Archive for October, 2008

Today it was butterflies….

October 30, 2008

It was quite amazing this afternoon. As I opened my front door to go in, I noticed four butterflies over my front door…and three of them flew into the open doorway,flew a fair distance in disciplined formation, and settled on my dining room window, which faces on to a ventilation shaft of the building…

They didn’t flutter about very much, and looked rather settled at the window-pane; but I didn’t want them to be caught indoors, and opened the window to let them out….

But..they seemed in no hurry to go, and I had to brush them gently off the window pane in order to get them back outdoors where they belonged!

Can someone tell me what butterflies these are, and why this happened? I saw yet another of these butterflies on the staircase as I went down this evening….their wings are a little ragged, does that mean anything?

They seem to have five rings on their wings, so, I feel, given the logic of butterfly nomenclature, they might *not* be called Common Five-Rings…I thought they might be Evening Browns, but am not sure of that, too….


Future Auto

October 30, 2008

This auto is at least two months ahead of its time….

I was hoping it would say “2009 cc” like they often do,(this habit started with “2000 cc” and increased by 1 every year, see this one which says 2007cc)

2007 cc auto 280208

But no, it was just the year!

Termite Swarm

October 30, 2008

Yesterday evening, we watched this sudden termite swarm in Indira Nagar…

We saw the termites flying in their hundreds, around the street lamps:

I tried to get them against the light, but only got this image:

Nabeel Mohamed, another person intrigued by the swarming, was trying to capture the image of the termites coming out of the ground on his mobile phone camera:

You can see the hundreds of non-winged grubs as well if you look closely:

<a href=””> Karthik had told me about these termites, so I decided to look it up on the net, and here’s some info about termite swarms:



and three

Pity that such a lovely sight actually means…destructive pests! These termites are called “eeshal” in Tamizh, and Shashidhar Bellur (NTP) informs me that they are called “geddalu” or “gejjalu” in Kannada.


Which do YOU think this photo illustrates?

October 29, 2008

Here the photograph is:

That’s my kitchen clock, you can also see my kitchen timer, without which I would unfailingly carbonize everything I cook.

Do you think, after seeing the clock….

a. Time passes very slowly in my home, or at least, in my kitchen

b. Housekeeping is not my forte

c. Even my kitchen has an active website, how cool is that

d. How jobless can one be, to photograph kitchen cobwebs in the morning

e. Anything else that occurs to you… do post a comment!


How many Metros have you travelled on?

October 29, 2008

anushsh sent me this:

And here are the Metros I have travelled on (alas, some of the cities, I *didn’t* take the Metro, or it hadn’t been built in the Year Dot when I visited…)

nice list and colourful logos

What I wrote LAST Deepavali….

October 29, 2008

was emailing a friend about googling for stuff and used this as an example and realized, it’s been a year now….!

How Time animals/ birds/insects/snakes/ flies…

Calvin and Hobbes…

October 28, 2008

As usual, someone said it better than I can….

Thank you, Pratima!

Photography vs. the Message….

October 28, 2008

This is a clear illustration of what a photograph means to different people.

I wanted to post a message for Deepavali on my blog, and decided to try out online editing on Photobucket and I chose a (yes, I admit it) somewhat random photograph for the trial, and since I was running out of time, posted the pic with the message added.

Comments as usual were few, but when I met a friend over the weekend, I asked why s/he had not commented. “Why did you choose THAT photograph?” this person asked.

To this person, the quality of the photograph is more important than the message, so the feeling was that the less-than-desired quality of the photograph did not merit a reciprocal comment.

To me, the documentation of the message (“Happy Deepavali”) is more important than whether the flowers are in focus and crisp and clear and the photo is well-composed.

Different strokes for different folks! Now, when I see no comments, I don’t know if it’s the bad photograph that people are refraining from criticising, or the message itself is not important enough for them to respond to…

Hm. Something to be mulled over!

So meanwhile, here’s a less-than-perfect, but to me, lovely photograph of the very pretty girl who played the part of the heroine of “Choon Hyang”, a Korean musical by 20 children from Theatre Seoul, the review of which I will be putting up on Citizen Matters shortly…. it was a wonderful way to spend a birthday, with friends, watching children from a land far away, dance, and sing, and entertain us…..

A thing (or a human being) of beauty IS a joy forever!


Voluntary Work

October 28, 2008

Some of us feel that we can contribute to the world we live in by doing voluntary work. And as long as we are able to contribute well, and regularly, this is very satisfying and is a win-win situation…some good work gets done, and we feel happy at having done something that is not just self-oriented.

But often, one cannot always combine one’s regular work and the voluntary work. Meetings happen when professional or personal commitments clash; one is out of town sometimes; and there are occasions when, on a fairly regular basis, one is not able to attend or contribute.

This often gives rise to what I call “Volunteer Guilt”. “Oh, I promised to take this issue to heart, and work for it, but here I am, unable to devote time or effort to it.” This guilt is sometimes assuaged by what is popularly called “throwing money at the problem”…instead of contributing in terms of effort and time, one contributes money instead. But the guilt never does go away, because one knows that it is the effort one wants to put in.

Sometimes, indeed, a piquant situation happens when one is volunteering one’s effort for one cause and so cannot attend some event or do something important to another one! If I have a cycling rally (advocating cycling instead of taking the car) and a meeting regarding tree-felling, I must take a decision about which to attend..and then, if a friend falls ill that morning, everything gets shelved because I am going to be with the friends through the day! So priorities are often difficult to establish, and maintain steadily.

I think it is important that we do not fall prey to Volunteer Guilt. I have to accept that there are times when my family, or my writing, or whatever, *does* take priority over the volunatary work I want to do. This is, after all, work that I have undertaken to do in my *spare* time, so, even though I try my level best, there will be times when it is not possible.

Volunteering is NOT an easy task. Very often, the time taken is NOT in one’s control. A meeting with government officials may start more than an hour after the stipulated time, and go on interminably. Initiatives may fizzle out. Scheduled meetings may not happen. In just the same way as I am unable to devote time that day, other volunteers may also have insuperable difficulties.

So those of you who feel this Volunteer Guilt…as long as you know that you ARE doing what you can, when you can, over and above the call of duty…don’t let the occasional inability get you down. On every volunteer group, there will be members whose intentions are good, but who are, for various reasons, prevented from contributing as much as they can.

But, on the other hand, do not underestimate the help which just your mere presence can make. If it is a public rally, it is easy to think, “Oh, I haven’t been going for the meetings, how will my being there help?” Most certainly your presence WILL help. So…even if just means adding your mental and physical presence to a protest, a meeting, or an initiative….that’s a great help, too.

This post was brought about by one guilt-ridden post from someone…..I think we should all learn to be a little easy on ourselves!


What did I do over the weekend? Not much in the way of festive celebrations, but we were with the only family KM and I have now, and with dear friends…that was happiness enough.

A post without pictures….!


Here’s a message…

October 26, 2008

Photobucket is nice 🙂