April 14th, 2009


Nandi Hills Bird Feast, 110409

Things have been so hectic that I have not been able to post...can you imagine that!

Oh, well, I have to catch up on what did happen to me over this extremely hectic weekend...a trip to Nandi Hills, a trip to Mysore, a trip to Valley School, and a photo-shoot by Prasad, a freelance professional photographer....this was for Harmony magazine (yes, you lot can now queue up, I will autograph your books for a small consideration.)

But let's start with the wonderful Nandi Hills trip...!

Garima suddenly decided that the BULB (Bangalore Urban Lady Birders...we ARE bright bulbs!) could do a trip to Nandi Hills last weekend, and it all fell into place, and off we went; we decided that we would add two males to the group, Anush and Chandu....

And..we could hardly move out of the nursery area (behind the water tank)...because it was raining birds! In fact, there were 8 of us and we really did not know where to look, as each of us spotted a bird in the foliage, in the fallen leaves, on the branches, and there was a cacophony of exclamations and a marathon of quiet nudges....

Here are the birds; I will be posting the others (flowers, and so on) later....

Let me start with my favourite image; to me, this picture is redolent of several things, that spell "summer" to me...the tangy sourness of the tamarind fruit (those are the leaves of the tamarind tree); the mango, that king of summer fruits and pickles of every sort; and the green of fresh foliage...and this little ORIENTAL WHITE-EYE, mimicking, apparently, a mango in a tamarind tree (trust a birdbrain to do that!), reminds me of all of them....

mango oriental white eye 120409

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And the highlight of the morning was that while we were oohing and aahing over these birds, this beautiful COMMON BUZZARD, a lifer for me, sailed in and sat on the mango tree! We stopped oohing and aahing...we were just spellbound!

common buzzard nh nurs 120409

I did try to take Chandu around a bit, because, incredibly, this was his first-ever trip to Nandi Hills! Chandu, you need to take Suvarchala and go along a couple of times....without us!

Chandu had come along on his bike, as our car was full; and on the steep road up to Nandi Hills, Suma Rao decided that she would drive the bike, and I sat pillion, and though it was quite chilly, we thoroughly enjoyed the ride! Thank you, Chandu....

Garima, who is excellent at whatever she does, had baked chocolate cake and carrot muffins (I called them 22-carrot muffins); Uma had brought potato buns; Suma had brought chapatis and chutney and pickle; I had brought bisi bela huli anna; Anush provided the chips (which were never brought out from the car!) and so the list of foods went...what a wonderful morning it was! To meet, eat, and watch the sweet birds, in the unexpected chill of an April morning...it was really heavenly.

Another beautiful ghazal.....

Wonderful song...

tum itnA jO muskurA rahE hO
kya gham hai jiskO chhupa rahE hO

AnkhOn mEin namee, hansi labOn par
kyA hAl hai...kyA dikhA rahe hO

ban jAyEngE zehar peetE peetE
yeh ashq jO piyE jA rahE hO

jin zakhmOn kO waqt bhar chalA hai
tum kyOn unhE chhedhE jA rahE hO

rekhAOn kA khEl hai muqaddar
rekhAOn sE mAt khA rahE hO

You are smiling so much...
What sorrow are you hiding?

Moisture in your eyes, smile on your lips
What state are you in, and what state are you displaying?

They will turn to poison, as you swallow them...
These tears that you are drinking

The wounds that time has healed..
Why are you re-opening them?

Destiny is a play of lines;
You are getting defeated by them....


So often, a smile hides a tear...this is such a moving song, and so beautifully set to music, with the simple accompaniment of a guitar.

Watch the movie if you've not seen it. The scene where Shabana Azmi (the wife) pleads with Smita Patil (the mistress) to let her husband go...still gives me goose-bumps. What talented actresses they both are.

When the mistress pleads with the wife to sign the divorce document so that she can marry the man, the wife says, "You are longing for a relationship which can end with one signature, like this...."