Posts Tagged ‘leaves’

Thoughts on landing…

December 12, 2014

What does a wasp feel
When it’s about to land?
Does it feel a sense of relief
To alight on the leaf?
Will it land on toe or heel?
Will it fly off, or will it stand
Still, for a while..?
I wonder all this…with a smile!


This proves that Nature can be observed even on the terrace of a hotel!


October 26, 2013


A house in which no one lives
Any more. Dead sere leaves
Floating, spent, on a pool
Of autumn rain. Shut windows,
Reflected in the parking
Reserved for a pastor
Who suffered from cancer,
And passed away: whose wife,
Now the pastor, struggles
With health, herself.
What was once live, and green, and young
Passes into the waiting arms
Of mortality.
There remains, only, the hope
That the cycle will start
Once again, and the sap will rise
In a new spring, a house alive
With a family, and the parishioners
Renew their faith.

Museum of Contemporary Art, St.Louis, 181013

October 21, 2013

These are four short videos I look of the work of

Jennifer Steinkamp

which was showing as I walked past….it was just fascinating. (I’ve just added some music, rather than just the street noises.)

This is called “Orbit”, and is the first exhibition in the Museum’s new Street Views series of large-scale video works that will be projected onto CAM’s facade.

here’s more info

Hope you enjoyed that projection as much as I did!

Betel leaves…

February 24, 2009

I posted a pic of betel leaves, and a comment by asakiyume set me thinking….it’s amazing how betel leaves are part of religion and spirituality, and also a symbol of licentiousness at the same time….betel leaves, along with supari, bananas and a broken coconut, are offered as “thAmboolam” during worship; but they are also associated with moral decadence, indulgence in vices (especially sexual)….a woman would only offer “pAn” or “beeda” or “thAmboolam” to a man if she were “interested” in him or married to him….can someone explain this dichotomy to me? Or is a god or goddess who is being worshipped, also offered all the marks of “lAsyam” or luxury, which explains all the decorations, offerings of fruit and flowers, and so on?

When combined with tobacco, we actually have names for pAn like “palang thOd” (break-the-bed!)…surely nothing hidden in that meaning.

Even today, after a particularly heavy meal at a wedding, I do like to have a “pAn” or a “beeda” (though not so fond of doing the smearing-of-lime on betel leaves and adding supAri and stuffing them into my mouth together!)…It’s supposed to be a digestive. The lime-areca mixture is also supposed to be very good for the teeth.

And yet, I have heard from my mother that in the old days, all respectable women were supposed to have betel-stained teeth from chewing the leaves daily, and it was a woman of easy virtue who had white, shining teeth. “veLLai palla pAru, thEvadiyA mAthiri!” was the derisive comment on white teeth, apparently!

Hmm…I am not able to reconcile all that…..

Here’s a video of a song where the “nautanki” (theatre woman) sings about her lover who chews betel, and his fine cotton kurta has red stains….

This movie is one of my favourites. An innocent villager falls in love with a woman from the touring theatre company *he refers to her respectfully as “kampni…company” throughout)…but she, and therefore he, must face the reality of her needing a wealthy “sponsor”. The village atmosphere is so authentic, and it’s very moving. It has other beautiful songs, too.

Another song about betel leaves is the famous Dev Anand song “khaikE pAn banAras wAlA”….

Insomniac’s Night Up…eeeenllpsssss

February 15, 2009

Well…in alphabetical order, those are the letters that make up the word “sleeplessness.”

That’s the kind of profound thought that my brain manufactures, when, after sleeping at 11.45pm, I am wide awake again at just past 3am.

I debate whether to turn on the bedside lamp or not. Turn it on so that it doesn’t shine on the face of the spouse (who is lost to the world anyway, and who has to be prodded periodically to stop having “sound” sleep)…and finish the rest of the Saturday Deccan Herald and Economic Times crosswords. Some witty clues make me smile to myself.

I realize that the room does have at least a couple of mosquitoes, as the backs of my hands are itching…it’s probably what brought me to wakefulness in the first place.

I switch off the light again..I have to be up at 5am to go for a birding trip…and idly let my thoughts roam around the many household jobs I have been letting slide for the past week. This, and that, and that, and this…I know, in my heart of hearts, they *can* be done this week, so my thoughts move on.

I wonder how different life will be when I wind up (for a while) all my Bangalore- and India-specific activities, and concentrate on the GD2B (Grand Daughter 2 Be) who will truly take up every waking moment for the first few weeks of her life. I think it’s going to be fun…but I am going to miss home a lot, too, I guess. I have never stayed in the US beyond four weeks, ever….I am very keen to get back home after that, and generally do!

Could I switch on some music? Bad idea, for the same reason as switching on the light is a bad idea. I do not like the idea of stuffing my earholes with music, so I must listen to it audibly…so that’s out.

Of course, switching on the computer is a complete no-no, or the hours will pass by unnoticed and I will get no sleep at all.

Go and drink some water, and come back and lie down.

I wonder if I will oversleep and have to apologize to the several people who will be waiting for me in two and half hours’ time.

Fall into a doze in the middle of these thoughts, only to be woken by the alarm. It’s Sunday morning, and a packed day awaits me.

Birding with the children, and adults (and adultresses) of Nisarga Layout (it was fantastic, more about this after I have uploaded photographs!), a celebration of two saints of Carnatic music, and a few songs to sing at the event; a silver wedding celebration lunch to go to, then to the Canon Store so KM can drool over the Canon 5D, then a couple of friends from Pune are coming home, and then to the last event in the Attakalari Festival at Ranga Shankara.

I realize I am a very happy person. Even if I am Ms. Slee Pless.

OK, nuff said.

Here’s a picture of a bunch of beautiful new leaves on a tree in Bannerghatta, taken with my usual settings on the 20D.

And here’s the same bunch, taken on Manual mode, with the settings suggested by Mahesh , who is really knowledgeable about the camera and the effects it can be made to achieve.

Off for the martial arts/dance performance soon. I hope you all had a good weekend, or are proceeding to have one…

To me, the two images appeal in different ways. I love the bokeh in the first, and the dark background in the second. Mahesh does genrally prefer darker backgrounds, as he feels the image stands out. (his images are also outstanding in other senses of the word!)

Which do YOU prefer? and why? Answer in your own words, using only one side of the sheet, and no peeking (I typed peeing twice) at your neighbour’s answer.

Images from Valley School..

February 3, 2009

I think that I shall never get
A good pic of the Blue-Faced Malkohet.
(Actually, the name of the bird
Is not Malkohet…that’s absurd.)
But the stupid Malkoha
Sees my lens… and does Yoga.
It twists and turns and always goes
Into some weird writhing pose.
So I will stop photography
Of that stupid Malkohy….

Blue-Faced Malkoha Valley School 310109

But the colours of Spring…here are the amazing colours on the fresh new shoots on the Banyan tree (yes, that large one right at the end of the open path!)

The stark red of the Scarlet Morning Glory is beautiful, too…

Here’s something that someone who is actually 22 years old sent me:

Funny how markings on a sheet of paper can move you to tears!

The Butterflies and Flowers over the Weekend….

September 29, 2008

Since I have been so lucky in finding people to go with this past week, I thought that I would do a post on the wildflowers, and the butterflies I was able to photograph. Those last few words are important, because it’s immediately obvious why the word “butterfly” came from the word “flutterby”. These are SUCH restless creatures, flitting here and there (in the novels of P G Wodehouse , all faithless people are referred to as butterflies because they “flit from flower to flower”)…but sometimes one can sneak up on these beauties as they rest lightly on leaves, flowers, the ground or anywhere else….

But…but…butterflies are Orribler Creatures than birds. When I started birding I never realized that there might be something MORE confusing than bird ids. But butterflies are. They have their wings-open appearance, they have their wings-closed appearance, their larvae, their pupae and then just to kill me off, there are butterflies that mimic other butterflies….

But to me, the butterfly life cycle is one of the most wonderful, mysterious things on earth. An egg becomes a caterpillar that becomes a pupa that becomes a butterfly….a complete re-incarnation, all in one life…so many different forms of one life….it’s difficult to comprehend the complexity of it all. Now, when I find a caterpillar in my vegetables, my reaction is not “Yeughhhh” but to reach for my MLC and switch to macro mode! 😀



either you can see some more pics or you can flutter by to the next friend’s page

Wild flowers, leaves and history at Nandi Hills

October 1, 2007

Apart from the birds that we try to spot, Nandi Hills is such a beautiful spot for seeing majestic trees that have grown untrammelled, and a variety of wild flowers, plus many historic spots.

Because of the rain, the tree trunks are full of moss and lichen, and this picture of a millipede amongst the moss appealed to me:

millipede in the moss

So, too, did this picture of this leaf with the raindrops on it:

raindrops on a leaf...

for more botany, history, and beauty, click on this

What wrote

October 22, 2006

I loved this tanka:

asakiyume ([info]asakiyume) wrote in [info]just_tanka,
@ 20061011 14:15:00

aki koromo

by the maple’s feet,
a cast-off robe of crimson.
Who is the lover
for whom she chose the color,
Who gently then unclothed her?