The flying Mallard Duck

‘You walk like a duck’ is not complimentary…..why do we have to look at the walk of a duck, when we can admire the graceful swimming or the flight of a duck? It can walk, fly and swim……and that is amazing………….besides, I think ducks have smiling faces…..

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Mr Kite comes out to play

As humans, we all have a dash of the sixth sense…we have a bit of intuition built into our neurotransmitters as well………along with a connection to all living beings. Some of us are embarrassed to speak of dreams that came true, or a gut feeling which became a reality. The Animal Kingdom is skilled at differentiating between friends and enemies. Their survival depends on it. By the highway lives Mr Kite (he is so named because he is regal)….the first time I jumped out of a moving car to disturb his sun-basking session, he frowned upon me and flew away…..as I was walking back to the car, he reappeared, hovered over me, decided that I was harmless and perched above me! We have met four times and the last time we met, he stuck his head forward repeatedly and looked straight at me, and posed patiently……………….

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Parent Abuse by the children

We are all shocked, dismayed and horrified at child abuse, and rightly so. What about the abuse that our parents face at the hands of their children?

In the late 1970s, my parents were travelling in Europe. An elderly lady came up to them and asked if they were looking after their elderly. When they said yes, she said that that India should never ape the ‘more civilised’ nations who abandon their elderly and expect them to live on their own

Is it 2016, and I see several elderly patients who live alone, despite having many prosperous family members, including their own children. One such lady who represents them came to me today.

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She was sniffling in the cold weather, the hands which had fed and clothed her six children were bare. She had given birth to six children, of whom three had died after 21 years of age. She has  3 living children, several grandchildren and great grandchildren, most of whom stay in the same village as her. She is not given shelter, food , money, clothing or company by any of them, and is left to fend for herself after her husband’s death a decade ago. She is scared as she has pain in her chest and doesn’t know what is wrong with her. She travels in overcrowded buses, alone, if she needs to go for a medical check-up. There is no ray of hope or comfort in her life. She scrapes by with the help of the old age grant given by the government, a measly sum of INR 1,200/- or 17 USD per month.

Abuse of a child is unpardonable and horrific. Surely if a child was treated like her, it would be neglect and abuse. We need society to wake up and understand that the elderly are being abused too. Let’s give it a name… Parent Abuse and classify it as a punishable offence. At a time in life when some comforts are needed, there are none. Have we become the sort of society where we turn our heads to avoid seeing the misfortune and plight of our elders? Do we as children not owe it to our parents to spend time with them and support them when they need us? Another lady had come with a fracture of her arm, broken after being assaulted by her son.

This is like an infectious disease, spreading throughout the world. If we don’t change, the future of mankind is bleak.


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Celebrating the ordinary

While we chase the bright and the beautiful and are in awe of the colourful…. let us take a moment to celebrate the ordinary… the word ‘average ‘ has become an insult!!! I’m writing this because children who do not excel are abused emotionally/ physically by parents. Give the best guidance and facilities, spend time with the child and make sure he is using his full potential… and appreciate anything and everything that he is able to do … there will be a time when he will be stronger and more agile … do you want them to ridicule you for the way you walk and talk then ??? Love your own… 

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Flyover-best photobombing ever

Yes, I believe living beings enjoy attention, whether it is from a person who runs across highway dividers, or walks through thorny bushes to get a shot…or from a bird of the same feather. Often I have seen that the object of my affection at that moment in time shies away from a picture and hides……once the attention is switched to another target…..the once-shy being begins to attract the very attention it had shunned!!!! Sound familiar? We enjoy being admired (by people we admire, not all and sundry)…I do not believe it is worth it to try to regain the attention of a roving eye…walk away 🙂 One who recognizes …or connects with the soul will not wander or waver…..once you have that, the universe begins to make sense…the birds sing, the butterflies fly, flowers bloom and people shine with an inner goodness……..This picture has a bird serenading another as it flies over it…….If you are a cynic, this is photobombing, if you are a romantic….it is one bird serenading another….if you are a dreamer…..it is a lover hiding the cherished one from the harsh sun.

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Untold, unseen, unheard….Women are not Punching bags

What do we do when we hear the neighbour yelling at his better half??? Most of us pretend it is not happening…others feel we have enough problems of our own. In most cases, the person being assaulted or abused is terrified and has nowhere to go…..and protects the abuser. Children or peer pressure are an important consideration for most abused women, as much as the lack of economic independence. What can each of us do??? 

  1. The ‘Mourning’ at the birth of a girl child has to discontinue…..how often have we seen ‘educated’ people get abortions after illegally determining the sex of an unborn child??? how often do we see families with two daughters…who have a male addition to the family after several years?? Each to his/ her own as long as they do not discriminate between the girl and boy child. 
  2. Make daughters financially independent…..each human being needs to fend for themselves or be secure financially…whether it’s through a vocation or profession or a share in the parents property.
  3. Educate the child….girl and boy ….both need to respect other human beings and animals. 
  4. Ensure a strict Non-violence policy at home..lead by example.
  5. Avoid exposure to excess violence in movies or video games…studies have shown that children who watch these movies or play these games are more susceptible to indulge in violence….good luck with this one…there are very few movies or games without violence!!!
  6. Form groups in housing complexes who can be approached by women who suffer….at least half of the members in these groups should be women…if any women who have previously suffered violence and are now out of the vicious cycle are included, it would be a great help.
  7. Ultimately, laws and our attitude have to change towards women and men in society…..broken families are looked down upon, while broken bones are ignored, hence accepted by default………
  8. Each of us can support and defend those who what to get out of abusive relationships.
  9. The parents should support their daughters and even encourage them to walk out of abusive situations. Most often the parents of the girl tell the girl to ‘accept her fate’.
  10. The children are happier when the woman walks out ……
  11. People do not change…do not expect abusers to stop abusing……
  12. Ostracize the abuser, not the abused……                                                                                       Stop abuse….educate your sons and daughters, tell them its unacceptable, inhuman and a crime…..do not accept it or allow it in your home or your neighbourhood or country….listen to the whispers in the dark….someone is waiting for you to change..or save their life………..IMG_4565 

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Aerial acrobats-Painted Storks

Yes, the near-threatened Painted Stork live around us….they fly over our home everyday during winter. High up in the sky, they put on an aerial display for us yesterday…..I have hundreds of pictures of them carrying out various aerial maneuvers …this pic is my favourite…..if it seemed impossible to us, how difficult must it have been to them to avoid crashing into each other? this went on for 5 glorious minutes as they danced, regrouped and flew majestically……One of them seems to be giving instructions to the others….

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Sarus Crane-Tallest flying bird, threatened!!

Where there were thousands of birds in the water logged fields near our home, one sees a mere handful…..a wise villager stops his cart and tells me, “Ever since hordes of cars and people flocked to these areas and made a lot of noise, the birds have left”! I am witness to it….I have pictures of hundreds of waterbirds (in one frame), now there are a few left. While crossing the deserted fields after the sun had set, I saw some movement….the camera works better than the human eye on rare occasions…..failing daylight and birds situated far away is one of those occasions……This couple of Sarus Cranes were by themselves until an almost-threatened Painted Stork joined them….peaceful and quiet, they stood tall….The Sarus Crane is the tallest flying bird in the world…let us try not to disturb them, or they will be extinct one day………..

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The Brazilian in Istanbul

He stood in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. A quiet, focussed, serious young man with his camera and tripod, taking pictures at various locations. We observed him and requested him to use our camera to take our picture. Unlike most people who take pictures of others, he told us where to stand and took his time in taking a great picture. On an impulse, I asked him what his name was. ‘Phillipe, he replied”, in a soft and polite voice. ‘Where are you from,” I asked. “Brazil”. “What do you do,”, I asked, while biting my lip when I realised he must be a professional photographer. His reply left me open mouthed. “I’m a shoe maker,” he replied quietly. “What do you dream of?”, I persisted. “I want to be a professional video and movie maker’, he said with determination in his voice. He has left his home and is traveling to various countries to take pictures, hoping he will succeed in his dream. I told him I would write about him and gave him the name of this website. We wish you the very best…….

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Butterflies and bees on our lemon tree

The news of our lemon trees has spread throughout the flying kingdom…..I had written about the swallowtail butterflies that frequent these trees…..now other butterflies and bees and ants are all over the flowers…..Do they realise that our tiny, citrusy lemon-laden trees are unique, and bear flowers and seedless, juicy lemons all year long? I do hope they do not treat them as ordinary trees……I wonder the beehive is where these bees go..the flavour of the honey will be lemony….

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