Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lesson from a Red Vented Bulbul (man's ruthlessness)

Gone is the nest.  I came in at 11:30 to the department having had to wash clothes this morning(had a huge bucket full of them, not having washed in four days).  As usual, I came, put my bag in place, switched on the system and ran to see the little ones.  And as I looked up ascending the steps, I found no nest.  Both the nests were gone.  I went mad - really.  My mind wouldn't work.  I saw two little ones(out of three) sitting near the window(which does not have an opening at all).  I searched for the third one and couldn't find it at all. 

I searched then for the workers who sweep and mop the department.  On asking them they said they saw a snake had come near the gate, so they removed the nest.  Snakes come so often in the department and the immediate reaction of people here is to kill them, not to shoo them away.  So, they had removed the nest and left the little ones to fend for themselves.  They didn't think the least little bit if they could fly, if they could survive.  

Took the two in a basket and went out searching for the parents.  Found them hovering around the area and set them out.  The nice part was that the parents came and flew near them.  And the little ones, opened their wings and fluttered for some distance.  I saw hope in that little flutter and came away, wishing them infinite joy and a safe journey in this world, this world were we men are cruel as no other being on earth.  What else could I wish for.

Lesson learnt:  Man talks about humanity, but that is contained to only one's circle, one's house.  I call it house because if man understood what a home is, then he wouldn't for anything destroy anothers.  Man's humanity is limited, it is actually unearthly.  

Exactly, what man needs to learn is not to be humane, but earthly, where he loves all beings like himself, where he feels the pain of every being like he feels his own.  Till that day, this earth will continue to get destroyed.

Lesson from a Red Vented Bulbul (takeover)

There has been no activity in the nest since a week.  Today, the oriental robin also called the Indian robin has taken over the nest.  The Red Vented Bulbul parents came and objected but the new two were much stronger I guess.  First I thought of helping the Red Vented Bulbul's but then felt I shouldn't interfere with nature too much.  Besides, I have no idea if there are eggs inside there.  The female is now busy widening the nest(sitting inside and shaking it up) while the other is bringing new twigs.  Below is a picture of the bird from the internet.  The one bringing the twigs look like this.  And I find a Magpie Robin (black with a dash of white) coming too.

So, things are changing.  If there were eggs of the Red Vented Bulbul and the little ones hatch, will the Indian Robin mom look after them ?  Wondering.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lesson from a Red Vented Bulbul - (contd/-)

Since yesterday evening, the parents are back.  And they were making such a noise that I decided, I need to check out the nest.  But, not wanting to scare the birds, I put it off to today.  Morning, I heared the continuous chirping of the birds and was wondering if they felt some danger and hence were making the noise.  I went up and found three kids, sleeping tight, eyes closed.  The parents were annoyed and kept flying all around, I think to shoo me away.  

Happy that things had turned around fine,  I came away happy, telling myself that I shall wait for the right time to click some snaps.  So, now, when I went back to the department, I heard them chirping their heads off.  I picked the camera and went again to see why they were so disturbed.  There I find, a big fat cat waiting.  I drove the cat out.  Yes, I was disturbing or interrupting nature but then, how can I let the cat be and allow it to eat three small ones, so tiny, so cute.  I clicked two pictures in a hurry and came away.  Here are the two pictures.  The feathers are growing as you can see.  Their skin is red and they are yet to open their eyes.  So tiny.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A walk at night

The following two photographs were taken when I went for a walk one night around the university.  Something different, something feels strange.

When will I sleep ?

Look scary ?  I am not

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My workplace

This is my workplace.  It is cluttered with paper, pencil, pen, books, clips and name the stationery, all around, reflecting my current state.  However, the bird's nest can be seen on top of the window.  The window is for me a periscope to the real world, having to work inside a concrete room all through the day.  Now you understand why this one is the best place in the room.  I can take my eyes off the greenery and not be distracted when I wish to focus.  Again, if I need a break, I just need to turn my head. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The jungle where I work

Whenever I write about the place where I work, I mention about the jungle.  These photos, taken from my workplace as well as the roof show the jungle.  In the centre is a small lawn.  The place is well kept ofcourse, at huge costs.
This is the entrance to the department.  Road leading to the small foyer.
This one is from the roof.  Is towards the side which my window faces. The three below is the centre lawn and sitting area.

However, the neem tree(picture above) there is a favourite among birds when the fruits are ripe.  Then, when the roses, chembaruthi(hibiscus), thechi(idliepoo in tamil and always wondered why they call it so.Ixora coccinea in english, see the pink flower above) and others are in full bloom, it is visited by butterflies and insects too.

Lesson from a Red Vented Bulbul - Day 8

The birds have settled in.  They take turns I guess in guarding the nest.  They keep rotating the eggs I think, in between as they perch themselves on the edge of the nest and move things around.  Now the wait for another 11 days before the eggs hatch.  I keep watching them trying to determine the difference between the parents.  Besides one being larger in size than the other, I am unable to distinguish any other feature between the father and the mother. 

Birds, I know so little about them, their habits and culture.  However, I do know that the Red Vented Bulbul is dominant.   The other day I saw them shooing away a crow.  Imagine, a crow.  They made such a noise and kept flying all around the crow, until the crow flew away. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What's so great about football ?

That is a question many people ask, especially my cricket student fans.  I speak to them about the capacity of an individual as well as a team to create magic in 90 minutes.  About agility,  stamina, hardwork, perseverance.   More than all this, it is the spirit of the game.  Besides all of the before, it instills in you without your knowing a pride that other sport can only aspire to.  It removes boundaries of religion, of language, of discrimination in any form.  It breaks down walls created by politics, by war, by ethnic strife.  It is a game that breaks barriers.

You have as example players who made it there out of sheer hardwork showing you possibilities.  Players in the game, who have achieved fame not by their association but because they have it in them to do something great.  For they dreamed to be great.  For they worked to become great.

And the best part I like about the game is the surprise element.  Like yesterday when North Korea scored a goal against the mighty Brazil.  Mighty because they are ranked No. 1, for their sportsmanship, their skill, their grace, the magic they can do with the ball.  No they did not win, but that doesn't matter.  What mattered is the spirit they showed in playing the game.  North Korea, ranked 105 who everyone expected to get a drubbing, stood the onslaught and scored one too.  That is possible in football.  The spirit of fighting for a cause, for a nation, to inspire a nation, singled out, poor and  searching for a reason to believe.  What J. Yun Nam did was just that. 

Saluting North Korea and wishing them luck.  Also, waiting for the day, when we will have a team representing us, giving us a chance to feel great, to cheer, to cherish.

Lesson from a Red Vented Bulbul - Day 7

Okay, she's back.  She is in her nest resting.  Her head touches the ceiling.  It is safe that way because it is protected from the heat and the rain.  Another 13 days and I hope to see little ones. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lesson from a Red Vented Bulbul - Day 6

Today is day 6.  Not much happening.  Think the nest is done.  The birds came by only once today. 

Till something happens then...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lesson from a Red Vented Bulbul - Day 5

There is hardly any work going on today on the nest.  The birds also have not come so far.  Wondering what happened and there is no way I can look inside the nest, given its position.

Found another one's nest near the stairs leading to the terrace.  So, tried taking snaps when the bird was away.  First time, when I started walking up, the bird flew away.  But my camera batteries failed me.  So, second time I went when the bird was not there, took two snaps and rushed down. 
I didn't want the bird thinking I am an intruder and abandon her nest, nor did I want the eggs to loose life.

The amazing thing is that the eggs are so small and are the colour of chocolates, dotted though.  Reminded me of cadbury's choclolates or the nutties.

There was another nest, though not as stable as this one and empty. 

The birds have not laid their eggs still.  The other one is waiting for her neighbours to come.

Lesson from a Red Vented Bulbul - Day 4

Today, the nest is almost made.  I took two pictures when they were not around.

They are done, almost.  But the birds are not ones who compromise on perfection.  They continue to bring tufts of cotton or whatever in their beaks and keep working on it. 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lesson from a Red Vented Bulbul - Day 3

The process of building a nest continues.  I find that only one of them builds the nest.  The other one(bigger of the two) sits nearby and watches as the nest is built.  Of course, when the smaller one goes to collect twigs, they go together.

From the above, I surmise that it is the female that builds the nest.  No, the husband is caring.  He brought in his beak something and called out to her.  So, I guess he is getting food for her as she is busy building their home.  

Also, as the nest is being built, this little bird sits in her nest and moves in all directions.  I wondered what she is upto first, but then reasoned the following:

a.  She has to live in the nest and hence is testing the strength.
b.  It must be the right size and depth as it must hold the eggs as well as the bird.

So, as the nest is being built, I sit here, looking out of the window, marvelling at nature.  How she teaches different beings what is needed to survive.  I am also working, slow as a snail, but working, motivated by this small bird.  I have started believing she is a God send, as I had not been working at all and was getting demotivated.  So, a good sign.

Now, at five minutes to four, it has started drizzling.  So, work has stopped.  I don't find them coming anymore.  Guess, they've decided against working in the rain.

I wanted to take a photo but that would involve opening the window nearby.  I am apprehensive that if I disturb them, they might leave the nest.  Shall try tomorrow.

Orchids - Beauty Unparallel

Orchids are my favourite.  I love the dancing dolls especially.  Some photos of orchids taken on a visit to a botanical garden.  There were so many of them, big and small, pink, yellow and white.  They were a delight to see.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lesson from a Red Vented Bulbul - Day 2

Yesterday, they failed.  Only two twigs were there in the evening.  Today morning, I reach at 10:30 and they are back to work with around 10 more twigs.  The nest is not stable and twigs keep falling as they build.  So, now they are bringing something white and fluffy, which looks like cotton or pieces of cloth and running it trough the twigs and then turning the twigs to go round.  Engineers cum designers cum architects cum interior decorators all in one, at work.

It is 6:00 p.m. now, and the foundation is almost done I guess....now to build up......they continue still as it is yet to turn dark, being summer.  Looks like the steel is holding with the help of wires.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lesson from a Red Vented Bulbul - Day 1

Today, right now, I sit here in my workplace, feeling down.  For one, the cramps on my legs from today morning still hurt.  Second, the fire and urge to work is not there today and is becoming a habit nowadays.  So, I am doing my favourite thing - watching the world outside the window, daydreaming, as befits my name.  Right next to where I sit, is the window.  I always leave the venetian blinds where I sit open, so that I get to see the world, the forest, green and full of life.  This place is the favourite of a lot of birds due to the density of shrubs and dearth of mankind walking around.  It is my favourite because I get to watch them, everyday, whenever I feel like it.  I get to see the games they play, listen to their calls and see them taking rest on a hot day.  They also come to drink water from the airconditioner outlet right next to the window. 

So, as I watch out, I see two Red Vented Bulbuls trying to build a nest on the aircondition power and cooling lines that go from near ground level past the sunshade onto the roof.  One of them is sitting on a tree closeby while the other has a twig in her mouth.  There are two fat lines and she is trying to build a nest at the bend close to the ceiling of the sunshade.  She tries the first time, the twig falls off.  Hardly has the twig reached the ground, she flies down, picks it up and is back.  She tries again and the twig falls again.  She swoops down again, picks up the twig and comes back.  A third time and still she fails.  Then she flies off.  I think, she has given up.  But no, in a matter of seconds, she is back.  This time with a twig that is not straight but curved.  Oh boy, has she brains.  She tries to push the twig through the two wires.  It falls off and she tries again like the previous time.  And again and again.  No chance.  So she then flutters around the lines and the sunshade surveying the place, trying to see I guess what will keep the twig in place.  Amazing.  She is continuing to do this still, as I write and I am hoping she gets it right.  She will I am sure.

A tiny bird, weighing hardly an ounce has the perseverance, that I don't.  She wants to build a house and is working on it with so much courage and willpower, something I am not having right now. 

Oh tiny bird, you may be small, but you taught me such an important lesson today.  Hard work pays.  I salute you, your will power, your courage, your perseverance.  You may be tiny but you are amazing and brilliant.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Comeon, there's room for more.

Found this when browsing today morning.  Have a great day.  :)

Union Carbide, now Dow Chemicals

One morning, I woke up to hear news of the leak in the Union Carbide.  I was only a teenager with not much knowledge of the workings of this world.  But what I learnt that day was an eyeopener about this world.  The real world.  Where big corporations for profit flout safety norms and belittle lives of others.  The pictures on TV and the newspapers was gory.  Poisonous gas leaked one morning in December, 1984.  People died in their sleep, others left alive to live a life of I don't know what to call it.  Have been following what has been happening about the matter and every time there is a mention my ears prick up for the pictures play in my mind still.  The pictures that refuse to fade away.  I wasn't there but still, that is the effect it had.  There are a few heroes in this story too.  Heroes who have been waging a battle against government apathy and a mighty corporation, which continues to exist and do business in this country still, albeit in another name.  Whither justice I have wondered ?

This is Kaliyug according to Hinduism where the battle between good and evil is fought and in Kaliyug, the evil forces are powerful is what they say.  I have grow to believe that seeing how this disaster is being handled.  Yesterday, the judiciary handed over 2 year punishments to people who killed over 20,000 and over a half a million with diseases unspeakable.  Even generations later, the after effects are there to see.  Whither justice.  Yes, she is blind but then, I feel now that she has turned deaf and heartless too.  The Chairman of Union Carbide is said to be an absconding person, according to the US and Indian government, when actually he lives in a sprawling mansion known to everyone.  Forget the US government, what is our government doing ?  We bend over backwards to accomodate them, other governments, their policies and the mighty corporations. 

I guess, in India, the life of a commonman like me is worth nothing.  It just makes up numbers.  A few thousand more, a few thousand less makes no difference, especially to the mighty and rich, especially to the politicians.  For them it is all a game of numbers.  Why not, public memory is so short.  They can afford such games.  Such apathy towards human life coming from a country which was built on such great principles is shameful to see.  I can say no more.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Garda Lake

Today, a weekend has been one of reminiscences.  Reminiscing the past - of the trip to Italy.  So, adding a photo from a visit to the Garda Lake.  It was a beautiful day when we set out to see the lake.  A day when the climate changed so fast especially in the evening when the fog set in.  So much that we couldn't see what was there a few feet away. 

It was fun collecting pebbles from her beaches.  They were of different hues, shapes and sizes.  My best collection is one the shape of a heart, another green and another light pink.  Magic of the lake captured in stone.