Posts Tagged ‘casa ansal’

Hecky (Mukul)’s tribute to Jayesh,2018

April 5, 2019

Hecky’s tribute to his dad, when Jayesh quit his job: I have always shared a unique relationship with my father. He has been several things to me over the years and continues to assume different roles, even within the span of a single day.

An assertion of fatherhood takes the shape of two religious phone calls to me daily. He sheds that mould and becomes a friend when he shares his numerous and infamous below-the-belt jokes that I am sure you’re familiar with. A true corporate takeover of the household occurs when he makes excel sheets to explain concepts as simple as tying a shoelace to the family. And a true buddy, when he helps me recover from a crippling hangover.

Among all the roles that he has played in my life, the one that stands out constantly, is that of a teacher. The man is a walking life lesson. Immensely articulate, to my father, a true thing badly expressed, is a lie. He has always set the bar high, a bar that has become my life-long goal to one day surpass.

As my father leaves the role that he has for so long cherished at Fidelity, I want him to know that I love him and that I will always have his back. I want to assure him that despite the greying pastures that abound his head, greener pastures await him in his personal life.

My best wishes to a true renaissance man— renaissance in that everything he does was fresh in fifteen hundred.

I had to take that last jab.

Love you pa,


Blue-banded Bee, 210517

May 22, 2017

Are those enough B’s in the subject title?

As I was walking to my daughter’s home, I noticed the

Blue-banded Bee

(an Australian native that occurs in many other places, too) in my apartment garden,and the beautiful insect cause a delay of half an hour when I decided I’d try and get an image of it in flight.


I’ve got the bee sitting, earlier:


I tried all kinds of aperture settings and shutter speeds…but a bridge camera (Canon SX50, see the exif info) has limitations, and I ultimately gave up on the experimentation, being satisfied with what I got!

Tapena wine, feta cheese, honey goat cheese, cilantro sour cream cheese, and indian cheese 280811

August 30, 2011

KM had brought back a selection of cheeses from the US, so when some friends suddenly decided to drop in, out they came, along with some Tapena wine….

Tapena wine, feta cheese, honey goat cheese, cilantro sour cream and indian cheese 280811 ca

Some of the cheeses were not very solid, and some rather crumbly, so we couldn’t really set it out artistically.

cheese spread 280811 ca

It was also an experiment, photography-wise…I realize cheese is not greatly amenable to a flash!

flash cheese 280811

Here we are, helping ourselves:

cheese guests 280811

I wanted to focus on the wine first:


And then on the wine, woman (and cheese!)….

wine WOMAN 280811

I then realized that the best way to get the colour of the wine was to get it against the light.

wine agnst light 280811 ca


May 10, 2011

“Sumin”, as my young daughter used to say, is what I do regularly in the summer. Sumin is such a great all-round exercise; and if there is a pool in your own apartment building, like I have, you don’t have to brave the city traffic to get to the pool, either. A quick change of costume, and there I am, ready to slip into the pool (this is a nice way of ssying that I am still afraid to jump in!).

I still do only the backstroke, as it gets far less water into my Ear-Nose-Throat system, and the other compelling reason is that…it’s far less boring.

I swim as dusk gathers. I watch the pigeons fluttering around, and settling on the many projections of my apartment blocks…and high, overhead, I watch the kites wheeling as, in the sinking light, they look for a last meal, made possible by an unwary rodent or a defenceless bird. An occasional pond heron flies past, too, and in the deepening darkness, just as the lights come on in the apartments, little pipestrelles flit about…delighting me, sometimes, by skimming the surface of the swimming pool for a quick sip.

The moon slowly rises and becomes brighter….an the outline of the palm trees and other plants against the evening sky, merges into the gloom of the night. Of course, with the pool lights on, there is never real darkness…except in the brief time between a shutdown of power, and the generator coming on. But in spite of the light, it is a time of magic. The colours of the sky as it deepens from blue to purple to deep mauve….the clouds floating across….they all add to it.

The water feels like silk on my warm body and cools it in such a pleasant way; I do think that regular exercise can only be sustainable when it is as enjoyable as this.

I finish my laps, and then lazily float on the surface of the water for a while. I am so relaxed, and the water holds me up like a mother would her newborn child….I smile when I think how scared I was to start learning how to swim, and how much I have been missing all the years that I didn’t learn.

I’m looking forward to this evening’s swim, now….a hot trip across town, scheduled for this afternoon, is going to make it even more pleasurable!


March 25, 2011

Architecture….can be just solid oblongs of colour…

clrful hses mathigiri 180311

Sometimes it can be lovely, traditional architecture (this was in Mathigiri)

nice house mathigiri 180311

Sometimes, it’s recycled (those planks are from the sides of a lorry…look at the destinations!)

recycled doors 180311 mthigiri

Sometimes, it’s MY home:

casa ansl 230311

Sometimes it’s a pink-and-blue castle:

castle jigni rd 081210

But sometimes, we can’t “leaf” architecture alone, but have to photograph it while it is under construction!

clcking the ants 190311


March 30, 2009

After a hard, back-breaking day, I got back home in time for nothing useful or productive, so decided that today was the day I was going to Start Swimming. And so off I went to our little poolette….

The water felt like silk (ok, well, it *could* have been warmer I guess, especially the pre-swim shower which our building authorities seem to have connected up to some Himalayan snow-fed spring.) I was happy to notice that months of absence have not slowed me down too much (yes, I could’fasten’ up my laps a little!)…and that I could do 30 laps with no difficulty at all. (The laps in our pool are also lapettes.)

I am feeling so fresh, though tired…the frustrations of the day have dropped away, and I am at peace with all the world again, even with the mason and plumber who were my main instruments of torture the whole day long…

How lucky I am to have this pool of blue, clean water to swim in as long as I wish to. How many generations hence will swimming pools be a thing of the past?

Meanwhile, on Sunday I went for the Lalbagh Heritage Walk, organized by Max Mueller Bhavan as an Urban Space Event; here’s a close-up of a Traveller’s Palm that I took…

travellers' palm lalbagh 290309

Let not anyone tell you that abstract art is nothing like Nature makes…Nature has abstract art everywhere; lovely designs, numbers, one-off pieces of exquisite creativity…

Today there was one in the kitchen….

November 1, 2008

This morning, I found another Common Evening Brown butterfly on my kitchen towel!

KM is muttering about jobless people who keep taking photographs in their kitchen early in the morning…

Chitra the Spinach Seller

May 16, 2008

When I wrote my entry about spinach , I mentioned the young woman who came to my door several times a week to sell it…..

Here she is.

She is unfailingly cheerful. She has two children to support, and has a tough life. But that never affects her smile.

She asked me to take another photo of her when she would “dress up” and come! She’s been coming to our apartment building for several years now. She says she sells all her vegetables in the complex and doesn’t have to do the rounds of houses in this hot weather. All of us also give her something to eat or drink once in a while, or old clothes and books for her children.

Lovely creature….Oleander Hawk Moth…Daphnus nerii

October 24, 2007

I saw this beautiful moth on the staircase day before yesterday….

Un id moth casa ansal 221007

I think prashanthks posted a pic of something similar, am trying to look at his posts….

update. Yes indeed, here is his post:

Id-entical moth, even if un-id moth!

Can someone tell me what moth this is? Otherwise I will call it the military camouflage moth!

More update:

The process of id-ing goes like this:

Karthik says: Sphinx moth family Sphingidae. So that’s that!

So I look at the Sphinx Moth pics and I think this is Eumorpha….the Pandorus Sphinx Moth.

Then Karthik say, no, that’s the Daphnus nerii, which I find, is the Oleander Hawk Moth.

Military camouflage moth was simpler!

Even more update on 011107:

The caterpillar that I had photographed on our Bannerghatta outing has, according to Geetanjali, turned into an Oleander Hawk Moth, so here’s the picture of the caterpillar as well:

Oleander Hawk Moth Caterpillar Bghatta

It’s a lovely cat, isn’t it? Look at all the Morse Code on its sides!

Story with a bad ending…

September 20, 2007

For some time now, I have belonged to a group committed to helping BARN OWLS in Bangalore. We are getting nest-boxes fabricated to ensure that these natural enemies of the rats that are proliferating in our city, breed and establish themselves even in urban environs.

I joined because several barn owls come to roost in a ventilation shaft in our apartment building. The trouble is, barn owls are NOT “cute” birds. They suffer further from the superstition that says that they are birds of ill-omen; and to top it all, they make chirring sounds all night, and I cannot really blame the residents of my apartment building for being disturbed by the noise all night long, and also being disgusted by the mess they leave at the bottom of the ventilation shaft.

But I little thought that one of the owls would be poisoned…but that is what our building association did when I was away travelling. When I returned, I had long conversations with the residents’ committee and went to each flat along that shaft, and tried to explain how useful these birds are. Well, certainly they decided that they would not poison the birds any more. But it was decided to block off the ventilation shaft with strong wire-mesh so that the birds could not come to roost there any more.

But, quite typically, that was also done in a shoddy way, and the fibreglass sheets that were laid at the top of the shaft quickly shifted, providing enough space for the birds to return. All that happened was that because of the wire-mesh across the residents’ windows, I could no longer see the owls or photograph them as I wanted to, when they started coming back to roost at night.

This morning, a few children came running to me and said that “some animal” was there in tbe basement of my block. I went down and there was this baby barn owl, which was sitting in the driveway near the basement:

baby barn owl 200907 casa ansal

The bird was pretty distressed; it had been having very loose motions, and was flying a little…and the children, looking at its talons and its sharp beak, were also scared, and their shrieking frightened the bird even more. Luckily, it was time to go to school and they left me and the owl alone.

I first agonized about whether I should touch it, because often, the human touch means that they are rejected and often killed by the other birds. But the bird’s condition made me decide that there was no alternative. But when I approached it, the bird kept flying away.

So I came back upstairs (having detailed a security guard to keep an eye on it) and phoned up another member of the owl group, who told me to try and catch it by throwing a towel over it. So I got a soft towel, and my camera as well, and went down again.

The bird had come to the basement steps, and I clicked it. Then, when I went closer to put the towel over it, it went off again, to sit on a water pipe at the top of the basement…so I waited for it to come somewhere accessible again, so that I could catch it and take it to the Bangalore Rehabilitation Centre, the animal rescue shelter which I have written about earlier.

About twenty minutes later, it did come down to the floor, and I had not taken the next step towards it…when the bird flopped down, quite dead.

I don’t have to tell you how I felt…

Yes, possibly the little one was quite sick, and that’s why it had been thrown out…perhaps it didn’t have much of a chance from the beginning…shock and trauma would have caused the death, as my birding friend Prasad said….

But the trouble is, as Calvin put it when one of the woodland creatures that he found, died: “It’s gone, but it’s not gone inside me.”

Not feeling very happy today.