Saturday, March 31, 2012

Rahmath goes Birding...

...And Drags her husband along (though he would not admit that, sweet.; is he not????)

Discovered the name of some more birds. :) Maybe it's time I invested in a good birding book. I did not want to do that till now because I was thinking  it was just a phase. Hmmmm..... What time period would you say constituted a 'phase'? I wonder!!!

Anyhow here they are....

1.The Black Winged Stilt

The Black Winged Stilt

Found the name from a birding book  was browsing through in Reliance Timeout in Ambience Mall. I know it's not a very picturesque location but  I was quite excited to see this bird as I thought I had covered all the birds in my neighborhood and was thinking maybe I should start thinking about identifying the subspecies  from now on. So I was happy to see this.

2.The Drongo.

The Drongo
V maam said it was a policeman of sorts of the bird world. In fact it could even give the Crow a run for it's money or food and so apparently, small birds nested near the Drongo residence.Code word :  highly territorial. I was quite surprised as the Drongo was smaller compared to the Crow. Notice the slit in the tail? The slit is quite prominent when you see it in elevation as opposed to the section as in this photo.

3.Rose Ringed Parakeet.

Rose Ringed Parakeet

One can see a lot of these in any of the prominent Heritage places in Delhi. (in other places also).  The first picture was taken in Hauz kauz, when this parrot posed quite well for a photo. The beak of these birds were beautifully deep red as opposed to the second parrot's picture taken near my office. That one's color of the beak was not that deep. However one can see the characteristic rose ring in the neck area of the male of the species which gives them their name.

Rose Ringed Parakeet

These birds look very stern, don't they. Hubby says it's because of the beak. I say it's their eyes 

4.Spotted Sandpiper?????

I am not sure. I did not even focus this picture. It was in the background and camouflaged quite well. I was too excited about the Stilt bird at that time. This was somewhere in the background and my hubby pointed it out while sorting out the pictures.

Spotted Sandpiper ???

5.The Peacock.

Though I would not say that I thought the peacock was the prettiest bird around, I was pretty excited when I saw one walk past me today in the heritage walk in Hauz Kauz. I mean, when you see something you have only seen in zoos, walk past you as if it's no big deal, you do tend to get a bit excited, don't you think?

The Peacock.

And the final bird in this post

6.The Tailor Bird

The Tailor Bird.

I liked this bird because unlike the purple sunbird it was neither fidgety nor acrobatic. It posed quite well taking the correct amount of time to jump from one branch to another. And it posed quite well for me being an added plus point. I loved the reddish tinge in its head (or crown , if you care for technicality). I think it is a pretty cute bird,don't you?

Finally a note... My identification of birds is quite amateurish.My photographs even more so. I have never gone out with an experienced birdwatcher and the internet (Wikipedia to be precise) has been my guide. Blogs like Mridula's and Chetan's, Search Engine : Google and help from V maam have been my teachers. So in case you find any discrepancy, please forgive me and let me know. I am extremely glad and thankful of any help you can give me in this field.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Google to the rescue

Asked Google mama (uncle in tamil) for the rest of the poem. He gave me this link from where I got this nursery rhyme.

"Good night, sleep tight,
  Don't let the bedbugs bite,
  Wake up bright
  In the morning light
  To do what's right
  With all your might. "

A very important memory. She used to sing this to me in nights before going to sleep. 10 years older than me. She was only 14 that time. hahahhaha I always felt she was so old. but she was only a girl at that time.

Yesterday I saw a brother and sister duo make a pretty little picture near our colony road. The elder sister would have been around 7 - 8 and she was riding her kiddy bike, the one which does not even come up to your waist. Her little brother - maybe around 4 years was clutching her from behind with his arms around her waist as if he would never let go. I guess she was taking him somewhere. 

She had this look

"I am his sister taking care of him. Don't mess with me"

 and he had this look 

"My sister is a supergirl. She will take care of me. She won't leave me."

And they were so cute and small..... Infact I and hubby were wondering how their mother allowed them both to go alone anywhere. 

Miss my sisters.... But it's ok. I had an exceptional wonderful time with them in my childhood. And instances like yesterday keep those memories alive.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Purple Sun Bird

Do you remember the tiny bird I told you about in an earlier post? Well I got his picture this sunday. This sunday we got up earlier than usual, so we went to a park in the nearby sector. It was more of a Green belt than a park and for the first time in gurgaon I saw a number of trees, even banyan trees with their hanging roots. Anyhow, It's a marvel I got this little fella's picture as I was enormously excited to see him and yes, I showed my excitement too by clapping and walking fastly towards him (That's A Big No while birdwatching. hmmm.....I need to tone down my excitement level before going birdwatching with someone) . A professional birdwatcher  would have been scandalized at my performance but this little guy did not mind me that much.  I saw his mate too but did not take a picture because I mistakenly thought I already had a good picture of her. Here he is......

Purple Sunbird (Male)
I will upload the female sunbird's picture in this post itself soon.

It was good morning for us that day. Got some more bird pics that I always wanted to get. They are not that good but good enough. Will upload later. It's quite late now and am feelign very tired.

Good night...
Sleep tight...
Wake up in the morning light...

My elder sister used to sing this to me when I was a kid... I forgot the rest of the lines. Does anyone know????

Monday, March 26, 2012

Joy of Giving Card - Week 22

Avoid Plastic for Seven Days.Use Cloth Bag Instead.

The sewing machine in my parent's house has helped my mother (and me) sew a lot of things. One of the things my mother used to sew was cloth bags. She used to recycle my father's old pants into durable and strong cloth bags. And my father used to take these bags whenever he went for groceries. I guess he still does.

Theirs was a generation in which nothing was wasted, even the free flimsy plastic covers. Father used to take a plastic cover for milk packets and the egg dabba for buying eggs. Very very rarely did my parent's house ever have too many plastic covers. In fact i don't remember if it ever did. Infact as a child, I remember scouring the house for the bubblegum type plastic covers to make plastic flowers and hardly finding two or three.

How easy it is to forget such subtle lessons. That's why I like Ritu's en devour for Joy of Giving. Truthfully speaking, most of the cards are nothing new. Come on, Let's give our parents some credit. They have already taught us many of these lessons. 

Then why follow these  these Joy of Giving Cards?
Well my dears, it's because they are reminders,extremely important reminders. We have to go through these reminders again and again and again; Else it's so easy to forget.

Nowadays I try a bit harder. I try to CAB (Carry A Bag). Please visit Ritu's page and go through the video she has composed.In her video she has emphasized the importance of not using plastics or paper covers for our environment. It's worth it. I am still trying to  CAB and am not 100% CAB - ing. I am still trying to make it a habit.

Now, I have two three small plastic cover's in my handbag and a cloth bag which we bought for 5 rupees from spencers retail. Instead of home delivering, nowadays we try to get groceries when we go for a walk or while we come from office and use our plastic covers or cloth bags.

We refuse bags, plastic or paper from shops as far as possible. I give my hubby  a plastic cover or two when he goes grocery shopping or vegetable shopping and thereby, trying to reuse the ones already in our house.Sometimes Yes, we forget or we feel lazy and indifferent but the habit is slowly kicking in. Hopefully, soon we will kick out plastic covers and paper covers from our lifestyle completely.

By sharing this, I Hope to inspire you too the way Ritu has inspired me. 

Let's do Mother Earth Proud.

Hope!!!! Such a sweet word...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dear Diary...

Yes I am back :). Was the de-addiction program any use? Well, I found out that I was not as addicted to blogging as I was to reading other blogs. I do love reading other blogs. You get to know different people different perspectives, different lifestyles. I have not got such a diversity of ideas since I left college.

Last week was good in this front. I discovered four new blogs to follow. A dash of pepper, Show me the curry (for recipes), and two extremely cute blogs by Jennifer's children Amazing and Cosmo. Jennifer has encouraged her children to blog and I think that's a great idea. I used to write diary when I was a kid (There was no blogging then)and I am a great advocate for writing down your thoughts.

I used to have the things like "dear diary today morning I got up at .......... and now I am going to sleep." Only now I realize that that exercise had actually improved my memory power.Why!, I even read somewhere lately that, going through your activities chronologically everyday is one of the exercises for improving your memory.

And it is a great feeling to read what you have written years later. A couple of years ago, I read something I had written when I was 10 and frankly speaking I was amazed at the maturity of the writing. Sometimes I feel when we grow up we just tend to forget how mature children really are. They don't complicate things. Of course I am not mocking experience one gains with age, but I think one should pay extra attention to the words of children also as their views are most uncorrupted and their instincts the strongest.

There is another great advantage for writing one's personal diary. If you are truthful, and you write about anything and everything which you feel like writing including things that worry you, you can actually find clarity in your thought process by this simple exercise of writing them down. The problem becomes clearer and one can actually even find apt ways to deal with the problem when he/she comes back to it at a later stage. However, for obvious reasons I would not recommend this for a public blog.

There is a personal reason for me to write my diary or scribble my thoughts in this blog. My parents are not the great talking kind or sharing their feelings kind or the reminiscing kind. When I was a child I always wanted to know how my parent's childhood was. But they did not remember much. I would have loved to know how they were at my age. Were they also like me? I would have loved to know them as individuals and not as my father or mother alone. I think writing your thoughts for your children can be a great bequest. At least I would have loved it.

Signing off for now. Are you going to start writing?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On a Break

On a self prescribed blog world DE-addiction program. Will be back in a fortnight if the program succeeds or sooner if it fails :)

take care

Friday, March 9, 2012

Another 5 Random Thoughts

Time for 5 random thoughts.

- From the last one week or so , I am seeing less of ashy prinia and more of purple sunbird , male and female. I Saw the Oriental magpie robin twice where I used to see the Asian Pied starling. Did not see the Red Wattled lapwings near office but saw one flying near the market. The lapwing looks more awesome when it flies. Almost like a beautiful kite. Now I think I can recognise the silhouette of many birds. Trying to identify the calls. I can identify the lapwing's call. Screechy hoarse. Heard the purple sunbird today. What a extremely high pitch voice for something so small!!! Did not see the Indian robin for some days. I wonder where he has gone?! The male of the species look really attractive. The females don't look pretty at all. That is the natural order of things. The guys have to prove themselves worthy of being chosen by the gals. When did it all change with respect to human beings????? I wonder!!!

- Decided to try out 5 new recipes this week. Want to cook something new. Wanted to try all vegetarian ones but Hubby wants 2 non veg too. Thinking of trying out recipes from Sumi's kitchen.

- Hubby bought a fountain pen for me, for my birthday. There is more time for the birthday;he just bought it now itself. It looks very modern. I have to fall in love with him- the fountain pen. That's the relation with fountain pens. It's like a marriage in some ways I guess. You learn to hold it. The rough edges get smoothed. The nib adjusts with your style of writing. You start handling the pen better. Then the relationship between the pen and you becomes such that , no other pen would do.

- Look at me comparing a fountain pen with marriage!!!!! \

-Blog status is a very addictive thing you know. I keep wondering, Do people like reading me or do they run away after reading the posts???!!!   :)

Ciao.... Have a wonderful weekend. Friday evenings are the best.......

Thursday, March 8, 2012


When one dream gets fulfilled, you start dreaming again for something else. You have seen it happen once, it can happen once more.

So dream....
Believe in it...
Work for it...
It will come true...
If it can happen to me..
It can happen to you too.

Monday, March 5, 2012

On Stories and Story telling

I wonder if I am too childish telling stories especially folktales in my blog. Does one really get too old to listen to stories. How can one get old for that?  I love listening to stories. My elder sister used to tell stories when I was a kid. Then when I started reading storybooks myself, apparently I was too old to listen to stories. Nonsense, says Rahmath. No one is too old to listen to stories.

When I grew up, I promised myself (I make a lot of promises,don't I :).) that Rahmath will always have a story to tell if anybody wants to listen to one. It may be a short one but there will definitely be one. And I asked my hubby to promise me he would always tell me a story whenever I wanted to listen to one. He promised.  One of the stories he told me was the Monk and the snake. Tsyren and his father is the one I told him yesterday. I will always have stories for you. I promise. No matter if you are 5 or 50. Rahmath will always have a story for you.

One of the first short story book I read was a moral science book. It was a bit torn so I have no idea about the name. I think it was a christian book. It had these extremely short sweet stories, each with a moral to them. I loved them dearly. Short stories teach you so many things. Have you read the short stories collection by Paulo Ceolho? Those are enough for imbibing spirituality in yourself and in your kids. Short stories from the Jataka Tales , Panchatantra and similar works from other parts of the world impart wisdom so easily,like a sugar coated pill. The lesson is learnt  with so little effort from the listener's part.

 Do you think you don't need the wisdom anymore just because you are an adult? I disagree. When we grow up we need these stories even more, a lot more.

Of course one should not forget the entertainment factor.I have lost count of the number of times I have told my cousins the story of Ivan and his seven friends or Ivan and his flying boat or Vasalisa the beautiful or Father frost or the Girl who saved her brother from the Geese. Are not these timeless Classics? Are you not curious to know who Vasalisa was. Alas! I cannot tell you too. I have forgotten :(

How is it possible that one gets too old to listen to stories? Doesn't the ups and downs of the story teller's voice excite you? Doesn't the narration with surprises and climaxes, delight you? Don't you like the uncertainty of the plot and the fact that if the story teller stops you won't know what will happen next? Don't you remember the simple pleasure of listening? Isn't it the sweetest?

Recently when I made a list of the books we had, I saw that I and hubby had gone overboard with having books on folktales in our house. But somehow I can't help it. I can buy even more. I want to buy my own copy of Ukranian Folk tales and Russian Folktales and Vasalisa the beautiful. I wish I could get them from somewhere.

{OK, people who intend to get me a gift for my birthday, Look at the last paragraph ,last sentence for hints on a good gift for me ;) }

Story Time - Tsyren and his Father_Part I

I am sitting in front of my computer not being able to type anything despite having the ardent desire to write. I sometimes feel I have this quota of words beyond which I can never go. Do you know what one should do when they are faced with such a dilemma? Write. Write anything . Anything at all

So here I am writing.

Today I am going to tell you the story of Tsyren and his Father. I read this story in Tinkle and I enjoyed it very much.

Tsyren and his father lived in a little village in Central Asia a long long time ago. It was ruled by a tyrant. One day Tsyren saw a horseman coming . He was having a proclamation which said that the King was going to migrate and so, all able bodied men, women and children were to get their belongings and migrate with him.

"What about Old people?" Asked Tsyren, thinking of his father. "you will have to leave them behind" Said the horsemen before galloping away.

"What will you do my son?" Asked Tsyren's father.

"Come what may father, I will not leave you behind." Said Tsyren.

The next day Tsyren came to the village square with a huge basket tied on his back.

"Oh Tsyren are you moving along with your hut????" Teased the other villagers. but Tsyren just smiled.

All of the villagers followed the King. Until they reached a clear lake. The king looked inside and saw a huge Gem shining at the bottom.

"Get me the Gem" He ordered. The ministers tried to reason with the king saying that the lake was too deep and no one could survive that long in water. But the king was Adamant. One after another young men went in but no one came back. Now it was Tsyren's turn.

Tsyren ran to his basket and opened it. Do you know what was inside???

Why! it was his very own father.

"Father what should I do? The king insists that the Gem be bought but the lake is too deep. I will surely Die"

"Don't worry my Son" Said the Father. "Just do as I say".

Next day at dawn , Tsyren came with a goat skin bag at his back. He dived in the lake. When he went deep and wanted air, he took a pipe from his bag and breathed in deeply with his mouth.

"What a great idea" the king remarked when Tsyren came back with the Gem.

"How did you get such an ingenious idea???" The king asked

"Hmmmm I just got it somehow" Said Tsyren and slowly moved away.

And the Journey Resumed.

Stopping for now. Want to hear more????

Friday, March 2, 2012

Urban Sunset - Part I for Skywatch Friday

Posting these three photographs for Skywatch Friday. I rarely go out traveling so all my photos are from  my house or near it. I loved this sunset.  I just had to capture it.

 One of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen here in Gurgaon.
The clouds seem to be in Fire - a warm fire, not one that destroys. Golden Yellow.

...And the Sunset.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

First Report - 250 days

1st March 2011 will be 250 days since I started the 101 things to do in 1001 days. Here is the first report on my 101 things.

Completed Ones

10.Make Dosa Batter.(26.07.2011) - It didnot come well. The type of rice is very very important.

33.Buy a small sewing machine.A tiny one will do.(done)

45.Link one post to a social networking website.(Completed on 29.06.2011)

50.Get 100 blog visitors on any one day.(Did on 29.06.2011)

53.Bake a cake.(Done on 31.12.2011) - I know, does not look good na, but it was my first !!!!

54.Won't use the laptop/computer for 1 day.(1.1.2012)

62.Host an Onam Sadhya(Feast). (Done if it is applicable even if my hubby was the only guest)

63.Hang a Star for Christmas.(Done Christmas 2011)


64.Hang Colourful lights for Diwali.(Done Diwali 2011)

71. Make a list of Books we have.  (Done 29.02.2012) - 195 books , not bad huh?

75.Block all the sim cards I am not using now. - I think I have done that .

82.Talk to one neighbour to whom I have never talked before.

89.Write a "Moments I love you more" list for hubby-Did it . But can't post here....

90.Do some gift check thing for Nieces and Nephew.(Wanted to do this from the day i started working. Done .)

Goals I am regretting

There is a common  thing in all these goals. You think you can find out what it is ???

9.Review a book every month.(1/33)

28.Do exercise for 21 consecutive days.

34.Learn to sing 25 Bollywood songs.

36.Get up at 6.00am for 21 consecutive days.

66.Weigh 65 kgs (ie lose around 4kg) Now it has become 10 :(

68.Write Housework routines for 31 days and follow them.

69.Follow a beauty routine for 21 days

79.Pray for 21 consecutive days.

OnGoing Goals

35.Two Glass paintings.(1/2)

39.Learn a poem by heart.(24/48)

42. See 25 Disney Animated Movies I have not seen yet.(12/25)

57.Find 25 blogs to follow (18/25)

17.Make a playlist of 101 fav. songs.
12. Try 50  recipes I have not tried before.(11/50)
7.Go for all the Heritage Walks organised by INTACH delhi chapter.(Except Mehrauli walk)(1,2/4).

4.Read 10 Autobiographies/Biographies(0/10). - Started with Mein Kempf. I think it should be equivalent to atleast three autobiographies. 

OK , That's my report  for 250 days. I love March. March has my Birthday in it. This month will be a great month. I feel it. (please God)