21 August, 2013

Chasing a bird....

Birds do not have ears .... but, I'm sure, they could hear each other.... the mother, and the baby-sunbird.... Let me explain....

Today, for the first time, I had to chase a bird from inside our home! I was cooking lunch and had to take a call at my home-office. On returning, I saw a tiny, panicky female sun-bird fluttering about in great confusion! It seemed like this little one had just learned how to fly... and, had somehow managed to give her mother the slip!
It was quite disturbing to watch the confusion.... the cheeping bird inside and the cheeping bird outside. If only I could speak the bird language.....

I was quite sure that the bird would be smart enough to catch wind movements, and opened all the windows. I was wrong!!




Tired, after about twenty minutes of non-stop flying, she began to take tiny breaks on accessible (to me) ledges. That was when I decided to capture and release her....


You know, there is this plastic container in the kitchen that is a relic from my husband's bachelor days.

Within a couple of minutes, she was safely inside that container, and I released her near the Allamanda shrub - a favourite hangout of the sunbirds.



This incident took me back to the days when I would read out bed-time stories to my child. One of her favourite stories back then was about this naughty baby-squirrel. One morning, he takes off on his own, loses his way and has a lot of adventures before finally getting back to his mother - wiser, tired and glad to be home.

Here's hoping that this little birdie has found her mother and all is well!

10 August, 2013

GOvina HaaDu (Song Of The Cow)

For ages and ages, all students of Kannada have had to mug up the Govina HaaDu in primary/ high school. For kids of my generation, it was no big deal. Because, this folk song was set to music in an award-winning Kannada film called Tabbaliyu neenaade magane (You are now an orphan,my son). The song was very popular and was played regularly on our main source of entertainment - the radio.

For those of you who are ignorant, here's the Govina HaaDu. 
The movie opens with this song. Some villagers are staging a dance-drama and if you watch carefully, you'll catch Naseeruddin Shah (in the role of a Hindu priest).... among the audience.

A nice song, isn't it? The song tells us the story of a cow called PunyakoTi. One day, while grazing in the forest, a tiger confronts PunyakoTi and threatens to eat her up. The cow pleads for some time - to go home and bid farewell to her loved ones. Half-heartedly, the tiger grants her leave. When PunyakoTi comes back as promised, the tiger feels that he cannot kill a creature with so much honesty and integrity. Immensely ashamed of his own suspicious attitude, the tiger jumps to his death.

  If you thought that the poem was about the cow's virtues, check again! The tiger is also portrayed as a compassionate and conscientious creature. The simple, straight-forward message is that one should follow the path of righteousness......

Somewhere along, someone brought in beef-eating issues. Apparently, the song in the text books these days keeps the tiger alive - making a promise to PunyakoTi that he'll never eat cows.

Someone else is now about to delete this and make the song lengthier by a good two stanzas. In this proposed version, the tiger stays alive & lets PunyakoTi off. But, before that, the tiger gives her a speech about his food habits (that includes cows), hunting ways and tells her about another tiger in another era that was killed in deceit...... Phew!!

If I had to change the lyrics, I would go back to the original one...the one that we had to mug up.

Actually, with so many other issues around, changing lyrics of folk songs should not even be there on our list of things to change......

Century on the Bronze Anniversary!

This is my100th post, and today is the eighth birthday of Alter Idem !! That's an average of a post per month......1.04 to be precise!!...