Sparrow on my window

It was a sparrow

Yes, a little sparrow

All set to keep me on my toes

When the world slept in dark and peace

It would nibble, nick and flutter on the AC sil

It would shake me off my warm sleep

At the dead of the night

The starry nights are not so pleasant

When you are clumsy, have deadlines to catch

The sparrow all set to plot against me

It stroked the tin sil as if there is no tomorrow

As if he met his long lost lover after a war

Everyday, all through the winter month, all night

I would wake up at midnight and come out

To fly off the little plotting creature, with a dead twig

So that I can sleep in peace

And can reach in time prim and proper

And then one day

I woke up to silence

No picking, no flutters, no signs of existence

I opened the window and sneaked out

But no sparrow, no life, no plots against me

All night I tossed on bed thinking of the little bird

A lost little bird that strayed to bad weather, fog and cold

To some distant world, far off, far away.

A Plea

God to man hath gifted nature
Whose nurture could do no one
So nature to man said,
I love thee no more

Felled you, my trees wantonly
Killed you my animals wantonly.
Polluted have you me thoroughly.
Nothing left have I to give you really.

Then man to nature pleaded
Nature oh my nature
I pray to you thee
Rain to me thou bless
For no drop of water have I
No grain have I to eat.

Water water everywhere

Water water everywhere

Water on the trees

Water on the leaves

Water on eyes, lips, face

Water on you, water on me

Water water everywhere

.

Water water everywhere

Water on the fields

Water on the terraces

Water on ponds, rivers, marshes

Water on water

Water water everywhere

 

 

Tadobaaa…ah!

The desire to visit a jungle sprung up when my school friend Sumit mentioned about his desire to visit Tadoba Andheri Tiger Reserve, Nagpur, Maharashtra sometime soon to add to his elaborate list of forest visits… well, they are not ordinary forests, but have to be tiger reserves, that’s how passionate this friend of mine is about tigers and seriously concerned about their dimming count. I was sure that irrespective of the Oppressive (with a capital O) summer heat, tiger sightings or not, I will have a good time with him given his experience in the wild. Another friend Debu, from my college tagged with me, so it was a threesome gearing up for a ride of expectation.

We took a train that starts from Kolkata in the afternoon and reached the heart of India, Nagpur early morning the next day. Then it was a car ride till a town Chandrapur, and then another 30 km ride to reach Tadoba. In-between Sumit’s experience warmed (literally) us to the fact that we have to purchase (and eat) lots of water melons to keep the body cool. In the meanwhile we had come to know that the temperature touches mid forties easily and the effect could be felt at Nagpur or Chandrapur… everyone on bikes seemed to have hit the road after robbing the bank, that how they have their faces covered, revealing only the eyes. We managed to load our car with two jumbo water melons, lot of grapes, and of course our bottles of chilled bear and headed towards MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corp) resort

When we reached Tadoba, it was 2 PM and the first ride into the Mohrali Range set off at3 PM. We changed, had a light lunch and hit the open green Maruti Suzuki jeep that we had booked. We were told that only petrol jeeps are permitted to ply in the forest area, keeping in mind the pollution and probably the sound that the diesel engine creates. The driver Bandu was a confident, strong lad, for whom we developed a liking in an hour of conversation. Slightly late for the first trip in-between a sea of cars, we set into the core with lot of expectations and thrills. Add Stayed at MTDC Resort. The first animal we saw within the first km was a langoor busy shuttling between trees. Our fingers started clicking the camera shutters to savor the moment of the first capture. One thing we, the first timers observed that there were lots of pools of water, locally called Taka constructed by the side of the road which feeds the animals with much needed water during the hot days and gives us opportunity to take their pictures in the process. As we went a little deep, we saw few cars huddled by the side of such a pool, waiting in expectantly with their cameras outstretched. Their cameras wore huge lenses and our digicams looked like toddlers to those. Bandu was quick to understand the situation and parked the car instantly to join the rest. The forest rule does not permit us to get down from our cars, all we could do is wait patiently without making much of a fuss in the stinging sun.

Then came the moment when the tigress made a grand entry and became centrestage, the cameras went berserk in burst mode. Content with everything going around, we thought “And it is just the start”. From that trip onwards, once we became bored, we came back to that waterhole for a sure sighting of the royal family, and they barely disappointed us.

The Royal Family crossing over...

In-between, we saw various kinds of deer, the spotted ones were plenty, the barking ones (they actually bark and also the smallest  variety) and the sambars (the biggest and as legend goes, the stupidest). The sambars were never scared to have their profile been shot, and it was fun filling up our cameras with their pictures. Then there were huge bisons (Indian Gaur) sipping from some waterhole or the other. In a place called Katezari (a range), which is greener of all ranges in the forest and holds subsequent amount of water even in the oppressive summer heat, we found bear footmarks on trees laden with honey bees, but always remained short of coming across one of them.

Been through so much in so little time, the male tigers stole the show. There were two of them one of which fondly called teri-poonch, meaning slanted tail (nothing more than a demarcation). We reached that in a cinematic way when our car followed the trail of a male tiger in a narrow road. After almost 20 mins of search, finally got to check out the huge species. Our meeting with the second male happened when we were only 20 feet away from each other, almost ignorant of our presence, he walked the other way and into the forest.

A dam called Telia-dharan (dam)... sighting Green and plenty of deer for the first time

Going through this, we may feel Aal Is Well with the gorgeous beasts, but it is far from so. Poaching is still active is few reserves, villagers in-between the forest throw tantrums when asked to be shifted somewhere else, politics in taking up responsibilities, are all burning issues. So much so that our PM Manmohan Singh had to step up and comment on the conservation of tigers in India. Precious little are being done since while we keep our fingers crossed that the count of tigers surpasses all expectations and crosses the official figure of 1411 till now.

The Two Worlds

I love to watch people
I love to watch their complexities
I love to watch the brawls, conflicts, struggles, pleadings
I love to watch the affection, warmth, love and caresses

It’s a vast world of differences and likelihood
It’s a vast world of connectivity and estrangement
So many faces, so many minds, souls
So many identities, distinctiveness, uniqueness

Then there is another world
Inside my heart where I dwell with my solitude
Silent, placid, tranquil, serene and peaceful.

My Affirmations

.
I Love and Appreciate Myself Just as I Am

.

Life is beautiful

I appreciate, I thank

I value myself

.

Life is beautiful

I am healing hurts, old wounds

Getting better everyday

.

Life is beautiful

I can change, I am worthwhile

I live in present

.

Life is beautiful

I make friends, I care, I love

I live with gratitude

.

new territory

Blogging was there on my mind for long time.  Here I am on indianblogworld to write something about my MIND.  There is some anxiety how will this go.   I remember my first trek to Yeoor hills. Not aware what is trek. Friends shared that its fun-to-join.  I was enthralled by the beauty of post monsoon jungle.  The sound of gushing waters, green everywhere.  Suddenly on the jungle road we heard a sound that was similar to tiger growling by lowering his head.  My god !! this is my first trek and are we part of tiger’s menu today.  We continued walking, as some trek nerd had advised “never stop and return”.  Later I found that even Bull’s are good mimics.  There was big Bull around 500 mtrs. ahead of us and that beast was making sound of growling that resembled tiger’s growling.  It was so much fun after that.

The Bloggers world, I can smell the freshness of the nature, colours of butterflies, unknown friends who shared snacks and jokes.   Its open diary to my mind, past, present and future.

Jay ho !!

What’s in a Flower?

A Flower Tells Us A Hundred Words…

Pristine, chaste, tender, intense
A flower shows us the way to God
Or way to our inner selves, our soul
It brings in a sense of awe, wonder, peace
Love, memories, nostalgia

Every time I look at a flower – dew fresh and serene
I feel, I am looking at the eyes of a naive child
A child, who is eager to be cuddled and touched
I touch the tender petals, breathe the aroma

And leave it there to grow to feel the bliss forever

THE SPIRIT WITHIN

Gazing up into the sky
watching the dark clouds roll by
A flash of lightening
A burst of thunder
made me wonder!
made me wonder!

Walking through the woods
the chirping of the birds
the swish of the willow
my mood turned mellow
made me wonder
made me wonder!

Out at the sea
listening to the waves
crashing on the rocks
or embracing the shore
made me wonder!
made me wonder!

The growth of the feotus
deep inside the womb
and the eventual perfection
of this human creation
made me wonder!
made me wonder!

Do we really need to visit
the obvious places of worship
when you have all this around you
a splendour so real so true
I wonder!
I wonder!

Is it not a perfect day
walking through this golden ray
towards a perfect place to greet
where the sun and the horizon meet
I wonder!
I wonder!

Hues of Nature

It is a sunny morning

am in a garden

in my leisure time

lying on the lush

green grass with my

arms and legs open

looking straight up

towards the vast beautiful

umbrella like sky

soaking in me

the yellow sun light

hearing the chirping of

sparrows and parrots

observing the green leaves

on plants and trees

then turning my head

looking at the pink,

white and red flowers

and getting lost in the

magnificent beauty of

bountiful nature.

Subtle speech…

The dry leaves on ground scatter to and fro,

“we have places to go,

at the moment our destination even we don’t know”

this all they tell you

when they speak to you…..

The flocks of birds fly together,

“we breathe freedom,

we are always united and together”

beaming with pride they tell you

as they speak to you….

The soothing wind blows your hair,

“I’m born to give you fresh air

though my existence day by day is getting rare”

the wind shares her feelings with you

as she speaks to you….

The rocks of mountains and caves

Sit strong, erect and sturdy.

“We have certain qualities that a few even study;

Keep your feet firmly on us, don’t worry

‘cause we are trustworthy”

the rocks assure you,

as they speak to you…..

The oasis that resides amidst a desert

“although in this land of sand I sit covert

to the weary traveler I extend so much of a support”

the oasis explains to you,

as it speaks to you…..

So be it leaves or wind,

rocks or oasis,

or the carefree birds

with you they all converse.

With you they have a subtle speech,

Through which they convey to you and teach.

Be it grass, branch or stem,

By having a subtle speech with them,

You get a brush of their lives

You know what it is on which they thrive.

So once in a while get in this subtle speech,

This is the closest to nature one can reach……

Sparkles…

The brightest of the star sparkles,

The diamond in the necklace sparkles.

Sunlight falls on water,

The water sparkles.

Light falls on the mirror,

The mirror sparkles.

The dew drop on a leaf sparkles,

Sun pierces through the shade of the trees

And the sublime woods sparkle.

You give me a token of love-

The ring in my hand-

it sparkles.

You look into my eyes

My eyes sparkle.

You get down on your knee

And say to me-

“I love you, will you marry me?”

Your words echo in my heart,

And I sparkle……

White is the color

As it continues to snow non-stop for the third consecutive day white is the only color I see around and it emotes the following:

White is the color of the tree top
White is the color of the shutter of the shop
White is the color of car
White is the color I can see near and far..

White is the color of the roof top
White is the color of the rabbit that goes hop
White is the color of the lily
White is the color in New York and Philli…

White is the color of the milk that my son hates
White is the lather of soap when one bathes
White is the color of every walk-way
White is the color of the snowy-day

Let’s paint the Earth Green.

Swipe through TV channels, turn the newspapers, shuffle some journals, and this is what is preached all over. That Earth is getting warmer, that emission norms aren’t up to the standards, that pollution levels are dangerously rising, that Arctic ice is fast melting— everything agreed. But the point is “what are you and I doing about it?”

We human beings have evolved taking people around us for granted, so how can Nature be an exception? We have taken Nature for granted all this while, and it is all going to have a domino effect on us. And Nature’s fury is real time; coming to us with a Bang!. We saw it in Katrina; We saw it in Tsunami; and we saw it in Aila.

Ok. Leave it. Why go so far? Why speak in macro terms? Let’s try and speak in micro terms.

How many of us make birthday resolutions? How many of us stick to them and fulfill them? How about making an “Environmental friendly” resolution for a change? No resolutions related to weight loss regimes, or diet sticking sprees, or budgeting vows, or career related self promises, but doing a resolution purely to do with being nature friendly.

They celebrate a World Environment Day to hold placards and express uproar, and create awareness on the implications of harsh vengeance of Nature. But how about trying to make every single day an environment friendly day?

It’s hard thinking about it, and more so, sticking to it. But come to think of it, it will soon become the order of the day.

Are there any quick fix solutions to reverse the situation? The answer is NO. But tiny baby steps in this direction will matter. So be it planting double the number of trees as much as somebody axes them is just one gesture. And when this gesture is undertaken on a mass scale, imagine the impact! When car pooling starts happening extensively among office goers, imagine the cut down in carbon emissions. When cyclists aren’t looked down upon as merely faltering beings coming in the motorists’ way every now and then, and when cycling as a substitute to driving/ riding becomes a norm, rather than being an exception to the norm, we will be doing acts seeming like droplets in ocean, but those droplets will multiply. And after all, droplets do make oceans. When eco friendly homes no longer remain on paper, but get made in front of us, when we as consumers demand they be made, when efforts are made to bring in a legislative framework to such requirements, when solar energy conservation and rain water harvesting start becoming as common as road side restaurants and cafes, we’ll get the hang of what marvels environment protection will do. When car pooling starts becoming a mass effort, rather than barely a handful of people acting upon it, their results will be in front of our eyes.

So let’s get up. I won’t say buckle up. That will be like contradicting myself.

A small effort today to paint the earth green will go a long way……

Try to make this birthday resolution a little different; a little green.

Drop……

Once there hailed a drop among hazy grey skies

Somehow its anxiety had just begun to rise

Though it knew that it would soon fall

One thought grappled it-

How far will I contribute

Big or small?

Then it wondered- where will I descend

On grasslands or farmlands

Or on those eagerly waiting hands…..?

Amongst thick dense bushes

Or those curious eye lashes…..?

On a flower –red or pink

Or on a paper thus spreading ink…..

Inside a pitcher- empty and grim

Will my companions too might join in

To fill it up to the brim?

Where is my destination

What’s my destiny

Will I give a relief to the weary; the thirsty?

Will I drop and get lost in a vast ocean?

Or I’d become a significant part of that mammoth creation?

Just as on these thoughts the drop started to dwell

It descended from the cloud and finally fell

Into an open sea shell!

Years later as I opened a coral

I found inside it a beautiful pearl……

Tribute to the woman

She is silent

her body always mute

her skin might sparkle

but her smiles are subdued

she can glance in stealth

her toes might quiver

she is the lady that walks

past you, anywhere anytime.

She is that mountain

hidden amidst the clouds

far away, at night.

All you can make out is that

line of fire, burning far away

cracking the darkness at night

in your vision.

She could be that cloud

veiling the strength behind

burning in thin strips from

far away, but get near

you crash and burn, in fury

in passion. Yet her earth

bears flowers

she is eternal, she is timeless.

She walks by smiling

as simple and yet a puzzle.

A special dream

In the darkness of night,

the black night enveloping me on all sides,

the rim of a bright moon

peeking out slowly in the sky

I close my eyes and let them see

wonders of all the worlds

infinite joy, beauty, love and eternity

in the secret land of dreams..

there is no pain undeserved, no unshed tears

its peace and quiet that engulfs me in its soft arms

my closed eyes crinkle with a smile

as I dream of a land unseen, unheard, untouched by time

it gives me unspeakable pain to open my eyes

the world outside is still not a friend

so let me drown the wounds bathed with blood

in the crystal clear flowing streams

in the land of my dreams

I can see the people I love

bursting with happy smiles

the happiness is eternal

un-ravaged by the sands of time

with honesty on my brow

I toil with ripples of pain

but I beam with pleasure

at an honest day’s work done , the soul comforted to be awake

I dream of  lilting music playing to the tunes of my heart

how soft, how subtle are the notes

soothing my being

giving way to sweet thoughts

but as night fades into day

the morning light harsh on my face

my eyes open of their own accord

blinking back the dreams they  had seen all night..

The Red Leaf

autumn-colors-in-the-forestIt was a cool, crisp, unruffled afternoon. Autumn had already set in, and the wind was adamantly chilly.

A sumptuous luncheon at my cousin’s house, with his heartwarming hospitality left no scope for a siesta. In fact feet had to be dragged out, enforcing them to take a short walk down the edge of the avenue.

With a thin overcoat on and a soft muffler wrapped around the necks to protect from the chill, we left.

As we got down the stairs, my cousin exchanged a few “good afternoons” to his neighbors he met downstairs. Later I joked about his smirk, saying it looked more like a “plastic smile”, than a genuine one.  He didn’t seem to be bothered though about my comments. On the contrary, he just shrugged his shoulder and gave me a “never mind” kind of expression. So I too left my pursuit of bothering him unnecessarily and left those pranks aside.

As we walked aimlessly, I noticed that nobody seemed to be in the mood for a snooze in the middle of the day; for the street was alive, with people scattered all over. Somebody getting a quick bite, somebody walking their dogs, somebody engrossed in a novel on a wooden bench, yet each one appearing so laid back…..so in sync with the surroundings. It was I who was feeling out of sync; especially because of the heavy power packed lunch that I was hosted.

The breeze was bitter and dry, as if sending messages and soft swishing whispers about the furious cold which was to follow few weeks down the line.

Two blocks away we were greeted by a huge canopy of vivacious and the most fascinating tree line on either side of the road one could ever view. Leaves were multi colored—with random shades of orange, red and yellow. It was picturesque!

Just as we entered the shade of these trees, the coolness felt on the skin all the more.  The sun was trying hard to pierce through this thick tree cover; and as a few rays shone through, the hide and seek looked marvelous.

Any other road and I would have definitely started walking back. But somehow I didn’t feel like reverting to the comfort of the house with this spectacular sight unraveling in front of me. Nor did my cousin insisted to go back home; in fact he silently kept trotting along.

And then suddenly as we found ourselves in the middle of this tree cover, something fell on my head—it was a red leaf with an orange tinge. It swayed to the breeze, floated on the air and dropped itself soundlessly on my head. My cousin, who apparently watched the leaf settle down, rubbed my arm and asked me to hold the leaf in my hand. He remarked that the fallen red leaf was a sign of good luck and good charm. He mentioned that I should preserve the leaf carefully with me forever.

My eyes blinked twice as I heard him. Then I watchfully admired the leaf. It was the most attractive shade of red-orange. Till a few months back, this very leaf might have been dark green, full of chlorophyll. And now with the sweeping autumn, it had turned deep red, with shades of orange thrown in; now having fallen from one of the majestic trees, making some room for newer shoots of green leaves to reappear on the tree once spring comes back.

Every step of the way there was Nature’s surprise waiting, in every moment that was unfolding before my eyes, I was visualizing Nature at its best; autumn at its peak. And I quietly saluted the mystical beauty of Nature.

I didn’t pass on any reaction about the “good luck” aspect that my cousin spoke about. I simply tucked the leaf in my overcoat pocket. Half an hour later, we headed back home.

I don’t know whether it was the superstitious remark, or mere love for Nature—what exactly made me preserve that red leaf. May be it was his “luck” remark; or may be the fact that every time I flip through the pages of my “Thoughts to Remember” booklet and see this lovely red leaf intact, I go back down the memory lane, vividly recollecting that enchanting autumn day I lived (in true sense of the word), every moment of which I breathed in, I felt like I was breathing Nature’s fragrance.

Whatever be the reasoning, the actuality prevails that the picture perfect enthralling autumn afternoon few years back in time gave me the most precious gift I could ever hold dear—a beautiful red leaf.

Belongings

One mighty tide followed by another massive tide

Somewhere behind the mountain the sun is about to hide

My heart sinks in the waves on the sea shore

And in th47-serenee sun who assures he’ll come see me tomorrow

I feel blessed on the lush green carpet

The grass blades all over me like a thin blanket

The tall palm groves as though kissing the heavens

The rainbow at a stretch in the shades of seven

The sparrow peeps in my window with sheer innocence

Will you make me your friend? – is what is her utterance

Droplets on a petal

How cozily they settle!

Basking in the fragrance

Emitting sheer radiance

The whole desert’s my world; my belonging she says

Sand in the desert thus drifts here and there

She can spread everywhere

Each thus happens to be nature’s creation

Filling my soul with complete fascination

Then I meet a vagabond feather

who questions- where do I belong?

I say- you aren’t forlorn

Just search for your own nature’s song…….

Darwin marks two centuries

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was a British Naturalist and a Scientist who laid the foundation for the “Theory of Evolution” and changed the way many think about the natural world. One reason that Darwin’s ideas have endured is their simplicity. He offered the theory of evolution by inheritance, variation and natural selection. However, it was not without its share of controversy. Around the globe there are ceremonies commemorating the 200th year of his birth…

Celebrating his 200 years, there have been releases of special Darwin clothing brands, Bristol Zoo (in the U.K) is reported to be offering free admission to men with beards(!), and the Natural Museum(U.K) has made arrangements to serve pea soup, based on the recipe made by Darwin’s wife Emma! Then, there are the special first day covers, a “Theory of Evolution coin cover” and stamps all by the Royal Mail. Museums around the world are holding shows. In India, the British Council took the lead in conducting a “Darwin Now” international exhibition (November 7- November 28 , 2009). Looking at his life and work  and the impact on biology, it attempts to specially connect with younger generation.