February 24th, 2010


Some of the birds at Thattekkad, 08,09,100110

The Thattekkad visit was excellent in terms of birding, but we had some less-than-happy experiences in terms of our accomodation, because of our bird guide. As a bird guide, Mr.Eldhose is excellent, and showed us a great variety of birds. He is very knowledgeable; for example, he said that the Indian Pitta was earlier coming out at 6pm, now it was coming out only at 6.20pm...and lo and behold, at 6.20pm, there the bird was, responding to his call!

But...in the matter of accomodation, and being with us for the entire time that we had booked him (three months in advance) he completely let us down, and told us things that were quite untrue (eg, that accomodation at Jungle Bird Homestay was not available. We stayed at Sanctuary Homestay, and when I went across to say hello to Sudha, she showed me three empty rooms, and mentioned the politics that exists.)

Here are some of the birds that I managed to get on my SMS (Shamelessly Mediocre Shots)...if it takes me more than a month to get these photographs uploaded without any post-processing, you can imagine how long it would take if I had decided on doing that, too! In fact, most of the photographs would have got deleted, as they are not good ones to begin with.

Two of the most spectacular birds were the whimsically-named


asian fairy bluebird tk 080110

and the


ruby-throated bulbul tk 090110

(also called the Black-crested, or the Ruby-throated Bulbul)

Here's a video of this spectacular bird!

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On the last morning, we saw a whole lot of


on the wires, atop the Periyar (big river):

ashy woodswallow periyar tk 100110

But the closing bonus was Sudeesh telling Amogh about this beauitul


...not a 100 metres from where we were staying1

100110 tk brown hawk owl

A very satisfying birding trip indeed....

dil hoom hoom karE....

Another of my favourites based on rAg bhoop (mohanam) is by Bhupen Hazarika from the movie "rudAli"...in which the erstwhile teen idol Dimple Kapadia (who was responsible for the wet dreams of a generation of young men who are more than middle-aged now) gave a very sensitive performance indeed....

The sad version of the song is sung by Bhupenda himself:


the wiki about this movie

The existence of professional mourners is a reality in India even today....when we have a death in the family, it's always impossible for me to discern if the servants associated with our household are genuinely wailing with grief, or are doing this as a social necessity (public display of grief, wailing and beating the forehead and chest, and sometimes rolling on the floor, is deemed necessary in many communities...otherwise the feeling is that there is not enough grief displayed for the departed person.)

When I die...I want people around me to laugh....to repeat my Orrible Puns and DJ's and miss me...not cry! Actually...not even that...because I believe I will be gone, and what people and do won't make any difference to me, unless I can be a spectator somehow!

Thank you, kruthi, for suddenly turning my thoughts to music again.

Sometimes she's just like her nAni (maternal grandmother).....

...and that's when she does this...

biddles foot in mouth 180210

there are times when she's Houdini, and doesn't handle the escape from her "pen" very well... but the crying ceases the instant the star sees the camera!

at other times, she is delighted...and delightful...