Friday, June 22, 2012

Random Shots


A series of photographs collected over time. A passionate collection – one that brings back so many memories of small joys and major events. One that tries to capture the varied hues of nature and life as we DO NOT see it! One that I had been meaning to catalogue.

One day, I hope to showcase my pictures. It is a life dream to exhibit my work. Just as it is to publish, well, a book of sorts. Not because I aim to achieve great recognition as a photographer or hope to fill my coffers (not that THAT is a bad idea!) but because I have this huge driving ambition to see my passion come alive at a gallery.

Till then, my blog is my wall!


The following series of pictures is titled : ‘Life on a Beach’

























Monday, June 18, 2012


Undisputed access to the entire apartment complex area, free run of the property, unquestioned right to dig as large and deep a hole as he likes in the manicured garden…Sheru has a good life.

He is all of 12 and half years. He prefers to sleep away most of his days. He hobbles about in the premises on arthritic limbs but is still very alert, smart and serious about his duties as the resident guard of our colony.

We learned from one of the oldest guards that Sheru (his name is an endearing Hindi alternative to ‘Tiger’) was adopted by the builder who was looking after the construction of the complex years ago. He was just a tiny little bundle of fur then. The builder moved away long back and left Sheru behind. We don’t know if the builder had meant this handsome little dog to be the colony dog right from the outset or whether he just abandoned him here but Sheru stayed on. And made this place his home.


Sheru is an old dog now. Probably the oldest resident of our colony. But he isn’t a dog that you can take for granted yet. It was only just the other day that we found he had managed to lay his paws on what has eluded us for so long.

Yes! One of those pestering pigeons. And it wasn’t even a baby!!








This time there was no one around to save the bird (Pls refer to earlier post)and it was long gone by the time Mummy found Sheru looking so smug!

This old boy certainly has a lot left in him!

In the evenings, Sheru prefers to lounge by the huge gates at the entrance, as if he needs to keep an eye on everyone coming in or going out. During the chilly winter days, he would sit with the guards and warm his old achy paws by the wood-fire they invariably light up and then go to sleep with them inside their station.

In the summers, he prefers to dig a large hole in a corner of the garden and sleep away the hot, humid hours in the shade. But only till nightfall when he is to be found at his usual place by the entrance gates.






What is so beautiful about Sheru’s story is that you find so many little instances of kindness and acceptance in it.

Like for example, the guards. There are so many of them working in shifts. Some young, friendly, smart and subtle. Others old, grumpy and loud. But they are all equally kind and tolerant of Sheru. They make sure his water bowl at the gate is full and if you happen to take him some food or milk, they gladly wash his bowl and feed him. A lot of people in our colony do that. Take him food, that is.

Equally tolerant is the poor gardener who works everyday in this scorching summer heat watering and trimming all the grass and plants, straining to keep our lawns green and fresh. And then, when Sheru manages to find the coolest freshly watered spot to dig his bed in he is allowed to!


Sheru understands. And certainly works hard to earn his living.

He isn’t very fond of us or the other dogs in our colony and is very vocal about his displeasure. Understandably so too. For him, we must seem like groomed and pampered pooches that strut about in his territory without a care.

But he is very fond of Mummy. Wagging tail, adorable eyes, old and wise but still shining like an excited puppy’s, paws that are bent by arthritis but that gathers speed from the trust that there’ll always be a treat for him…

He is a beautiful old dog, inside and out.

It is sad that he doesn’t have a proper home. He would have made a lovely companion, brave, loyal and friendly. But we are thankful that he has had a safe life so far. And he belongs.

That is so much to be thankful for when you think of so many other equally brave, loyal and friendly dogs who never have and never will know what it is to belong…



A tad sad,

Ginger, Buddy and Shadow



Thursday, June 7, 2012

To Kill a Mocking Bird

The other day I killed a bird.

Well, almost! I was just working on it’s tail feathers when Buddy gave me away with his excited wagging. Buddy is funny that way. Anything worth investigating or chasing, he would either dig/sniff/jump with a noisy ‘wuff’ or just dash off after whatever letting the whole world know he is on the hunt. Words like ‘stealth’ and ‘stalking’ simply do not exist in his dictionary. Silly boy!

Anyway, there I was silently working the tail feathers of this baby pigeon (that probably had fallen down from it’s little nest on the rain gutter of our eastern side balcony) I had managed to chase into our living room and under the sofa that Buddy suddenly happened to smell it.

I knew he would give the entire game away and so I had made sure I was behind the sofa farthest from the dinning area (where you are most likely to find Buddy at any given time of the day!) But guess you can’t deceive a labrador’s nose.

Mummy noticed him and Ginger wagging away ever so noisily and Ginger even trying to dig her way through the concrete living room floor to get behind the sofa.



What followed is just so disappointing.

The sofa was pulled away from the wall, Mummy’s shriek brought Daddy running, the bird was unceremoniously snatched away and I was called ‘a BAD dog’.


I, Shadow a BAD DOG?

Why, I was just trying to keep our home clear of those mocking birds that marks our balconies, soil our potted garden, leave marks on the parapets and generally invade our perimeter.


This isn’t fair at all.

It was the birds that started this war. I mean, look. We lounge out there in the balcony enjoying the fresh air after a nice cooling bath and these birds fly into our airspace and refuse to leave. They sit there, high up on the awnings and rain-gutters and persistently mock us day after day.


balcony 1




balcony 2


Buddy and Ginger no longer requests them to leave. Sometimes I think they are right. We are just wasting our woof anyway.

But I just can’t help myself.

That is the reason I was so very excited that day when I saw this book on Mummy’s kindle.




So Mummy has some agenda now to rid us of those persistent pests. But turns out this book doesn’t have step by step instructions on how to rid one of a mocking bird like I had thought. In fact it has nothing at all to do with birdies. What a misleading title!

It really can’t be my fault then that I had drawn inspiration from this book and decided to take the matter of the invading pigeons into my own paws.

Anyway, that birdie survived. Mummy dressed up it’s wounds and settled it on the parapet outside. It sat there very still for nearly an hour. It must have been stunned after it’s near death experience. But then, after what seemed like an eternity, it fluffed up it’s feathers as if to test them and then slowly took off. Mummy was very worried it would fall down to it’s death from our fourth floor home but she needn’t have worried.

A bird is a bird and I guess it never forgets how to fly, tail feathers or no tail feathers…..















The birdies still come and sit up there on the awnings for ages and I still ask them everyday to leave us alone. Mummy tells me I am a ‘GOOD BOY’ for trying to chase them away. None of them have fallen down ever since the incident with that particular birdie but one question still bothers me.


‘To kill or not to kill a mocking bird, that is the question’.







Friday, June 1, 2012


I think there must be these little corners in your home that are serene, beautiful and colourful enough to inspire a sense of calm solitude. Where you can maybe relax with a book and  your cup of coffee. Or just feel refreshed and happy because these little spaces are just that – Colourful, creative, fragrant and totally refreshing and happy.

Over time, I’ve sensed this change in my own moods which I realise, has made it’s way into the decor I choose for my home. I have thrown away all the garish and loud stuff and have settled for subtle and simple stuff. More greenery, more earth, more water, more BUDDHA!

Somehow, over the past couple of years I’ve developed this huge inclination towards a Zen way of life. Neither I nor my husband have ever been religious people. And by that I mean we do not believe in idol worship or religious rituals of any kind.
I do not have anything against any such practice(except of course the sickening animal sacrifices!) or anyone who practice classical religious rituals. To each his own.
Just that I do not feel inclined to follow blindly a tradition that is prevelant in the society if it doesn’t help me in any way.

I am sure prayers and rituals – going to a temple, church or mosque, fasting, mass prayers, chanting - are designed to inspire peace and happiness. If they don’t their entire purpose is lost. I cannot blindly go to a temple ( I am a Hindu BECAUSE I was born in a household that follows the dictum of the Hindu scriptures) and pray/fast/donate/chant . I am more at peace with myself when I’ve used the same time, money, effort on getting that poor little thirsty stray a drink. God never wants a donation nor elaborate and expensive dresses and jewelry. I find God in the wag of tail or the smile of that poor street urchin whose face light up at being offered a pitiful little packet of biscuit.

That is where my connection with Zen philosophy comes in.

I like what it says so simply. That living your life to the fullest is the strongest form of meditation and prayer. It doesn’t ask you to renounce life or it’s material aspects. It just asks you to appreciate the paperback edition of the latest best seller you are reading instead of craving for the very expensive and fancy hardcover edition. Prayer is when you find peace doing whatever.

It is as simple as that.

Where does that lovely little corner in my home fit into all these?
Well, this….

buddha 2 




One little corner in our living room which radiates enough positive energy to start my day on a happy note. Our music system is on the same bookshelf on which this beautiful  Buddha figurine rests. Ginger, Buddy and Shadow love to lounge around here because this part of the room leads to the large balcony with my little potted garden. May be they like the greenery or may be the breeze blowing in through the door. Or maybe the soft music nearby…
One of our Zen Corners…..

‘What is the path?',  the Zen Master Nan-sen was asked. 'Everyday life is the path, he answered.’

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