Archive for December, 2007

How NOT to wish people for the new year….

December 31, 2007

1. Don’t do mass emails where you are wishing some three hundred and fourteen people. No one will take such “wishes” seriously.

2. Do not hit “reply all” in response to someone who has sent you a 1. kind of email.

3.Do not do mass SMS-ing either. I dread the thought of my inbox tomorrow, really. ‘Twould be better (even if more expensive) to call and wish the person.

4. And do NOT, do NOT, send anyone an email like the one I got just now.

It said, “H.Y.N.”, and also said that while taking a picture of the three figurines in the attachment, two of them fell down and broke. I kid you not.

This emailer needs to see a hyn-ocologist!

PS. I used to make all my greeting cards, but have stopped now. Pity, I really, really enjoyed making those nice pop-up cards and humour cards…

The mammals of Kanha…with picture titles….

December 31, 2007

Since I felt very bad seeing practically every visitor to Kanha focusing exclusively on the tigers and not bothering about the other great sights there, my tiger pictures are going to be the last ones on this post….

Let me start with the BARASINGHA (“one with twelve horns”) or SWAMP DEER, of which there are the soft ground and hard ground varieties. Barasinghas are beautiful deer that can be found only in Kanha, and luckily, they are quite plentiful, and easily seen too. Equally luckily, they don’t often stray too close to the road, and visitors have a good distance from them, and the yelling and shouting doesn’t seem to disturb them…too much.

Here are a few shots of the Barasingha that I like.

“The Splash of Hooves”:

barasingha water jump 2212

“The Kiss”:

barasingha water kiss 2212

the mammals of Kanha and one reptile…click here

The birds of Kanha and some of Pune

December 31, 2007

Here are some of the birds we saw; with the exception of a few, they are all birds that can be seen just outside Bangalore, too! But it was no less enjoyable to sight them in distant Madhya Pradesh.


siberian stonechat male kanha 221207

and the female…

siberian stonechat female kanha

birds, birds, birds, click here

A few lovely things at the resort

December 31, 2007

In the afternoons, I wandered around the resort where we stayed, and got these….


Pollination 231207

plus a couple

Why do you think…?

December 29, 2007

On the front windshield of the taxi that took us to Mumbai Railway Station:

bad girl taxi 211207

The most “vegetarian” explanation is that when the taxi driver’s daughter is misschievious, the taxi driver doesn’t waste words, but just points to his cab…

How NOT to do bird photography…another lesson

December 29, 2007

Before I make my posts on Kanha, I thought I would once again vent my spleen mention a few words about the difficulty of bird photography.

I think it is a vile plot by these wicked avians. They only have to see me coming along with my camera for them to be overcome with unaccountable aversion. All I can get is shots like this one, where the PURPLE-RUMPED SUNBIRD is carefully ensuring that I can’t show all her features….

sunbird on the indian cork flower(akasha mallige) pune 181207

This BLACK-HOODED ORIOLE, which I saw for the first time, is careful to hide the tail and that all-important eye behind the branches and leaves….

black hooded oriole with tail and eye hidden kanha 221207

And of course, the camouflage is so good, that even such a brightly-coloured bird can not be easily seen in the foliage!

That’s not the whole sad story. Even when the *&^% bird is facing me, there’s sure to be a problem. Here’s the RACKET-TAILED DRONGO… what do you think, from the name, the most important part of that bird is, to capture on camera? Right! So here’s the racket-tailed drongo actually looking at me, and please note how carefully it’s tucked its tail away behind the tree-trunk:

racket-tailed drongo and no tail...

And when the bird is entirely visible, it is sure to be sitting in the shadow, like this:

racket-tailed drongo

Look at this nice utterly-dark shot of the SIRKEER MALKOHA, which was another first-timer for me. I waited a long time, but I never got a better shot than this:

sirkeer malkoha silhouette 2312

So…when I see all those fabulous images on INW or Oriental Birds or any of these birders’ websites…I really appreciate how much of effort and frustration must have gone into getting that one good shot!

Heh, heh, will post some of my better shots soon….meanwhile, all of you have a great last-of-the-old-year weekend!


December 29, 2007

Amazing! Someone has something nice to say about a Microsoft product!

I found Vista slowing down my laptop so much, I had Chandan and anushsh take it out and install XP for me…ah, well, I missed a chance to be a dictator (or, to be precise, a dictatrix.)

Great ad campaign…

December 28, 2007

Since I have been going to Hosur frequently, I have been enjoying the ad campaign by a local builder, and here’s one of the hoardings…

traffic light light traffic

Witty, but didn’t make me rush to invest!

Impure Vegetarianism….

December 28, 2007

I got an email from premkudva which had lovely pictures of tiger prawns and crab…and then when I wrote back, saying that I enjoyed the pictures much more than I would have enjoyed the dishes, he apologized, saying he didn’t know I was a vegetarian.

Prem…I am what I call an “impure” vegetarian. Let me explain that.

I always hear people declaring with some kind of moral superiority in their tone that they are “PURE” vegetarians…they say it in capital letters like that with a smug, self-satisfied smirk! Apparently they don’t realize that there are as many varieties of vegetarianism as there are vegetarians on earth!

So I coined this term. It means, that I am willing to try anything (within reason–MY reason–of course, don’t bring me worms and fried crickets and cockroaches!) made of meat or chicken or egg, but so far, I have never liked any non-veg dish enough to change from being a vegetarian by choice (not by birth or “morals”.)

My daughter is married into a family which lives in Maine and LOVES seafood, and I have gone with them to a fantastic restaurant called Street and Company in Portland, Maine, where octopus and squid are on the menu…and it really has not bothered me at all, though I must say I don’t really like the taste of seafood. (Naturally, Murphy’s Law mandates that my daughter is violently allergic to seafood, especially Maine lobster.)

My husband loves fish, having been taught its taste by a Maharashtrian family when he lived in Mumbai. He…is a VERY impure TamBram…but then, so am I!

So Prem, no need to apologize at all…I might even try a prawn when my (one of these days in the fullness of time) visit to your place happens!

And what I loved also was the way Suchitra tries out new recipes and the pride with which you photograph them and post them! What a happy family you are, and what a pleasure it is to read your posts.

HUMPH! *WE* don’t need diesel…..

December 28, 2007

Loved this sight as we waited for our bus from Pune to Mumbai….

HUMPH! I don't need diesel....Pune 191207

Some people travel by bus, others by ship!