Tuesday, April 29, 2008

'Studying' Squirrels

I remember those days when I looked forward to return home from college just to observe the family of seven squirrels who lived in our mango tree. They were spirited little things, scampering about the backyard with such enthusiasm, that they invoked the same in me. In the sultry afternoons, when everyone slumbered, they would play peek-a-boo in the garden, and one would look for them for a nice escape from the mundane regularity of life. They scavenged our dustbins, which I thought was rather unfitting, so I provided them with some peanuts, (later shifted over to cashews and pista nuts much to the rage of my mother) which they absolutely loved. . It was something of a mixture of childish curiosity mingled with a sense miraculous wonder that overcame me as I stood quietly watching them from behind the crack in the door, nibbling away on peanuts. They enterained me for many happy days, until, by the end of summer we found dead squirrels in the water tank, and the rest disappeared from the mango tree forever. It is since then that I have bitterly understood that it is unwise to try and tame wild animals, or punishingly increase their dependence on us.

From six months, one particular squirrel started intruding into our lives. She had the nerves of steel, I must say, boldly scuttling into the house without a moment’s hesitation. She missed the frying pan by inches one day, surprising my mom. She made her presence apparent by chewing away some of my comics, and pieces of a teddy bear named fluffy. Her favorite place was the Atta where we store our winter quilts and unused stuff. It was this Monday I discovered that she has given birth to 2 adorable young ones in the Atta. They are bald little things, very tiny and bleakly-eyed, but are growing real well. I have tried, many times to get their picture but the little things scamper away so fast…I have figured it is impossible. Besides, I am not a very good photographer. I have now taken to spending half my day at the Dining table, doing everything from reading to dreaming right there, keeping a vigil, trying to look out for those little ones screeching above my head. Everything from the way they clean their tails to their manipulative methods of trying to steal the chickoo on the dining table are delights to watch. It has my mother enraged of course, but I welcome them quite cheerfully. A day shall come when they venture out into the wide open to explore the world which is not our dining room, but until then, I shall be thankful that they are just there, making my life more colourful and meaningful by the day.

(I shall return to blogging next Monday after COMED-K exams to tell you how I have done and how my squirrels are doing! :) )

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mr. Shenoy tagged me to fill out this questionnaire. So I’ve tried to be obedient and filled it up. Well, apart from that my CET—The Common Enterance test in this Saturday. Wish me luck!! Will return to blogging on Sunday, after the exam to tell you how I’ve done.

1. Last movie you saw in a theater?
A kannada movie, days before the exam……Gaalipatha. ( Met my friend in the crowd too, and she was baffled to see this English-lovin girl enjoying a Kannada movie.)

2. What book are you reading?
Trust me, you would faint. Currently, it’s a 905 page ‘Complete guide to Karnataka CET and comed-K—Mathematics.” See? You’re swooning already.

3. Favorite board game?

4. Favorite magazine?
don’t oogle…but it’s been Tinkle since 7 years. 

5. Favorite smells?
Smell of wet earth, freshly mowed grass, petrol an kerosene, new books, the ‘office smell’….lots more, can’t remember.

6. Favorite sounds?
Bird calls, the light windy tune of the flute, Meloncholy notes on the Veena…

7. Worst feeling in the world?
Well, there are lots. People yelling that I’m not accepting responsibility, nor learnt to cook, or dress finely, a bad question paper, facing CET exams, the nerds callin up to remind that they are smarter than you, saying good-bye.

8. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?
Probably be thinking of all the fun my brother’s having with his friends when I’m to waste my time in front of textbooks.

9. Favorite fast food place?
None. Don’t like fast food. (Strange, I know!)

10. Future child’s name?
Haven’t thought about it.

11. Finish this statement. “If I had lot of money I’d….?”
Plant a thousand trees for Sapgreen.

12. Do you drive fast?
Yeah, if you blame me, I blame my age! 

13. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
I tried, but everytime I opened my eyes, I got scared by my own teddy bear.

14. Storms - cool or scary?

15. What was your first car?
I’m an unfortunate creature. Don’t own one yet.

16. Favorite drink?
Cane Juice with a hint of cool mint….an coffee.

17. Finish this statement, “If I had the time I would….”?
Try to get my bro to fix the computer. The alphabet ‘d’ does not work and I’ve to painfully copy an paste it every time I type.

18. Do you eat the stems on broccoli?
I just chew stuff up without thinking abt it. So, I don’t really know an answer to this one.

19. If you could dye your hair any color, what would be your choice?
No, it would definitely not be pink. I would want my hair to look like Ahalya’s in Chak de though.

20. Name all the different cities/towns you’ve lived in?
Mysore, Bangalore, Fremont (CA), Beaver dam (Wi)

21. Favorite sports to watch?
Badminton, College Basketball

22. One nice thing about the person who sent this to you?
To confess, I’m a huge fan of Mr. Shenoy. Would probably want an autograph in the future, after the media proclaims he’s the reincarnation of O Henry.

23. What’s under your bed?
Lots of things.

24. Would you like to be born as yourself again?
Wouldn’t mind, actually.

25. Morning person, or night owl?
definitely a night owl

26. Over easy, or sunny side up?
Sunny side up

27. Favorite place to relax?
The Balcony, an the bean bag

28. Favorite pie?

29. Favorite ice cream flavor?

I tag deepti, Anushya, and Indrani.

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Tryst with Coorg

Pristine green hills, reviving winds, Vernal blooms bursting from the undergrowth, the mist of early morning enveloping the colonial houses….where am I? Where else but Coorg! My tryst with Coorg lasted for just two days, but within that time, I have unearthed so much. Once you learn to ignore the heat and bad roads, Coorg unfolds it’s infinite splendor before your eyes. Stretches of untamed forests, wild elephants, silent water pools hidden behind a thick shield of trees…there is so much to discover, and it tempts you to brave an adventure.

Surrounded by adults who don’t match my wavelength, and the absence of chattering cousins bought out the true observer in me. My eyes soaked in every detail of the landscape, and it set me thinking. We stayed over in my Uncle’s house—a pretty one on a hillock, with such a breathtaking view of the surroundings, that it had me mesmerized. I sometimes find inexplicable joy in simple things like the smell of wet earth, a babbling thrush on the pomegranate plants. This place was too beautiful for words. Spending a lonely evening on a terrace on the hillside can give you the true perception of the mystique and grandeur of nature’s creation. The spirit of the forest reverberated in the whistle of the winds, every call of the coucal in the distance. The magic of that environment can only be experienced. It gives you the sense of timelessness—where there is no past, future, or present. There is thrill of surprise every time something streaks past above your head. Visits such as these expand your horizons---to think a little beyond the life of marks, CET, and daily coaching classes. Coorg ignited my imagination and painted it with myriad colours.

This season, Coorg is alive with the vibrancy of life. You will find at least one feathered friend behind every silent thicket. There is no need to tell that it is very rich in it’s biodiversity. I have such a wide variety of birds here---all very exotic (excuse me, but even the common birds of Coorg are exotic in a Bangalorian’s dictionary!). I have spotted Sunbirds, Pied Kingfishers, Coucals, Yellow-billed Hornbills, Drongo (Jungle Crow), black ibises, tailorbirds, blue-jays, a woodpecker, wagtails, and magpie robins. I have spotted this butterfly called Malabar Banded Peacock Butterfly, endemic to Karnataka. Those 2 days, I have felt like I was living in a different part of the world with a true sense of belonging to it. I have seen wild elephants being tamed, seen the hesitancy in the eyes of a spotted deer when a car approaches too close, and even waited like a dreamer with an Umbrella in hand for that elusive woodpecker to return to a nearby tree (it never did!). I have drenched myself in a waterfall (Irpu Waterfalls), sipped coffee outside forest guest houses, and ultimately found deep contentment.. As I once again tackle my books, my mind cannot help but wander to Coorg, with star-sprinkled skies and beautiful flora and fauna and I find myself sinfully wishing for one more trip.
(photos from cousin Renu...)

Friday, April 4, 2008

I'm celebrating!

It’s the time of celebration for me. I’m celebrating my 50th post here, and look back to see it’s already been over an year of blogging experience. My blogs (well, most of them) have become an online version of my journal and I find the same amount of delight in rereading them as I do in reading my previous journals. I started blogging on the 26th of March, 2007. That was a long time ago, and I was thinking I would have completed a 100th blog by now. Well, I’m not sad it didn’t happen. I guess my priorities were different, and sometimes, bloggging took a backseat.

For a teenager who’s growing up so quickly, life shifts pace rapidly too. Lifestyles change—you are in school one moment, and then in college. And by the time you settle down, you are facing the board exams and the lecturers wave you off….then, there are new things to discover. Every day I grow up, every day, there is something new in my life. And my blog keeps reminding me of all the fun I had in second PU and the way I was thinking at that point of time. My brain tends to be volatile, sometimes immature, sometimes strangely vague and clouded, I cannot define it. My blogs help me to go back and see the way I am growing up as they mirror my thoughts.

For example, when someone wrote that I was trying to indulge in ‘shameless self-promotion’ on my blog, I really took it to heart and whole-heartedly agreed with that person without as much as analyzing myself. Now I think that was seriously immature of me. On account of my fiftieth post, I wish to spice up my blog with interesting features and welcome some constructive criticism. I was thinking of replacing the title with something more insightful and metaphoric (suggestions are welcome!) and even find a better template, if possible.