I was sipping my afternoon tea indoors. It was a peaceful evening. Suddenly, a bunch of what I thought were mynas started creating a ruckus somewhere nearby. I thought it is going to pass, but it went on for sometime. I got curious and decided to checkout, and stepped out with the camera. As soon as I came out of the house, I saw a malabar grey hornbill flying into a nearby cashew tree. I had not seen hornbills here before. I thought it’s my jackpot and started clicking away. Just when I had shot one or two pictures, another one flew past, and then another one! All headed towards the place where mynas were making noise. Curious, I walked that way. They were Hill Mynas. But that was not all. Two coucals ran away in a hurry when they saw me walking by. And then, hornbills started coming in bigger numbers. Suddenly they were there everywhere, like crows in lalbag. Some of them whizzed just a few feet past me. I wasn’t ready for this. I continued clicking furiously but the light was not one but in my favour. Soon, the party of mynas and hornbills moved slowly into the jungles. Hornbills had added their kek-kek as response to mynas. Soon walked in a pair of rufous treepies! They kept hanging around me, teasing, but never co-operating for a photograph. A flameback joined the gang. An emerald dove was confused and was wondering what is happening, just like me. He moved out of the crowd very soon. The next ones to add their voice were a pair of rocket tailed drongos. They had the sweetest voice in the crowd, really pleasing to the ears. They entire flock slowly kept moving in towards the jungle where it kept getting darker and darker. So I decided to return to the point where it all started and just wait. Some hornbills were still flocking there. After some waiting, 4 rocket tailed drongos and 3 flamebacks arrived. By this time it was already late in the evening and darkness was setting in. Soon also came the rain that forced me indoors. It was a great feast of birding for 2 full hours.
I am away for a week, spending some time relaxing and sipping coffee at home, and sometime witnessing the beauty and furore of the monsoons of the western ghats of India, taking photographs. Posts will be intermittent or absent in this period. In the meanwhile, savour this picture that I managed to capture last weekend. Have a great week ahead!
Archana and I have been working hard at avenging each other at things lately. When I got her to blog on music, she retorted back to make me blog about going green.
The idea is to list 5 things that you would adapt to create a sustainable earth, and pass it on to 3 other bloggers. Here is my list - I have listed things to adapt and ones that I have already adapted.
1. Use public transport where possible and help burn less fuel. 2. Postpone buying a new car upgrade, hang on to the current one as long as possible and same time maintain it well and non-polluting. 3. Move from primarily tea drinking habit to primarily coffee. The destruction set in by tea plantations in South India must be seen to be believed. Not that coffee is very environment friendly but slightly better than tea. 4. Minimize on plastic carry bags when shopping. Carry water around when going out as much as possible instead of buying mineral water as you please. 5. I would like to participate in water conservation movement by some means. I havent yet figured out how but. I also intend to contribute my time in the area of sustainable development, conservation of forests and natural resources but I am not yet sure how to go about it.
Instead of passing this on to three other blogger, I sincerely urge everyone who reads this to list down some points and try to work towards making the earth a better place to live in. Do go for it! And when you do that, please do leave a link your post as a comment here, so we all can know more avenues to go green.
With lot of chain blogging happening on music and books, Smyta tagged me to muse on music.
1. Total Volume of mp3 on my computer: Around 7Gig. They are not in my hard disk but are burnt into CD so it works anyway.
2. The Last CD I bought: City Of Angels OST and OST of Kannada movie 'excuse me'.
3. Song playing right now: Cat Stevens' Wild World
4. Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me(Let me think think and think..)
a. Circle Of Life from Lion King b. SavinenapugaLu bEku from the movie aparichita c. Iris song from City Of Angels(ok ok, too many OSTs) d. Holiday, and Wind of Change(sneaked in 2 here) by Scorpions e. Pehla Nasha from the movie Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar
I have written earlier about my woes of long commute to work and how I eventually adapted to it. Here is the story continued.
For a long time, I had been contemplating on reducing commute by car and taking the office bus to work. But the bus comes to my place at an unearthly hour of 7.20 in the morning and I feel hard pressed to make it. For the love of early morning sleep, I ended up driving to work more often than otherwise.
I have long since had a guilt residing somewhere in a corner - about overusing the car and consuming more resources than I should - like they do it in the developed world. A couple of weeks back, the guilt came out of its corner and amplified itself in my head. I was occupying an entire car that was meant for 5 persons(I am definitely not for car pools, I really can't sync up to somebody else's timings). I was consuming too much fuel and I was occupying too much of the road. And I decided to put extra effort to (get up early and) catch the bus. Last week, it worked pretty well and I managed to take the office bus to work for the first 4 days in the week. And I proudly remarked to a colleague - "I will take the bus tomorrow too and it will be the first time that I will be taking the bus to work for an entire week". I had spoken too early - I ended up waking up late and driving down on Friday!
This week, I was quite determined again. But I find it really terrible to wake up early and rush to work and I had to do something about it. Then came the idea - try out public transport. And so this Tuesday I decided to put it to action. I got up leisurely and took my time to get ready, had a sumptuous breakfast(which would otherwise have happened at office) and slowly walked into bus stop. To my surprise, I got a bus in hardly a minute or two and there was enough room to sit comfortably. A book to read, a nice window seat and excellent mild sunny weather of the rainy season made the whole journey very pleasant. And it took me only 5 minutes more than what I would take to drive. Pleasantly surprised, I repeated the experiment for next two days. I discovered that my home and office are very well connected by buses and the journey is pretty comfortable. Now I have decided to do this whenever I feel like spending a little more time in the bed!
I knew I was spending a lot on fuel when I was driving but neither cared nor bothered about it ever. After taking public transport for last few days, I thought I will do some math and check how much I would save with it. The figures added up to quite a number. At a conservative estimate, I spend Rs.150 for fuel on a round trip to work. I used to drive to work for 2 to 3 days in a week. Taking an average of 2.5, it adds up to almost Rs.20,000(2.5 * 52 * 150). Now, I should be able to take a good 2 week vacation with that money! The money I would spend on public transport will come up to around Rs.2000 and that still leaves another 18K. Nice! Anyway, the savings is not big enough to tempt me to give up driving, but the comfort of public transport is working as an excellent carrot.
Not to stop at this, I have decided to go a little further on this effort and start using my bike for short distance that does not need a car. A plan to buy a bicycle has been there for a long time and I am trying to revive that too. And finally, as I have always seen, I am quite bad at sustaining a wave. This time, I am hoping to.
Another picture, taken during the rainy days last year at Bababudangiri. Around this time a year back, I had managed to take a short break from work and spent some time relaxing or making short journeys in the western ghats and Mysore region. Bababudangiri is one of the many places I visited. The hills were lush green and beautiful everywhere and it was a joy to drive amidst the misty clouds kissing the grasslands and sholas on one of the highest points in the Karnataka's western ghats.
NYT has an interesting article on Indian monsoons. The picture on the page is pretty nice too. But the worrying thing mentioned in the article is that there could be a deficit in rainfall in the first month.
It had been pouring big time in Bangalore for last few days but the real monsoons are yet to arrive. I am looking forward to it, to feel the cool weather, to go out and enjoy the beautiful downpours in the days to come. This year's rainy season, I intend to spend some time to go around with my camera and capture the beauty of the rains to savour them for the rest of the year.
Walking on the tracks on a wet day. Taken three years ago, somewhere in the western ghats in the middle of the monsoons.