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2023 - The Year That Was

Places impact you for a variety of reasons. And the same place impacts different people in different ways. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual experiences, where every single person’s experience is unique. And personally, every spiritual experience is unique, the same person can have different deeply spiritual experiences at different places, at different times. This thought has emerged because of my own experiences over the years, but especially so this year, with different and unique experiences at various places I have visited recently. I began this year with a visit to Baroda (Vadodara) with friends. It was meant to be a relaxed trip, a touristy trip, with our sons. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt, but the highlight of that trip was a visit to the Lakulisha temple at Pavagadh. It was the iconography of the temple that I connected with, and I spent a few hours simply lost in the details of the figures carved around the temple. There was an indefinable connect with

A New Visitor to my Backyard - Long Tailed Shrike

I have been getting a bit bored of the bird photos I have been posting.... I have loads of them, but they are of the birds I see every day.. and I am losing my enthusiasm for them. I was just sitting at my desk looking at my bird photos and wondering which one to post today, when I heard a sound. Now, I have often run to the window at the slightest sound, wondering if it was a bird, but I have often been wrong, or just got a glimpse of a bird as it flew away before I could identify it. I was therefore not too excited or hopeful. However, there it was, perched on a tree on the other side of the jogging park. I could barely get a glimpse of the bird, but it seemed busy calling out, so I took out my camera and got clicking. This is what I saw...

I kept clicking till the bird finally tired of calling out, and flew away. It was then time to go unearth my bird books and try to identify it.

It turned out to be a Long Tailed Shrike, or Rufous Backed Shrike.

From what I could understand from the books and Wikipedia, the bird appears to be quite common all over the Indian Subcontinent, and prefers scrub and open habitats. I wonder what it was doing in the middle of the concrete jungle!! 

In any case, I clicked so many photographs, and am so thrilled to see a different bird for a change, that I am posting more of the photos.... as it warbled away ... perhaps searching for its mate? Trying to find its way back?

As I finish this post, I am still wondering what the bird was doing so far from its normal habitat, and hoping it finds its way back to where it came from. There is one thing I am thankful for, though.... it brightened up my day, and gave me something to write about!!


  1. I know that feeling when we want to see different birds rather than the usual ones :D

    1. i guess you do :D and you get to see so many more than me!!!

  2. Replies
    1. hmm.. thats quite possible, Indrani! never thought of that!


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