Sep 27, 2010

Save Mother Nature!

Everytime I take a look at this snap it feels like it's Mother Nature drowning. I can imagine her screaming "SAVE ME from the sea of inhuman people. I want to live!" 

- Verna Lake, Mahabaleshwar
Find more such interesting B/Ws at The Weekend in Black and White

Sep 26, 2010

Camera Critters

The October heat is beating down and the days are getting warmer by the day...
However this looks like the season for the butterflys to spread their wings.
have been spotting a lot of Emperor Butterflys and little green ones, beautiful blue ones flitting about
from one flower to the next...

I just realised its extremely difficult ti get one decent shot of a restless butterfly! Here's one lucky shot...

 This one is joining the rest of the CAMERA CRITTERS..Check all the beauties out!

Sep 20, 2010

I for Inspiration

What gets you through the day is motivation
What sees you through a lifetime is inspiration
Pearls of wisdom coined to inspire
An idol so perfect to admire
Lessons well- imbibed saw him through
He has left a treasure behind for you

Take that example placed before you
Make it a source of constant motivation
Crest and trough to sail through
Keep in sight your inspiration
Every good to learn from and admire
Some deeds and many words that inspire

 A successful idea may also inspire
And for life may stay with you
A success story to admire
Pointers to take for self-motivation
Take it to heart for inspiration
And from the stereotype break through

Sea of Nay-Sayers you got to sail through
And one day see that you inspire
Others look up to you for inspiration
One day that idol could be you
That day give others liberal motivation
Shine through for them to admire

The mundane no one will admire
The rules you got to break through
Aim high with recharged motivation
Do the new to inspire
With experience there’ll be a wiser you
And one day you’ll be the inspiration

One life well-spent is inspiration
That which the world will admire
Let the talent dormant within you
Rise and break through
Your deeds must shine, inspire
Be the next generation’s motivation

If what sees you to success is inspiration
In the making of an idol for generations to admire
What keeps you going is self- motivation

This is a SESTINA: 
Is a highly structured poem consisting of 6 six-line stanzas concluding with a 3-line “envoi”, for a total of thirty-nine lines.Rather than simply rhyming, the actual line-ending words are repeated in successive stanzas in a designated rotating order. The prescribed pattern for using the 6 line-ending words is:
1st stanza 1 2 3 4 5 6
2nd stanza 6 1 5 2 4 3
3rd stanza 3 6 4 1 2 5
4th stanza 5 3 2 6 1 4
5th stanza 4 5 1 3 6 2
6th stanza 2 4 6 5 3 1
envoi 2--5 4--3 6--1
 The sestina dates back to the Middle Ages when it was adopted by the Italian poets of the Renaissance (Dante and Petrarch), and is often used by contemporary poets.

 This poem has been written especially for the


Sep 19, 2010

I caught a fly alive!

The White-browed Fan Tail Fly Catcher..

I've been watching this restless little bird hopping from one branch to the next on the tree right outside my window, since the month of July.
This White-browed Fantail, Rhipidura aureola, is only about 18 cms. long and builds a rather tiny cup like nest. The name itself tells us that its an insectivorous and I've spotted it myself pecking at cobwebs. :D
Its my aunt;s observation that this tiny little bird, surprisingly, can scare away crows very easily by attacking them with its tiny sharp beak, fearlessly.  I believe it must be the male protecting its fledglings or probably the eggs in its nest.

Another beautiful characteristic is that this bird has peculiar way of fanning its tail out and doing a little semicircular jig on the branches. This is the most liveliest bird Ive spotted this season!
Nanka is an avid bird watcher and nature lover too. She calls this tiny passerine bird the tweety bird for its musical, high pitched trill.

Sep 18, 2010

Through Thick & Thin

No one knew what I was up to. I was a naughty 3 year old out to make a new discovery. I lay there on my bed juggling seashells, not completely agreeable with Einstein’s Law of Gravity. I’d sent tiny seashells up hurtling above my head while I lay right beneath them, flat on my back, on my bed. I watched them rise and fly up ….high in the air. On their passage back, down towards the earth, one had a long dark tunnel to pass through. And that tunnel happened to be my left nostril.

My father had come in search of me just then like a God-sent angel. With the sea-shell stuck somewhere between its way to my intelligent brain, I was gasping for breath. My Pa whisked me up into his arms and rushed to the docs’ that very instant. I remember he kept talking to me all the way asking me to stay calm and breathe only through my mouth. I soon had the Doc’s cold pincers travel down my nostril and the teensy weensy shell was out in no time! I was too little to know what could have happened if it wasn’t for my Pa’s perfect timing and presence of mind but I clearly remember I’d decided my father was my best friend. And he has proved himself as one, time and again.

That year I was in the Vth standard at a convent school at Mahim, Mumbai. The Hindu-Muslim communal riots were rampant which I was aware of and scared about. One morning as my father dropped me off to school I asked,

“Papa, if they attack our school will you come to get me? You won’t let them kill me will you?”

“No darling. I will come to get you come what may! You can trust me.”, promised Pa.

And he indeed came.

There had been an outburst that very afternoon and stones were being pelted on the houses around. We could hear a whole lot of screaming outside. All of us were made to hide beneath our desks in our classrooms. I prayed that my father wouldn’t risk his life between all this and come to pick me as I’d asked him to but somewhere I was also longing to feel the security of being back home with my parents.

Just then I saw him standing at my classroom door and I burst into tears as I rushed into his arms. We hurried to our car and he hit the gas like never before. Our front windshield cracked from the stones and we could see the road ahead with great difficulty. Still we drove at break neck speed taking the main road and avoiding the usual route through by lanes. And my father got me home safe and sound. There couldn’t be a better example of a friend in need, for me.

Friends define our personality. Acting as chisels they shape our lives. My father did more than that. He built my confidence through affirmation and corrected my mistakes with gentle confrontation. My Pa taught me to trust my capacities. Unlike most of my friend’s fathers, my Pa believed his daughter could do more than any son would.

As I was taking the oath to assume the post of a cabinet minister at school, I could see my Papa sitting in the front row, pulling out his kerchief and dabbing at his eyes. As I came offstage and hugged him, flaunting the badge on my lapel, he said

“I always knew you would do me proud!”

It was his attention that helped me evolve as an achiever at school. He made his daughter a bold and independent lady with a mind of her own!

My Papa shaped my career into what I could only dream of. I wouldn't have been this happy doing anything else. I am what I am today because of my loving father.

The most effective lesson learnt from this friend of mine has been

" Think before you speak, not speak before you think!"

He brought me up with open conversations and healthy interactions. In my growing years just like my Ma, I found a great friend in my Pa too. He accepted me with my flaws et al. Not a single day went without him giving a loving ear to my day's escapades at school or at play. He took keen interest in my passions whether it was sports, painting or music. He always taught me to take every facet of my personality seriously. Never should it be a half-hearted attempt and that’s what taught me to patiently explore every aspect of my interests, revel and excel in them. I always had much to learn from him on the varied subjects which helped me hone my skills.

My father filled up a space in my life like no other friend has. I was only a teenager when I lost my mum to Acute Renal Failure. Her death came as a jolt I couldn’t deal with. For months I was down in depression and had lost faith in God. My doting Papa set his grief aside and put my life on priority again. My Pa was constantly at my side consoling me and teaching me to be strong. With his help I resumed college and got back on my feet. With every passing day I realized that he was steadily making up for the missing link. I can imagine it must have taken him immense courage and selfless love to rise to the need of the hour, to bring up a teen in the absence of his life-mate.

Our life took another turn with my marriage and I found myself separated from my papa for the first time in my life. The distance would rip my heart to pieces. And he would send me such loving SMs that made me miss his company all the more. Never a day did he ever let me feel guilty about leaving him alone and taking on a new life. But I'm sure he must have felt extremely lonely with the only two loves of his life gone away on their own journeys.

Even as I played my new role my papa was always there for me time and again. My papa also took up my father-in-law's problems like they were his own and helped him sort them out one after another.

Today as I play the role of a young mum I take most valued lessons in parenting from my papa. My son is already very attached to his Ajja (thats how you address your grandfather in Konkani). And many a happy hours are spent by him in his caring Ajja's lap.

I still lead a child-like carefree life because my Papa still pampers me like he would when I was little.

What would I have done without you Papa?

God has truly blessed me with the biggest gem a daughter could ever wish for!

Sep 15, 2010

The Balloonwalah

One evening my one year old son and I stopped by at a restaurant for coffee and refreshments. Right besides our table was another family with a beautiful baby girl in the mother’s arms. Between our meal the father rose from his seat and fetched a colourful balloon for his daughter without realizing the effect it could have on my son. And how was he to blame? He was focused on making his daughter happy.

At the sight of that beautiful big red balloon my son was very excited and began jumping towards it. The baby girl began to cry so I had to leave my coffee half way and leave our table to fetch a balloon for my son too. Unfortunately by the time I’d reached outside the restaurant the Ballonwalla had already left. And there was no other balloon seller in sight.

I returned with my son a little disappointed and my son was mighty disheartened. And just as we returned to our table the little girl managed to poke a nail into the balloon and there was a big bang. Now there were two babies crying for the balloon.

I soon realized that all this commotion had an audience. A tall guy from one of the neighbouring tables was watching the scene. He rose from his seat and headed for the exit. I could see him pacing up and down the footpath of the street outside as if in search for someone. He too returned with a dejected look. The little girl’s family paid up their bill and left. Soon the tall guy and his friend left too. I remained seated, trying to coax my son into forgetting the balloon and finishing his meal but all was in vain.

I had given up! I just couldn’t make him forget the big red balloon. Kids can be so stubborn and reasoning with them is impossible at times. I was saddened that I’d failed to make my son happy. Just when I was about to request the waiter to parcel off the food so my son could finish it later at home, something happened. I saw my son had begun to giggle with happiness suddenly. I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was holding a big red balloon in his hands.

I turned to see that the same tall guy had returned. And this time he had come back with a big red balloon for my son. Both their faces were aglow, my son’s and his. My little one year old had just got what he was desperately wanting. The big drops of tears had immediately stopped rolling off my son;s cheeks and wetting my shoulders. The tall guy’s face was flushed with happiness. He wasn’t looking at me or dint wait for my Thankyou’s. He shook hands with my little one and stood watching him for just a moment. I was tongue-tied at such a selfless gesture. When I began to gush with gratitude he had already turned and walked half way down the aisle, out.

I wonder how it must feel to do a random act of kindness like that and revel in that fulfilling happiness of having made some other soul happy. Without a second thought, without any expectations, without any direct benefit that tall guy had done what only an angel could have done for me at that moment. He had touched two lives in an instant.

This nameless person whose face I’ll never forget, gave me a lesson of a lifetime , to be more giving, more selfless. One random act of kindness can not only make another happy but also give you this feeling from within that life is worthwhile!

It reminds me of these beautiful words….

Have you had a kindness shown?
Pass it on;
'Twas not given for thee alone,
Pass it on;
Let it travel down the years,
Let it wipe another's tears,
'Til in Heaven the deed appears -
Pass it on.

~Henry Burton, Pass It On