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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

Chestnut Shouldered Petronia

A flock of birds pecking at something on the ground caught my attention. They looked like sparrows, so I turned my attention instead to a Little Green Bee Eater plucking out insects from the air. It was only when the tiny sparrow landed nearer me that I realised it wasn’t a sparrow – or at least, it wasn’t the common House Sparrow I see everywhere.



Out came the camera and I clicked furiously as the flock went about having their lunch.


It was Karthik who enlightened me about the identity of these birds – these are Yellow Throated Sparrows, also called Chestnut Shouldered Petronias. They are a species of sparrow found in Asia, from Turkey to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. There are vagrants found in Sri Lanka and also Myanmar. Apparently, it’s quite a common bird, found in gardens, fields, and forests, and it made me wonder why I haven’t noticed any before.


Can you see the dark brownish or chestnut patch on the shoulder? That, and the pale yellow patch on its throat (which you can see if you look really close, unfortunately, I need a better camera to show you) give the bird its name.





Interestingly, this is the bird which is said to have introduced the legendary Salim Ali to Ornithology. As a young boy, he shot a sparrow that looked different, and the then secretary of the BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society) identified it for him, and also introduced him to the subject. His interest was sparked, and he went on to become probably the most well-known ornithologist of the country. Isn’t it interesting to see how simple things like these change the course of a person’s life? 

Comments

  1. I guess I have never seen it before! Looks pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. next time you see a sparrow, take a closer look, Mridula! you never know!

      Delete
  2. As you love travelling, here is a website www.mygreatstay.com which is a travel portal listing homestays across India. It is a very good guide to mostly unexplored locations in India.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, but I already know about you guys. have even booked homestays a couple of times.

      Delete
  3. Hello mam, It sounds very good when I visited your great blog and felt nice even I read your entire blog like photograph collection super means It was awesome overall... Thanks for share

    ReplyDelete

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