sunday morning, and one of the highlights of the trip was a desperate battle that we witnessed.
Alas, I have to agree that it’s FAR simpler to post photographs (hi res, too!) and write the narrative on Facebook, than it is to post the pics to Photobucket, caption them, copy and past to LJ, and then write the text!
When, in a relationship or a business partnership, is it a good time to move out? The answer, I think, is never…is there ever a good time to announce that you are done with something that was good, but isn’t (at least, to you) any more? No time is a good time. Such an announcement is always greeted with surprise, dismay, anger or even emotional (or organizational) blackmail (or sops in the form of increased pay or perks)….but I have yet to see many instances of the party of the other part taking a breakup on any kind in a good and mature spirit, accepting that yes, indeed, the time has come to move on.
The butterfly kisses the marigolds…
Crows are so intelligent, they can read English….
The morning sun pours directly into our front balcony, so I often lower the “chick” (bamboo screens) to lessen the glare.
My life will go back to its ordered ways, after the hurricanes and chaos…..there will be no one to grin impishly at me…no one to ask me not to cook as today is “Bhavani Chats” day or “Nagarjuna Chimney” day…..no one to eat up the bread upma that’s been a favourite from her childhood….no one to cuddle on my lap as the milk gets drunk…..
The Golden Trumpet and Jacaranda flowers may be carpeting the ground as a sign of summer… .but another sight, that is full of colour, but that is far less welcome, is one that’s started staring me in the eye:
Here’s a pic of my daughter, calmly and peacefully asleep.
When KTB does something naughty (oh, yes, she often does something knowing perfectly well that it is not acceptable!), she is not smacked, but told, “Time out!”….which means, she must go to a corner and stand there with her face to the wall.
When KTB does something naughty (oh, yes, she often does something knowing perfectly well that it is not acceptable!), she is not smacked, but told, “Time out!”….which means, she must go to a corner and stand there with her face to the wall.
Waiting for a religious discourse to finish, I saw this gecko stuck to the roof of an under-stairs toilet…waiting with infinite patience, stock-still, for some creature to get within reach….
I have so many profound and important observations on life and philosophy to propound…but from the minute her eyes open, KTB is my not-so-benevolent dictator. On her tiny feet the whole time she’s awake, she keeps us on our feet, too. All those lovely, dreamy, vaseline-tinted pictures of the tiny tot playing peacefully and deocorously with her toys while the fond grandmother watches with immaculate make up ….ha, ha, ha.
I was watching a scene in an old devotional movie (ThiruviLayAdal) and it struck me….why are flowers so universally used in worship? What is the connection? Is it just their appearance, or were only fragrant flowers chosen at first, and flowers without them added later?
An unexpected compliment is quite the best one! I got one, four-and-a-half years later, for
Some time ago (well, in 2009, as a matter of fact) I’d posted about the
The sun dips down in the evening, It paints the cars in gold…
Yesterday her fever seemed better, so we had a new maid:
When I take D and GD, and all 3 generations of us women go promenading in Luz, Mylapore, what do you think catches our eye?
What does one say when one travels through two states, and finds that plastic seems to have taken over the landscape, and the economy, as well?
KTB and her mother’s flight arrived one and a half hours late, and we barely had a few hours of sleep…but this morning, she walked into our home and hearts again…
The arrival of
On a tree-trunk in J P Nagar, I found these rather beautiful bugs:
It was quite a large group that met up in front of my home, and we all proceeded first to the Ragihalli sheet rock area. It was still pre-dawn, the time referred to by the ancients as Usha….but the lights in the valley were twinkling, and the dawn was approaching:
When I have something to write about, it so happens that something else, that I hit on by chance, suddenly clamours for a post!
It started with a friend, MM, making this update on Facebook:
As we passed Agra, our driver, Gajendra Singh, told us about a shop where the
I wanted to post this yesterday, but today will do.
I’m sure all of you are tired of seeing the artistic, wonderful photographs of world-famous landmarks….tarantaraaa, ladies and gen’mun, here are the DM SMS of one of them!
We went to Haridwar to meet
I’ve started sending articles to a new Bangalore-based weekly magazine, “City Buzz” (it’s only print, alas, not online…I don’t know why!)
Rishikesh is a town that I visited for KM’s sake; he wanted to enjoy the peace of the Akhandashram for a day, and we decided not to travel to Devprayag but have a relaxed time at the ashram.
Nirvana (nirvANA) is a word often used in the West, in the sense of “Heaven”, but it actually means “release”…release from the cycle of rebirths that human beings are supposed to be in bondage to. Moksha is the shedding of the chains of attachment, of release from the accumulation of karma, that finally frees the soul to become one with the Great Soul, the ParamAtmA….
I clicked several interesting signs on the recent trip, especially while on the road between Delhi,Agra, Haridwar and Rishikesh…..let me start with the ones in Hindi first.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but I find it utterly fascinating to know what, exactly, is in a photographer’s mind as s/he clicks. Each of us would have very different thoughts in our heads….there could be:
I’ll be posting the photographs on Facebook, but here are some wonderful aerobatics at the Airshow at Yelahanka, today:
The Aero Show has got to be the most “ungreen” event I’ve seen…thousands of litres of aviation fuel being guzzled up, and thousands of litres of petrol being guzzled up for people to go and see the spectacle of the aerobatics….
I think this was 1975.
How could I let C and N go without dragging them over at least a little of Lalbagh? So off we went, as the sun rose:
Yesterday, at Barbecue Nation, I spotted this very diplomatic drink:
It’s been a busy couple of days, with
A asked B where a lovely photograph was taken, and B said, “Bangalore outskirts”. A then asked why the information could not be shares, and B said that the locations were deteriorating, and asked A what A was doing about protecting the location and others like it.
It’s such a relief to have the Photobucket links working again….so here’s how we started our trip to Bharatpur. On the 24th, thanks to theBangalore smog, our flight to Delhi took off an hour and a half late..which meant that by the time we drove from Delhi to Bharatpur, and checked in at the
It WAS a Photobucket problem, not a problem of this little tablet…and today Photobucket is working well…so, let me start with the Bharatpur images.
Though I’ve posted the first days pics easily to Facebook, I am having problems with either Photobucket or this tablet laptop….I did post two pics to my Photobucket account, but I am not able to click on the HTML code link that is given under each picture, and post it to LJ as I usually do. I don’t know if this is a problem with the site or the computer I am using…but the net result is that I am unable, still, to start writing about the Bharatpur/Chambal trip, and I have so many photos that I want to share with everyone!
KM has kindly given me his old tablet to use until I repair/replace my poor laptop…but my photographs are still on his laptop, so while I wait to transfer them here and post them, I am free to mull upon other things.
The ankle has been diagnosed as a severe sprain and some tendon tear, and will take its own time to heal.
Feels good…but so many things have to be repaired…broken airbag, broken suitcase, broken laptop and (hopefully not broken) ankle…will have to figure a way to take the pics off KM’s laptop and post them…I am so happy with the trip…but it’s already receding into the distance as I get ready for the arrival of my brother in law, of
Drove to Delhi from Chambal, and by the time we’d dropped off some of the members of our group and meandered through the BJP Rally, we were dog-tired, and didn’t even think of any shopping or visiting. Am at a friend’s home, and we’re taking the early morning train to Haridwar.
I can live perfectly well without the internet…but catching up later is MURDEROUS!
I’m really so happy with what I’ve seen…it’s not only the birds. Gharials, jackals, civet cats…ancient forts, camels crossing the Chambal river at a ford…chai in mud “kulhad” pots, huge-turbanned and saree-veiled women…a hundred temples on the banks of the Yamuna, criss-crossing between Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan…the stark ravines of Chambal, bringing vivid images of the dacoitss, some of whom are still active…awesome sunrises and sunsets, some on the river, some in the mustard fields….
Bharatpur hasn’t disappointed….we saw so many birds that were new to me, and the day was studded with highlights….I must thank Geetanjali for this lovely trip. I have so many photos, that I can’t post with this slow net connection (yes, I’ve pinched KM’s Reliance card again)….and will probably delete most of them by the time I get home….
When any member of this egroup changes an email id, there is NO way I,as the moderator, can know about it, unless informed about it. Don’t send me an email saying, “X’s email id has changed, and he isn’t getting the egroup mail any more, why haven’t you subscribed him on the new email id?” How on earth am I to know that he has a new email id, leave alone what it is?
We’d specifically booked by the am flight to Delhi (which meant leaving home at 4am) to ensure that we could drive down to Bharatpur and do an evening birding session…alas, the best-laid plans of mice and men!
We’ve been spending a lot of time at a neighbour’s wedding festivities.
…is always fraught with difficulties. One can never really visualize, sitting in one set of atmospheric conditions, how cold or hot it will be in the other place. The pleasant chill of Bangalore is something I don’t even consider as winter, so I tend not to pack really warm clothes at all…then I have to remind myself how it will be in the open forest, and in the foothills of the Himalaya…and say, yes, I must take my jacket and shawls…warm socks…etc, etc, etc
Jai and Nayan wanted a quick trip to the Bannerghatta Zoo area, so I went along….here’s my highlight of the day, a
I have never been able to find any semblance of good logic or design in the Railways’ booking procedures. There was a time, prior to the Internet, when one had to stand in different queues for even and odd dates. This meant that if you were going, say, to Chennai on the 2nd, and returning on the 3rd…you had to join two queues!
- The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
When I go for my morning walk around the Mini Forest, it’s often dark, and so it’s easy to see the magic of the cobwebs that the spiders spin, to catch the insects that are drawn to the light….
We certainly had a wonderful time at the Bird Race, and we certainly never had any expectations; our ranking, after all, would depend on how many birds the other teams saw! Here we are, early in the morning:
I received this great email from Srihari, who was one of the hard-working co-ordinators of this year’s Bird Race:
There is nothing that cannot be faced with a little humour, as this wonderful account by Dr Kishore Shah, a renowned Gynecologist practicing in Pune, proves. I got this as a forward…but it’s too good not to be documented!
For some time now, many of my “Tambram” friends who have ageing parents or relatives have been having major problems trying to get a brahmin cook…or, since they generally want to get women cooks…. in the parlance of old, “shamayalkAra mAmi”. Alas, I have not heard of a single instance where they have been successful.
Had a wonderful time at the Bangalore Bird Race 2011. When one has great birders and one indefatigable driver on one’s team….it’s easy!
As you enter our home, my kOlam greets you:
I so thoroughly enjoyed myself on our trip to Bannerghatta Zoo area today….we were FIFTEEN of us! (Names follow, where they belong..in the mammals’ list!)
…last time we did quite creditably, but
I found this a few days ago in the Mini-Forest:
Bangalore friends…do register for
I have 777 emails in my inbox.
We had the
I decided I’d attend the Lalbagh outing this meeting (though I was missing a lovely trip to Maidanahalli that all my friends seemed to be going on! …and of course, when I arrived at Lalbagh, the mist was still upon the waters of the lake:
Sometimes it’s a white and extraordinarily weird look:
On Jan 9, 2005,
It started out as three people…Naveen, Nandan and I, going to Valley School; but the minute I realized that more people could go…I ensured that more people DID! So finally, it was 8 of us who had piping hot coffees at Park View, before going off to a misty morning at Valley School…..here IS the misty morning:
I found this video on the LJ Of
If you are going on a bus journey (BUS, mind you, NOT plane)…would you rather be a
My friend has invented new units of Indian currency. Here’s his email:
I was listening to both Hindi and Tamizh old movie songs (B4U and then Jaya TV) and one thing struck me…..why do we think all of Nature seems to be for our benefit, and subservient to us?
Have been trying not to be worried over KTB’s surgery, to remove her badly infected adenoids….but am vastly relieved now that it’s over, and it went well. The surgeon’s report was that the adenoids were badly infected, her ears were “quite abnormal” in terms of infection, and must have been affecting her hearing.
After a very long time, we had a local BULBs (Bangalore Urban LadyBirders) outing (it was beginning to seem as if they went only on international trips!), and we decided to go to Manchinabele Reservoir.
Our mutual friends arrived from Chennai, and things have been both hectic and very depressing…went this morning to the neighbours’ place, and the body was taken to the crematorium after performing some of the last rites (the son usually performs the rest at the crematorium and then consigns the mortal remains to the flames.)
Had been to Manchinbele with the BULBs, and it was a very enjoyable outing. On the way back, however, I got the news that some neighbours of ours, who live three doors away, had a major setback..the husband, who was 65, collapsed after a massive heart attack, and passed away. The wife is nearly 60.
It was lovely to be able to introduce our family to the forests of Karnataka, even though the driving had them scared stiff at times…people from the US can’t cope with unruly traffic…they are too used to ruly conditions :)
Found the year written on a rock in B R Hills:
From BR Hills, we came back via Mysore to enable my nephew to see the Mysore Palace. The crowds thronging the Palace were incredible, and I didn’t really want to go inside and get pushed around
When, from the safari jeep, I first sighted this Crested “Shirt Pant” Eagle, I couldn’t even understand what I was seeing…took me a few seconds to realize that the bird had its wing open this way!
This time, I must say, I am rather disappointed with the K.Gudi camp of JLR. They have (for the first time) hiked up prices for the holiday season…and yet, there is just a trickle of water coming from the taps in the bathroom, and there is no hot water….
I was going to strictly stay at home, and do my packing and preparation for the trip to BR Hills tomorrow. So naturally, when Gopakumar called and asked if I would come with (alphabetical order)
The trip to Makalidurga was also full of interesting sights that had more to do with people and places….
Chandu, having been looking at the lovely village of Makalidurg (mAkaLidurgA) from the train on his way to and from Hyderabad, decided that it would be a likely spot for Nature/birding trip, and Anil, Prashant, Vittal and I (all from the NTP group) enthusiastically joined him, and off we went, early on a very misty, chilly morning!
Waking up at 4am used to be part of the bad ship I N S Omnia. I could neither go back to sleep, nor could I do anything “useful and productive”.
My friend Vishwas and I went to see an exhibition of Hollywood photographs at
We used to have five Barn Owls roosting in one of the ventilation shafts of our apartment building, several years go. Residents complained about their constant chirring all night, and the fact that half-eaten rodents were dropped in the basement. So the building association set some poisoned meat for them and one of the Owls died. I then explained to as many of the residents as I could meet, how the owls were actually controlling the rat population in the neighbourhood. As compromise, we blocked off the entrance to the ventilation shaft with a wire mesh. The residents were happy with this solution, I was happy that the owls would not be poisoned…but sad that I couldn’t see these beautiful birds.
I’m having a conversation with
Our niece is getting her brochure done, for her aragEtram (maiden public performance) next year at Florida. Someone came to do her makeup and after she was dressed, a portfolio of photographs was made at a studio in Basavanagudi.
The 3rd Sunday bngbirds outing to Jigani Lake drew quite a good response, and we were happy to see the crowd that collected in front of the tea-shop at Jigani! (Geetanjali and Subir have a great knack of including a handy tea-shop in all the Bannerghatta outings!) The tea-shop was particularly welcome on this cold morning, and we all then parked near the lake, and walked partially around the perimeter.
If you want to be a road-user, you must put sefty first and spelling last:
This tiny nymph was an incredibly beautiful sample of the lovely things we saw at Valley School today….
This post is dedicated to
I’d registered for this Survey, and am off to the Forest Dept Office at Gottigere shortly….will back with the tales (if not the tails and trunk)….and on Sunday, the 3rd Sunday bngbirds outing to the Bannerghatta area, this time to Jigani Lake.
These are two people whom I hold in high regard, for their mastery of the language…
I never, ever, play video games, so I have zilch knowledge about them. But recently, Chandan posted (on Google Buzz) about loving this piece of music which is the theme of a video game called Civilization:
Most traditional village houses have niches on both sides of the front door, where lamps may be set in the evening. Sometimes,
Photography is one of the most enjoyable things that I am learning. I think my photography had its first roots in wanting to “save the moment”….and being able to look at the scene again…the pictorial version of Wordsworth’s “emotions recollected in tranquillity”.
When we say “kids”, we generally mean human children, and often forget the ACTUAL kids! Here are two kids that I photographed at Pulicat Lake:
AS we drive on the Bangalore-Chennai highway, there’s always something to interest, amuse and entertain…and sometimes provoke thought, too. I passed this devotee:
On a mailing list I belong to, someone asked:
Google GPS, on our friend Raghavan’s i-Pad, gave us the WORST possible route to Pulicat Lake….we were practically off-roading, through roads that were completely broken donw in areas, winding through lorry container terminals and piles of plastic trash….but it was a hilarious trip because of that….and the sunset was lovely:
Some bundles…are more precious than others….
If you are not polite on the road, you are a….
This morning, Shreeram and I went with John Callaghan, who’s visiting from Milton Keynes, UK, to Ragihalli. Unfortunately, we had a very late start and that meant that sightings were quite low….but we still managed quite an interesting time!
Tamizh Brahmins, or Tambrams, are very fond of diamonds, and women are usually aglitter with them during any festivities.
Gulakmale was also cloudy and misty on Saturday morning, with the sun making an ineffective effort to pierce the clouds:
KM’s IIM-A class (they call themselves COSTIIMA, Class Of Seventy-Three, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad) has been asked to nominate some “distinguished” alums from amongst themselves. Earlier, they were told they could not nominated their own batchmates, which made sense to me, but now, apparently, they’ve been told they can.
There was a time when I used to like our traditional “ilai shAppAdu”….the feast on a banana leaf. But lately…..
Once again, four of us NTP’s got together…this time it was Shreeram (who came back home at 11pm the previous night!), Hrishikesh, Tharangini and I….and Shreeram took us to Gulakmale, beyond Valley School, turning off from Kanakapura Road, and taking various lefts and rights that I didn’t keep track of.
A new “newspaper” called “Bol Bangalore Bol” was delivered to my doorstep today and I started to read the astrological section, and suddenly realized that I HAD to save this for posterity.
You’ve heard of the expression, “Frog in one’s throat”, haven’t you? Well, that’s what this is going to be, shortly!
You never know what will happen on a nature trail. Today four of us went to Gulakmale, and we….rescued…or should I say excavated….a cow.
When we took the Hosur schoolchildren on a nature trail (you can’t go at 10.45 am and call it a birding trail!), I looked across the hills and saw this…
Yesterday, I had the incredible experience of feeling that I was going to die in the next few seconds.
For several years now, I’ve been moderating the egroup for KM’s class from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. The group calls itself COSTIIMA (Class Of Seventy-Three, IIM-A.) The class strength was 120. (I am NOT an alum…it’s just that when I realized that the children of the alums had already started an egroup for themselves, and these people hadn’t, I started one for them!)
Having reached Chennai and found the weather very un-sunny…cloudy and quite cool….I decided to walk along
M wrote about a fall he had, when his helmet cracked, and in the process, saved his head.
Hrishikesh, Prajakta, Tharangini and I (that’s alphabetical order!) formed a nice NTP group on Saturday. Here they are:
When Hrishikesh, Prajakta, Tharangini and I went on the road to Ragihalli and Shivanahalli, we started out with dark, overcast skies, and a complete lack of birding activity..to the point where we started wondering if we should just turn tail and go back home! But our first stop, near a temple, was rather productive; surprisingly, we found a lot of yellow birds together: White-eyes, Ioras, and the
Creation of anything is wonderful; sometimes it’s done with silk:
The Navarathri festival is over, but Meera of Citizen Matters took me to see an unusual kolu display, which was dismantled only last week:
PENINSULAR ROCK AGAMAS
I emailed the latest members to have taken the Naturalists’ Training Program, about going on a birding trip. Alas, of the 17, only 3 were able to come; but we had such a wonderful time, we left at about 6.45am…and got home only past 3pm! I’ll post about the 58 or so species we saw…but right now, I’ll show you some of the flutter bys….
Here’s the latest:
Today, the young woman of the couple I’d talked about met me for a while. She is not over her pain in the least…but hope of a reconciliation are receding to the point of non-existence. She feels that if there had been an actual other woman, she might have been to bear it better, rather than feel that her husband just lost interest in her. Today she talked about their early days together, when he’d said they’d be friends forever. And she wept for what had been. The husband now says he is not even particularly interested in divorce; but she says that a marriage without love is truly ended.
Nature’s creatures spin the silk Right across the leaves: The magic spans the twigs, the grass: Over the seeds, and sheaves.
If it is on, I must turn it off.
On the way back from the station on Monday morning:
Dandeli has several varieties of
Dandeli is a great place for birds; small wonder then, that even after missing all the thrushes that are common there, like the Orange-headed Thrush, the Blue-capped Rock Thrush and so on, we still wound up with a bird count of well over a hundred!
Our trip to Dandeli began with a lovely sunrise:
While birding at Dandeli, I realized that that the moon was nearly full:
I laugh when I am told that I am “very active for my age”…because I have a different frame of reference
The Soligas were semi-nomadic in nature, but after the Biligiri Rangana Sanctuary was created, they settled down more or less permanently, and Skanda of ATREE took all of us to visit a Podu, or settlement.
The living creatures we saw were quite varied. Though the safari organized by the Forest Department was a little disappointing for the children (who of course had their hearts set on a big cat sighting!) they did enjoy whatever they did see, and were quite curious to know things.
The high point of the visit of the Valley School children to BR Hills was, to me, their meeting and interacting with the Soliga children at
I must say we had a really good driver on the Valley School BR Hills trip; on the way back, on his own, he suggested that we visit
It’s one of the most delightful stages of childhood….literally stepping into one’s parent’s shoes. One may do it later in life, figuratively, but right now, it really does mean stepping in….and finding it a tough balancing act!
VGKK has recently opened a resort, and it’s called
This was taken last month….talk about an air-head!
We looked into a kind of moat around the Gorukana resort reception, and on the petals of the lotus flowers that the staff had floated in it, was a lot of life:
In the following narrative, I am not sure how Mukesh plans to drive to work from the 3rd floor…but….on with the story!
It was an intense experience, on many different levels. Interacting with 21 children; watching scientists in the field; seeing how tribal people in the forests are living today, and how they are bettering themselves with a lot of help; seeing a swank resort, and seeing the huts of the tribals that the resort will help; going on a safari with JLR in the morning, and with the Forest Department in the evening; coming back via
Going with 23 children from the
When I know something, I should be able to explain it, clearly, to a set of people who know nothing about the topic. If I can do so, without talking down to them, yes, I know that topic well.
One gets to see things in the most unexpected places. I went to see a 11-day-old baby, and I found this…Prashanth pointed it out to me in a plant that was in a flower-pot!
Why am I subjected to a daily barrage of forwards?
I do try to learn new things, and recently, when
The quarry area is where I sighted my first Egyptian Vulture in south Bangalore, so it’s always with eagerness that I go there. This time, of course, the lowering skies and the drizzle made it impossible to see too much, and I was able to photograph even less…but it was beautiful, nevertheless, to get some creatures on camera!
I’ve often spoken of the quarry area of Bannerghatta Forest; this is an area beyond the settlements of Nisarga, Nandanavana, and Pride Vatika Layout. A road, pretty horrible in patches, snakes along the hillside, through areas that have been quarried for the granite that Bangalore is famous for. The motorable road sort of peters out before a small village, and there’s a mango orchard there, and a little running rivulet. It’s a great place for birding, and on Sunday morning, Chandu, Krupakar, and I went there again.
You can’t get anything more delicately beautiful than a tiny Ladybird…with raindrops on it!
Another quick sneak to Valley School; we were disappointed to find that the Study Centre gate was locked. However, here are some of the interesting things I saw…
Celebrate the festival of light; Light up your heart’s desire.
In alphabetical order, Ashwini, Kiran, KM, Vineet, Vittal and I went to Basic Halli to participate in the Bird Survey that Anand had organized. As we were gathering to get into the car, I looked up and had my first migrant sighting for the day, the
I had made
I enjoy having feedback and dialogue as a spinoff from my posts; I do like communicating with people, and exploring points of view other than my own.
At Bilkal Rangaswamy Betta, someone picked up a tiny little caterpillar and gave it to me.
I’m writing an article on Basic Halli for Citizen Matters (weekend getaway) but would like, meanwhile, to share some of the scenery…
Tbanks to Karthik and Priya….and especially to Karthik’s mother,Smt Saraswathi…. I visited this wonderful old temple yesterday.
This was a long weekend for most people because of Rajyotsava (State Founding) Day…and even by my standards, it was a hectic weekend! But I was surrounded by friends…what more can one wish for!
It is an amazing thing for me to forget, even with my famous memory….but I did manage to forget my SD (memory) card on the MLC this morning. I had been to the Manipuri folk theatre in Ranga Shankara yesterday, and had downloaded the pics…and left the card in the card reader!
I’d posted this pic of a cycle, all decorated and worshipped on Ayudha Puja (Navami, ninth day of Navarathri) day, and taken out and used proudly on Vijaya Dashami (tenth and final day):
Last Sunday,Krupakar, and his wife Pooh (Poonam), Vittal and I all went for a short, gentle trip to Bannerghatta Zoo Area.
I got this gem from the film “Fanaa”, and used Quillpad to write it out in Devanagari script:
Priya Rajvansh…a beautiful woman.
A man goes out and buys the best car available in the US or Europe, a 2001 Turbo BeepBeep. It is the best and most expensive car in the world, and it runs him $500,000. He takes it out for a spin and, while doing so, stops for a red light. An old man on a moped, both looking about 90 years old, pulls up next to him.
Do you want a Lumber Belt?
I put up a post of the performance
We were lucky to sight a huge variety of creatures at Kabini…one of the most stunning being the
I’d left a message on my daughter’s voice mailbox that I enjoyed my birthday because of my friends…. I love my friends’ company.
When one goes to Kabini (we usually stay in the beautiful JLR resort), one goes into the
Throughout the day, friends called up….some came over home to wish me in the little time I had at home…and their affection has touched me so deeply….I was moved to tears at one point when two of them walked into my home with a cake that had lighted candles on it!
We sighted an impressive 108 species of birds in the 2 days at Kabini….let me start with a visitor to our shores, which does an amazing feat of travelling, the
I came back from Kabini and learnt that my friends had a baby girl…and this morning, two neighbours of mine (two brothers who occupy flats on the same floor) had to decide that their ailing father, who was past 85, was now solely dependent on life support, that his life was not worth prolonging, and had to decide to “pull the plug”.
One of the birds we saw on the backwater boat trip on the Kabini backwaters is the
I got to see these beautiful images of pujO at Kolkata this year:
The clouds over Kabini were so beautiful that sometimes I stopped looking at the birds or mammals or insects…and looked at them instead.
We saw this beautiful tusker (probably about 35 years old)…on the banks of the backwaters of the Kabini, as we took our evening boat ride yesterday…
Today’s outing was both more interesting, and longer-lasting, than I had anticipated. I’ve been to the Ramakrishna Ashram several times, and we’ve always just walked a little past the campus and come back. So today I was very surprised to be able to go for quite a longish trek up hill and down dale!
I’d gone with Girish and
It’s probably difficult for people from other cultures to think of a festival that goes on for ten days…but that’s Navarathri (literally, nine nights.) Today is the ninth day, which is dedicated to Saraswathi, the goddess of learning, and is also Ayudha pujA day, where the implements and gadgets of everyday use are worshipped.
The BULBs outing last Sunday was enjoyable….
Why is it more funny when one writes about disliking things, rather than about liking things? I was having a mailing list conversation about the kind of ladies who come to Carnatic music concerts and keep talking, and I described them as VTM’s (Vaira Thodu Mamis)….here’s what I said:
Apart from the sighting of the
‘Be very quiet!’ said the father to his son. Father and son went birding together for the first time. The father said: ‘Stay here and be very QUIET. I’ll be across the field.’ A few minutes later the father heard a blood curdling scream and ran back to his son…
If you are a General Motors fan, but you don’t want a car but a green animal alternative, what do you drive?
I got this lovely formation:
In the Hindu religion, we have the concept of the
Today (well, it’s JUST about today in St.Louis),
A lovely trip to Hesserghatta, which once used to be the lake that was the water source for Bangalore, left me satisfied ….and though the lake (well, an almost-dry lake-bed now, compared to the full lake I’ve seen two decades ago) is known more for its raptors, one of the creatures that enthralled me was this
another forward that I got…
I never knew anything about how comics were created…but the work of Carl Barks was always outstanding, even amongst the excellent Disney artists…I’ve laughed and enjoyed the stories and waited for the next comic book….
I love photographing photographing photographers ….
Maybe its kind of a joke, but do you know that 10.10.10 (this Sunday) in binary is 42 in decimal? and 42 is the Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything!
“We can hardly see the red post-boxes these days!”, I recently read someone ruing….so
As part of World Wildlife Week, Junglescapes organized a meeting with the DCF, Mr Narayanaswamy, on the 6th of October, and early in the morning, a few volunteers from both GE (who is strongly supporting the work in Bandipur) and Junglescapes left for a visit to the villages of Chik Yelchetti and Lokkere.
We stopped on the way to Bandipur to buy flowers for the Forest Officers, and I got these photographs. I think the there is a real contrast between the hard-headed business sense that’s required to survive in a small business, and the light touch required to handle flowers to make garlands and bouquets out of them….
I spoke of the clouds that had been lifted from our hearts, with a cardiac infection having been ruled out…but there are clouds which are wonderful presences in nature….yesterday, at Chik Yelchetti and Lokkere villages, in Bandipur, we watched the changing forms of the clouds in the monsoon sky….
Though the symptoms (painful rash, sore throat, fever) that made the docs suspect endocarditis, have still not gone, the mitral valve infection has been ruled out, tests have shown that D’s heart and lungs are in excellent shape, and he’s come home from the hospital…YAYYYYYY!
D has been ill for a few days, and yesterday, when he went to the doctor with a rash in addition to his cough, cold and fever, one of the doctors felt that he could hear a murmur in the mitral valve, and so admitted D to the hospital to rule out a bacterial infection of the mitral valve (I have not heard of such bacterial infections in the heart before…but live and learn.) A is juggling the hospital, her work and KTB’s day care..and they are awaiting the results of various tests.
Today, a friend of ours asked us to come over for a one-on-one meeting with the Swamiji who has been giving lectures at his sisters’ place. Let me give the facts about this Swamiji:
I was very happy to have my friends Abhijit, Ammu and Hassath over from Delhi. AMS has been an unfailing source of help with my faltering steps in birdwatching, and has never once laughed at the mistakes I keep making!
My baby ran her 3rd half-marathon….and her timing was 2 hr 3 min 58 sec. This is her personal best….
No, this is not a how-to-make-great images tutorial. (I charge heavily for that!) But if you want to make money from photography, here is my tip, given for free….
I went “Aaaaah!” when I read
…and sent this…
What would you eat if you are a sentry or in the Army and don’t like your job?
Krupakar (a fellow-birder who lives three doors away from me)suddenly sms-ed me at 10.30pm, because he was given an off day for the Ayodhya verdict. (He’ll have to slog it out on Saturday.)It was too late to ask anyone else…so off we both went!
On a mailing list that I belong to, I received an article about “techno-literacy”…
She’s running the half-marathon this coming weekend…and quite often, she suffers from feelings of inadequacy (completely discounting the fact that she has a full-time, demanding career, and child of a year-and-a-five-months)…so she loved getting this email from someone:
Friends had invited us to their farmhouse, and it was a very pleasant afternoon, with all of us singing old Tamizh and Hindi songs, with the occasional Carnatic krithi thrown in. Of course, I wanted to visit the little water body nearby, and see if I could spot some birds…and as I was thinking about it, I saw a Red-necked Falcon fly overhead.
A friend of mine recently taxed me with never responding to her. This surprised me, because I consider myself very good at replying to emails. “I haven’t received a single email from you!” I said. “I’ve sent SO many!” she cried.
This is my favourite song, describing the wedding of Sundareswara and Meenakshi (Shiva and Parvathi) at Madurai….
Four of us went to Jaipurdoddi at Bannerghatta Forest area again, yesterday morning; thanks to a late start and deadlines to get back home, we hardly had any time there, but still, this was one of the beautiful things that we managed to capture on our cameras….
We saw a variety of creatures on our trek near Chik Yelchetti, and into the forest area; I’m giving the bird-list at the end, but here are some of the living things that I C-on-C (Caught on Camera):
SIGN IN A BUSINESS WINDOW, IN FLORIDA!
I’ve joined an organization called
Here are a few views of what I enjoyed…this one’s for
I had seen the Six-Spot Ground Beetle for the first time on the
Shit..is not a dirty word in Nature. It’s as much a part of the environment as a beautiful flower, and has a lot of uses in the ecosystem. Traditionally, we’ve always used dried cowdung (politely called cowpats) as fuel, and my aunts used to consider the dung of temple elephants as a curative for cracks in the feet. “Panchakavyam” or the five products of a cow, included its dung, for medicinal and ritual purposes.