Saturday, November 13, 2010

Of human-animal bondage!

Wherever we are posted, stray animals find their way home, so much so - that "dogs and cats are fond of him" better describes my life partner rather than "yes, he's fond of all non-humans."
In an earlier location, a cat adopted the house, and we were simply co-habitants that she happily put up with. (Please read Kittens in my cupboard and More kittens in more cupboards when you find the time).
Here in Delhi, Blacky strayed into our porch, and has stayed there since. And one day brought Browny along. I am not fond of pets as such, (though James Herriot and Gerald Durrell are a couple of my favourite writers) - but I can see who, and what makes husband and son happy!
Other campus residents complained, and we have had to call the MCD's (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) 'Aawaaraa kuthaa' squad. But well, that's a Government Department after all, so B&B are spared yet.
I feel guilty to term them as strays - they are lovable companions, now made cozy for winter in the garage (you see Blacky was ready to litter in more ways that one, probably courtesy Browny) and getting branded nutrition supplementary to homely vegetarian meals (Rice/bread well mixed with milk, fresh curd, ghee, cheese / combinations thereof, tasted, then passed for canine consumption. Perhaps most pet-owners do this, it's possible that I have witnessed only these stray-pet-caretakers!).
It's been about 4+ months now. Browny seems smarter than sedate Blacky. When he reaches the bottom of his bowl, he makes it stay using a paw, then licks the bowl clean. Blacky moves along with her bowl, unless one of us is around to hold it in place for her. Something else we thought unusual - Browny has 2 dew claws in his hind legs.
Blacky has since delivered - she found a very safe place, rather ingenious we thought (she dug a comfortable hole under a huge discarded cable spool, about 50 feet from our lawn).
We could guess, because she didn't turn up that day, or the next.
What was new to me was Browny's self-styled sentry post. (we are still not sure that he's sired the litter). He stands, sits or sleeps guard very near the nursery - constantly.
We placed Blacky's feed very near her den for a couple of days. Since Thursday, she has been knocking (read clamouring like a pack of hungry kids) for her meal, taking precisely 90 seconds to leave the den, gobble up, and rush back before she's missed.
God's creatures, all of us....
The proud mother

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Compulsions of urban livelihoods

City dwelling mynahs probably adapt themselves in myriad ways to their surroundings. After all, trees and shrubs are hard to come by in concrete jungles. Here is how two different families have settled in a bustling highway. Family One - our immediate neighbours - have a small dwelling, and the address line 1 reads - Telephone Post No 2, Road No 220 North.

Family One's distant cousins have a cozy apartment a few kilometres away, in an underpass below a railway line. You can see that they have plenty of neighbours, and there are plenty more apartments yet to be let out. If you were writing to them, use this address - Apt # B322, Bijwasan Underpass, Ring Road.

Plenty of bird baths placed by concerned members of a different species make their days that much easier.
As you can see, we had dropped by, and Ms Mynah wouldn't let us get a word in edgeways.
You may like to visit one of our other neighbours. We have since moved.
Now that you have visited them, take time off to visit other worlds
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Friday, July 9, 2010

Photo contest of North East India

Beautiful tropical countryside - see entries for the contest.

Welcome to the North East of India's unique states - Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Sikkim, Nagaland. That's just a peek into
Enjoy other glimpses here.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Okras, nice and extra-long lady's fingers

Local variety of okras from South India bigger than the varieties one finds in supermarkets. (This lot measure between 9 and 10 inches)

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Views from the Taj Mahal

That marble mausoleum is likely one of the most photographed structures world over, and deservingly so. Here are views as seen from that world wonder... the River Yamuna, and a few souls that depend on the river

Some more unusual views -

Love your world, and appreciate plenty of other lovable worlds!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A temple for Sant Surdas

"The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision"
(Helen Keller)

You would know absolute peace, were you to visit this temple for the sightless 15th century poet Sant Surdas. His life story makes humbling reading. Very aptly, a school for the blind is co-located with this monument for the saint.The poet-saint is said to have composed 100,000 songs on Lord Krishna. Listen to one of the 8,000 existing devotional lyrics -
Recently, after we came across the adaptations of the Braille script for other languages, we participated in making this school project (associated with a lesson on Helen Keller) - it shows a few letters of the Devanagari script as depicted in Braille. I closed my eyes to try to make out the letters - but failed. Pre-formed mental images were poor assistants to overcome the challenge. My salutations to Sant Surdas, Helen Keller and my grandmother.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Resident Black Buck at Sikandra

Black buck in the lawns of Sikandra Fort (tomb of Emperor Akbar), Agra. The lawns are thankfully out of bounds for us humans.

Camera Critters

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Drive out of the maddening city is definitely worth it,

...won't you agree? - finding yourself by this lakeside,...,...with the right patch of green, ...... and with some very pleasant company, ......watching the tree-tops, sunlight filtering through the foliage, ...... and the crescent moon making an early appearance in the clearest of true blue skies, ...... yes, definitely worth it!
Where? - Keetham Lake within Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary near Agra, which also houses the restricted and protected Agra Bear Rescue Facility
Visit plenty of worthy worlds here

Monday, February 8, 2010

Glimpses from Surajkund Crafts Mela 2010 - 1

Isn't that rich! Finest offerings of India's multilingual, multicultural, pluralistic richness from 29 states and 6 Union Territories are all on display and sale for a fortnight at the Surajkund Crafts Mela.
Hay, straw, jute, metal, textiles, clay, paper mache, paper, wood, porcelain, bamboo - that's the variety of material used by artistic hands to produce thousands of articles ranging from small keychains to solid furniture. Applique lampshade (Orissa)
Hay portrait (Kerala)
Pottery (Khurja, Uttar Pradesh)
Wooden Sculptures (Tamil Nadu)

Tanjore Paintings (Tamil Nadu)
There were stalls from a few neighbouring countries - Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Gross National Happiness! - Bhutan's stall
Tajikistan's ware
The carpet-seller from Afghanistan
Masks, Batik designs and coconut shell carvings from Sri Lanka
We wandered around taking in the sights, and came content away with pleasant memories and stuffed pixels.
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