Tuesday, October 12, 2010

But the clock still works

There is this table clock in my bed room.
Every day in the morning it tells me that it is really time to get up and get moving if I have to catch that 7.30 bus.
During its lifetime it had its share of being knocked about and survived some falls. The corners have been chipped off. It was a clock cum photo frame. Now only the hinges remain to remind us of  the frame side.  But the clock still works.

The back cover does get dislodged at times. I don’t see any screw that can fix that. Maybe it was glued in earlier. So I have tied a small thin thread that holds it together.  But the clock still works.

Then we have our Shantabai (maid) who does a thorough cleaning of the place (including the clock) and all that handling freezes the time. So when I come back from work and find that the clock has stopped at 2.23, I put on my Sherlock Holmes cap and infer that "today the maid did the cleaning of my study at 2.23 pm"
I do some readjusting with love and care … . . . . . .  and the clock still works.
Many have told me to throw away that old thing and get some thing new which will look hep and savvy. I refuse to do so because  . . . . . .  .  the clock still works.
About 20 years ago when I had been to Bombay (Mumbai) one of my aunts give me a basket of fruits and hidden in those fruits was “a little something for you”
Only when I reached back home did I realize that the little something was a clock cum photo frame.

 During the course of time the dreaded disease of cancer caught up with her, and after a brief battle, she passed away.
Whenever I look at that clock I think of her and what better way to be reminded of a person who was dear to me.

The clock still works.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

New around here

Hi there
I am the new face around here. This is my profile. I am brown coloured on the back and scaly white on the breast. In fact I am known as the scaly breasted Munia. 

Don’t get fooled by the size that you see here on the screen. Actually I am very tiny. Can you locate me in the picture below?

Ok, for the ones who could not locate me, see the same picture now where I have been highlighted (sitting on that thin bamboo pole)

Now you get some idea as to how tiny I am. (actually about 11 cms)

We decided to build our nest here in this clump of the creeper. As it happens to be close to a nest of the bulbul, Mr H (Mr Haddock) feels that we have come here for publicity (like the one the bulbul family got from the previous blog that he wrote) I think he is reading a lot of Hollywood stories about how stars flock to Beverly Hills to be in the limelight. But believe me we are very camera shy. So keeping that in mind, he did click some pictures from far.

I along with my partner did a good search in the neighbourhood and decided that this place is good so we started work. Making the base is the critical part. As you can see we use long leaves and the female does most of the interior design. We don’t use twigs and sticks (like the bulbul’s nest that you see in the foreground)

I am supposed to fetch the leaves.
It is not an easy task as you can see the size and length of the leaf that I fetch. Mr H has got the hang of it. I first sit on the pole with the leaf.

Then I make a dash into the nest with the leaf. 

From the above picture you can see the size of the leaf that I have to lug.
Once the merchandise is delivered I make sure that the coast is clear by first looking to the right and then to the left

And then make a quick dash out to fetch the next leaf.

 It is mostly green leaves but intermittently we use dry leaves too. 

At times my partner too comes with me to select the appropriate leaf (you know how females are) and then we both fly back to take that first halt on the pole.

The idea is to make an oblong house with an opening on the side. It is quite big as some times we do have community nests. It may look like an untidy globe as we don’t weave them but are just pushed  to one side. It may not look neat but it is robust and waterproof.

And this is the opening which is facing east. We usually have the opening facing east/south east so that the morning sunlight comes in.

Once this job is in progress it is my work to go around the nest from the out side and see that the loose ends are tied up.
If the loose ends are too long and hanging out then I pull them out and take them back in through the opening so that the female can rearrange the furniture. Ugggghhh this one is real tough but I have to tug and tug till it comes out.
Some times the leaf slips off from the beak and we try to retrieve it (better than going all the way back for a new one)
Here one fell into that potted plant below and I am trying to get it back, but sitting on that huge palm is a bit slippery.
Making a visual inspection from the north side. All clear here.

On day two we get thinner and smaller leaves so that the fine work can be done inside.
During this nest building there are many other birds who do pass by and have a look at our work in progress. For example this white breasted Robin sat down there and was observing me tying up the loose ends.

Or this yellow breasted Robin who was feeding on the red flowers and buds

who did a hanging survey to have  a closer look at our nest.

Then there was this Mynah (with his neatly combed hair) who kept roaming around the terrace.

Oh the racket they  make . . . . . . .what is he trying to do? Neck exercise?  

I don’t think Mr H will be able to show you the eggs as our nest is well enclosed.
But may be when they are hatched and the young ones will come out you may get  a glimpse of them (if you are lucky)
So have a nice time till then.