June 22nd, 2007


Repeat Telecast this Morning..

Amazing, I got a call this morning that my one-hour Carnatic music program, telecast on Jun 19, was "very popular"(whatever that means) and that it will be re-telecast today on Asianet Suvarna channel from 0745 to 0845 (morning)...I am going to attend a wedding...but if any of you see this in time and CAN watch...please do!

Wildlife and the many dangers it faces...

I am uploading the pictures taken during our wonderful trip to Nandi Hills on 19th June, and the short visit to Madivala Lake on 21st June... but want to post, first, these graphic pictures of what our wildlife faces....

We were climbing up to the top of Nandi Hills when, almost as if wanting to give us a great show, a pair of Egyptian vultures began soaring right overhead; we scrambled to get good shots. Satisfied, we were just lowering our cameras when this bird struggled past:

Black Kite with Plastic bag 19Jun07 Nandi Hills

In this shot, too, you can see the bird's talons caught in the plastic bag. It repeatedly flew close to the ground in an attempt to try and work the plastic bag off; obviously, the bag was hindering its flight...

Black Kite with Plastic Caught in Talon Nandi Hill 19Jun07

A little later, we also saw a black kite with a string of faded flowers trailing from its leg, trying to shake it off in exactly the same fashion, with another kite actually trying to help it. We went a little further and found a large trash dump, which was where the kites were feeding, and getting entangled in rubbish...

And when we went to Madivala Lake yesterday, we found this juvenile Pond Heron, with a broken leg...and with three people just waiting behind the perimeter fence to take it away for their evening meal....

Distressed pond heron Madivala Lake 21 Jun07

The hunched posture, the lack of shine in the feathers, the nictitating membrane pulled over the eye...they all told the sad story. We called up
People for Animals , the animal shelter that we visited earlier, which has been doing great work for the past ten years. Finally, sainath, sanath, and I brought the bird home to my place, where I wrapped it up in some soft material and put it securely in a cardboard bag, and Sainath delivered it to a shelter volunteer. Alas, it was all in vain. The bird died early this morning, and Dr Somnath, the vet at PfA, said that the fracture was not in the leg, but at the hip, and was a multiple, compound fracture, which must have happened 2 or 3 days ago. The young bird really didn't stand a chance, he said.

The bird actually had a piece of dirty cloth tied to its leg, and we are still trying to speculate how that could have happened.

Yes, if the bird never had a chance, perhaps it was better for it to die...but now I am really wondering...would it then have been wrong, as we thought, to let those people take it home and make a meal of it? Would that not have been its fate had a predator seen it before we did? It might have fed a poor family...the answers are never black-and-white to such dilemmas....

Not even the fact that one song from my Carnatic music concert was aired on "Suvarna" TV channel this morning, and that I have got it (without any colour though!) on my 12-year-old VCR, makes me feel good about these things.

Nandi Hills photographs coming up soon...GAWD it takes EONS to download from camera, crop and zoom, upload to Flickr...HOW do these other photographers EVER get anything else done, I wonder.