Monday, December 31, 2012

Last moon of 2012


2012 has been a year of poignant pain and loss. It is a year where one looked forward to the end of the earth and in some ways, it was, but in the midst of all this, there was hope… hope that there will be a new beginning in 2013…. hope that lamps lit in 2012 will continue to shine brightly in 2013, and light the path to the future….

Happy New Year….

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sarjapura – 4th Sunday outing of the Bird Watchers Field Club of Bangalore (BWFB)

Lanius vittatus 1The Sunday walk this week was at Sarjapura, a small extended part of Bangalore,  better known for its International Schools. the walk started early, 0630 hrs at Sarjapura which being about 40 + kilometers from home, necessitated leaving the house at an unearthly hour of 0515 hours.

Reaching Sarjapura, we (my elder cousin Sister and me) met up with a few of the birders and started walking the inner trails of this village that no longer was one…





Athene brama 1Almost after starting we encountered a tree with a pair of  spotted owlets (Athene brama). These cute birds looked at us curiously, as to who was disturbing their snooze, after what was probably a night filled with gorging on lizards and rats.

One flew away almost immediately and one boldly gazed down, challenging me to photograph him…

Athene brama 2


Moving ahead, we came upon a banyan tree which was host to several birds including a sleeping spotted owlet & a paradise fly-catcher.





A beautiful Lineblue (Nacaduba sp.) butterfly was sunbathing in a corn field….

 Green Bee-eaters



A pair of green bee-eaters kept us entertained with their antics…





A shy kingfisher decided it was camera shy and fled from the scene…


    Leopard Butterfly


A leopard butterfly was not camera shy and gave several poses like a professional model….




The Brown Shrike, a visitor, who breeds in Central Asia comes down south when the weather gets too cold for frolicking ….






A pretty spotted dove sunbathed  on the top of the tree …




A lovely lemon pansy basking in all its glory …




 Chilades pandava



  A Plains Cupid (Chilades pandava) relaxing on a dew filled leaf…






A male Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus) taking a break from the initial nest building. The male builds half a nest and then invites the female to inspect it. If she likes it, then they both complete the nest together….


Athene brama 3




Our first spotted owlet woke up and glared at us for disturbing his sleep :-)



   Lanius vittatus








Captured another Bay-backed Shrike (Lanius vittatus) on the return walk, and this time managed to get some really clear photos….






Acraea terpsicore

And finally, just before we left, we saw a piece of land teeming with these Tawny Coster (Acraea terpsicore) butterflies….


All in all, it was a great day of birding and butterfly watching and great fun…

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hebbal Lake 21.10.12

An invite from the Birdwatchers' Field Club of Bangalore for a Sunday Birdwatching trip made me realise it was ages since i went on a structured birdwatching trip. Although I was unable to proceed to the trip planned to Indluwadi Cross, Bannerghatta-Anekal Road, i went on a short trip to Hebbal Lake, which was closer.



Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)









Purple Moorhen (Porphyrio porphyrio) also called Purple Swamphen












Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia)








Indian Pond Heron or Paddybird (Ardeola grayii)






Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis) (sometimes Little Green Bee-eater)













Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)







Crimson Rose (Atrophaneura hector)






Ditch Jewel  (Brachythemis contaminata)_MG_8048





Graphium sarpedon (Common Bluebottle)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Midnight visitor

The house was being locked up for the night when I spied this visitor on some silk drapes. Grabbing my camera, I managed to capture a few good photos before the visitor was taken in a net and left free outside….

Oleander Hawk-moth 

For more details, click on the image….

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blues butterfly….

To most of my friends, I am known as the butterfly guy. I end up finding butterflies wherever I go…

This little one was seen sitting on my balcony, early in the morning,


identification of these Lycaenidae is difficult, and identification has been sought from the experts, Indian Foundation for Butterflies.

_MG_7916A follow up post shall be written after the identification is confirmed.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

one phone call…..

It is strange what a single phone call can do to ones life

sometimes it can start a new one and at other times it can end a life.

I remember reading about how, when people in the US are to be executed, the jailor waits for an extra minute before pulling the plug, as last minute pardons are not unknown;

so why is it that when one shares bad news, that one cannot wait an extra minute more???


Monday, September 03, 2012

Free flight


once in a blue moon….


‘once in a blue moon’ a funny term that all of us have used over the years to describe a rare event that happens ….. well once in a blue moon’  …. LOL that was something I could not resist….

Well the history of this phrase is lost in antiquity and was used by farmers to address the 3rd moon of a season, when on rare occasions the season had 4 moons. Later on this term is used to address the second full moon that occurs in one calendar month. This usually happens once every 2.7 years, but this year is special as it has not one but two blue moons… 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Om Mani Padme Hum…

This six syllabled mantra , the chant with which the Tibetan Buddhists  aspire to transform the impure body, speech, and mind of the individual into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha is associated with the Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva or the Compassionate Bodhisattva


The image above is of the Cintâmanicakra Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva seen at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum at Singapore.

Given below is the text of the mantra in Tibetan script


Image courtesy: Restore Your Soul

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Classic CP…


Sometimes, places look really different when you visit them at odd times…. a few days back, a friend and fellow photographer Paromita (Paro for friends and suddentwilight on twitter) dropped in from the City of Eternal Rains “Mumbai” :-) and a few Delhi based photogs planned a reunion, and it included Udit, Ankush, Priyam and Naina. Of course as is the norm, only Ankush turned up and joined Paro and me for a shoot at CP. Considering the fact that we were scheduled to meet at 0700 hrs, the no-shows were not unexpected….


Early mornings end up giving one some incredible lessons, and that morning at CP was no different.

Usually one leads a dog’s life


especially when life throws you curve balls


and all options are closed


but you need to have faith


to get back onto your feet


else you get swept away …….


ashes to ashes & dust to dust :-)


Saturday, June 30, 2012

serenity in life….


Often life comes with unanticipated quirks that some call fate, some destiny or some inevitability. To those who are  spiritual it is the hand of God or to us Indians it is Karma, which simplified could mean the inevitable and preordained course of life that is guided by the sum total of deeds done in our past lives.

I remember reading a book by Dr Brain Weiss that a friend asked me to read that spoke about soul mates and how one finds the most unlikely people at the cross roads of life. This was an amplification of the concept of karma and reincarnation, told from a what at that time appeared to be a western viewpoint. probably need to revisit that book. Might even find it in my collection Smile

Anyways, the reason I wrote this post was not to ramble, but to share what I do whenever I reach any cross road in life, and that is to use those words penned so beautifully and attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr ….

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Of course this is part of a longer prayer that can be seen here…

Whenever I am in doubt, all I do is seek guidance from the lines above and I find peace…..

PS: Gazing at the serene Buddha also helps Winking smile


Monday, June 18, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos (GSM + GSM)


After waiting for a long time to get my hands on a smart phone that also handles dual SIM, I was finally (yesterday) able to get the Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos (GT-S6802).

This is an Android phone, running on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS. It is powered by 832 MHz processor and has 5MP Auto Focus camera. Other features include, 3.5 mm audio jack, FM Radio, 512MB RAM, 3GB internal memory and micro SD slot (up to 32GB).

The phone also is Wi-Fi enabled and one can chat using ChatON, Samsung’s communication service.

Will have to use this phone more extensively and then decide on the additional features it has. Will probably write a follow up review on the same. 



Saturday, June 09, 2012

ties that bind


it does not matter how strong or colourful one is, one needs support to maintain some semblance of order and sanity. It could be the strong wooden cart that keeps you grounded and in touch with reality, or even a simple scrap of cloth, that focuses you, until the time is right for you to open yourself and expand your horizons.

This photograph is a tribute to the people who keep me sane and focused….

Friday, June 08, 2012

the flip side of life…


a walk in the bustling by-lanes of Chandni Chowk (old Delhi) in the mornings brings to fore the hardships that the common man faces in his eternal struggle for survival in our bustling metropolis. But throughout the streets, one sees little oasis's of hope, where one can get a taste of home, before starting another day of hardship …