Birds in our backyard

One of my earlier posts was about some of the purple and pink flowers currently seen in our Whispering Palms Complex. Where there are trees and flowers, there will be birds and other living creatures!

Over the last few weeks we’ve been trying to catch some afternoon sun between the rains, and in the process, we’ve become more aware of the presence of the birds in the campus. The silence during lockdown has made the bird sounds more audible and we try to search them out in the direction of their calls. Many of the birds have their favourite trees and branches, so these days, we look out for them at the same spots, and usually they’re somewhere around there. [Now we know how the guides on jungle safaris know exactly where to stop to show you certain animals.]

Some of the birds sit still for extended periods of time, and even if they fly off, they return to the same place. Like the Coppersmith Barbet that allowed me to go all the way back home to pick up my camera.

Coppersmith barbet
Coppersmith barbet
Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Watching the world go by

A couple of weeks ago, my 18-year old son got his first dose of Covishield.

When vaccination for the 18-44 year age group opened out on May 1, we already knew that vaccines were in short supply. Getting a vaccination slot would not be easy and there are many in professions that are at high risk – shopkeepers, delivery people, road vendors, labourers, cooks, maids, drivers, who should rightfully be prioritised.

“I think I should wait. Let those who really need the vaccines get their shots. I am anyway at home only.”, Gautam said. This I did think was was a noble thought.

Getting a slot was and still is indeed difficult. I had been trying for friends and acquaintances, and though I had managed to get a few appointments, it was a very time consuming exercise, requiring one to be constantly online and vigilant.

Continue reading

Mumbai parody

We often wish things for ourselves and our cities that may be wild dreams. I came across this entertaining parody of sorts. Pictures with a “desired” (or undesired) location caption. One needs to be familiar with Mumbai to get the essence of the creativity. No offence intended. Pictures / links from Twitter.


Continue reading

Buddha Purnima 2021

As we observe the full moon tonight, we celebrate the 2583rd birth anniversary of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha.

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

Our home is adorned with many different Buddha statues, including this life-sized one.

While in Hong Kong in Aug-Sep of 2019, mom and I visited Lantau Island to see the large bronze statue of the Big Buddha or the Tian Tian Buddha – Buddha Amoghasiddhi. It is located in Ngong Ping Village near the Po Lin Monastery.

Continue reading

After many days

After many days, I stepped out of our apartment block, within our Whispering Palms Complex. Just a half-hour afternoon walk, to move my limbs and take in some sun.

With lockdown, understandably, there were just a few people around, going about their business. Cyclone Tauktae’s rains the other day have washed the trees and streets clean. The air too.

Continue reading

Food peddlars in town

Push-cart and bicycle vendors were very common during our childhood in Bangalore. The sellers would announce themselves by ringing a bell or shouting out and we’d run to the compound wall with our baskets. Many of them would have a standard route and schedule. If you bought from them once, you could be sure that they’ll be looking out for you. Regular vendors like the bread man would bang on the gate to get our attention. These days, some of them play characteristic music and use a megaphone.

The flavoured ice gola seller rings a brass bell
Continue reading