Archive for August, 2012


August 31, 2012

Last weekend, I had been to Masinagudi with friends, and on Saturday evening, something happened that I still have no recollection of.

Apparently, around 4.30pm, my friends saw me sitting on the ground, hardly 50 yards from our rooms; and they thought I was calling them to show them something, so they hurriedly went to get their cameras.

When they reached me, they found me rather dazed, with my DSLR on the side. Apparently I told them that a Chital stag (full-grown) had suddenly bounded out of the bushes, hit me headlong and bounded off.

As my friends helped me back to my room, I apparently stopped to throw up twice, and threw up again after I reached my room. I then took a painkilller and went to sleep.

I woke up at 9.30pm and I do remember that I ate dinner with no difficulty at all.

The next morning, I woke only at 8am and found that my friends had gone off without me. I wandered around the neighbouring area, and since I sighted a leopard, gaur, sambar and several Chital, I was not too unhappy.

However, when the others returned at 9.30am for breakfast, they told me what had happened….and I still have no recollection of those few hours!

Of course, I posted about this incident on Facebook, and it was great fun reading the “Oh, deer!” jokes and repartee….I had so many enquiries about the fate of the stag that I said he might soon have a “Check On My Condition” page on Facebook himself!

I also enumerated the medical costs…a CT scan, consultations with neurophysicians, eye doctors and so on…and mentioned that this was why Chital were called “Dear”!

Ripostes ranged all the way to “Have a hart, leave her alone!”….I then said that now I was officially a Stag-Paati.

But the ultimate comment came from my Mumbai friend, Kiran Srivastava, who emailed me as follows:

Hi Deepa,

Hope you are not seeing double and can read this:

A certain someone went in a forest tippy-toe

An uncertain stag mistook her for a doe

Quick realisation resulted in a head butt

A skip of the hart, racing pulse, a small cut

Was it a buck, was it a Cheetal?

Despite the nausea t’was not fatal!


Even a head injury can be highly entertaining…thanks for all the wit and humour, my dear friends!


August 30, 2012

A Temple to Death (this was the place of the Parsi Tower of Silence, where the dead were offered to the Vultures as part of Nature’s food chain):


Part of the facade of a temple of learning (this is Vidya Shilp):


A Temple to “Development”, which involves Destruction:


An actual Temple….


And a Temble….


Hope you enjoyed the collection 🙂


August 29, 2012

On Id-ul-Fitr, the Moon, too, seems to have sacrificed some of Herself:


The festival is also called Bakrid, and this is not because the Bakri (Goat) is beingvenerated, it’s because it is going to be sacrificed…

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I was musing on how the concept of sacrificing something to appease a Higher Power came about…


is what the Wiki had to say.

I wonder if the gentle, repressed people of today’s urban societies realize that the pumpkins that they smash into the roads after smearing them with vermilion….are a symbol of blood sacrifice? I listened to one elderly gentleman (“I am proud to be a Brahmin”) holding forth on the horror of blood sacrifice on Id. This gentleman was utterly horrified when I explained to him how he too was upholding the ritual of sacrifice in a symbolic way…and he refused to accept the idea.

However, the idea that yielding up one life (even one’s own) will result in a reward in this world, or the next…that still intrigues me a lot.

Oh well, a lot of lambs to the slaughter would not find my post interesting at all….

Two is better than one….

August 24, 2012

I got this lovely sight of two Thunbergia sp flowers together.


It reminded me about a very delightful song about two being always better than one….

thanimaiyilE inimai kaaNa mudiyumaa…
nalliravinilE sooriyanum theriyumaa… (thanimaiyilE)

thuNai illaadha vaazhvinilE sugam varumaa…
adhai solli solli thirivadhanaal sugam varumaa… (thuNai)
manamirundhaal vazhiyillaamal pOgumaa(2)
verum manthirathaal maangaai vizhundhidumaa…. (thanimaiyilE)

malarirundhaal maNamirukkum thanimai illai
seng kaniyirundhaal suvai irukkum thanimaiyillai (malar)
kadal irundhaal alai irukkum thanimaiyillai (2)
naam kaaNum ulagil yEdhum thanimai illai (thanimaiyilE)

pani malaiyil thavamirukkum maamuniyum
kodi padaiyudanE bavani varum kaavalarum
kavidhaiyilE nilai marakkum paavalanum
indha avaniyellaam pOtrum aaNdavan aanaalum…(thanimaiyilE)

Rough translation:

Can one find sweetness in being alone?
Can one see the sun in the middle of the night?

Is there pleasure in a life without a companion?
Can pleasure be got by going around saying that?
If there is a mind to it, will there not be a way?
Will a mango fall just by chanting a mantra?….Can one find sweetness in being alone?

f there is a flower, there is the scent…there is no solitude
If there is fruit, there is the taste…there is no solitude
If there is a sea, there are the waves, there is no solitude
Whatever we see in this world…nothing is solitary….Can one find sweetness in being alone?

The sage meditating on the snowy mountain
The army marching with its pennants
The poet who forgets himself in poetry
Even the God whom this whole world praises….Can one find sweetness in being alone?

Fish for breakfast….

August 24, 2012

The Brahminy Kite
Has a head that is white
The rest of it is a lovely red-brown;
He sat for an hour, at least,
With this fish for a feast,
As he pecked and gulped it all down!


Been having a very hard time, and also fell ill with viral fever (I rarely fall ill, and can’t believe it when I do!)…am off to Masinagudi for the weekend, but hope I will be regular hereafter…

For more photographs of the outing (with children and adults of Mantri Elite) to Puttenahalli Lake,

click here for my Facebook album

Veena, this post is especially for you..I’m so glad you missed me!

Dr Joseph George, rest in peace…

August 20, 2012

Read my obituary .

I feel bad that I seem to have taken up birding twenty or thirty years after I should…or could…have!

Down memory lane…

August 16, 2012

Been looking at old photographs…can you believe that one is me, and one is my daughter?


And this is my KM’s family, 1983:


The “garden” caterpillar…

August 14, 2012

This caterpillar seems
To have a garden on its back.
Green seems the watchword
As it follows the track.
Bright red flowers
Bloom amidst the green;
It’s one of the most lovely cats
That I’ve ever seen!


The Long-horned Beetles…

August 10, 2012

At the NTP, we came out for a chai break to find it POURING with rain. (The monsoon always waits for the official announcement in the newspapers, that it is a failure, before unleashing its fury on the city.) We found this


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running around the porch, and Karthik used the opportunity to give us a 101 on the difference between beetles and bugs.

1. Beetles have eating-and-chewing mouth parts; bugs have sucking mouth parts.
2. Beetles have the outer set of wings hardened into a shell-like protective structure, almost an exo-skeleton; only the inner wings are used for flight.

Beetles, particularly the large ones, have very strong mandibles, and Karthik put a ballpen near the beetle…and it clung tenaciously to it, and held it, even though the pen weighed as much, if not more, than the beetle itself.

So here are the mandibles of this beetle:

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You want to see how it rained?

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And actually, a little scorpion was trying to make its way in the downpour:

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This is the second scorpion sighting after the Arikere Reserve Forest; the wet apparently makes these creatures come out of hiding.

To get back to Long-horned Beetles…another one was being picked up, in the pouring rain, by a sodden

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So that’s the life…and death…of the Beetles…George, John, Paul, and Ringo…!


August 9, 2012

Tell me what this is (it took me a while to work it out):

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