Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Fragmentary Blue

Why make so much of fragmentary blue
In here and there a bird, or butterfly,
Or flower, or wearing-stone, or open eye,
When heaven presents in sheets the solid hue?

Since earth is earth, perhaps, not heaven (as yet)--
Though some savants make earth include the sky;
And blue so far above us comes so high,
It only gives our wish for blue a whet.

Fragmentary blue, a poem by Robert Frost. 

While for a physicist blue is the colour of light between violet and green on the visible spectrum, to a believer the vast blue sky is a glimpse of heaven. Blue doesn't exist in itself. Neither does heaven. Both are a result of perception and longing. 
In eight pithy lines, using blue as a synecdoche, Robert Frost shows how human perception and longing are the basis of all meanings. We can't know the complete truth, but only fragments of it.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

At the bird feeders

Bird feeding is perhaps one of the most economical and rewarding of all methods to observe wildlife. Putting out a little food and water is an invitation enough for birds to come calling. And the diversity of birds (and insects) in the neighbourhood is a good indicator of the 'health' of the environment.

However, the path to hell is often paved with good intentions so a word of caution. While a bird feeder can range from a dining plate to a hanging coconut shell, be aware that a dirty bird feeder is a breeding ground for disease. Clean the feeder as often as you clean your teeth– at least once a week. Also while DIY feeders are a celebration of human ingenuity, it is high time that we stop using (let alone reusing) a plastic water bottle and calling it eco-friendly. There is nothing "green" or sustainable about that.

Don't treat birds as a dustbin to discard stale and rotting food. Just like excess of bread and other processed foods like biscuits and chips aren't good for human consumption, similarly they aren't suitable for birds. During breeding season they can prove to be disastrous to the survival of chicks. Buy a bird guide. Get to know your future guests. Find out what they like to eat. Learn their names. Be considerate. Be polite.

The complete photo album is here. The bird feeders in the accompanying photographs are from Kew Gardens.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Book of Rain

Mumbai, London, Seattle and the one thing that brings them together is rain.

In the past few years more than a fair amount of rain has fallen into my life. And I have had more than a fair amount of time to watch the world go by through rain splashed windows.

Here is my book of rain.

Monday, 3 September 2012


"There is a secret bond between slowness and memory, between speed and forgetting...The degree of slowness is directly proportional to the intensity of memory; the degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting."
Read the complete post here.