simple pleasure


Our car turned away from the main road and entered Griggs Reservoir Park area. Drive through main road too was very pleasant as it was the green season and nature on both the sides of road was fresh and sparkling. However drive through park area was much more pleasant. Scioto river flew side by side through out the length of the drive. though between Scioto and road long stretch of green plants bushes and grass ran along yet the the glimpses of rippling river were soothing and uplifting.

Scioto river flows through Columbus, Ohio, here it collects it’s longest tributary Olentangy river and meets Ohio river at Portsmouth.

 

 

 

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we parked our car near one of the shelters. there are many shelters in park, some facing river while others are scattered midst greenery on the other side of the drive way. Griggs reservoir park in Columbus is an ideal place for picnics with friends and families, for spending quiet me time in the company of rustling leaves, whispering woods while river goes on humming in the background.

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the shelter gives an unobstructed view of river and it’s other bank lined with dense rows of trees. boating can be enjoyed in Scioto here.

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It was evening time. the golden orb rested on the tips of trees on other bank. the sparking blue waters slowly turned into golden yellow. the group of ducks floated calmly, as if in a prayer mode. the serenity of the scene percolated deep down within soul.

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After their final goodbye to the day ducks walked away to their resting areas. it was a heartening sight to watch them crossing the road with confidant and firm steps . they knew in their heart that they are safe while crossing the road after all pedestrian is the king of the road.

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the park has designated disc golf course but as there were not many visitors there at that time we enjoyed our few flings on disc throw right on the drive way.

 

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This is the disc Golf course area. professionals play here.

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one step at a time is good walking

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without words we share a lot.

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There is always a relief away from the maddening crowd.

The park has driving, biking trails but walking on those paths is such a joy that you never think of finding an exit.

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This is the area near dam. one can go down right upto there and sit listening to the harmonious symphonies of water and leaves.

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The magnificent Griggs dam.

During our two three visits there we enjoyed the different moods of the place. That is the beauty of nature. Every day you notice some new flower, a new plant and then the magical sunlight paints the woods in different shades on different days and hours.

All the pictures @ Sunder Iyer.

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Few days ago I got to spend few hours with this ninety two year old gentleman with varied experiences of life. He takes care of this ages old temple but does not hold a good opinion of so called Sadhus and babas. He prefers to communicate with we grahasth [family] persons, who according to him happen to be more enriched spiritually.
He lived with Sri Govind Ballabh Pant, the first chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, when he practiced as an advocate and Our country was under British rule.He started his first government job with salary of Rs forty per month, did his char dham yatra on foot from Haridwar.He shared lots of memories of the days when entry of Indians was banned in Hazaratganj after four P.M. as that was the time British offiicials and their families used to come there for enjoying their evenings.He also shared how there was scarcity of educated people and posts in government offices, seats in higher educational courses lay vacant for want of candidates.
This temple where he now resides is ages old. He told us that no body knows who built it originally. years ago it lay surrounded by dense forest on the bank of river. Dacoits, bandits and freedom fighters too took shelter here.When he arrived here then also it was surrounded by dense forest and forty to forty five snake couple resided in the vicinity…and why not after all it is an ancient shrine of Lord Shiva.It is said that plastering of the temple structure has been done by the mixture of Urad dal [ black lentil] pulp of Ber [ indian plum / jujubi] and chasani [syrup of Gur[jaggery]

Talking to him was like turning pages of a old history book nay more interesting and enthralling. He created wonderful imagery while narrating his travel experiences of mountains and the underlying spiritual essence provided hope and strength.

 

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All pictures by Sunder Iyer.

Date–21.05.12,Lucknow.Our terrace.We have our morning tea on the steps of terrace.At the front end of terrace are two pillars on which are placed pots of water and grain.Sparrows and doves visit us daily but sometimes we are blessed with the glimpse of other birds as well.
On this particular morning, a pair of Bulbul came to our terrace at around 6 A.M.They first landed on the telephone wire running parallel and quite near to our terrace.One thing, I have noticed about Bulbuls, they always come flying in pairs. After a careful watch, they landed near the pot of grains albeit one at a time. In the mean time, the other one was, as if keeping the vigil. Today the pot has two varieties of food–one the usual millet and other Laiya.We saw that Bulbul preferred Laiya while we have observed that sparrows invariably love to feed on millets.
Today morning we had other visitors also.We were not able to click the pics of all the varieties of birds but the morning was filled with different kinds of notes and was musically vibrant.
There was this tiny dark chocolate coloured bird. Midst the crisscross running mesh of electric and telephone wires, this little one would have been almost invisible if not for it’s shrill yet sweet call. She came late, around 7.30 A.M. In fact I was not even out on the terrace but was reading newspaper inside. Her call made me come out. At first I was not able to locate it but later on was able to track it near the electric pole midst the wires. She sat there for few minutes as if calling and waiting for someone then flew away spreading it’s tiny feathers. At a distance she was just like a dot but her voice reverberated through the area for quite a long time.
Early in the morning also came the birds with white and black feathers. I feel they have made their nest inside the tin box installed on the pole by T.V. cable suppliers. Mynas and these white and black birds have some issue of proprietorship over this box or the birds have their little ones in the box and Mynas try to harm them ,is not very clear to us but we often see them fighting near that box. Today also, as a pair of Mynas came and sat on the wire near the box, these birds came flying and tried to attack  them in an effort to move them away from the place.We did not have our camera ready at that time hence could not shoot the scene. The surprising part is that neither that bird nor Mynas regularly come to that place. May be they have some other issues to settle or the birds have zeroed in on that box as their nesting place.We have observed that these birds choose box kind of structure for laying their eggs.Once earlier also, last year when the ground floor of our home was not occupied, a pair of this bird made their home for laying the eggs in the main electric meter box. On other occasions also we have observed these birds frequenting in and out of the boxes of cables on the electric poles.
I have to search for the names of these birds. Today almost every variety which we see in our locality was seen near our home. These winged creatures fill our days with melodies and colours and what an inexplicable joy is to watch them engaged in different activities.They too have their own world full of all kinds of emotions, actions, needs and responsibilities.

White Browed Wagtail…..this perhaps is the name of the bird I refer here as black and white bird .While searching on net I found one picture of the bird similar to the bird I talked about and the blog writer referred it by this name. But we shall try to click the bird and then confirm it’s name.

All the pics by Sunder Iyer. ImageImageImageImage

I feel, I have already talked about the permanent nest of doves above the entrance of my home but there is another nest in my home .This one is in the small open space in front of my kitchen.The nest belongs exclusively to sparrows and is also a permanent one. Many  residents have flown in and out from here for last almost thirteen years.

Every time the nest is to be occupied we know it in advance as a male sparrow starts frequenting it. First he will examine the strength of the nest then ponder on the security and safety issues by visiting it a number of times. Sometimes he sits in the nest  or perched on the grill above he will keep a watch over it. Once fully satisfied, the process to woo a partner starts.While working in the kitchen I am his constant companion sharing his efforts and anxieties. He calls with shrill voices. Sometimes he flies in with a partner on the toe. Lots of discussions go on and oh, on many occasions I am so disappointed as the female flies away perhaps not attracted enough by his arrangements or the ambience. He starts afresh. The day we find a female sparrow sitting at a stretch in the nest we heave a sigh of relief and start waiting expectantly for the new borns.

We have seen many young ones growing and flying away. Though there have been sad moments as well. The place is safe and secured from cats or bigger birds but  once a lizard crept up to the nest and tried to rampage the nest. One of the eggs fell down. We could not know the fate of other egg but the mother flew away the very moment not to return . After some time we found the nest inhabited once again and this time things went on smoothly for quite sometime but one day in the morning we found one of the very small sparrow chick lying on the floor under the nest. After this repeated casualty the nest was empty for quite some time. The silence in that part of house was heartbreaking.The empty nest looked desolate.However  we made a point to shoo away the lizards from that side of the wall even though the nest was unoccupied .

few days ago we were happy to note the hustle bustle of  new occupants of nest. This time the chicks hatched properly and we could hear constant chirping of different frequencies. Parents were busy keeping watch in turns and fetching the food. Our space was full of life .Then we watched mom sparrow coaxing kiddies to fly out of the nest but they appeared to be reluctant to leave the cozy security of the home.To face the harsh world, to fend for ones own chores is definitely not such an alluring temptation. The kids were  enjoying and loving indulgence of parents.They perhaps knew the scaling of heights, venturing into new pastures always demands certain sacrifices but then the course of life has to be followed. Yesterday the kids ventured out of the nest.we captured one of the kid’s moments of his first flight.you also enjoy the same…

 

It flew from nest and sat on the vertical grill. Beyond the horizontal grill at roof level was the blue sky. Is it trying to fathom the expanse, imagining about the voyages it will take. After some time mother came and sat on the grill above and tried to encourage it to take a higher flight.

 

When it did not fly mamma came down. Is she giving a piece of her mind to the little one. some serious conversation going on. parenting definitely is not an easy task.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah ….the pains and pleasures of motherhood. She coaxed, was stern, provided incentives….

 

And finally our little one took its flight to the open world.

Bon Voyage…….

 

(pics- sunder iyer)

After two days quite warm weather ,yesterday morning was pretty chill. As I stepped out for morning walk the laps of strong wind hit me with a force. For a fraction of second I felt like retracing my steps and let the cozy warmth of indoor engulf me but then the better sense prevailed and shrugging off the temptation, I walked out to face the wind. It turned out to be quite refreshing.

I have always loved those wee hours of twilight when everything around you is wrapped in a dreamy silence. The harsh realities don’t stand there  glaring at you . The roads without the blaring traffic and chaos spread before you lazily inviting you to venture into the magical vista  of purple haze of dawn. Today was the first day of navratri hence the temples on the way were getting ready to welcome  goddess durga. Bright yellow marigold garlands, the fragrance of dhoop and agar, the music of devotional songs all made the morning holier and more pious.

Invig0rated by my walk as I stepped on my terrace something caught my attention. As if it stopped my movement by holding my dupatta. There midst the green leaves of my lemon plant was this small white bud smiling at me through the misty veil. The first bud of my lemon plant. Oh ..the inexplicable happiness………just like what I felt when my first born showed me his first lower tooth………..

it bloomed today.

Nov 29,2011

This afternoon I was reclining on sofa chair ,my back towards the window,which opens in the balcony facing road.Eyes closed,was not thinking anything in particular but was certainly feeling a bit sad.Today by this time I was to be in Kanpur for my friend’s daughter’s marriage but this leg infection has messed up with all my programmes.I was not exactly complaining but silence in and around was laden with a kind of heaviness.Suddenly a sweet chirp stole into my silence.I did not pay much attention to it as on their way from Amaltas tree to the pillar where their pot of grains is kept many birds halt and hop in the balcony.During winters this traffic continues whole of the day.After few notes of melodious chirps it occurred to me that it appears to be coming from much shorter distance than balcony.Opening my eyes I looked around the room .None of the doors or windows were open but there it was this tiny ,cute green colored  bird sitting on the grill of the ventilator above the door.I don’t know when and how it entered but it was there filling the stillness of room with it’s tinkling voice.I opened the door to let it go out but immediately  the partner of the bird entered the room.Both of them now started chirping with much vigour. Of course I could not interpret their conversation but the happiness of meeting was all there to feel.They flew in the room in circles two three times,sat on blades of fan ,on pelmets all the time filling the room with their musical chirping.The mist of gloom was lifted and the silvery strains kept on glistening long after the pair had flew away.

I remembered a line I read somewhere.’If I keep a green bough in my heart,a singing bird will come.’

 

 

The covered verandah running parallel to our drawing room is enclosed by the grill and just above the door leading to the drawing room is one tube light. Yes, tube light is there but it has never been switched on, the reason being on one corner of the rod is a permanent home of doves. The nest is there for almost more than ten years. This nest is kind of maternity home to dove couples. During this long period many couples have made it their home. Or is it the same couple ? they come when the mother is ready to lay eggs. Every time we see a new would be mother or father sitting there smugly incubating the eggs, we start waiting for the kids. After a long patient wait we are blessed with the soft cooing of the kids and protective reassuring voices of parents. It’s the beginning of a period full of hope and joy.

After few more days we are able to see their small unstable heads over the nest. ma and pa dove visit the nest frequently. Every time the wind blows with force, we are out on the verandah ready to do our bit to protect the nest and the kids but then dove parents have kept all the security measures in mind while building their home. Till date no wind or rain has been able to harm the nest.

It has always been two kids at a time and invariably one is smarter and stronger than the other. May be the stronger one is the elder one. One kid comes out of nest earlier than the other. They come down and start hopping in the verandah. Along with the parents we are also on a constant vigil. Once the sly cat of the back lane had crept in stealthily and in the evening when we came out few small soft feathers flowing desolately and some blood stains recounted the horrid tale of the irreparable loss.

We have been witness to one more sad incident. Once one of the little one fell down from the nest. I don’t know why but that dove parents have not repaired the nest properly before the hatching period started. They usually do that every time. The nest was too small to accommodate two growing kids. The tiny kid was hardly of the length of a finger .The body was trembling in short subdued spasm. Almost nine feet fall was too much for the small, delicate body. With the help of news paper we kept the body in the nest but next morning we found it again on the floor and this time it was lifeless.

Barring these two incidents,  we have always seen the kids grow day by day. Enjoyed the beautiful sight of parents feeding kids .The kids hopping down on the floor, taking short flights and then coming back to the nests always fills our heart with content and pride . And then one day they fly away to explore the world on their own way.

Just two days ago we have wished bon voyage to two more grown up kids and now the empty nest rests silently on the rod and we all are waiting for the new arrivals.

 

The comforting cooing, the soft hues of feathers and those round beady  eyes with tender looks ……..the doves  are a great source of reassurance and hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pictures by sunder iyer

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