Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

K2 and PDA (Public Display of Affection)

October 12, 2019

I’ve been noticing an increasing (and quite understandable) resistance on K2’s part, to give me an “Uggandakiss”.

Today, when I asked, he said, “I can’t kiss you, my nose is too big.”

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My response to Photobucket’s “Pay or we will delete your photos” (rude) warnings

September 30, 2019

Dear Whoever-is-reading-this-at-Photobucket.

I joined Photobucket which was a free photo-hosting (and 3rd party hosting) site many years ago, and over a period of time, used many accounts and when the storage was increased, I made use of that. So now I am not even sure on which of my accounts I am over the limit.

I am a retired person, living in India, where a dollar still goes a very long way (it’s nearly 70 rupees.) My income is such that I have to watch every expense like a hawk, while still trying to indulge my passion for photography. When I realized that I could save in hi-resolution on Flickr, I started saving to that site, and stopped using Photobucket. But my storage continued, as I have made many blogposts using those photos, over the years.

Had there been either a polite announcement or a reasonable sum mentioned, I might have, with difficulty, paid up. But the announcement was as rude and peremptory as could be, basically preventing any third party hosting and threatening me with various bad outcomes if I did not pay. I just could not afford the amounts mentioned on my several accounts, and so I didn’t pay…I couldn’t pay. I decided that if my photograph would vanish from my blogposts, so it had to be. You can see my blog on LiveJournal at
https://deponti.livejournal.com/
(from 2006)
and I back up on WP at

https://deponti.livejournal.com/.

My financial situation has not changed; indeed, inflation in my country (India) has made such payments even less affordable for me. Perhaps you at Photobucket think all “free” users are there to take advantage…I can assure you, it is not so. There must be many people like me, who are grateful for the free hosting provided, because it allows us to store on the cloud without paying large amounts. On Flickr, I am careful to keep under the free limit for this very reason. I am not “cheap”…I am not affluent, and have to watch my expenses, that is all.

So, all I can say at the age of 65 is, if you want to delete all my photographs, and make nonsense of my blogpost, I simply cannot afford to do anything about it. I have found your attitude very brusque indeed, and that, too, has disposed me towards accepting that my photos are going to be wiped out. Well,right now they are not clearly visible, so I guess I am already nearly at the ultimate point.

I will be interested to know if my email is read…and will be pleasantly surprised if there is a response. Yes, when Flickr became SmugMug and went “pro”, I did email them and, apart from the fact that the announcements themselves were far more polite, I got an excellent series of responses from them. Since I cannot afford any more, keep my photos within the 200-image limit. .

Part of the reluctance to pay also stems from my worry that if today I pay Rs (or $ ) X, what prevents any of the photo sites from further shrinking my storage, or demanding even more? At that point, I will anyway lose my stored photos, so I feel I might as well save my precious funds and have the wipeout happen earlier.

With a sad wish that you would not assume a tone that implies that your users are tech-savvy peopel out to take advantage of you,

Deepa Mohan, Bangalore, India.

Hoskote kere, 220919

September 25, 2019

Email to Bngbirds:

The very first time I have changed the venue for a 4th Sunday walk! After getting the reports of Greater Flamingoes having landed at Hoskote lake, I felt it would be great if everyone were able to see this unusual sight. So I changed from the original venue (Bhutanahalli Pond and Suvarnamukhi temple in Bannerghatta NP) to Hoskote. But by Friday, we knew that “the birds had flown”…and all those who only wanted to come to see the Flamingoes, dropped out! But there was still a turn out of 50+ people on Sunday, disproving accusations of our being “twitchers”.

I usually find weather.com very accurate…but the morning of the 4th Sunday outing was one occasion when the forecast went completely wrong! As several of us gathered and drove to Hoskote, drops began dotting, and then streaming from, the windscreen. At the lake, we did try walking down the path…but the heavy rain had made a morass of it, and we found ourselves with clumps of mud on our shoes. So we decided that instead of the usual breakfast-after-birdng, we would reverse the order, and see if the birding got better a little later.
Here is my video of a few birders having breakfast…thanks to the rain, I could not get a group photo!

Off we went to Nandi Grand, and fortifying ourselves with hot food, we returned to the lake; The rain had certainly let up a little…and the lake truly lived up to its reputation of never disappointing. On the shore side, Munias and Swallows kept us clicking, and on the water, a Pied Kingfisher delighted us with its hovering, and vertical swoops into the water in search of a meal.

Egrets (all three kinds), Cormorants (again, all three), Grebes, Coots, Herons, and Painted Storks were active on the water, though the Spot-billed Pelicans still did not think it time enough to venture out from their “sitting room” on the far shore. A few hardy (and muddy!) souls did go down to the bamboo area and beyond, but most of us were able to sight quite a few birds from the bund. From under umbrellas and raincoat hoods, we looked at various drenched birds: Rose-ringed Parakeets, Sunbirds (which did not like being Rainbirds!) and Ashy Prinias (which wanted to be Dry Prinias).

But then, we also got some bonuses for having gone to the lake in spite of knowing that the Flamingos were Flamingone! A Grey Francolin sat, waiting out the rain, on a dry twig in the clutter; since we usually sight this bird scuttling away into the undergrowth, everyone had a good time, observing and clicking to their hearts’ content.
We then decided to try our luck on the field side, but only two cars had the courage to brave the muddy path down. We were rewarded by the sight of just one solitary Red Avadavat, and several Scaly-breasted and Tricoloured Munias, a Long-tailed Shrike and the sight of flocks of Glossy Ibis floating on to the lake.

The two cars were driven by (sounds like one of those Hindi Santa-Banta jokes!) Arun and Varun. Varun’s jeep, with its 4-wheel drive, made it safely back to the main road, and we were well on the way home when Sreyoshi called and told us that Arun’s car was stuck in the mud! We werel aas, too far away to return and help. But with the help of four local men, and with Chandu and Manpreet pitching in, the “Push”paka Vimana finally got free of the clutches of mud. They got a sighting of the Pied Cuckoo, as a reward!

On the way back, we stopped to observe the active nesting colonies of the Baya Weavers, and got a ringside seat to a domestic quarrel between Mr and Mrs Asian Koel. Well satisfied with our day, we went back, laughing at our damp but productive morning.

Though it was not a morning to watch butterflies, we still got some Grass Yellows, Common Mormons, Common and Crimson Roses, Emigrants, and a beautiful Common Lime in the field area. We also observed some handsome six-footers…wasps, ladybirds, jewel bugs, mating flies…and some eight-footers too, in the form of Orb Weavers and Crab Spiders. Several lovely wildflowers, nodding in the rain, were also beautiful…so there was enough to see and enjoy.
So…it was a very productive morning, in spite of the “Flamingone” and the rain!b

The eBird list, compiled by Chandu, is at
https://ebird.org/india/view/checklist/S60021164
(55 species)

My FB album is at
https://www.facebook.com/deemopahan/media_set?set=a.10156909705193878&type=3
and the Flickr album at

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Looking forward to the next outing,
Deepa.

How I applied to renew my driving licence, 23 and 240919

September 24, 2019

My driving licence expires on 22 Oct ’19 (My 65th birthday falls on 23 Oct ’19).

I found that I have to apply for a renewal within 30 days prior to its expiry, or do it later with a fine.

Only part of the process can be done online, and I did it.

I went to Parivahan Sewa at
https://parivahan.gov.in/parivahan/

and under “Online Services”, clicked on “Driving Licence Related Services”.

I got this page:

https://sarathi.parivahan.gov.in/sarathiservice9/stateSelection.do

I selected my state (Karnataka).

Under “Driving Licence” on the left hand side, I clicked on

“Services on Driving Licence (Renewal/Duplicate/Aedl/Others)”

I found the following 5 steps listed:. Fill Applicant/Request Details
2. Upload Documents (if required)
3. Upload Photo and Signature if required (applicable only in certain states)
4. Driving Licence Test Slot Booking -required only for Additional Endorsement of Driving Licence(AEDL)
5. Payment of Fee

There was some confusing stuff about NOC, which I ignored.
Since I have not changed nt address, and took my licence last time from the same RTO, I clicked on “Continue”.

I then entered all the details about my driving licence, and clicked on “Proceed”.

I was asked several confusing things about “village” and “taluka” in the succeeding forms, but filled them out as best as I could, and my form was accepted. I got an SMS giving the reference no. of the application.

I then had to go to a Govt Hospital to get a medical fitness certificate (it cannot be given by any practising physician, but has to be obtained this way.) I went to Jayadeva Hospital and after a long delay, paid Rs. 300 to get this.

I then went back to the RTO where I was told that the doctor’s certificate also had to be uploaded. Rather than go back home, I went downstairs to one of the photocopy shops on the ground floor, and paid to have this done. The charge for this was Rs.150. The guy also told me that I would need a stamped cover, and sold me an envelope with Rs.15 stamps, for Rs.30. He pinned together all the papers and a small plastic cover containing my original driving licence.

Pinning it all together, I went to Counter no. 11 and got a signature and a rubber stamp (oh how fond we are of rubber stamps.) Then I went to Counter 15 and stood in a looooong queue to pay the fees. It took 45 min, with several people jumping the queue. Finally I paid Rs. 380, and got a receipt which I also pinned to the sheaf of papers.

I then went to Counter no. 13, where after another delay and my protesting at the security lady letting in others who had joined the queue after me, I posed for the camera, paid Rs. 60, and came out, not believing that it was over.

The new driving licence will be despatched to the address I wrote on the stamped cover, after 30 days. We are not given the option of collecting it from the RTO. Thankfully, I still have the colour photocopy, laminated, of the old driving licence, which I will carry around for this interim period (no one told me to do this…I never carry my original licence, only this copy.)

I am waiting to see what I look like on my driving licence photo….when I get it.

Time taken: On 23 Sept ’19: 3 hours at the RTO on the first day. 2.5 hours at Jayadeva Hospital (I had to go with the filled-up form). On 24 Sept ’19: 5 hours, including going to the various counters to get the work done.

Costs: Rs.180 at the photocopy shop for the uploading of the doctor’s certificate and the stamped envelope.
Rs.320 for the fees (I paid in cash, I do not know if cards are accepted, I felt it might cause further delay)
Rs. 60 for the biometrics process.

Total: Rs. 560

I would advise anyone to have a colour photocopy of their licence taken and laminated and to carry this about with them. I will now be depending on this until my new licence card arrives. Getting a duplicate licence is also a painful affair.

My daughter’s thoughts, as a prayer before starting work.

September 22, 2019

*Factory Daily Meetings*
{It only took 3 minutes to deliver all this verbally in Tamil. Perhaps the language is just more efficient}

We have resumed these sunset and sunrise meetings and they need to happen every day.
It only needs to be 5 minutes, but in these 5 minutes we shall set the intention for our day, our shift, our work.
This is not a company where you just come to earn a salary and go unaffected by what you do.
You give 10 hours to the company every day.
We want every one to feel a sense of pride and satisfaction in what they do. Every day.
Take these meetings as a prayer with which to start and end your work.

Look at your hands.
Put your hands out and look at your palms.
These are your God given hands.
With these hands you can do great good or great harm.
With these hands you can respect or reject people or anything you touch.
Look at your hands for at least 10 seconds today. And every time you come to these meetings.
Let us use our hands to do great good.
To do the best that we can do with these hands.
What we do in these 10 hours and beyond depends on our hands.
Let us use them as wisely and as well as we can.

The products you make are your children.
Don’t orphan them, don’t disfigure them, don’t leave them nameless and tagless.
Treat them with love and respect for they are your present and your future.
Shape them with your hands to feel a sense of pride and satisfaction.
Each day as you complete your work, you should be proud of the whole hearted honesty that you have put in.

Our pride doesn’t extend only 1 foot around us.
It extends to encompass our coworkers, our areas, the whole company.
We want this pride to extend to everyone’s homes and lives.
Keep your area clean, keep the entire premises clean and take your discipline and learning home.
When you invite your mother to your workplace you should feel pride, not have her coming to clean up after you. On any day, every day.

Our pride, our positivity, our satisfaction is not ours alone.
We are a family and we are all interconnected.
Our energy affects everyone’s energy.
If one of us gets hurt, all of us are hurt.
If one of us has an an accident on the way home, it makes all of us feel vulnerable.
If one of us thinks negatively, it can sour all of us.
But on the other hand if we each focus, take pride and look to be happy with our 10 hours of effort, then it raises the energy for us all.
Let us make this a happy family that we are all proud to belong to.

Every day, at least once at the start of the shift let us remember these things and create a day that we want.
Let us look at our hands and remember to use them as well as we can.
Let us use these meetings as a prayer.
To create a day where we feel pride and satisfaction.
Every day.

More from K2, 190919

September 19, 2019

K2: Paru Sharma is actually Rama.
Me: Oh, really?
K2: Yes, he is Vishnu, born as Rama and then as Krishna.
Me (catching sight of the Amar Chitra Katha in his hand): Oh…that’s Parashurama!

He’s very annoyed that I am laughing. I am hoping that he doesn’t make the Buddha into a Buddhu…

September 13, 2019

You are provided with approximate translations of Carnatic raga names. Can you figure out the actual name of the raga from these descriptions? Some translations sound good, some are a bit funny and a few really hilarious!!

You just have to start thinking in all possible languages, Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu etc. Also think inside, outside, beyond and around the box to get the right answers :

To get you started, see few example questions and their answers below:

Question – Ornaments of Shiva
Answer – Shankarabaranam

Question – Melody of Swan?
Answer – Hamsanadam!

Question 1: Emperor’s court
Question 2: Stone nail
Question 3: Goddess of Art
Question 4: Country
Question 5: A favourite beverage
Question 6: Fully rolled
Question 7: Heroine
Question 8: Downpour of nectar
Question 9: Coloured beads
Question 10: Wedding spring
Question 11: Flame of moon
Question 12: Dear to Rama
Question 13: Pleasing to the ears
Question 14: Serpent notes
Question 15: One with a beautiful hair
Question 16: A carnatic fan’s delight
Question 17: Many roots
Question 18: Pure wealth seek alms
Question 19: Strange yet so melodious
Question 20: As beautiful as the full moon
Question 21: Hill Hanuman
Question 22: One with a decorated nose
Question 23: Melody and name in action
Question 24: Lion with Lord of Devas in between
Question 25: Olympic Silver with 3.14 Sun

Answers:

1. Desh. 2.Kalyani. 3. Saraswati. 4. Desh. 5. Kaapi. 6. Surutti. 7. Nayaki. 8. Amritavarshini. 9. Manirangu. 10. Kalyana Vasantham. 11. Chandrajyothi. 12. Ramapriya. 13. Karnaranjani (no one said they were common ragams!) 14. Nagaswaravali. 15. Sukeshini. 16. Rasikapriya. 17. Bahudhaari. 18. Suddha Dhanyasi. 19.:1. Desh. 2.Kalyani. 3. Saraswati. 4. Desh. 5. Kaapi. 6. Surutti. 7. Nayaki. 8. Amritavarshini. 9. Manirangu. 10. Kalyana Vasantham. 11. Chandrajyothi. 12. Ramapriya. 13. Karnaranjani (no one said they were common ragams!) 14. Nagaswaravali. 15. Sukeshini. 16. Rasikapriya. 17. Bahudhaari. 18. Suddha Dhanyasi. 19. Sunada Vinodini. 20. Poornachandrika. 21. The clue is wrong, it should be “Mountain breeze” and the answer is Malaya Marutham. 22. Nasikabhooshani. 23. Naadanaamakriya. 24. Simhendra Madhyamam. 25. Sindhu Bhairavi.

They Must Not Be Named!

September 12, 2019

Everyone tells us that they are harmless, we should not bother about them, and so on and on and on,until we are scared even to take their name…

I have travelled in the mountains
And waded in the beaches
But these creatures I can’t abide,
They are the…..

I take flights to far-flung places
Walk to remote river reaches.
But in rain and slush I look down.
I’m worried about those…..

“Travel light! Take much less!”
Every guide book teaches.
But I take with me socks, salt and spray,
To use on those pesky……

I may subsist on only bread
Or fruit…bananas and peaches
But I don’t want to donate my blood
To those thirsty, sucking……

They get into our tee-shirts,
They get into our breeches
We even found some on our necks,
Those horrid little……!

I’ll have to wash out all my socks
With detergent and bleaches
To get rid of the awful bloodstains
Left by those dirty…….!

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Visit to Ziro Butterfly Festival, Sept 2-9, 2019

September 12, 2019

Since it was a very, very long trip…Bangalore-Guwahati-Itanagar-Ziro-Pange WLS and back…I simply can’t describe everything in detail, but the visual story of what I experienced, with captions, is in a series of albums on Flickr.

Day 1, 020919, Blr-Guwahati:

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Fisherman at Deepor Beel

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Yellow Helen at Deepor Beel

Day 2, 030919, Guwahati and Rani WLS, overnight journey to Naharlagun (Itanagar)

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Grey Pansy, Kirtti Inn

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Crimson Sunbird, Kirtti Inn

Day 3, 040919, Itanagar, journey to Ziro

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Sonku and her son Ranka

Day 4, 050919, Ziro to Pange WLS

https://www.flickr.com/photos/86494503@N00/albums/72157710798479712/with/48716450193/

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Tytler’s Multicolored Flat

Day 5, 060919, Pange WLS

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Bhutan Glory

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Juvenile Dark-sided Flycatcher

Day 6, 070919, Pange WLS to Ziro

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Paresh Churi’s color-pencil work of the Kaiser-e-Hind, the queen of Talle Valley

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An Apatani priest recites a prayer to save the crops from destruction by pests

Day 7, 080919, Walk in Ziro, overnight journey to Itanagar

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View of Old Ziro from Ziro Point

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Lunch at Potin, on the way to Itanagar

Day 8, 090919m Itanagar to Guwahati, and flight back to Bangalore

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Moving furniture

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Blue-tailed Bee-eater

My daughter, 300819

August 30, 2019

She was a helpless, mewling little scrap when I first saw her. She’s now grown into an independent adult. We laugh (and hopelessly giggle) at a lot of things together. There are many things on which we don’t see eye to eye, too. Once in a while the disagreement gets heated. Sometimes she thinks I am criticizing her, and sometimes I feel she is too critical of what I think or do….neither of us is a conventional person.

But through all of it runs the bedrock of deep affection and mutual respect. She’s stood by me through the worst moments of my life, not been judgemental, accepted me as a person in all my facets..good,bad and ugly. She’s wise beyond her years, and a very good mother (in fact, I sadly think she’s a much better mother than I ever was.) She did a lot of her growing up far away from me…but the UC (Umbilical Cord) is strong.

It’s just an ordinary day, but I join many other mothers who love their daughters deeply and unconditionally. If I’d gone to a supermarket to select a daughter, I could not have done better than the model I’ve got.

And if she makes another crack about Nityananda after she reads this I will kidnap her children.