Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chirping their way to extinction?

World Sparrow Day, 20th March 2012
Sparrow, that tiny little brown bird that we have grown up watching in awe and amazement. The house used to wake up to the twittering and chirping of these numerous birds on the window sill, the lawn trees and jumping in the balconies. My earliest memories of these little birdies go way back to my stay in Allahabad where my dad was posted. The pair had nested just outside of my bedroom window and it was a delight to watch those little perfectly shaped oval almost- white eggs. This was during my summer vacations and my cousins had come over to spend the summer with us. Each day we used to closely watch the eggs and wonder when they will hatch open. No one would dare open that window for the fear of breaking the nest.
The eggs hatched in what seemed years to us children, and really small very vulnerable pink featherless creatures came out of them. It was celebration among us cousins,  all of us around 10 years of age. They grew fast and we monitored their size and tweets almost daily. I used to be mesmerized watching their feet, their little mouths and just simply marvel.
Many years have passed since, and like my childhood those days of innocence and simple joys have given way to a stressful life filled with chores and more chores, keeping up with the business of living. And when I read somewhere that today is the World Sparrow Day my thoughts went back to those little harbingers of joy and song and inevitably to those little babies I had seen growing up on my window sill.
Today when I told my 10 year old about it, he took time to figure out exactly which bird I was talking of. Sadly, this does not point to his lack of knowledge but to the fact that there are so few of them left in Delhi. Delhi skies and terraces seem to be dotted  with  pigeons but sparrows are in short supply so to say. We hardly ever spot them in the park next to my house. I however passed on the little nugget of wisdom to him that my mum had to me. The one with the black beard is a male and the other petite one is the lady.
Though the kids of today don’t have as much leisure time on their hand to endlessly sit and watch birds out on the trees, they would rather be watching Pogo, playing outdoor games on a Wii or reading up on ipad. I just hope that alongwith “vo kagaz ki kashti, vo barish ka paani,…vo chidiyaa, vo bulbul vo titli pakadna…” we don’t have to rue the passing on of the house sparrow.
This post is lovingly dedicated the little House Sparrows. Show your love and save them click on www.worldsparrowday.org 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Stop Press

The End of the Era of printed Encyclopedia Britannica


Yesterday post the announcement from Encyclopaedia Britannica, my facebook group page was inundated with numerous messages from fellow Britannicans; some ruing the passing of an era, some sharing nostalgia and yet others simply “liking” the comments, but most of us acknowledging the news and expressing our presence. Change is, as we all know and keep repeating, the only thing constant in the world and actually as sure to come about as taxes and death.

Ok so the background is I worked with EB in New Delhi, and am so proud of it in a collars up kind of a manner.I am all for change if it is for the better of course or to keep up with the times. I do also get nostalgic at times but not in the “Arrey humara zamana acha tha, humare gaane ache the, humara yeh or humara who.” But well if this post is not about nostalgia, what is?

So well…humare zamane main Britannica office had been a bright spot of sunshine. It meant many a things to be working with this iconic giant. Besides ofcourse the feeling of being associated with this giant powerhouse of knowledge and information, the bunch of people working here were all young, energetic and from various professional fields. The thumb rule was “meet the deadlines” and after that “chase the happy” and that’s what my gang used to do. What with an in-house gym, lovely terrace to sip those endless cups of coffee, a table tennis area and a baddy court. Britannica also gave me the much needed perspective in life that I had lost after a personal tragedy, it was just what the doctor had ordered. Britannica gave me friends to last a lifetime and memories to keep me warm.

The news transported me a decade back when I was working with them. I remember the remark of a visiting senior who said that in his days they saved salaries for years to buy a set of EB whereas these days it is so easily available as a soft copy version. The decision to “Stop Press” makes sense. It makes sense to understand the pulse of the times and move with it. The change is progressive. It is logical. And it is most welcome.


Monday, March 5, 2012

There’s Something About Sunsets

There definitely is something about sunsets. Sure they look amazing from a beach and while setting and disappearing behind and in-between somewhere the mountains. But, I find them equally amazing from my terrace disappearing behind the high rises, from my car rear view window while negotiating madness that is Delhi traffic, actually from anywhere. All one needs to do is turn a little bit blind to the chaos around. You may think I am a little crazy but aren't we all. And if you are a sunset fan believe me the setting (pun intended) of the place does not matter.
Is it the way the sky changes many colors, from blue to the hues and all possible shades of reds and oranges with purple streaks? Is it the promise that every sunset holds, of giving way to sunrise and sunshine the next morning? is it a life lesson and a reaffirmation? is it pure joy of watching the canvas that God the Super Artist can create? Hmm I think it’s a bit of all of this and more!
from my terrace

Whatever it is, watching a sunset gives me a deep sense of calm, a feeling that no words can express. There are times I feel wow if I was to die this moment I wont have any regrets. These for me are those “real” moments when I am in touch with nature, in touch with my God and with my divinity. Poets have written reams and artists painted many canvases but nothing compares to “the moment” as you feel it.
Note: This post is also my entry to the 100% Real Experience Contest by Kissan and IndiBlogger