Purples and pinks

During our daily afternoon walks, we can’t but notice the hundreds of types of flowers just within our campus. Some have been specifically planted and are lovingly nurtured, but there are many that don’t need any special attention. Just the rain and sun.

The basic construct of a flower is pretty standard, but flowers are found in a variety of sizes, shapes, scents and shades. The range of colours is quite amazing, and this, along with the fragrance, is what attracts birds and insects (and humans as well) to flowers. While the green in flowers comes from chlorophyll, the other colours come from two classes of pigments – anthocyanins and carotenoids. The purples and pinks are a result of anthocyanins.

Here are some of the purples and pinks in varying shades in our campus.

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Danish Siddiqui: a rich legacy

Anyone on the military frontline knows it is dangerous and life is at risk. This is the case if you are a soldier wielding a rifle or a surveyor checking coordinates or a driver carrying a truck of provisions or a cook in the barracks.

Journalists covering war are particularly vulnerable because they are in the middle of the action and it would take a hell of a lot of courage to be out there in Afghanistan, experiencing the life of a soldier with camera in hand. Such was Reuters photographer journalist, Danish Siddiqui. Yesterday, 16th July was a sad day.

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Scarecrow indeed

A video of a scarecrow dressed in women’s clothes has been doing the rounds on social media. With its arms holding a cycle handlebar, she can’t stop jumping, and it would take some brave crow to actually check her out. I’ve traced the video to @yorulmaz025 on TikTok. Seems to be of Turkish origin or so.

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Keep off the grass

Some people like grass. I mean, the kind that is greener on the other side of the fence.

Lawns are a matter of great pride in many residential layouts. “House with a lawn” is a sort of status symbol. There are people who claim to have bought flats in a particular apartment complex because of the beautiful lawns that they saw in the marketing brochures. Maybe the green carpet gives the feeling of being at the golf course. So, it is not surprising that they go up in arms if the children are found running around or sitting on the grass. A few weeks ago, I saw this complaint e-mail about how the gardeners were planting shrubs on a part of the lawn to “reduce their maintenance work”.

Lawns
Grass is being replaced by shrubs
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A changing country?

There is something not quite right. This Twitter feed I came across the other day, somewhat resonates.

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Our neighbourhood sparrows

In Bangalore, we grew up with sparrows in our compound. We don’t find them around anymore.

In suburban Mumbai, sparrows are abundant. There is a certain area in our neighbourhood that the sparrows are particularly fond of – one with holes in the walls directly opposite a shrubby tree.

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