September 2020

Indian Roller or Neelkanth 

Indian Roller or Neelkanth is a beautiful bird. It is seen usually here in the North India from August and till winters. Usually one can spot the bird sitting on the transmission lines passing over the fields or on the top of trees like mangoes. It sits at one place for a long periods of time. It swoops down to catch insects like beetles or grasshoppers. It is not easily scared when you take pictures. The bird is about 26–27 cm long. It is similar in appearance to European rollers which are also here during summer. The difference is that… Read More »Indian Roller or Neelkanth 

Neelkanth (Indian Roller) Bird

In our younger days, I remember we often spotted the “Neelkanth” as Indian Roller is called in India. “Neel” means “blue” and “Kanth” means “throat”. It is found in the agricultural fields here in Punjab. In those days there were no electrical transmission lines crossing the fields. There were trees and there were fields. So it was found sitting in smaller trees and shrubs. It is considered auspicious to see it because its name is connected to God Shiva whose throat also became blue to due drinking of the poison which threatened to destroy the world. It is the mythology… Read More »Neelkanth (Indian Roller) Bird

Ganapati pule and Ratnagiri

Ratnagiri as everyone who loves mangoes knows is famous for fabled Alfonso mangoes. It is the coastal district of Maharashtra state in India. At the time of our visit in January, the mango trees were in full bloom and the fruits becomes ready by March end and April. The tree though does not give any impression that it yields such delicious fruits, it seems very modest. There are hundreds of varieties of the mango on India. This mango is not the original inhabitant of India. It was brought here by Goa’s Portuguese governor . The Alphonso Mango is named after… Read More »Ganapati pule and Ratnagiri

Life is becoming difficult

Life is demanding heavy price and is becoming villainous as the age is increasing. The body is becoming weaker and less capable of resisting the attacks mounted by ailments which were at bay when the body was strong. With each passing day, new ailments are sprouting. Suddenly this winter there is a pain in the knee while walking, the right arm got frozen in the summer and there is a problem in teeth and passing the urine and sugar levels in the blood streams are rising. And the popular adage in the programmers’ circle that whatever comes by itself usually… Read More »Life is becoming difficult

What is in a name?

“What is in the name, a rose smells as sweet by any other name” said the most famous bard Shakespeare. In Bollywood, if a movie becomes hit then the character name of the star is repeated in many of his upcoming films because it is thought to be lucky. Thus superstar Amitabh’s character has been called “Vijay” in as many as 19 movies. We had a boy who was attendant in our office whose real name was also “Vijay”. I asked him his name and when he told “Vijay”, I jokingly said that this is the name Amitabh has in… Read More »What is in a name?

Boats: the metaphor of life

Boats evoke mysterious feelings in most of us. The scene of a far off  boat on the river water looking like a speck is etched permanently in the memory of those who had seen this. It is the feeling of departure of some one close to us who is going away. When the fishermen leave for high seas for their occupation of  catch, their families wait anxiously with baited breaths for their safe return. Sea is full of hopes, despair and surprises. Same is the story of life which wobbles on the surface of  sea of life. Many a times… Read More »Boats: the metaphor of life

Ethereal Whistling

When we were growing up, whistling was considered a bad habit. Many of the boys dared to attract the attention of young girls by whistling and invariably landed in trouble. But in many songs whistling has been so sweet that everyone likes to try it or at least enjoys it. Who can forget the whistling by Aamir Khan in the song  “Chaand Sifarish” from the Bollywood movie “Fannaa”. It totally dominates the whole song. In fact, the music director duo of this film Jatin-Lalit complemented the man who actually did the whistling and not without reason. In fact it is… Read More »Ethereal Whistling

Identification of Plants and Trees in My Locality

Innumerable plants grow on the earth. The very diversity is mind boggling. We did not even know the names of plants growing around us. In fact, most of us never bother to even look around. These become just the backdrop of landscape we dwell in. I don’t think that even God, the creator, has given them names. It is us mortals, who in order to make our life easier document the things. We give nomenclature to everything living in the nature. We have classified them into different kingdoms for our convenience and harmony in the views of different individuals. I… Read More »Identification of Plants and Trees in My Locality

Those Days Shall Never Return

I happened to listen a Marathi song sung by Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar, the genius brother of Mangeshkar sisters. Its opening stanza is “Gele te Din Gele” which means “those days are gone now forever”. The song is written by Bhavanishankar Pandit and music composed by the great Marathi music director Shrinivas Khale. It is so soulful song that it hooked me to it and I have listened it a number of times. The quality of the poetry and music shows how rich the Marathi music has been. The song combines two phenomenon in the world of humans: transience of the… Read More »Those Days Shall Never Return

One day in the life of…..

My interaction with people is very limited. More or less, I spend my days aimlessly when I am not in office. I generally rise up early in the morning. In fact I have at least 4 hours at my disposal before going to the office. I go out and walk for about 5 kilometers. Sometimes, I run short distances and do some exercises. Then after taking bath and breakfast, sit down watch some television and proceed to office. Similarly, in the evening, I return home from office between six and seven. After coming back I take tea and then recline… Read More »One day in the life of…..