September 6th, 2021


The guava and the grandchildren: Singanayakanahalli, 040921

Ten of us met up for the bird/nature outing at Singanayakanahalli Lake in north Bangalore. Alas, the heavy rain meant that the ground (we had to walk over the bed of the lake) was very squishy and squelchy indeed, and our shoes became caked with mud. I got fed up of clumping along and trying to look for path through the water puddles and small water ponds, and decided to go back to the road, and cross it to see what I could find on the other side. There was a path leading down to the guava orchard, and I took it, to get to the open fields where I might find Munias and other small interesting plants and insects.

As I was walking in the guava orchard, heading towards the open fields, I saw a man plucking guavas. I went up to him and asked him if he would sell me some. He pointed to a pile and said, "aivathu" (fifty). I put some of the guavas into my camera bag and took out my fifty-rupee note...when suddenly another man came charging at the first one, who took to his heels!


The second man then looked at the money in my hand and asked what it was. I said I was about to buy the guavas. "What! I am the farmer who owns this orchard, that was a thief stealing the fruit!" he said. "You were going to buy the fruits from a thief!" Crestfallen, I turned away, when the farmer laughed and said, "Take as many as you like, you at least were not stealing!" I paid him the fifty and got fruits for all of the group which we enjoyed.


I also walked up to see the Hanuman temple that shows up on Google maps


and next to it was a shrine to the snake gods (nAga dEvathA).


As I stood there, an old (well, older than me!) came up and said, "If you pray to these gods with devotion, you will get children."

I was about to tell him that I already had one of those, and was very satisfied, when he took another look at me, and corrected himself: "You will get grandchildren." Laughing, I told him I had two of those too, and was satisfied!

You can see the Flickr album of the photographs I took that morning


Godaan, by Munshi Premchand

Just finished watching the last (12th) episode (each about 25 min) of Godaan, Munshi Premchand's novel, televised, written and directed by Gulzar.

A touching tale of a farmer's descent into poverty, but remaining a good man through all of the ordeals. So well produced and acted. How well Pankaj Kapur's make up ages him through the episodes! None of the fake brand-new ethnic clothes of today's "village" movies; the dirt, the dust, the cheating, the lying, the exploitation of the poor....and through it all, the genuine affection of the couple and their family....the cows that are part of their beautifully depicted.
Doordarshan had such excellent serials, when did the quality of entertainment deteriorate so much?

If you would like to watch ( the Hindi is in the Bhojpuri dialect, but not hard to follow the story), here is the first episode (the link to the next episode appears at the right hand side.)


is a very good account and synopsis of the novel itself.

Butterfly Blues


When I started looking
At lovely butterflies,
I felt that very soon
I'd be Lepidopterally wise...

From Albatross to Zebra Blue
I thought it was a cinch
But  the  butterfly alphabet
Is killing me, inch by inch.


First came the Blues, and blues were  what
These Lycaenids cast me into.
Even Grass Blues are  Lesser and Tiny...
Pale and Dark forms, too!


Another colour,  Yellow, this time,
Put my mind in further doubt.
Three-spotted, Spotless, Common, more....
I knew not what I was about.


The Rings put all my mathematics
And basic numbers to shame.
Alas, a Common Four-ring
And a Five-ring often look the same!


Brown was a colour I felt at ease with...
Until it was preceded by "Bush".
Trying to find out which one it was
Reduced my brain to mush.


Then came the procession
Of the scientific names;
The dry and wet-season forms,
The gentlemen, and the dames.


Under all this  profusion
Of names and facts, I groan
The only butter fly I am sure of
Is when Amul or Vijaya is thrown!