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Showing posts from October, 2010

Drongoes in the morning

For the last few days , I have been awakened at dawn by birds instead of the irritating alarm clock. Wondering about which bird is making the noise has proved to be far more effective than waking up wondering about all the things I have to do that day. Anyway, a few days ago, I managed to find out at last the one who was making all that racket at the unearthly hour of dawn - it was a pair of drongoes! Here are a few pics I have managed to click over the last couple of days..... and here is a sample of the sound which makes all the noise. They seem to be really perverse birds, making so much noise that I wake up, and then shutting up when I get my camera ready! P.S. I am out of town and will be back in a few days. Please leave your comments and I shall reply as soon as I get back.

The Resident Reptile

This one i s a permanent resident of our colony, and can be relied on to appear every now and then, reminding us of his presence, especially as a warning to kids not to venture into the bushes! Capturing him on camera has never been easy, even though he comes out to bask in the sun,  because he seems to be more wary of the kids than they are of him, and he is the first to disappear when they mark their arrival with whoops and shouts. I saw the chap this week as I left to collect Samhith from school, and he didn't seem to be bothered much by me, and continued to absorb the warm sun rays after a sudden spate of rainfall. As I clicked on and on, happy that I had my camera with me for once, he turned to regard me, as if wondering what I was doing! Incidentally, for those of you who are interested, this one is an Indian (or Oriental) Garden Lizard , also called a Changeable Lizard . It is NOT a chameleon, though it does change its colours, but much more slowly.

Featured on 'Pocket Cultures'

Navaratri is over , and it's time again to get back to our normal lives.... and what better way to start my other posts, than to announce that I have been featured on the site 'Pocket Cultures'! As the name suggests, Pocket Cultures is all about cultures. The site has contributors from all over the world, writing about their own cultures, thus giving an interesting insight into places from people who live there! They divide their posts into 3 categories - Blogs of the World , where they feature blogs from different countries, Topics of the World , which consist of posts by collaborators about world cultures, and finally, People of the World , which also has  a section called ' My partner is a foreigner ', about cross cultural encounters. Anyone can contribute to this section. Sounds interesting, doesn't it? So go right ahead and check it out!

Forms of the Devi - An additional post for Navaratri 2010

The Subramania Samaj Temple in Chedda Nagar, where I live, is a temple dedicated to Lord Muruga or Subramanya. However, the temple also houses other deities such as Ganesha, Krishna, Ayyappan, Shiva, Durga and Hanuman. The temple thus celebrates a wide range of festivals, among them, Navaratri, dedicated to the Devi. For the nine days and nights of the festival, the temple resounds to the sounds of Sanskrit Slokas - from the readings of the Devi Mahatmyam in the mornings to the chantings during the Chandi Homam in the evenings. For those of us who live in the vicinty, the sound is almost like a background music, one we notice only when it stops! However ,the highlight at the temple (at least for me and Samhith!) is the decoration made every evening for the homam, depicting one form of the Goddess. For each of the nine days, we get to see a new arrangement, one we eagerly rush to see. This is the only part of the temple where photography is allowed, and it is now quite common to see y

Navaratri 2010 - Day 10 - Part 2 - Dusshera

In my last post, Navatatri 2010 - Day 10 - Part1 , I spoke about Vijayadasami, the conclusion of Navaratri. However, there's another aspect of the same day too, which is why this post is in two parts. While Navaratri i s a festival dedicated to the goddess, it is also associated with Lord Rama and his defeat of Ravana. All over the north, this event is celebrated on a grand scale as Ram Leela - the acts of Rama. Over nine days and nights, actors enact the roles of Rama, Lakshmana, Sita and Ravana, among the many characters of the Ramayana, living their parts as they play it. The tenth day or Dusshera is when this epic concludes with Lord Rama aiming an arrow at Ravana's heart, and an effigy of the dreaded asura goes up in flames. I last attended Ram Leela as a kid when I was in Delhi, about Samhith's age, and don't remember much about it. The urge to see it again was great, but it didn't look possible, until this year, when I learnt that there was one being conduc

Navaratri 2010 - Day 10 - Part 1 - Vijayadasami

The nine days of the festival are over, and the tenth day is a fitting conclusion to nine days of revelry. Signifying the victory of good over evil, it heralds new beginnings and is a day for starting new ventures.  Vijayadasami is a day not just for celebrations, but also auspicious for starting something new. This year, Samhith begins his official studies in Carnatic Music (sounds great, doesn't it? But its just an euphemism for saying that his new music classes started today :)) We started off the day at the Fine Arts Society, Chembur, where we officially began the class by paying our respects to the teachers and repeating a couple of lines of the new songs from her. However, the main attraction there is their spectacular Golu. Spectacular is the right word, for they have 15 huge steps full of dolls, each one better than the other! Most of them are huge and so well crafted, it is a pleasure to see them year after year. They also manage to get some interesting new ones every

Navaratri 2010 - Day 9 - Durga Puja

We have been celebrating Navaratri the southern way for the past 8 days, and it is time for a change... Today, I have no more Golus for you, but I would love to take you along with me to the nearest Durga Puja Celebrations. The last 3 days of Navaratri are eagerly awaited by the Bengalis in my colony (and the entire neighbourhood), and they rush towards the only Bengali Durga Puja Celebration in the vicinity. Of course, this mass movement of humanity does lead to colossal traffic jams, but then again, we are used to them anyway, and who cares, when we get to celebrate just for 3 days! Anyone agree with me??? I am writing this post close to midnight, hoping to be done before then, and thus keeping up my resolution of a-post-a-day-during-navaratri! So, let me get straight to the point and take you along with me through my photographs! Here is the decoration this year .... Any guesses? The theme t his time is the Mysore Palace, commemorating the 400th year of Dasara Celebrations ther