Posts Tagged ‘home’

Birding, now….

April 2, 2020

Gone are the days of birding travel.
The virus has made all my plans unravel.
From planning to see the Myzornis,
My birding world has shrunk to this:
How can I catch the Tailorbird,
Which whips in and out, and is only heard
Upon the terrace that I keep looking at? Why
Should these birds be so wary and shy?
Such a fleeting glimpse of the yellow White-eye…
What makes it so keen to zip and fly?
Why can’t it wait and pose for me
And let me take a photo…or three?
I have forgotten the forests, the deer and leopards
And even the various, colourful birds.
Mountain streams and riverside breeze,
Coastal stickiness and Himalayan freeze.
Life for me is the Barbet in the Bangalore sun.
Sighting a Koel is quite a lot of fun.
It’s the terrace that exerts a recurring pull,
For a sight of the Sunbird or the Bulbul.
Overhead, the v-shaped tails of the Black Kite.
The fluttering Pigeons, blue, grey and white.
I can’t even hear the Crows, of late,
Or see their throats of dull grey slate.
Birding is also memories: I go to my Flickr
And wish my broadband speed was quicker.
I visit, once again, birds all over the world:
Fieldfares, Bluebirds, Toucans, with their feathers unfurled.
I close my laptop and arise from my sofa,
And dream of the day when again I will go far
Looking for my beloved, favourite birds,
Which will then be real, not just photos and words!

grey-headed kingfisher

Grey-headed Kingfisher from Tanzania.

Return to base

February 24, 2020

I do love travelling, but like a raagam that meanders and riffs over three octaves and finally returns to the sadjam, I love coming back to my family…the naughty but innocent faces of my grandchildren are indeed the ‘sam’ to the varying rhythms of my travels and experiences.



July 26, 2018

My walk home from my daughter’s, in terms of sounds:
the burbling, liquid sound of the Red-whiskered Bulbul and a couple of Tailorbirds, then the harsh cawing of crows.
The rasping of two coconut brooms that a pourakramika uses to clean leaf litter and trash.
The clank of the bucket and mug, that maid wields to wash the front the house.
The echoing call of “soppu!” from a pushcart vendor.
Cars, two-wheelers and the whine of autos as I cross the main road.
Snatches of conversation as I pass people, some of it very intriguing.
The monsoon wind soughing through the branches of a large Gulmohar tree.
The Venkatesha Suprabhatam from the phone of one walker who has apparently not heard of earphones.
The “ha-ha-ha” of the Laughter Club.
The honking horns of impatient motorists rushing to work.
Mukesh’s “chal ri sajni” from an open window.
A program on Ambabai, on Amurthavarshini channel, in my own ears.
My own footsteps as I climb the four floors.
Finally, the key in my front door…

For life to begin

August 31, 2017

In an empty, silent house
I wait for life to begin.
Life will arrive
With the first young child
Bubbling over with tales from her school.
I make sure she eats the rest of her lunch.
While listening to her,
I make preparations
For the evening meal.
More noise, more tumult
When the little boy comes in.
“Dwag me to the bathwoom!” he yells
Glowing with the dirt of the day
Spent in playschool.
Soon, other children come in to play.
The house wakes up, is full of life.
Homework, Hindi, settling squabbles:
Bath, dinner, and a game or two.
I cuddle up to one, or both
As we say a prayer, or read a story.
The little, reassuring rituals of bedtime
Are done. Darkness prevails.
Peace reigns again as they lie asleep,
Hair tumbled over pillows, arms askew.
Life sleeps now, but will be up tomorrow,
Getting ready for the day, again.
Awake and asleep by turns, this house
Is the home of the future.

The children….

September 15, 2014

I am an Unashamed Worshipper at my grandchildren’s feet. Here’s KTB’s rendition of a sunflower:


And her “mehendi” drawing:


She’s still drawing while her brother enjoys a home-made fruit-smoothie popsicle:


She thinks in the box:


And drinks in the box:


Meanwhile, the Booda is part of the Three Bears:


My winter hat was taken to dress them up and I just retrieved it from the trio.


(It was hidden under the green pillow!)

How a lot of my time goes….

December 18, 2013

List of things/services broken, or locked, or stopped, when I returned after a 9-month absence:

Bank account, cooking gas connection, UPS (back-up power system in the flat), washing machine, air-conditioner (which I hardly ever used) bathroom taps, sewing machine, mobile phone, cable TV….

Thankfully, since I was paying around Rs.1000 a month, my landline and internet connection were still working. Big relief!

Since I refused to stop my travel plans, the “fixing” process still continues. Down to the sewing machine. (Not going to fix the cooking gas until I need a new cylinder,because I will then again be on the 180-day countdown;nor the air-conditioner until I feel I really need it)

Maintaining an establishment in absentia in India is….tough.

Cyclone Kalyan, 171013, STL

October 17, 2013

Anyone who’s taken care of an active baby will empathize with this!

All in the day’s work for a firefighter…

September 4, 2013

AM had come home from the De Baliviere garage, where the installation of the new fare-boxes is under way. As she spoke on the phone, she looked out of the window, and in the conservancy lane parallel to our home, she noticed a fire in a dumpster:


As we looked, the fire started taking hold:


She immediately called 911…and we waited for the fire truck to arrive.

It seemed as if a fire cobra were consuming the dumpster…


The fire engine arrived (I go past Fire Station no. 30 every day, on my walks, so I know it’s very close by)…


Here’s a video of the firefighters hosing down the fire:

High-pressure water went into the dumpster:




Soon, the fire was out. The firefighters (they told us later) looked in, and were relieved to find no incendiary substances..or a dead body…


Here are some of the fighters:


Their work done, they accepted our thanks, and drove away.


This was a simple job…but it could easily have been a dangerous and difficult one. My salute to the firefighters everywhere.

Two insects in the backyard

September 4, 2013

I was just about to drive off, when, outside the open garage door, I noticed a lot of fluttering on the bush in the corner between our backyard and our neighbour’s…


So, of course, being in a great hurry, I quickly got out of the car, leaving KTB strapped into her car seat at the back, and rushed to get a few shots…


This is a



I also noticed a



I am trying to find the id of the bush (obviously, a weed that has just sprung up!) that can attract all these insects…


This is how my time gets…not wasted, but used up! Life forms are so fascinating.

Nature Trail at Lost Valley and Busch Conservation Area

July 20, 2013

Devin Peipert picked me up at 5.15am this morning, and we went to the Lost Valley:

DSC03627 lost valley sign  lost valley 200713

On the way, dawn was lovely:

DSC03623 morning sky  lost valley 200713

We crossed the Missouri river:

DSC03621 missri bridge 200713

The trail looked green, cool and inviting:

DSC03633 path  lost valley 200713

We walked around, using our binocs:

DSC03631 devin on path  lost valley 200713

We saw many wildflowers:


DSC03632 bl eyed susan  lost valley 200713

un id wldflwr  busch 200713

DSC03666 yellow wldflwr  busch 200713

This one seems to be of the Begonacae sp, common in India, too:

DSC03636 begonia sp  busch 200713

This was a “regular” mushroom:

DSC03673 rnd mushrm  busch 200713

and this was a conch-shaped mushroom that I’ve never seen before.

DSC03672 shell mshrm  busch 200713

I made Devin put his hand next to it for scale:

DSC03671 shell mshrm hand size  busch 200713

Some berries (blackberries? I don’t know) caught our attention:

DSC03667 berries,  busch 200713

DSC03659 wld flwr  busch 200713

The Thistle may be a common weed, but it’s so beautiful!

DSC03662 thistle bud,  busch 200713

We saw several


and I caught this one:

DSC03665 drgnfly  busch 200713

The woody vines looked beautiful:

DSC03635 liana lost valley 200713

This was the only (lousy) shot of the


that I got, far away in the heavy foliage:

DSC03658 acadian flycthr  busch 200713



foraged along the path,but were quickly driven away by hikers:

hermit thrsh  busch 200713

We watched a few


foraging, and I got a quick video of the “turning-the-page” action:

As we came out, an


sat on the wire to bid us goodbye:

DSC03681 indigo bunting   busch 200713

We then went to the Busch Conservation Area:

DSC03692 busch sign 200713

The water body, full of yellow lotuses, was a sight for sore eyes…

DSC03708 8 fld of ylw lotus yellow lotus,  busch 200713

3 yellow lotus,  busch 200713

On some of them,


were feeding; this is behaviour I’d not seen before.

A small (probably DOWNY) woodpecker was doing the same on the lotus blossoms!

On a tree branch (an unusual perch, Devin says) sat a

BROWN THRASHER (the state bird of Georgia):1


Here’s Devin, talking to Those At Home:

DSC03749 devin, ds, home 200713

And enjoying some masala chai:

DSC03746 3  devin, ds, home 200713

It might not have rained bird-sightings, but it was a most enjoyable morning!

For the photos on my FB album,

click here