Posts Tagged ‘animals’

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…….!


Superdog, 160417

April 17, 2017

As I returned
From an outing, back home
I chanced upon this sight
Of a superhero on the roam.


I didn’t click the owner,
A proud-looking man, whose
Idea it was, to
Put the dog in four shoes.


Though the pet seemed OK
And actually did strut
Proudly along, I’d never
Dress up any mutt!

A dog should be a dog
I feel, not an ape
Of any human being..
Whatever size and shape!

April 11, 2014

I was dozing off in a fit of heat-inducing somnolence from somewhere out of my dull brain came the thought of my mother…and her love of wildlife documentaries. She was far, far ahead of her times…she had Salim Ali’s bird book with her, though she only watched garden birds..and we often went into the jungles of West Bengal and north India. In a time when wildlife was plentiful, she enjoyed reading about it and going to watch it. I still remember the trips we used to make to places like Betla Game Sanctuary in Bihar, where we saw magnificient tigers…

I thought of two documentaries that my mothe raved about.

One was

The Living Desert, by Walt Disney (69 minutes), made in 1953

Here’s the description of the amazing way in which this amazing, path-breaking movie came about:

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature of 1953, Walt Disney’s The Living Desert marked a departure from earlier Disney “wildlife” productions in that it was a full-length film. All previous subjects in the studio’s True-Life Adventures series had been shorts.

Disney was inspired to make the film after viewing footage taken by a UCLA doctoral student of a thrilling battle between a wasp and a tarantula. The producer agreed to fund the project which was filmed in the southwest U.S. The film, which focused on the diversity of often unseen animal life was both a critical and commercial success, a rarity for the era.

In addition to receiving an Oscar for The Living Desert, Disney collected three other Academy Awards in 1953, at the time a record for one individual. The Living Desert was chosen for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2000 for its’ “cultural, historical and aesthetic significance.”

Here’s a snip from the documentary, choreographed delightfully to a square dance (with an observer, too!)


Another film was “The Flute and The Arrow”, which I never saw. But the name, etched into my subconscious like many childhood memories are, suddenly re-surfaced.

I googled for “The Flute and The Arrow”, and I realized that it is actually a Swedish wildlife documentary, 88 minutes long, made in 1957:

called, ” En djungelsaga” in Swedish

and I tried to see if I could watch it online.

Here is a video about following up on the main character, a Bastar tribal, long after the documentary was made:

this, in itself, is well worth watching! But alas, I am not able to get either The Living Desert or The Flute and The Arrow online…could someone help?

We tend to think only of Discovery or NatGeo when talking about wildlife documentaries, but there must have been a solid body of work in the past, before these became household names. I’m glad I was able to dig out two out of my erratic memory!

How difficult it must have been, to make these films in times where far less technology was available

There was also the Disney documentary, “The Vanishing Prairie”…can others come up with more such wildlife films from the past?

Creve Coeur, BioBlitz, 260512

May 26, 2012

I’d signed up for the

Bio Blitz

walks in Creve Coeur (the name means, “Broken Heart”, I’ve posted more about it in

this post

I put up the photos and a narrative on Facebook,

click here to see them

I also got the following videos:

Un id Snake in the Grass:

Un id Rollerblader on the path:

Indigo Bunting calling:

Prothonotary Warbler calling (what a name!)

(The American Goldfinch is slightly smaller than this bird and has a black patch on its head…and a different beak, too.)

Hope you enjoyed the Bio Blitz outing as much as I did!

Two, no, three of my favourites…

March 15, 2012

Franz Lizst is a composer whose works (I mean, those that I know of!)I like…and one of my great favourites is this wonderful cartoon of Tom and Jerry, which uses Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, S.244/2, the second in a set of 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies…the others are, alas, not very well-known.

Imagine the creativity that lets animation and all those visual gags, be set to the strict time-frame of the rhapsody…..

Many Tom’n’Jerry cartoons won Academy Awards, and they deserved them….these cartoons date back to the 40’s, I think.

Good Tidings for the Festival!

March 6, 2012

Everyone feels festive, and rather generous, on an auspicious day…and many people like to tap into this vein of generosity.

boom boom maadu 040312

Here’s the itenerant with his decorated cow…she walks through the streets on festivals like Sankranti (in fact, this was taken on Ekadasi day, on the 4th of March…the 11th day after the new moon)….calls out to householders that good times are coming. The cow is trained to nod its head to every rhetorical question that her owner asks (“Is prosperity coming to this house? Will happiness rule in this place?”) and when the children come running out to see the colourful spectacle, hopefully, the lady of the house will spare some food, or the master of the house will give a little money…and so another day in the life of the “Good Tidings Woman” passes, with the generosity of the people of the neighbourhood.

Cycling,and dogs

September 14, 2011

On the cycling group that I belong to, we’ve been having a big debate about cycling…and dogs…rather the menace that many cyclists face from dogs. Though some of us were only advocating getting stray dogs in the city neutered, several people thought we were advocating killing the dogs, and reacted heatedly, saying that dogs have as much right to life as we do, and must not be exterminated. In one instance where a young boy had allegedly been bitten to death by dogs, they quoted a newspaper report that said that the boy had been murdered, and THEN dogs had bitten his body, and that covered up the murder (which I think is as horrible.)

The debate has been waxing fast and furious, and no one seems willing to admit the truth, which is that even after repeated requests to our corporators, no one comes to capture the dogs and neuter them, and the political will to do this seems to be lacking. Cyclists, and pedestrians, are still at risk…and not only from stray dogs, I feel. When a dog bites you, you generaly have no way of finding out if it is rabid or not…and you have to go through the pain and expense of anti-rabies injections.

I’ve twice gone through this experience, once with a stray dog-bite and once with a bite from a pet dog where the owners hid inside the house, and I could not assume that such irresponsible ownerw would have given the shots properly.

For some reason, when I am on a cycle, dogs seem to get really aggressive, and I’ve often escaped being bitten only by an inch. And there have been several instances of children being bitten, too.

However, the last email in this thread was both informative and entertaining:

“I was walking down the road and a cutesy-pie Labrador was lying by the
side of the road tied up. I’ve always loved dogs. All my life. Had one
when I was a kid. Am great with most dogs. So, I wasn’t in the lest
bit afraid and I simply walked past (mind you, there wasn’t room to
walk anywhere else since the rest of the road was under water). 3
steps past, no warning, no growl, no snarl, no howl, I got bitten from

“Yes, that’s right. This damn ‘lovable’ Labrador literally crept up
behind me and bit me! And he drew friggin’ blood!! The owners came
running out and were laughing. LAUGHING!!! They said that the dog
tended to do this so they keep him inside but they tied him up on the
road because they were cleaning the house. WTF?!?!

“Anyway, I went to the hospital and got checked out and had to take a
bunch of rabies injections. 3 apparently was safe because if the dog
is domesticated, its usually vaccinated (or so people think). Me being
suspicious me, I decided to check anyway. I went back to that house in
the evening and badgered the people. Long story short, I bugged them
for the vaccinations records until they admitted that the rabies
vaccine had expired because THEY DIDN’T GIVE THE DOG ITS SHOT THAT
YEAR!! The obnoxious plonker also had the gall to be offended that I
might think I could have caught something from his ‘pure-bred Labrador
imported from New zealand’. He seemed to think that I should feel
honoured to be bitten by a pure-bred dog.

“Another incident. When I was footloose and fancy-free, I spent a month
bouldering at Hampi. We had an entire pack of dogs which had been
‘adopted’ by the local hippie, trippie travellers who fed them. We’d
get followed around everywhere by these things till it became a real
problem and here’s why. No matter how lovable stray dogs seem, you
CANNOT treat them like your own dog. And this is something people seem
to forget. You can’t shoo it away, yell at it or smack it when its
been naughty. It’ll be friendly as long as you feed it. The second it
feels threatened, it’ll react and boy you’d better watch out. One of
my friends had been taking care of one of the dogs for an entire
month. One day it was getting in his way and he sort of pushed it
aside. It simply turned around and bit him. He was from the US and
while he could take one anti-rabies shot here, he ended up paying a
fortune for the other 5 in the US.

“Another of the same group headed to Hyderabad. Walking around in the
city a stray just ran up and sank its teeth into his leg. And no,
there was no provocation of any sort. Same result for him.

“Reality check! It doesn’t matter whether its a mongrel or a pure
breed, stray or pet dog. If you get bitten, you need shots. Its just a
question of how many. If it hasn’t been proved that the dog has had
its shots, you need MORE shots. And last but not the least,
vaccinations or not IT BLOODY HURTS!!

“For all you self righteous pacifists out there, understand that these
creatures you are talking about aren’t always the fuzzy, lovable
creatures you think they are. And the ones around these parts have
developed an aggressive pack mentality which I haven’t seen before. My
dog used to run with a pack when I was a kid but I NEVER saw any
aggression from any of those dogs. And I never heard of any of such
incidents. I don’t know whats changed but the packs today are a real
threat. I don’t think they should all be exterminated but I sure as
hell think they should all be neutered. Only thing is, they breed
faster than we can neuter them. So, I’m very clear, the aggro ones
reported should be put down.

“However, I think the same thing should be extended to pet dogs. In
recent times I’ve seen wayyyy too many crazy, aggro pet dogs. Perhaps
its because many people today seem to think the idea of a dog is cute
but are confronted with harsh reality when they have a pup for a few
months. A stuffed animal doesn’t pee and shit everywhere and gnaw on
everything. So they leave them to their own devices, neglect them or
beat them, turning them into monsters. And this new fad for getting
big, aggressive foreign breeds, not really meant to be house pets has
added to it. If a dog acts out and bites someone in puiblic, the owner
needs to be fined and, if there’s more than a couple of complaints,
the same law for street dogs should apply to pet dogs. They need to be
put down too while the owner needs to be punished severely!

“In hindsight, it wasn’t funny at all..”

I am laughing so much, I can’t stop..and all I have to say is, “That wasn’t hindsight, that was hindbite!” I do empathise with this person, I’ve been in the same situation, but I just wanted to share his extremely humorous account with all of you!

Sharing the pavement…

August 23, 2011

Walking down Malleswaram, I saw this strangely moving sight….it shows that our footpaths are put to far more uses than the BBMP envisions…

man and do large 200811

A man and a dog often share a home…but sharing a home on the pavement….and peacefully asleep together…the sight was odd, and eloquent of poverty in our city.

Two posts on Metroblogs….

September 26, 2007

One about the Channel V recording:

and something else that I felt helpless about:

I know those animals will be loaded with heavy laundry and driven to work…and there is nothing I can do about it.

AMAZING..INCREDIBLE…I’m running out of exclamation words

July 27, 2007

It’s been a phenonmenal time here in Tanzania…first at the Ngorongoro Crater, and then in the Serengeti since yesterday. We started with a superb time birding in Kilimanjaro airport while we were waiting for KM’s brothers to fly in…and then as we drove into the Ngorongoro Conservation area, we started with a night sighting of a leopard so close by…and except for the rhino, I think we have sighted all the animals,birds, reptiles and other stuff one could think of…and then some….

Two things which are fantastic…the total lack of plastic in the wilderness, and the immense discipline of the wildlife trips, which means that the animals are not afraid, and do not melt away immediately (though of course some do)…we have got some phenomenal shots and videos…the highlight being a pride of lions, including two cubs, walking down the road amongst the safari vehicles, another of two Thomson’s gazelle fighting in dead earnest, four types of vultures feasting on a carcass, two lionesses circling around a kill which they cannot eat because a band of baboons are trying to chase them off, a couple of ostriches doing a mating dance…with a couple of cheetahs as audience, the incredible line of migrating wildebeest stretching kilometers across the Serengeti plain….some of these are very far away, though….and the really colourful, splendiferous birds…the crocodiles and the hippos, the baboons and the vervet monkeys, the hyenas and the different kinds of jackals….

We have had hardly any sleep, because the power went down at night almost every day, and we had to recharge the camera batteries, and download the photos and videos….when we could.

At Kirawira camp, where we are now, the internet connection costs 10 USD for 15 minutes, so my next post is only going to be when I reach Dar es Salaam after the trip….

All my friends, I can do a lovely presentation on the Ngorogoro Crater, the Serengeti, and Lake Manyara (which we are going to day after tomorrow)…when I return…

Oh, Tanzania….words are just NOT adequate, will have to say it with the pictures. How happy I am that I took up photography!