March 23rd, 2009

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A snap of the fingers....

I watched a song on an old Tamizh movie, where (of course) the hero snaps his fingers at the heroine....

And yesterday, I was teaching my young friend how to do a "gun" with one's fingers. (You have to keep your left index finger and thumb at right angles, pointing at the target; hook your right index finer on to that angle at the thumb; and then click your middle finger and thumb...this is assuming you are right-handed.)

Snapping one's fingers...could be a way of keeping time, and rhythm. As one enjoys music, sometimes, the clicking of one's fingers is quite automatic!

Often, though, it's an imperative, imperious gesture...the click of the fingers with which a customer in a restaurant summons a waiter (though it is considered rather rude now)...the way someone on the road gets the attention of a total stranger...

Sometimes you don't want to call someone by name, and click your fingers at them, hoping they will hear that and respond, and you don't have to use the name in a public space....

And of course, there is the disdainful, scornful snap of the fingers..."I don't care a snap of the fingers for someone" is quite a literal statement! Or one just says, "I don't care *this* for him!" and snaps one's fingers.


In many societies, it is polite to click one's fingers before one's mouth as one yawns, not just put them in front of the yawning mouth. Someone once told me that this drives away evil spirits which might enter through the open mouth..perhaps insects too?

It is quite a feat for a child to be able to produce a proper "clicking" noise from its soft little fingers...I remember wanting to do so for quite a long time before being able to! Now, of course, I can click my fingers on both hands...

And I remember that lovely word game which needed the participants to name various designated things....it would begin, I remember, with all of us keeping time by clicking our fingers, and reciting,

"Catharese
If you please
Name some
Names of...."

And this would be followed by what had to be named (Eg, Flowers, or countries....) and keeping to time, each player would have to think of the next name, or be "out"!

Does the snap of the finger also breakthe sound barrier, the way the lash of a whip does? Why don't wet fingers snap well? Why does only the middle finger produce a proper sound?

And that brings me to the other use I know for clicking one's fingers...that's when I think, "Eureka! That's the answer!" and I click my fingers spontaneously, it's the equivalent of the bulb lighting up over my head! Or, when I am trying hard to remember something and I suddenly succeed...CLICK go my fingers immediately!

Alas, to my questions above, I can't do the "eureka" click!


Here's a Lambani tribesman in Bannerghatta, whom we met on Saturday. He is now settled in the Bannerghatta area, in a small settlement of about 18 houses, but the Forest Department is asking them all to vacate the forest area.... he was busy building a wooden structure, and I was impressed with his skills...and the dignity in his face....


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Vaseegara....

Got that lovely song, "VaseegarA", on YouTube....




Well, that's Jayalalitha (sorry, add another 'a' at the end!) with some boon companion (no, it isn't Sasikala! )....does it, or does it not, look like a gay/lesbian rights song? I have forgotten what the original song was...can someone tell me?

The words of this song are somehow better in Hindi than in Tamizh, where they seem a little awkward...."oru pOrvakkuL iru thookkam" sounds not at all poetic!


vaseegara...en nenjinikka...un ponmadiyil thoonginAl pOthum...

athEy kaNam ...en kaNNurangA mun janmangaLin EkkangaL theerum...naan...

nEshikkirEn, swAsikkirEn, un thayavAl thAnEy....EngugirEn, thEngugirEn, un ninaivAl, nAnEy nAn....


adai mazhai varum-- athil nanaivOmEy...kuLir kAycchalOdu snEham..

oru pOrvaikkuL iru thookkam...

guLu guLu poygaL solli ennai velvAy...athu therinthum kooda, anbEy,

manam athayEy thAn ethir pArkkum....

engEyum pOgAmal...thinam veettilEyEy nee vEndum!

shila samayam, viLeyAttAy, un AdaikkuLLEy nAn vEndum....vaseegarA...


thinamum nee kuLitthathum enai thEdi

en sElai nuNiyAl unthan thalai thudaippAyEy...athu kavithai...

thirudan pOL pathingiyEy thidheerenru, pinnAlirunthu ennai nee aNaippAyEy...athu kavithai!

yArEnum maNi kEttAl, athai solla kooda theriyAthEy!

kAthal enum mudiviliyil...gadigAra nEram kidayAthey...!...vaseegara....



O, one who attracts me...to sweeten my heart, all I need is to sleep in your golden lap...
At the same time, all the yearnings of my earlier sleepless births will cease...
I love, I breathe, because of your kindness....I yearn, I stagnate,in memories of you...


Heavy rains will come, we'll get drenched; love and drying out in the cold...two sleeping in one blanket...

You tell me cool lies, but even knowing that, that's what my mind expects...

No need to go out, just at home, every day, I want you...

Sometimes, in play, I want me in your clothes.... vaseegara....


Every day, when you finish your bath, you dry your hair with a corner of my saree..that's poetry!

Like a thief, you skulk and put your arms around me from behind, suddenly...that's poetry!

If someone asks the time, I don't even know to say it...

In the eternity of love, there is no time measure by clocks...vaseegara....


I *still* can't translate it properly, and I *still* like the Hindi version better...
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Birds from the Bannerghatta Forest Area, 210309

Every time I visit the Bannerghatta Forest area (as distinct from the Bannerghatta Zoo/Butterfly Park area), I see so many birds; last time the raptor sighting that had me in raptors raptures was the Marsh Harrier; this time it was this beautiful SHORT-TOED SNAKE EAGLE soaring overhead:


210309 short-toed snake eagle

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Several COMMON IORAS came and sat on the trees of the mango orchard....

150309common iora bg

Several WHITE-BROWED FANTAIL FLYCATCHERS, an ASIAN PARADISE FLYCATCHER, and some TICKELL'S BLUE FLYCATCHER played hide and seek with us in the mango orchard, but I could not get a photograph!

Other stuff in the next post....
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Scenes from Bannerghatta Forest area, 210309

Though the birds kept us occupied, our mission (Ramesh, Geetanjai, Anush and I...all NTP members) was to try and identify a village to develop homestays in, and to try and develop bird trails and train some of the village youth to act as bird guides, giving them both revenue and a reason to protect the birds and the environment. We have been somewhat successful...

But so many beautiful scenes took my eye....

The stream that runs through the area we visited makes patterns of light and shadow as it runs tinkling over the rocks:

rocks and stream bg 210309

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Here's one man, whom we found building a mud structure in the village. He was skilled at his work, and very dignified indeed:

lambani villager 210309

We are hoping to make headway with our work in the area, but meanwhile, the trips are very enjoyable, too!

Off to the Bannerghatta Zoo area tomorrow with Madhusmita (NTP)....what will the day be like?..I wonder (the first line of a very famous song from the Sound of Music!)

Off to sleep now...g'night folks, haven't caught up with my friends' lists, either...!