29 April 2006


And you thought nature pleases us with all its colours, Well, here are a few birds for black and white lovers. Nature thinks of you too.

Don't know the names of these birds, please tell me if you know
All pictures are full screen size. You don't see much in small size.

These are a bit uncommon cranes, there are many varieties in them. They look like Income Tax inspectors ( like the IRS ) They raid rich businessmen or film actor's houses to locate hidden undisclosed income. Very serious people to deal with. They raid the houses, knock here knock there, knock the floor ceiling walls, You can't fool with them, but eventually they all get fooled by the tricky and crafty businessmen who know how and where to hide their undislosed treasures.

Just like the income tax inspectors these two chaps look sadly disappointed, not finding any incriminating evidence to nail the offending businessmen. They make news raiding film star houses. Very smart businessmen give them something to find, which happens to be just a little out of their undisclosed treasure, just a tip of an iceberg.

I have never seen them before, I couldn't see their eyes
Very quiet chaps don't keep quacking like ducks.

Blunt Knife
Photography and travel blog

25 April 2006


This is a cattle eggret I was told, but this one looks different, there are many types of eggrets.

I was clicking these pictures in a state of shock when I saw the colours on his beak. Please click on the pictures for a full screen view. All pictures are full screen size. Begins with a purple patch around the eye fades into red and red fades to orange. Wow !!
Multi coloured beak ?

For a second I forgot to click, I just stood there like a dummy. Sometimes nature's splendour hits you on the head like a hammer. DHOINK !! I forgot about the war , Human folly, damage to the planet, humans facing extinction.
No, things are still alright, still not too late
These birds are the most delicate creatures on earth. If they are fine, we humans should be fine.

All my pride gets shattered. I keep begging, pleeeeeese pleeeeese stay there for a minute, pleeeeese don't fly away pleeeese, this time i was loud, i was actually begging loud. Very strange, he flapped its wings and was about to take off, I wanted a few more shots, I was almost in tears, ah ! ah1 pleeeeese, and the bird settled down, decided not to fly. I said thank you sweetie.

Pretty angry he looks, perhaps doesn't like the idea of getting photographed. focus no focus, I was madly clicking, then he turned toward me like he was saying THATS EEENUFF !! and took off. Perhaps thinking, these are the humans who are ruining our lives.

I took these pictures in March, the day was cloudy but too hot, too hot for the month of March.
Nesting and hatching gets disturbed by the climate change.

Time to wake up.

Blunt knife
Photography and travel blog

19 April 2006


There is nothing new here, I have been eating poison right from my childhood and knew nothing about it. The body gets immune to the slow poisoning, the way ladies used to take arsenic in the 19th century. Perhaps it has affected my body, I don't know. Fertilisers and pesticides are nothing new. We are all aware of their ill effects. Believe me the pesticides go inside every grain.

I took off for 3 days to Karnataka on an invitation from my friends Mani and Balaji of pollachi.
Suddenly every thing looked scary.

Mani and his friend Vivek had organised a farmer's meet to promote organic farming at a village near HD Kote Karnataka, and came to know some disturbing facts on how we are poisoning our body, To add to the panic we are eating genetically altered or modified food specially in the western countries. And we in India are mindlessly following them.

They go to villages conducting such meetings at the grass root level and are doing their best to promote organic farming. I thought just by washing or cooking the food like rice vegetables and fruits its pretty safe to eat. All the pesticides sprayed are washed off.
I was wrong.
There are some pests which grow inside the fruit which cannot be killed by spraying of pesticides. So the entire plant is poisoned to ward off the threat of pests affecting the fruit or vegetable.

Now the process of evolution comes into play. Every new breed of pests are getting more and more resistant to present pesticides. Stronger pesticides are mixed with the soil which poison the entire plant and the fruit. The normal farmer is concerned only with the yield, and we see the produce in the supermarket. Here in rural India the farmer is extremely poor, burdened with the loans from private loan sharks or banks and paying interest all their lives ultimately most of them end up becoming bonded labourers. Some cotton farmers committed suicide in Andhra Pradesh recently, under these circumstances it is hard to tell them to experiment with organic farming, they want sure result, they want yield. Their survival is at stake. Though the government is willing on paper but doing almost nothing to promote organic farming by offering incentive or the loss coverage to the farmer. Now it is left to the NGOs and environmentally conscious people like Mani vivek and Blalaji to promote organic farming in rural Karnataka.

Things get worse, genetically altered or modified food products may not be new to you, they are new to us Indians and the people of other third world countries. Consumption of such food products is good or bad is a different subject and is under active debate.
Is that good for the environment ?
Every fruit vegetable or grain is poisoned before it reaches us.

Things get weird from here, genes from a completely different species are introduced in a plant. I don't have much information, for instance genes of a pig are introduced in fruits. I was upset that western countries, United states in particular are funding Indian agricultural universities to conduct such research.

We Indians and the people of other third world countries have become guinea pigs of big research foundations of the United States.
They are trying it on us.
This is not another joke like the American companies patenting basmati rice which we have been eating for hundreds of years.

If we keep altering the natural process of growth the evolutionary process will one day take a disastrous wrong turn. The process of evolution has taken a wrong turn in the past, and many species like the giant reptiles have gone extinct long before humans came, and the process of evolution has rectified its blunders and keeps rectifying from time to time.

For the planet the whole damage that we are causing now would perhaps last only a few seconds and it may not wait for the next minute.
The planet has the capacity to heal itself but we may not live to see the healing process.
We humans may not exist till then.

One day the evolutionary process may decide that we human are a big blunder and wipe us all out.
Believe me we are facing extinction.

Most of the junk food available in the US is genetically modified, and are considered 'nutritional disasters' by the experts.

The organic food produce that is available in the market is far too expensive and is beyond the reach of poor and middle class families.

The big business houses are playing with your life and the future of your children for a few dollars more.

Blunt Knife
Photo and Travel Blog

14 April 2006

Special Greetings

Today is a special day
Vishu Tamil New Year's day and Good Friday all falling today
I wish every one a great and joyful year with health and prosperity and peace in the world.
And a happy Easter to all of you
India has its own problems but we all join together in celeberations, and I get lots of goodies to eat from eveywhere.
I eat first and think later
Lots of love to all of you
Blunt Knife

Photo and travel blog

11 April 2006


Caught this chap Jumping from a branch, such a long tail he has.
Going to pollachi for a couple of days, I'll respond to all the comments when I gat back, till then he is the boss, you can talk to him. He is looking at you.
All my love

Blunt Knife
Travel and Photo Blog

7 April 2006


I'll be 59 next January, and still stupid. Its hard to find a stupid 59 year old man.
I am special, a rare kind.
One would associate wisdom intelligence to 59 years of experience.
I am allergic to wisdom
I am allergic to intelligence.
Look at this bird, don't ask me what it is called, I am too angry to give you any details, go find it for yourself. I got into trouble taking a picture of this chap. Just my stupidity. Nothing else.

Yesterday same time I was in Amravati forest range. Came back home this morning. I had no idea of going on a trek as I was not prepared for it. I had two days free after meeting my friends in Coimbatore and Pollachi. This is how you go to Amaravati forest. Coimbatore - Pollachi - Udumalpet - Amravati. By bus, no trains. I wanted to go to Top Slip, since I had to wait for an hour for the bus I jumped into Udumalpet bus. Then to Amravati. Went straight to the forest office to find out about the accommodation. Saw the range officer at his computer struggling with power point. Without invitation I sat down and showed him how to make a PP presentation. It took less than 5 minutes. He became an instant fan, arranged a beautiful room for me at the PWD house, it was like a palace for me, just 200 rupees a day.

Very well maintained beautiful garden, care taker Chandran was all pleased to make me comfortable. Had a badly needed hot cup of tea.

Decided to go on a trek with wrong kind of shoes. Stupid idea. I was given a guide, Dorai was his name, nice chap, a tribal, had breakfast with him and left very early in the morning.

This was one of the toughest treks of my life, very rocky, hardly any trees and I was doing everything to avoid a twisted ankle. Within a couple of hours I became aware of every bone in my body and I became aware that I have a skull which seemed empty at the moment as I was trekking with shoes utterly unsuitable for rocky terrain.

I thought it would be like any other forest in south India. The efforts were rewarding as the trek took me thru lovely terrain had to cross the river a couple of times, sat down on the rock had a badly needed wash.

I was completely wet with sweat, early in the morning april sun was burning me stinging me. What a feeling, dipping yourself in cool river water, I think Its Amravati river, not sure, I have to check. Dorai filled up the water bottle with fresh river water. I drank stright from the river like a horse.

The Trek ended with a lovely water fall. Perhaps only the tribals enjoyed the beauty as there was no other way of reaching the spot. Sat under a tree Dorai my guide and I had some biscuits, felt like sleeping there under the shade but I had a train to catch and I was taking my time quite willing to miss the train. Every bone was crying with pain.

We had to walk back the way we came and it was quite steep. I was going out of breath. Had another wash and drank river water to my hearts content, it was refreshing, what a joy. Wished I was younger to enjoy the place more.

This happened on our way back
Took us couple of hours to reach the plains, no more rocky terrain, which was relief for my feet, ankles were still fine.
This was my bad luck.
I spotted this fellow.
Clicked one, wanted still closer, took a few steps forward.
Dorai warned me please don't go any further.
He is a kid, I am an experienced trekker with a skull full of cow dung, I ignored his warning and took few steps forward and clicked a couple of frames.
I felt my feet sinking.
This chap turned and looked at me, ah! 62 kilos of dumb flesh and bones !
Please click on the picture and take a look at his expression. A sneer, a look of contempt. In my view finder I could see him laughing at me. I was too busy to realise that I was sinking, my feet felt cold.

The surface was looking like this, a dry crust of river bed, safe enough for me. I woke up like a fool and realised that I had sunk till my knees and dorai calling me extending his hand to reach me.

Still I am busy clicking pictures. I thought I could come out easily but i was sinking deeper. Dorai couldn't come near me. I tried to pull my right leg and the left leg sank deeper and I was off balance. With an effort I swung the camera holding the strap, dorai was smart enough to catch it. He was leaning forward to rescue me. Now both my hands free, I was doing disco to maintain balance. Now the bird turned completely towards me, watching my disco perhaps did not want to miss the fun. I was getting angry now, but no panic, I have been through this before. I was desperately trying to pull my legs and sinking deeper, I was going down, last thing I wanted to see was a crocodile crawling towards me, none in sight. The big bird was watching me sinking deeper. Free entertainment.

Hey big bird ! ! I have a degree in Physics and Chemistry. I am not a complete waste. All I had to do was to displace my weight, I could do this ballet bending backwards, until me head and my back touched the ground, now slowly I could work on releasing my legs which had sunk till my thighs, inch by inch I kicked forward, with little effort my legs were free and rolled to dry and hard surface. I thanked myself for eating less. By this time two tribal ladies who were carrying a bundle of fire wood on their heads dropped the bundles and rushed to help me, and started yelling at my guide for letting me go to the river bed. Now they too were laughing at me as I was looking like I had just emerged out of a gutter, dark mud sticking all over me. I couldn't wash myself as I would get into trouble again.
Lets go I said. No embarrassment, only angry at myself for ignoring Dorai's warning. Now these dumb goats were looking at me, Is he one of us ?

It was a relief to see the road. I had to walk a further 2 KMs to my room, that was the longest walk of my life. By now the mud was dry and falling off my body in bits and pieces. Any dumb sleuth could tell you where I had gone, as I was leaving such a trail behind me. There was a silver lining, I thought this mud treatment could make me look like George Clooney or Brad Pitt, After a wash I found that I am still me the hairy gorilla and not Pitt.

Now I go and respond to the comments of my last post.I am still alive.
Blunt Knife
Photography and Travel Blog

1 April 2006


This has been a mystry to me. I see a cow and an egret in the fields, one cow one egret. not two cows one egret or two egrets one cow, always one to one. There must be some understanding.
some friendship developing. I have seen them paying attention to each other like they are communicating. Please help me to understand as I have no knowledge about this, I sincerely feel that they communicate. I was never able to take their pictures together as I'll be in a bus or a train.

Hey listen to me I'll tell you a secret, over the hills I have seen, the grass is greener there, just look at you with all the ropes running through your nose must be a great discomfort to you, these humans are taking you for a ride, they are drinking your milk and what do you get in return ? nothing. Lets run to your freedom, look at me I am a free bird.
But you don't give milk, the cow says
You know a cow is not the smartest of all the animals, they hardly cross high school and they are not good singers, you don't find them giving a concert or recording a song.

This is taking the friendship a bit too far.
Hey Hey listen, just have courage, lets run, your master is giving you nothing, don't trust these humans, once you stop giving milk he's gonna sell you to a butcher, they are heartless.

Hey you, I am talking to you, pay attention. All you think of is your food, ever thought of having some fun ?
poor thing, you never have any fun do ya ?
Hey Hey ! is it getting across ?
Are you listening ?
Am I wasting my time ?
Look at me, I am having fun flying all the time. Just listen, lets run.

Blunt Knife
Photography and Travel Blog