29 August 2006
Forgot to post this picture, This is about eye contact, No no I am not trying to promote contact lenses. He is looking down at me with contempt. See the pride in his eyes. I don't like this.
Took this picture on Mala Chinna's terrace.
I'll be 59 in January. All the eye to eye contacts I had in my entire life would add up to just five minutes, perhaps less. I talk, I have lots of friends but hardly any eye contact with them while talking. I can't say I am not comfortable talking eye to eye, looking directly in to the eye is a strain. You just can't do it all the time.
You get to know the person's intentions in a fraction of a second. Popular belief is that people avoid eye contact while lying. This is not true. I have seen politicians look directly into your eyes and lie. They do it on TV all the time. They are professional liars. Or a shop keeper or a waiter looks straight into your eyes and says it is fresh while pushing something stale to you.
Oh No ! this chap is not lying. I saw him looking straight into my eyes.
This was different, this was scary, looks angry, direct eye contact gives a spine chilling experience. No he wouldn't give up. No contest. I withdrew within seconds, took a few pictures and moved away, turned back and looked, he was still staring at me without a blink for more than 5 minutes. Is it because they are honest and nothing to fear ? I posted a story few months ago MONKEY SENSE It is about how a monkey fooled me and stole a packet of biscuits from my camera bag.
I can hardly see his eyes But I know he is looking at me. Very strange feeling. I was not comfortable. They are able to hold for long period.
Looks like this chick is trying to say some thing to me.
This mother and child on a low branch of a tree, the baby's contact was longer than the mother's
It kept staring at me for a long time. Mother looked away, I was not very interesting for her.
Cute baby lovely eyes. Natural Kaajal, Kaajal is an eyeliner ladies use.
I have seen birds staring at each other, in anger or in love, but mostly during fights. Like the two boxers who keep staring at each others eyes. trying to guess the next move.
He's got bad attitude for sure ! This is a RIVER TERN chick. Doesn't look very happy.
Ah I love this, Sweet kids, Children normally look in to your eyes, when they want something.
I think as we grow older we avoid eye contact. Please tell me what you think.
27 August 2006
This beautiful picture is taken by Patty, She has her own web site now GREENTEAOBSESSION Please click here, or click on PATTY in the links, you are in for a treat
She has posted only one picture as of now.
Sweet Patty, I wish you all the success and glory in your studies and career
and in everything you choose to do.
All my love.
25 August 2006
With the knowledge less than that of a monkey, I started tinkering with the template. There is something called HTML colour code, I don't know anything about it, nor do I know the language. If I type red I don't get red. I messed it up. Big goofs followed.
Well ! did it all by myself, I refuse to have a teacher. I learn by making mistakes, which I keep repeating. Had a lot of problems. Comments simply disappeared. I could see the name but no comments. I realised that the font colour and the back ground colour is the same, merged with the background.
Any way I am going to fiddle with it some more. Please tell me if you have any problems reading the page.
Just took a walk, I am going all over India but not going anywhere in my city. Nothing happens here. This used to be a potters colony, all but two disappeared. Buildings have come up on all sides.The wheel is mechanical, run by hand. It is not motor driven.
Vinayaka Chaturthi festival is coming this week. Grand celeberations in Bombay, not much in Chennai. Of late our citizens have started copying Bombay style. Now there is a procession, tense situation for the police, as things go out hand sometimes, resulting in communal riots, all new to the city, which was not there about 10 years ago. Most of the idols are mass produced. Some stick to good old ways.
This is not the final product. Some of them are painted. After the pooja and celeberation, they are all immersed in the sea by the end of the day.
This picture below was taken about 30 years ago, same place, when the colony was full of potters. Their survival was guarenteed. The pots they made were suitable for fire wood. Now no body uses fire wood. Their pots are not suitable for gas stoves. Steel vessel boom drove them to starvation. Have to ask Chinna if they are ok for microwaves.
Water stored in mud pots always remained cool, It used to absorb chlorine, We had mud pots in all the classes in our school, Long before coolers came. Now mud pots are used only on special occasions like weddings and funerals.
19 August 2006
Please say Hello to the weaver bird.Amazing craftsman and a terrific architect. Very tiny, hardly four inches long, but for such a tiny life the effort is equal to building Sears Towers all alone without any help. The work has to go on schedule. It can't afford any delay.
Works very fast, Perhaps works alone ?? Not sure, I have not seen any help or two birds working on one nest. Gathers twigs from nearby fields. Has to fly quite a distance with each twig in its beak. This is how the weaver bird starts weaving the nest.
They build or weave different nests together, six or seven were on the job weaving different nests at the same time.
I couldn't go any closer. I was standing very far in a harvested field and watching the action.They all would fly away when a car or a truck passed on the nearby country road. I decided not to go any closer and scare them away, which might cause delay in their tight scedule. They continued weaving in pouring rain.
The top is loosely connected to the weakest part of the tree branch, almost to the tip, so that heavier birds don't sit on it, so flexible that it swings frantically in the wind and they continue weaving their home at an amazing pace. If it is rigid and tight eggs and the chicks would be thrown out of the nest.
Saw dark clouds, it was getting pretty dark. Suddenly it started to pour in buckets. I kept the camera covered in plastic, back in the camera bag. I was out in open standing on a field, no shelter, the only option was to rush to the tree and scare away the weaving birds. I remained where I was completely drenched looking like a damn fool.
Saw a couple of cars slowing down at a distance, perhaps taking my picture.
Is that a scarecrow ?
No, he's got a bag and looking up
Scarecrows don't wear jeans and t shirts you dummy !
and they don't hang a camera bag !
Imported scarecrow may be ??
I am just standing there out in open in a heavy downpour doing nothing, No umbrella, Just standing there like a statue.
Never travel with me. This was near the banks of river Cauvery.
The rain stopped, I continued taking pictures. Through the lens I could see the interior of the nest which was surprisingly dry. It is water proof, believe me, and very very strong.
Comparing notes ? Is there any contest ? who finishes first or admiring each other's nest ?.
Checking Checking ! The opening is very small, so that bigger birds don't enter and eat away their eggs and chicks.
Who teaches them to weave ?We think only we the humans are the most intelligent creatures on the planet.
Two of them here, very busy, They get angry and fight.
I'll take you to the court and sue you for stealing my design ?
Yea they have problems too !
who doesn't have ???
Any way they continued weaving their nest.
This is how the nest looks from behind, It was facing me, I did not go and check, it will have the opening on the other side. thats what I assumed.
They stop and watch the neighbour weaving. Time for a break.
Sometimes they are completely outside and insert the twig without touching ? Don't know.
They keep fluttering in the air and weave.
They bring only one twig at a time, they keep flying back and forth to collect twigs.
The picture is not upside down, the bird is hanging upside down and weaving defying gravity, clinging on with its tiny claws.
Checking the interior ? Hellow !! How is your home coming up ? You need any help ?
Off to get another twig
It was getting dark, saw the clouds gathering, It started to pour again. Took a bus and went straight to Reeni's house dripping wet. Her dad pressed my t-shirt dryCherian and Reeni are in chicago. Had a hot cup of tea.
Thank you Mr. Samuel.
14 August 2006
Never travel with me, I jump into a moving train, some goof... wrong train, then I jump off the moving train. Reached Ernakulam, standing whole night, one sweet kind girl wearing red Shalwaar khamees, cleared her berth for me and asked me to sleep somewhere in the morning after Palakkat station...Couldn't sleep. I was afraid I would miss my station. Stupid train was 4 hours late and I nearly missed the boat race.
Pouring in Ernakulam, reached my friend Sathyaraj's house, Benoi had already left for Alleppy, took a bus, reached Alleppy just in time. All the politicians were delivering long speeches killing my patience. No sleep, I was angry and tired. I wanted to kick those politicians in to the backwaters.
Heavy crowd, I had to choose the right spot, almost 2 kilometer long race, couldn't be at the starting and the finishing point at the same time. Finally chose a least crowded place.
Some one who had no right to open his mouth was singing. I couldn't see the politicians and the singers as I was standing very far. I could hear the blaring loud speakers all around.
Lots of boats, all shapes and sizes, Don't know why they invite politicians, some guy was still screaming his lungs out in pouring rain.
Different categories of boats, decorated, colourful, I was just worried how I would get back to Ernakulam and sleep.
Things have gone commercial, most of the boats are sponsored by big business houses, all participants paid, good thing it is. Otherwise these poor chaps used to row thier life out just for a glass of local country liquor, Charayam
Colours all over, terrific atmosphere, I had no strength to stand there for long, decided to shoot the atmosphere instead.
I was at the mid point, so could not see which team won, as I was far away from the starting and finishing point about 2 kilometers apart.
For the fear of losing my place I could not move, my legs were aching, It was pouring and I was sleepy, 45 kilometers away from the bed.
The cops were all over trying to keep the crowd from jumping into the water. Some over enthusiastic chaps cheering up their team
Many races, according to the size, different age groups, number of people in each boat, different categories. Some races had only 2 teams.
Fights were breaking out every ten minutes, exchanging blows, most of them were drunk. Some were completely sloshed lying there in pouring rain.
2 chaps drunk and fighting fell over me. I had no option but to jump into the water. I patted my own back, I am old tired and sleepy still my reflexes were good. Not bad not bad. Couple of sober guys helped my out of the water. It was slippery. I was slipping back into water.
Late in the afternoon, it was getting dark, Sky was threatening to open up again. Every one was having fun.
4 or 5 guys on the boat standing, Thie job is to pep up the team members, singing songs.
Here you see them on the left, banging the wooden mast, giving the rhythm for uniform rowing. They just scream and scream.
Every one in the boat and the crowd is so involved,
all screaming their lungs out.
Please don't ask me how many people are on the boat, I wasn't counting. Couldn't post lots of pictures, there was a motor boat for umpires leading every race. And stupid politicians and their families and friends get into these motor boats. The real heros are the guys rowing their life out. winning or losing just did not matter to them they are out there just to have fun.
I decided to leave, couple of more races to go. I was wet and hungry. Found a tea shop, had one pazhampori, fried banana, took one bite decided agaist it, it was cold and too oily, had 2 parpu vada instead, Most important, I had a place to sit after a long wait. My legs were aching.
Who is this chap waving to the crowd ?
OUVVER Chief minister the guy next to me said, and he gave me the name which I forgot right there, no point trying to remember their names, the chief minister may not be in power next month, they come and go. The guy waving is the home minister, forgot his name too, chief minister is sitting with his back to the camera
Got back to the bus stand, hard to find the right bus in such a crowd, one policeman went looking for my bus, found the bus leaving, stopped it came running to me, sir here is your bus, and got me a seat.
Wow ! I said thank you. He waved at me, I waved him back.