Archive for January, 2009

Happiness and Pleasure

January 26, 2009

When one’s a child, I think that happiness is the same as pleasure. Watch a child’s face light up as s/he gets what he wants, for that moment at least. This instantaneous happiness is perhaps why so many of us remember our childhoods as “happy days”.

Growing up separates happiness from pleasure. Gratification may bring pleasure, but it does not bring happiness. Material possessions, success, beauty and breeding may bring pleasure and pride, but not (necessarily) happiness.

And to realize that happiness, or the capacity for it, lies entirely within oneself…that often takes more than a lifetime to learn.

Life’s as fleeting as the bubbles these delightful little girls are blowing on their Sunday outing, and yet happiness is lasting….

Oh my goodness, philosophy in the small hours.

Bald Eagle in Bangalore

January 26, 2009

We participated in the HSBC Bangalore Bird Race about which, hopefully, my article will appear in Citizen Matters….last year’s not-very serious piece is here ) ….

We took along another team with us, because they are even newer to birding than we are. And we taught them the right way to take part in the Bird Race…punctuate visits to birding spots with visits to various eateries to shore up the calorie count regularly! The team is under the impression that much of Bangalore birding takes place in Darshini restaurants, with the finale at the Royal Orchid!

Every team had to report the number of species that they had seen, and had to choose their “Bird Of The Day”. (The one that won it was Blue-Bearded Bee-Eater.) Since almost all our birds were the quite common ones (we are not far away from CKMP birding, that is, Crow-Kite-Mynah-Pigeon id’s) we were wondering what to choose, when, in Bannerghatta National Park area, my eye fell on this bird:

Aha!! How many teams could put down, “Bird of the Day: Bald Eagle–photographic proof available”? We were unique!

I rather think that the honourable judges choked over their coffee and on seeing our entry, and hurriedly thrust it into the discarded pile for fear it would taint other serious birders….

Did we win a prize at the Bangalore Bird Race? Ask Sandeep , whose blogpost I have referred to above. We got a total of 113 entries, of which the 13 part proved quite prophetic! I also have a sinking feeling that the Bald Eagle contributed a lot to our fate….the judges were not particularly “bald” over by our eagle…

How does it happen?

January 25, 2009

Watched “Slumdog Millionaire”…and got to wondering, “how is it that I am born so privileged, and others are not?”

After years of pondering this, I have no answer….I can only thank my good luck.

Meanwhile, here’s a TICKELL’S BLUE FLYCATCHER singing sweetly at the Valley School this morning (yes, I went *again*!)

Do remember, if you are in India, to watch the Republic Day Parade floats on TV! They make a great spectacle.

A friend in Bellary

January 24, 2009

Moderating the JLRNTP egroup has benefited me in many ways; I have met a lot of interesting people. One of these is Santosh Martin, who live in Bellary. I had heard of Santosh’s work in researching and documenting the Great Indian Bustard in Bellary District, but when I visited him, I found that he was much more versatile than that!

More about Santosh Martin

Excuse Me Point Blank….

January 24, 2009

I realized I had photographed a few more gems, and hadn’t included them.

What would you say of such a polite shop?

You would not like to refuse,especially when you must follow traffic rules Point Blank:

(Those are branded jeans in Bellary, by the way!)

At the ruins of Hampi, they clearly wanted to keep away conservation:

Back in Bangalore, I got this auto’s honest account of its driver, especially when asked to drive to any destination not favoured by him:

However, the shrewdest of the advertisers was this one, who certainly knows the present-day scenario well!

Other Stuff from Daroji 16 and 170109

January 24, 2009

Apart from the birds and the mammals, there was a lot to look at and learn in the Valparai area! The learning process started with the very first RHINOCEROS BEETLE I have seen:

more under the cut

Going, going….

January 23, 2009

Is it a weather forecast?

January 23, 2009

Spotted yesterday:

I do realize that Bangalore has very changeable weather, but this was painted on! 🙂

Introducing Gopal….

January 23, 2009

Here’s someone who is getting to be a keen naturalist/birder, so…tarataraaa…..

Do visit his LJ and LEAVE COMMENTS you nasty never-write-a-thing lazybones dear readers.

The Mammals and Birds of Daroji

January 22, 2009

Our trip to Daroji was suddenly thought of and even more suddenly executed. I must thank Santosh Martin, a fellow NTP-er, for extending such warm hospitality to me; he was at the station at 6am with his car, and took us home to an uncomplaining mother, wife and daughter, too!

Santosh is very involved in several projects (I am doing a separate article on him!), and one of them is the Daroji Bear Sanctuary.

Of course, the “main” mammal that one would look for in Daroji would be the SLOTH BEAR:

more pictures from Daroji here