Nandi Hills

A getaway…on a hillock….Nandi

Been on our minds…for quite some time…

Finally just booked a room with KSTDC…and we drove towards the hills ..,

A cold ,foggy January morning..mist covered hills…such a soothing sight…after all that traffic ..

As we drove up the hill…it got breezy ..colder…

a monkey sits by the roadside…waiting for some goodies..to be thrown from passing cars

a summer resort for Tippu …it was well protected..at the entrance of fort like structure..a welcome sign…

at the Kstdc guest house…nothing fancy…just basic room…needs a lot of improvement…

At the gate..is mahatma…in a happy mood..

Or is he laughing at the current state of affairs..?!

but…consolation to the bare ness of room…the view from the balcony…

memories at any place …gets more special because of the people one meets…afghani soldiers…who were on some sort of training…

after lunch…a few hours of rest..listening to the gregarious winds…

Then time for sunset..

Nandi Hills are known for sunset & sunrise …

then slowly…he descends…& behind the clouds…disappears at the horizon..,,

Slowly…all the colours vanished…the town lights started to shine…below..but on the hills…it was dark..& eeriely quiet..

A quiet …no fancy dinner…& off to bed..

Almost froze that night..so damn cold…& reminded me of Hitchcock’s movies ..where the night winds made all sort of noises..,

The cold woke me up early…

The kettle …which we carried was a blessing ..a quick cuppa..,& time for sunrise…

Eastern skies….began to get colourful…

With all glory…sun rose…

Two free things…one should never miss…each day..sunrise & sunset…,

sun looked so beautiful…much better than he does at Bangalore…

As we walked towards the hotel for breakfast…did some birding…

Quite a few resident & migrant birds

Like this one …tawny bellied babbler

But I was more interested in the flora…

Those leaves…

And those wildflowers…

I can get lost…never to be found..

And lot of berries around…in all colours

Breakfast done..time to get back home..

the exit gate….just looked back..& said to myself..need to come here again..

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Chitra santhe

Walking through….wide roads….covered by old trees…most of them with seasonal Bangalore flowers…

It was 7 th January 2018..near Chitra Kala Parishat….

Traffic banned from all ends…paintings on either side…

Some neatly arranged…some hung from huge barks of trees..

When we reached… it was a foggy Bangalore morning…people had just started coming in..

From where we got down…we started walking..

Most of them not so famous artists….but then art is art

I liked this painting of sun…wish I had bought…still a student…Manasi (I think) had done it well

there were some handicrafts from Karnataka being made…one of them was this art…carving out of a whole dried coconut with husk…

Bought a well made ganeshA….

It was very pretty…more the intention was support local artists…

one our own traditional images…

Other…very European influence …

a lady stood & admired…as I did….

Not many nude paintings…though….except for this little guy..

I saw it being sold…

It is a long walk…tired …sat under a tree with an ice cream…

Next to me was this arts teacher…all the way from Haveri …with his handful of students who are interested in arts…

With lot of convincing their parents he had brought them…& he also wanted to check out the fair..so that he can exhibit his own art…next year..

I was really impressed with this small town teacher…

endless stretches of paintings…& mahatma seems to be watching too..,

This road is adjacent to Gandhi Bhavan ..& that explains his presence..

As it was lunch time…we decided to end this arty morning…

Before that walked into the chitrakala campus…

By then huge crowds …but once in a way …it is nice to blend in with the chaos…

This decoration….reminded me of Portugal’s umbrella streets!

We always have an Indian version! A very simple katori (bowl made of dried leaf)

Wanted to buy an easel…having done that…

Walked through the sea of crowds…

To the ├╝ber point..,

It is not that everyone there was a connoisseur of art..!

Or

They were artists themselves..

For some it was buying a good piece of art for less money ..,

For some a real bargain.,may be..

For some …just to appreciate…,

&

For some like us…a bit of everything..

A bit interest..a bit appreciation..& a relaxed day….

Art is soothing…whatever may be the form….

Hornbills

A photoblog …

Grey hornbills…& Malabar hornbills ….

As I have noticed …in birding…if you have a bird in your mind…somehow you never see it or even if you see …it is with lots of effort…

Morning walk…no bird was in our mind…just went for a walk in woods..&

With many other birds…hornbills of both the varieties…

In fact…the naturalist…Vinayak ..was asking us to stay over for hornbills festival in Dandeli…

The need never arose at all

the grey hornbill..

And this forest badam …seems to be ..his/her favourite…

the Malabar pied hornbill….

All birds are beautiful…

But…I ain’t a fan of hornbills…

Something odd about them…but I’m sure I’m wrong …because thousands…love them so much…that there is a festival dedicated to…hornbills…

Tiny song birds

Happiness….is a bird..it is said…

Double happiness….is a tiny song bird…I say…

Spotting a little bird…amidst the lush green vegetation…is one of the heartwarming little joy….

&

If the little one sings for you…it is a blessing…

A photoblog of tiny birds…of Karnataka…..in past few months…

bushchat

coppersmith barbet

green bee eater

A finch

oriental magpie robin

yellow throated sparrow

tawny bellied babbler

a warbler

rockthrush

Fallen leaves of January

Love..

Leave.,

Like a leaf…,

From the tree…,

Taking beauty..,

Leaving seed..,

Andrew McMillan…quote

There is a beauty in fallen leaves…

One of my pastime …is watching the different coloured ,differently sized fallen leaves….

It is sheer joy….

A photo blog…

huge red leaf

a carpet of big & little leaves …

this had all the other colours….

and the bare trees….

Would they feel sad …that those leaves have gone ..

Or

Are they happy …they will be getting new ones…

Only those trees can answer

One January evening

It is like..you are in the city …

&

Still not so much inside the city…

But there is no continuous honking …

No vehicles ….

Empty winding roads…

Just the quiet tall trees…watching you…

A hare hops…in a safe distance ….

A tiny owlet peeps from his home in the bark of that old peepul tree…

Gangs of noisy parakeets…barbets ..mynas..all sharing that big old tree…

A noise…I have grown to like…

2 unusual sightings…a pair of malkoas…& a pair of hornbills…

They fly away after a brief stop…

The sounds of the temple bells…reassuring…& so peaceful….

As the sun goes down ….all the noises reach a crescendo…& slowly…there is silence..there is hush…

Somewhere at the horizon…the last orange trail of sun…also fades …

The blues of night ….begin to appear…

The owlets…screech…fly out of their homes…

And the bats …begin their day…

First evening star shines..,

And as the evening mist descends…

Time to get back home….

Before I get drowned in the city noise…

I wanna just go through the whole sounds….

As I lean back on the car seat ..I close my eyes…& I recollect ….those colours…those scents..& those sounds of birds & insects…

I think to myself..what if this planet of ours..had only us….!???!

It would be a lunatic asylum…

Thank you god…for these little mercies..

My photo blog…of last evening..

last of the city soul..I saw…as vijay drew some money at ATM…

landscape changes….tall grass swaying

then there is no one other than you…except when villagers are getting back home…

There is strength..,in prayers…

setting sun…& changing colours…

time to get back home….

as the colours disappear….moon shone….

And…..we left..

A day done & dusted…

Tomorrow…is another day

Ground zero

4th October…,,on a bright ..and warm morning…

I stood …there staring at the freedom tower..as it is called now…

Or ground zero..,

When our friends Ahluwalia’s said…we will be going here…I was just curious…to see..that carnage spot

But…when I stood there…it all came back to me…those flights…those people jumping off..folks running…the clouds of dust…the utter confusion..

There were hundreds of people around me..some going for work..& lots of travellers like us..

But…all I could hear was silence…

I was called for a pic…posed… but my smile had vanished ..

At that moment..I realised..what it is to be a world citizen..

You don’t have to be an American …to feel what Americans felt that day..

You stand there…& if you are a human..even today …you feel the pain..

It is resounding…something echo’s there..

I just turned off my face…&

As I gazed..,I saw this..,

in search….of American dream.,,,

I felt drained.,& sat on a bench..,,

That’s when I saw…the plants on the fence being trimmed …those twigs were thrown…I picked up one just like that…because the bluish indigo flower was still fresh…I can’t resist flowers..then I noticed half dried pod of seeds on the same twig ..,

I said to myself…I will not buy any stuff which is sold in kiosks…instead I’ll take these seeds to Bangalore..

I told the same to Vijayashankara..he gave me a tissue …wrapped it & put it inside my purse..

Once I reached home..first thing I did was to plant them…

This morning…,

My bluish indigo girl…has bloomed in our home..,

A bit of ground zero…is here with us…

For all those who perished on that day…forever …you are all in our memories…