Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sreesanth, IPL and the swearing/spitting

Unless you turn a blind eye anyone could guess what the "F**" and "Be**" words are, being sworn by the players. And there's the incessant spitting by the players. Basketball is more tiring yet you never see anyone spit on the floor of the court. I guess you will be asked to go to the bench if you did. Unlike man's synthetic court in basketball, in cricket Mother Earth bears the brunt of the spitting players.

Meanwhile I really don't know why and what for Sreesanth seems to be so pissed off with almost every batsman he is bowling to. Staring angrily, facing the batsman in an intimidating stance with the ball in his hand (though trying to get the batsman run-out is the reason but it looks like he will hurl the ball on the batsmen instead) and muttering things as he goes about his bowling. In yesterday's match he was even found arguing with the batsmen. All this is not going to go well in his favour. He's already had a history of such tantrums sometimes going to the extreme (with Symmonds) and in some cases backfiring at him when he was slapped by Harbajan Singh last year. What a joy it was to watch him being thrashed the other day. 24 runs came off in just one over.

I actually like the fellow's efficient bowling style but instead of concentrating on his bowling that could make him a better bowler, Sreesanth's unnecessary and unwarranted aggression and superstitions (just check his mannerisms before each ball he bowls and check out all that luck talisman threads around his wrists and neck) is only going to ruin an otherwise promising career. Does the "santh" (meaning peace) in his name has any bearing?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tailorbird abandons nest and eggs

I waited a second night to see if it had really abandoned the nest and it sure has. It was exactly a month ago when I spotted the first egg. The eggs take only 14 days to hatch and another 14 days to the young ones to leave the nest. It has been a month now and the three eggs haven't hatched. I understand from reading on the Internet that either the eggs weren't fertilized or they might have been gone spoilt with a bacterial infection. I tried candling them and there seems to be no visible sign of any life inside. Meanwhile, the nest is just precariously hanging on to the few leaves that support it.

Here's a shot of the bird with its eggs I took one night. The eyes are a flaming orange under the flash light of the camera but it is actually more red.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Are we a bunch of beggars?

We aren't but I wonder how these ads are making us look in the eyes of the world.

Just a few of the nauseatingly sick ads that are currently being run on TV channels in India.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Stitching the Tailor bird's nest

Oh yes, I did and I continue to do every time one more leaf becomes dry and detaches itself from the branch supporting the nest. As of now all the original leaves that were used to build the nest have turned completely brown and have broken off from the main branch.

The nest is being supported by the adjacent leaves I have used to stitch the nest to. Contrary to popular belief touching the nest doesn't make the mother leave the nest. Actually it seems to know me and even when I approach does not fly away unless I am real close to the nest.

You can actually see the brown thread I have used to stitch the leaves at the bottom right of the image.

Here is an old nest whose leaves have turned completely brown. I wonder if this nest raised a family. For Chaithu it was a nice item for his "show-and-tell" at school.

One more thing. All this time I had been mistaking the Common Tailorbird to be the Prinia. My sister-in-law was right. It is the common tailor bird and not the Prinia. I read on Wikipedia that it takes only 14 days to hatch the eggs but this one has been sitting on the eggs for almost 21 days.

Meanwhile a sunbird also tried to build a nest in my garden. The Sunbird, a relative of the bee-humming bird, makes loud noises at it constructs its nest. The nest is more sophisticated with a hood unlike the tailor bird's nest and it doesn't stitch any leaves but instead uses branches and twigs to suspend it's nest. But even before complete construction, the nest was ransacked, probably by some predator. The nest was poorly concealed.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A video of a wild cat every poacher must see

I first saw this incredible video on a link in Facebook. I am amazed at how a predator's natural instinct can undergo such a dramatic change towards its kill. With all the n'th senses man is claiming to possess how can poachers justify their merciless killing of these big cats. Even these big cats seem to possess a heart.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Only 1411 tigers left in India?

China has just passed laws related to the slaying of Tigers raising questions on how that is going to impact the life of tigers in India.

The advertisement on various channels on Indian Telivision urges viewers to spread the news via blog and other mediums so here I am with my bit. But the question I want to ask is, "Will this new 'Save the Tiger project' be another fiasco?" Who can forget the disasterous first. Called "Project Tiger" in the 80's it was implemented at a time when our tiger population was even bigger. It stands decimated now.

I remember it was the 80's then and India was enjoying the early colour televisions. I will never forget Naseeruddin Shah in his baritone voice saying "Bhaag Bhaag" a zillion times on that show every Sunday to emphasize how important it is for us Indians to save the tiger. The show seemed to say that saving the Tiger would even prevent India going into economic crisis as protecting Tigers would make us protect trees and forests and by protecting trees we prevent deforestation and one thing leading to another and finally India's economy. But the horrendous thing was that when Project Tiger was on the maximum number of Tigers were being killed. It was a disaster of a project and much time had been wasted before the people behind "Project Tiger" accepted that major flaws did occur. I must also mention it was the initiative of a few dedicated and fearless Indian reporters, wildlife lovers including one intrepid lady from outside India who exposed extensive poaching under the callousness of our authorities and that the project was majorly flawed. Right under the noses of those who were supposed to be safeguarding the tigers, hundreds and thousands were being killed. Entire populations vanished. Wish to know where to? The poachers were incidentally selling Tiger parts to our friendly, peaceful, Buddhist neighbour, Tibet. A huge chunk of the animal parts also went to China where there is a huge demand for the big cat's parts used in oriental medicine that they claim is the panacea for all human health problems.

Actual footage of a function in Tibet where hundreds of revellers are shown marching and celebrating wearing Tiger skin. The footage (now available on several YouTube and Internet videos) was secretly taped and this was shown in a recent documentary on a channel on T.V.

The videos below will show you portions of the festival in Tibet, oh yes, the violence-abhoring, Dalai Lama land, where men and women are seen in tiger skin draped around them.

In the following video check out how tiger skin is stacked like carpets in a shop. Many skins are also woven to make big carpets. The notorious Tibetian celebrations are included in this one too.

Going back to China, the irony is that The Chinese have 6000 tigers in captivity though some of their tiger species have become extinct too. Maybe India should start a breeding-in-captivity program or consider having one seriously. The Chinese have also succesfully engaged in a breeding-in-captivity program for the Panda which is almost in the brink of extinction. At the rate the tiger population is being decimated in India one might find a tiger only in captivity, not many years from now.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Roopa is getting married

Remember Roopa K R, Amritha TV channel's Global Superstar of the year 2008? It was a pleasant call from her yesterday when she called to invite me to her wedding on April the 18'th at Ernakulam. There will be a reception in Chennai on the 28'th. Roopa is engaged to Kuldeep Pai, a musician/singer/composer and after the marrieage is going to be settling down in Chennai!

Meanwhile Nithin Raj of Idea Star Singer fame in 2007 was in the neighbourhood and even paid us a visit. Nithin has been singing for movies and is invovled with God only knows how many projects, his latest being for the new Malayalam film, Drona.