deponti to the world

my 2 cents

Another walk, 230217
wave
deponti
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.

To live without love
wave
deponti
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.

IMG_2717
Chennai, 041216

The Valley area, 050217: Email to bngbirds egroup
wave
deponti
Hi everyone,

As I begin to write this, my mind wanders in several directions. One, the wonderful writing of "ixedoc", Dr Arunachalam Kumar, each of whose vignettes I look forward to reading.

Another: the increasing difficulty of going birding or "naturing" in terms of the hassle it is to drive back home.

Yet another: The increasing difficulty of access to our wildlife areas.

But I will not digress (the digress being the female of the diger) and will write about one area, off Kanakapura Road, where the wilderness of the Bannerghatta scrub jungle awaits us,and where access is relatively easy.

IMG_7216

The Valley, as the area where the Valley School is situated, is a place where the forest leads the nature lover into both open grassland and shaded woods.And recently, bird sightings there have been of the unusual variety. My friend Chandu sighted an Ultramarine Flycatcher when he took the children of Aarohi School there for the HSBC Bird Race (in the space of two visits, we were able to sight a Racket-tailed Drongo, and on Sunday (5th Feb 2017) we were able to sight a Brown Wood Owl (Yogesh Badri's photo of it is


here </a>

...he quickly followed the bird as it flew, and got the shot)

IMG_7247
Tickell's Blue Flycatcher

IMG_7296
Verditer Flycatcher

All these "unusuals" lead to a lot of interest in a birding destination....but the true value of a birding "hotspot" lies,for avid birders, not only in the unusual, but also the usual.(MBK made this very valid point when spoke on the occasion of the 2016 Bird Race.)

What would one see,if one went, say, in the middle of summer? Would we be looking at the butterflies instead, or would we still see enough birds to hold our interest, and make an enjoyable morning of our outing? We may be more used to the burbling call of the Joker-cheek-patch Red-whiskered Bulbul, or the trill of the Small Green Bee-eaters, but they are no less beautiful than the rarely-sighted birds. Watching a Tailorbird bringing in nesting
material, or enjoying the way a Brahminy Kite soars and dips along the wind currents is as appealing as the sudden and unexpected thrill of a "rare" sighting...and on the days when the latter does not happen, the "usual" is what keeps us going back for more (the English word, not the Hindi one, though "mor" is also a bird frequently found at the Valley).

IMG_7265
Selfie.

As the winter mornings warm up, the thought of the long trudge back through the path where there are only the two banyan trees to give shade until we come back to the School main gate...

IMG_7302

may be daunting,but it's the "usual gang of suspects" that take us through to the bamboo thicket and beyond.

IMG_7300

Seed pod.

Here's a happy White-cheeked Barbet, secure in its nest, smiling at us!

IMG_7311

Compare and contrast, 2017
wave
deponti
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.

One was played fairly, by the rules, both parties were excellent at what they did,and would bring lustre to the title they won. There were no personal attacks, no smears, the process of winning the title was completely transparent.

The other....

Lovely lyrics...
wave
deponti
Just love the lyrics of a jewellery ad, which is something I never thought I'd say!

The visuals are coy and cloying, but the words...lyrics...are:

விண்ணில் மின்னும் தாரையை என்னில் கண்டேனே !
தங்கம் என்னை தீண்டிட காதல் கொண்டேனே!
இரு கையில் வளையல் குலுங்க...
காதோரம் காதலன் சிணுங்க...
நெஞ்சத்தில் தஞ்சம் கொண்டாய்...!

(I found a star of the sky in myself/As gold touched me, I found love/ With bangles clinking on both wrists/ My lover whispering in my ear/You found a refuge in my heart...)


Minnal Shaffer, 190108
wave
deponti
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.

lagOri, Kaikondrahalli kere, 080117
wave
deponti
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.


Today, when I went to Kaikondrahalli lake, I found this pile of flat stones, with a young girl piling them up carefully.

IMG_5371

I knew that a game of


Lagori

was in progress, and waited a bit while the girls surrounded the pile of stones and began their game.

IMG_5373


The game involves a ball and a pile of flat stones, generally played between two teams in a large outdoor area. A member of one team (the seekers) throws a tennis ball at a pile of stones to knock them over. The seekers then try to restore the pile of stones while the opposing team (the hitters) throws the ball at them. If the ball touches a seeker, she is out and her team continues without her. A seeker can always safeguard herself by touching an opposite team member before the ball hits her.

IMG_5372

There are some other rules that may be added in different regions of the country.


So here, to please all of us, is the scene of children (the girls were dressed to the nines for an event at their school, which is adjacent to the kere) playing a traditional game which does not need electricity, and which is one that their parents and grandparents have probably played!

Birding on the first day of 2017, Ramnagara
wave
deponti
Just four of us: Jayashree, Padma, Ramaswamy and I...went to

Ramnagara

for some evening birding, and to see the critically endangered

Long-billed Vultures

at the betta.

On the way, we saw three Spotted Owlets in a tree.

IMG_4856

more if you like to lookCollapse )

We stopped at Bidadi for

thatte iddli

IMG_4975

on the way home, and though Jai had to do some marathon driving through the choked highway, we returned home content with our evening's birding!

Pics on my FB album

here

Just two leaves left on the daily calendar....
wave
deponti
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.

IMG_7958

Creating the look, 251216
wave
deponti
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:

IMG_3972

IMG_3986

IMG_3995

IMG_4006

Amongst other things, I noticed this godman getting ready for his day, donning the accoutrements of his trade (sorry, religion seems to be as much a profession these days as any other more-usual one!)

IMG_4084

He had an assistant, who did not seem to need as much adornment as he did.

IMG_4091


I asked them if I could take photographs, and he and his assistant nodded and carried on with their makeup. Everything...the "rudrAksha" beads, the "vibhUti", the "sindUr"...was being applied carefully.

IMG_4087

I got a strange, half-suspicious look when they realized I was taking more than one photograph! So I stopped and went on my way.

IMG_4092

What are the lives of these people like, and how do they eke a living? I will never know...we live in the same city, but on different planets!

?

Log in