Sunday, May 31, 2009


Continues from Birds!

I am back from my hometown, Surathkal with pictures of more birds that visit there. This time around, I took along my niece and nephew on a 2 Km trek along the paddy fields near my house. As we followed the cry of peacocks; we were lucky to find several other species of birds. Some are known, some are not, so again please help me find the names!

Some interesting observations about the birds –

The Koel was rubbing its feathers on the ground. This is perhaps the process called anting, where the birds rub the feathers over ants or millipedes that in defense, secrete liquids containing chemicals such as formic acid, that act as insecticide, fungicide and bactericide, or to make them edible by removing the distasteful acid.

Cattle egret - During the breeding season, the cattle egrets develop orange-buff plumes on the back, breast and crown, and the bill, legs and irises become bright red for a brief period prior to pairing.

Male Asian Koel (Probably Anting)

Cattle Egret (Breeding Plumage)

Rufous Treepie (Thanks to Arun for identifying this)

Asian Openbill Stork

Indian Peacock

Jungle Myna (Thanks to Arun for identifying this)

Crow Pheasant Or Greater Coucal (Thanks to my sis Anu for identifying this)

White-throated Kingfisher

Great Racket - Tailed Drongo

Common Myna

White Breasted Waterhen (Thanks to Arun for identifying this)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Till Now!

I had been to Mangalore on April 30th. I voted and later that day visited my painting guru. Even a casual talk with him can be a great learning experience for me. As usual we had several topics to chat; starting from of course paintings to Books to philosophy to mythology to family and relatives (He is family too) and what not. I had created 4 paintings and I took them specially to get his opinion on my work. He liked some and thought I could have done better on others. I got some scoldings for not filling the pages on my sketch book. Thanks to the cell phone camera, I carried back with me some of his sketches for exercise.

During my previous visit I had requested him to paint for me, a special painting – Summary of Mahabharata. This time, we discussed the major events from the epic that would contribute the expression of this resulting painting. I am glad he as agreed for this. We also discussed about Jiddu krishnamurti (JK), of whose writing and thoughts he seems to be a big fan of.

Ambassador of simplicity

While interacting with young students who learn there, I recollected my days as student. This time round, I got to be part of his book release function also. Some of his well wishers have collected few of his sketches and published it as a book. The book release function was very nice; especially because this was the first time I was listening to my Guru’s public speech. Well known Mr. Dr.Mohan Alva was the chief guest.

Rest of the weekend, we visited temples, friends & relatives. We went to Saligrama & Subramanaya temple. We visited P’s family’s ancestral house. My FIL’s cousin is a good artist too and he has a workshop where they make dolls for Gombe Mella (Doll carnivals). We had a look at different molds and masks created by him. Rest of the holiday went in capturing the beautiful flowers and birds visiting my house (which I have posted earlier).

After returning to Bangalore…P got busy with her new / first job as a lecturer in a very prestigious college and me with mine. But we took some time off on weekend to watch a play – “Bhikre Bimb”, the Kannada version of which I had loved and watched twice. Arundati nag has done a great job…however I think that her command over Kannada language is more impactful than Hindi. I have to watch the English version of the same play by Girish Karnad. My friends M & S loved the play too. So those who like or even don’t like plays! You must watch “Odakalu Bimbha” or in Hindi “Bikhre Bimb” at Rangashankara, JP nagar. Here. is my review on the Kannada version.

I watched one good movie called – Vick Christina Barcelona. I liked it for the crazy adventures in life and the struggle that extremely creative people go through to find peace and harmony in life. Penelope Cruz very well deserves the Oscar she won this year for the best supporting actress. I also liked the way the movie was narrated….like to say to a kid…”Vick and Christina went to Barcelona one summer….sightseeing is what they did and then later that evening, they had dinner….” Most part of the movie has a voice over which explains the acts, expressions and hidden thoughts which I think display an otherwise complicated and highly emotional situation in rather much simple and quicker way. It’s an interesting approach new to me so far; amazing location too.

As I write this…I am already getting ready for another trip to Mangalore, this evening; on vacation till Thursday. :-)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


My house in Surathkal is a resort to several birds. When I return to Mangalore…from a tired & busy life in Bangalore it’s a retreat I most await; far away from the crowd of selfish humans; to something more part of nature. Several birds are seen flying from one tree to another during this season; especially on the Tamarind tree. Almost every bird has a stop on it. This interest to capture their pictures has led to more curiosity in me, about them. So please let me know the scientific or English names for the birds that visit my house; help me identify them!

Update : Thanks to Arun for identifying most of them! Please help me find the name of the Yellow Bird!

Magpie Robin

Oriole (Thanks to Vamsee for identifying this)

Purple Sunbird

Paradise Flycatcher

Red Whiskred Bulbul

Cattle Egret (Non Breeding Plumage)

White Cheeked Barbet

Black Drongo (Thanks to my Sis for identifying this)

Female Asian Koel ...Cuckoo (Thanks to P for identifying this)

Jungle Babbler

Monday, May 04, 2009

Flowers - 2

Was in Surathkal this weekend. Had an eventful vacation and lots to share. One of the things I did at home was capturing pictures of some more flowers blooming around my house added to my previous post on Flowers.

As before, I am not sure of English names for some of them. So please help me name some of these.

Ixora coccinea, (Jungle Geranium, Flame of the Woods and Jungle Flame) ....Kiskara or Kepalla in Kannada

Plumeria (Frangipani...Champa Flower in Hindi) ....Go Sampige in Kannada

Rosaceae (Rose)...Gulabi in Kannada

Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar Periwinkle).....Sadha Pushpa in Kannada

Thevetia peruviana (Mexican oleander).... Karaveera in Kannada

Kopsia fruticosa (Shrub Vinca)... Nandi Batalu in Kannada

Clitoria Ternata (Butterfly pea)...Shanka Pushpa in Kannada

Mussaenda erythophylla (Pink Mussaenda)