Thursday, August 26, 2010

Butterfly

The most natural thing to do when it starts raining is to go looking for shelter, especially when it pours cats and dogs....... Most of us prefer watching the rain from the safety and comforts of our homes, and I have seen the same instinct in many birds which huddle among thick leaves, attempting to find some sanctuary.... However, every now and then I come across something which makes me wonder if these creatures actually want to get away from the rain, or if they,unlike us, are equally comfortable even when it pours.... like the kingfisher which patiently awaited its prey even though it was drenched.....

And just a couple of days back, I happened to notice this butterfly flitting around a tree (incidentally, a curry leaves tree - does it hold a special fascination for butterflies???), while it poured and poured. At first, we thought it was trying to find a place to settle, but it simply refused to sit in one place, going round and round, from one branch to another, intermittently visiting other trees before returning to this one.....

We observed the butterfly for almost half an hour, and Samhith actually started worrying if its wings would get destroyed by the rain beating down..... but the butterfly seemed to be least affected by the rain.....

Here are some pics.....




Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Little Land

As a single child, and the only grandson in both my and Shankar's side of the family, Samhith gets all sorts of toys to play with. Being the finicky kind of mom I am, I keep searching for 'something different'. The only toys both Samhith and I have agreed to like are his Thomas the Tank Engine train track sets and all the building blocks we have collected over the years... Of course, for Samhith, his favourites remain the 200 odd plastic animals we have been accumulating since he was born!

My search for toys has, however, not stopped yet, and I was thrilled to see this interesting set developed by a budding toy designer, Nalisha. She is a Visual Communication student and is part of an interactive toy design Lab at Srishti school of design, Bangalore. She writes a blog named 'Little Land' at http://averylittleland.blogspot.com/

Her blog is named after the set of toys designed by her - 'Little Land', and it offers ample scope for kids to showcase their creativity....

Here is what the toy looks like....

This is the base....


and here are the pieces which fit on it.... There are all sorts of shapes based on the set...


These pieces themselves offer a lot of scope for play... you can dress them up like this....


you can choose a set like this.....


or like this....



Here is the base in the form of a box... which you can use to store the pieces...


And here is the creator with the set as part of an exhibition....


Interesting, wouldn't you say? Now, I wish this set would come in the market soon, so that I could get hold of one for Samhith!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sky Watch Friday... Sun and Moon

I was looking through some of my older photos and found this one that I had somehow missed posting...... We were on our way to Morachi Chincholi and all of us were stunned to see this wonderful sight before us.... the sun setting over the hills and the moon rising.... This pic was taken at a point where we could see both of them together... 



For more skies around the world, go to Sky Watch Friday

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Roses

Its rare to see roses in our garden - simply because there are lots of people waiting to pluck them..... When we saw these roses, we were thrilled, for they had been left to bloom in peace, and I rushed to get my camera to capture them forever.....





Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bracket Fungi

Monsoon is the season of life, and we see the growth of all kinds of life all around us..... Not even the dead or dying wood is spared, if you notice these bracket fungi growing on them.

This first one is growing on our pomegranate tree, and it is sad to think that the arrival of this fungus means that our tree has not much longer to live.... Of course, it had never been very healthy, not one of its small pomegranates growing into fruits ripe enough for us to taste. Meanwhile, we are making the most of this opportunity to learn about these forms of life too!


This one grew on a rotting log on the side of the road. I noticed it one day as I went by, and remembered to take my camera along the next day to take a picture. Thankfully, it was still there then, but was gone the very next day!


I remember my very first walk into a jungle and our guide pointing out these interestingly shaped things... I even remember bringing back a piece with me (which crumbled in a few days). I remember how thrilled I was then, to see something 'wild'!!! Imagine seeing the same thing in my garden now!!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The cycle of life

The tree opposite our house has many visitors, from the omnipresent crows to bulbuls, parrots, sunbirds and many other birds. However, the tree didn't a resident bird, until the last month, when we saw a pair of crows busily building a nest. Of course, I was all ready with my camera, and I managed to get a few decent shots of the birds in their nest.




I hoped to get a glimpse of the eggs, but here I was unsuccessful, since they weren't visible from my house, and they were well hidden by the branches when viewed from the terrace. However, a few weeks later, I did get a glimpse of some feathers which indicated that there were young ones inside...


It was only last week that we finally caught sight of one of the baby birds....... which was eagerly awaiting its parents, hungry for the food they would bring. I spent almost 2 days looking at the young one and photographing its antics. The rain thankfully stayed away, allowing the bird to peep out regularly....







Then the rains struck once again, and I wondered what the poor bird would be doing, and started worrying when I didn't catch sight of it after the rain stopped...What had happened? Had the birds succumbed the winds and the rain? had they fallen off?? No idea... but the fact that they were not around any more was very very clear when the nest finally fell off and the parent birds went off....... a tragic ending to a story which I had hoped would end with the birds flying off free.....

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Perfect Saturday!!

The day started out almost as usual, but it turned to better and better as the sun moved across the sky – I had planned to take Samhith to the play – The adventures of Tintin – at NCPA. What was surprising was that Shankar agreed to join us. We headed out in the pouring rain in a local train, which took me back to my college days when I did the same thing almost everyday. We reached NCPA soggy but happy, and thankfully managed to get a ticket for Shankar too….


As to the play, Samhith loved parts of it – the parts with the fights, that is! He was hardly able to follow the dialogues or the story – which makes me think I should get him to read the books!

The theatre was full of kids – mostly from the same school, I think, for they all knew each other. The kids provided a nice distraction for Samhith, especially when one managed to get himself locked in the bathroom! It made me feel thankful that Samhith had never done something like that!

The kids were too busy playing even inside the theatre, and Samhith was probably the quietest kid around – for a change, it made me feel nice, and also thankful that none of his friends were in the audience, for then he would also be among those making a ruckus!

As for me, I enjoyed the play, and especially appreciated the way they managed the set with just a few benches and hardly any props – no mean feat, considering that the story involved a journey to South America!

We trooped outside the theatre to find that the rain had let up a little, and headed over to walk on Marine Drive for a little while. That the day belonged to Samhith was apparent at once, for we almost barged into the entire team of the TV serial CID, of whom Samhith is a big fan! He rushed to their car to say Hi, but was pushed away by someone with them. But then Mr. Shivaji Satam who plays the ACP Pradyuman, not only opened his window, but beckoned to Samhith, shook hands and spoke with him! Needless to say, Samhith was thrilled!!! Sorry Kanthi, I never even thought of taking an autograph…. Probably wouldn’t have taken one even if we had the time! Its just not me… you could have got one if you had joined me for the play!!!

It was then time for me to have some fun, and I headed over to eat bhutta (corn on the cob) walking along Marine Drive in the pouring rain! This is something which I have done many many times, but this is the first time I had my hubby and son with me…. And neither joined me in eating the bhutta! I am the only one in the family with such interests. While Shankar was more interested in getting ahead, Samhith was more interested in playing in the water!!

We were just about to leave when Shankar suddenly decided to see if passes were available for the kids’ concert to be held at Tata Theatre. This was to be a performance of children’s choirs from Mumbai schools trained by the Mehli Mehta Foundation and teachers from Barcelona, Spain. Entitled ‘From Barcelona to Mumbai’, the concert featured about 372 kids. We had read about in the paper and had tried to get passes, but were informed that they had all been given away. Shankar however was sure that if we turned up at the venue, we would surely get passes, and he turned out to be right once again!

Kids under seven aren’t allowed inside, and Samhith just about qualified, after we managed to assure the guard that he was in Grade 2. The rule makes perfect sense, for they are really serious about maintaining absolute silence during a performance. In fact, for all concerts, the minimum age is 10, but for kids’ concerts, kids above seven are allowed. But even then, it was a task to keep Samhith quiet, for most of the songs were in Spanish and German and he didn’t understand a word! He did understand some of the English ones, and the single Maori song they sang was a hit with every single person in the audience! To think that the kids had picked up songs from so many different languages, of which they knew nothing, was wonderful! Of course, as a typical mom, I took the opportunity to point this out to Samhith, who even complains when he has to sing something in his music class which he doesn’t understand!

Anyway, once the concert was over, we headed back home, the rain had stopped, the train was full, and we were back to everyday reality – the difficulty of finding an auto! But it really didn’t matter anymore, for we were really sated, for the day had been perfect for each one of us, in our own special way!!


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