Foto Friday: Hoopoe Knocks!

This gorgeous beauty visited the tree behind my shop last summer. I had never seen a bird like this before that day. So naturally, I rushed to get my camera out!

It's still the same old 5MP Canon point-n-shoot camera, and I had to use all of the 4x optical zoom that comes with it, to get this picture (and several more in various other poses). I didn't dare get any closer because I didn't want to scare it away. And it's a good thing I didn't. If I had gone any closer, it wouldn't have just taken flight in fear, it would have done something real nasty. It would have shot a "stink dart" at me!

Seriously, I'm not kidding!

When I was taking the photographs, I had no idea what this bird was called. I just assumed it was a woodpecker because of its long beak. Then today, before starting on this post, I decided to look it up on Google.

It turns out that this bird is called the "Hoopoe", and it's the same bird that led King Solomon to queen Sheba. Apparently, it's also been declared Israel's National Bird, although I haven't confirmed that last bit with Google yet.

When this bird senses danger, it shoots one of its stink-covered feather, at the approaching "enemy", with unerring aim, and that stench is apparently unbearable. Here, check out this link.

Guess I was lucky I didn't get a first-hand experience of the Hoopoe stink that day! [grins]

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Here's more in Foto-Friday!

Foto Friday: Kadambari

So this is how I came to be named 'Kadambari'! This is the LP record of the movie that gave me my name! :D

Kadambari : imdb

Found this disc in my dad's old record collection when I sold it all a few months ago. As visible in the picture, this particular record was a gift to my Dad from one of his friends in Patna. Dad suggested I shouldn't sell this one... for the "sentimental-value" it ought to hold for me, you know. So I took this picture... and then sold the disc! :P

What? What would I have done with an LP I couldn't play? Here's a song from the movie though, embedded right below this paragraph. If you're viewing this post in a feed reader or via email subscription, you might have to actually open up the post on my blog to see the embedded player. Check it out...

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Here's more in Music and in Foto-Friday!

10 Questions That Remain Un-answered in Delhi Elections 2015 ~ Ten On Tuesday

So AAP finally wins the elections! (And what a win! The broom did a clean sweep! And is now being sold at Rs. 200 a piece!)

No, I'm not ecstatic with their victory. I'm not an AAP supporter. I was once, but Mr. Kejriwal's "nautanki" and intolerance to opposing views, along with all the negativity spread by fanatic AAP supporters on my Facebook timeline (which includes their unfollow/delete/block approach) turned me off.

Though I do believe that the BJP deserved to lose this time. In fact, this massive defeat will be good for them. And yes, Congress definitely deserved that "duck"!

What I cannot understand is:

  1. During the general elections last year (when BJP wasn't even in power at the center), AAP made a lot of very noisy claims that BJP was involved in rigging the EVMs and influencing the ECs. Now, when BJP is actually in power at the center and capable of doing all those things they were accused of last year, it is the AAP who gets a historic win in Delhi! 67-3 !!! Did BJP get the EVMs rigged in favour of AAP this time then?

  2. During the general elections last year (again when BJP wasn't even in power at the center), AAP also made a lot of "noise" against "paid media" (specifically "BJP sponsored media") who were persistently showing AAP in a negative light. Surprisingly, now, when BJP is in power at the center, AAP gets a more than fair coverage by most of those "paid media" channels. I even saw Mr. Kejriwal's "Drawing-Room Yoga Session" on one of the channels! "Kraantikaari!" Eh? But, really bad publicity for "Yoga" if, despite doing it daily, Mr. Kejriwal has not been able to get rid of his cough till now! :P Anyway, did BJP "pay" the media to roast Dr. Kiran Bedi this time then?

  3. During the general elections last year, AAP was a party with practically no presence outside Delhi and surrounding areas. Yet, the BJP workers apparently deemed it to be of such immediate and urgent threat that they kept "attacking" Mr. Kejriwal and other AAP leaders with eggs etc. Yet, this time, in Delhi, when BJP's main opponent was AAP, they resorted to no such acts of hostility! Did the egg-vendors of Delhi refuse to sell eggs to BJP workers?

  4. How come it is okay for AAP to accept donation of Rs. 2 crore in the party fund, from some shady companies, without bothering to check if it was "black money", but it is not okay for other political parties to do the same?

  5. How is it that even after making so many promises of "free" stuff, getting caught with smuggled alcohol for the voters, indulging in all kinds of draame-baazi for remaining in media, stooping to personal-level slandering of Dr. Bedi just because she chose to join the BJP, and accepting questionable donations in the party fund, the AAP supporters still claim their party to be a crusader of "clean politics" in India? What really is "clean politics"?

  6. Does India encompass only these 2 sections of society -
    i) Those unscrupulous "filthy rich" developers who "buy" land from ignorant farmers at throwaway prices, knowing that the law will never touch them as long as they send a portion of their profits to political parties for their "party funds", and
    ii) Those "poor helpless labourers" who spend more than half of their daily income on cheap alcohol, get drunk, beat-up their wife, breed like rats, and then setup "unauthorized colonies" in the middle of towns, knowing that one day the government will authorize those colonies for securing their "vote banks"?

  7. It is okay for IT & marketing professionals to take home huge salaries every month for less than 4 hours of actual work in a day, plus 2 weekly offs, plus CLs, PLs and SLs totaling up to roughly 50 days a year, plus other allowances and benefits... all of this without taking any financial risks, but, it is not okay for a businessman to expect a decent return on his time and investment, the risks he took, his innovation and out-of-the-box-thinking. Why?

  8. During AAP's previous 49-day stint in Delhi, we heard a lot of stories about how the police "raids" on small traders and "extortion" from auto drivers had stopped in Delhi. But did these "benefits" tickle across to other sections of society too? Did the auto drivers start charging correct fares from their passengers? Did those traders reduce the selling price of their goods? And what about the Indian police force? Those people risk their lives, are called on duty at all odd hours, work in pitiable conditions, face all kinds of BS from the politicians, and are paid peanuts. In my opinion, their work is a lot more challenging than any white-collar professional. So don't they deserve equally decent work environments and adequate pay too?

  9. How does signing a lopsided deal, on the super-risky and super-expensive nuclear energy, with a country famous for its double-standards, benefit the Indian economy in any way at the moment? Also, how does a UK-made suit worth 10 thousand pounds fit in with the "Make in India" campaign? Why did Mr. Modi do these two completely off-course things right before the Delhi elections? In fact, why did the BJP government hold off re-elections in Delhi for almost a year and then did absolutely no work there? And, on top of everything, why did they bring in Dr. Bedi as their CM candidate, alienating their workers as well? Was all this part of a deliberate plan by the great strategist, Mr. Amit Shah? A plan to help AAP win? Why?

  10. And lastly, while it is understandable that the voters of Delhi have expressed their displeasure with BJP by giving AAP practically the full house, how does this help a new party to learn? With the opposition comprising of all of 3 BJP MLAs (less than 5% of the house!), who's going to "show the other side of the coin" during decision-making? Or does Delhi become that Chemistry lab with a whole battalion of teenage kids raring to run experiments while their Chemistry teacher is absent?

So many questions. So few answers. Politics in India has taken on the qualities of a religious war, and Mr. Modi and Mr. Kejriwal have both become Gods. I choose to remain an atheist. I choose to remain the cynic.

Anyway, I have to go now. Time to close shop for the day. Thanks to these elections, at least my blog got updated.

Here's more in "Ten-On-Tuesday"!