September 29th, 2007



I snapped these earthen pots waiting to be sold in the Indira Nagar area...the pots keep the water cool because the surface is moist and the evaporation brings down the temperature. A mud pot with a mud lid, with perhaps a ladle to dip into the water, and a glass nearby, is a welcome sight on a hot day!

pots in indira nagar 290907

And pots similar to these are also a still-often used percussion instrument in Carnatic music; traditionally, players would play the "ghatam" as it is called, bare-chested, modulating the sound the ghatam makes by adjusting its mouth against their abdomens. The highlight of a "thani Avarthanam" (percussion interlude) would be the ghatam artiste throwing up the ghatam and catching it..."ghati" is the Sankskrit word for "mud pot". Alangudi Ramachandran and Vikku Vinayakaraman are well-known exponents of the ghatam.

A few minutes of birding...

I got a call from Mahesh Devarajan asking if I would be interested in going to the Bannerghatta forest area for a little birding. Of course I jumped at the chance, and when he came over for lunch, I was able to winkle KM too out from behind his desk and we drove to where Geetanjali Dhar and her husband Subir, and their delightful two-year old, Avantika, were waiting to put us on the right road.

So of course as we drove into the forest area, it started pouring and pouring and pouring and pouring...and even more naturally, it only stopped when it was almost dusk!

So a couple of LITTLE GREEN BEE-EATERS, SPOTTED DOVES, a YELL0W-BILLED BABBLER, a couple of female INDIAN ROBINS, and PIED BUSHCHATS were all we could see, and NOT photograph; in the gathering dusk, Mahesh finally managed to get one fairly grainy shot of the LONG-TAILED SHRIKE (anyone know why they are called "fiscal" shrikes in Africa?):

long-tailed shrike bg forest area 290907

And as the gloom deepened...we saw the utterly handsome, Bollywood-hero-style spectacle-sporting BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE on a tree...

black shouldered kite bannerghatta forest area 290907

The first was with the S3; the second with the Canon 20D with the 300 mm prime lens...but when the light is really too low, there is little one can do...or at least, that's what I tell myself to explain the lousy pictures!

We returned home with the rain following us, and found that the ODI match had also been washed out, along with India's chances of winning...!