It’s Big, Powerful and Can Destroy a Tall Coconut Tree

The Rhino Beetle! It may look beautiful, fierce and majestic, but it’s a feared pest for coconut growers.

This one can devour a big coconut tree by striking at the core of the tree.

One landed on my balcony. I think it was about to die of old age as I found it lying upside down, unable to get back like an overturned car.

I tried to get him on the legs but it could hardly walk.

I wonder how many trees he has attacked, must be less or none as there are not many in the city areas.

I am curious as I am seeing one after a long time. So it’s not extinct! Though it may not be mourned, it’s a beautiful creation, small but looking majestic.

Named after the powerful Rhino 🦏

Also called Hercules!

It’s Big, Powerful and Can Destroy a Tall Coconut Tree

Love A Duck- What Else!

‘Love A Duck’

The phrase (as I searched and reproduced here) is an exclamation used when nothing else will fit. Often fitting when one is stunned or dismayed. The Oxford English Dictionary has just one example, from — of all sources — James Joyce’s Ulysses: “Paddy Leonard eyed his alemates. Lord love a duck, he said.

That’s what I felt when one of our guests quipped ‘so you are lovers of duck’.

She was referring to some of the showpieces (as in the picture) that my wife has carefully collected over the years. And yes, they are beautiful.

If I am asked to get some duck showpieces, I would have looked for ‘the loving ducks’ or the oscillating ones. And would have got disappointed when the methane gas on the duck head got over stopping the oscillation.

Here we have some real beauties. And I myself keep looking at the precision and concentration of the mama duck and her two ducklings, sitting on the lower platform of the central table and examining what’s on the carpet.

Ducks are the most disciplined of the domestic birds. I remember some 25 of them of my mother’s collection leaving their shelter in the morning, in two lines, for the river to swim and fish and returning before dark, in the same marching formation, to get back to the security of the shelter.

Proud of Sunu’s collection.

Love A Duck- What Else!

Wellness Series- Yoga, An Attempted Interpretation.

It’s not only fashionable, but very healthy to practice yoga everyday. There are several ways of treating this ancient wonder, which is now a worldwide health initiative.

Some of us do it as a stretching exercise, some add correct breathing regimen to it and for the experts it’s Hatha Yoga which is a forceful form centred on the mastery over the body.

We all need a fair amount of stretching exercise particularly as we grow older so that we can get that needed flexibility to carry on with daily chores.

Almost all the yoga positions involve a fair amount of stretching. And if we add a systematic and guided breathing into these positions, we can say we do yoga.

Clearly these coordinations will require expert intervention and training under a qualified yoga Master and it is the best way to get a hang of it.

Making yoga part of our daily schedule is a very healthy way of life. We will start seeing the benefits almost immediately on the adoption of this form of exercise.

Ideally we should learn and practice the following and more.

– Suryanamaskar

– Sarvangasana

– Matsyasana

– Tree Position (Vrksasana)

– Pranayama

– And some of the Mudras

Shavasana, (Corpse Pose, or Mrtasana) in between yoga positions will usher in harmony.

Those who are seeking further benefits may learn and practice Hatha Yoga under qualified masters.

Achieving at least a regular practice of the middle stage of ‘yoga’ is a valuable step towards wellness.

Yoga is ancient, gives certain amount of control over body, it’s relevant and ready to be embraced by everybody.

Wellness Series- Yoga, An Attempted Interpretation.

The Flying Fox. The Largest Of The ‘BATBIRD’!

I got him flying solo in the evening sky! Every evening I can watch about twenty of them flying southwards, but never in groups like the egrets or other migratory birds.

Nicknamed ‘flying fox’ these birds actually fox me as I have never seen them flying northwards in the morning like the migratory birds. Perhaps these nocturnal ones might be crossing my balcony view before sunrise and before I officially get up.

I may stand alone, if I say these are cute flying things. For, they are linked to the dark things, like you expect to see them in a Dracula movie.

And then they are or their kind are accused of causing the deadly Nipah virus in Kerala.

But imagine seeing them flying like this or hundreds of them hanging upside down on a single tree! There’s something macho about them, certainly.

I may want this guy on my that black, tight, tee shirt, that I dream of when I have the muscles, six packs and the shaved head- the childhood dream.

For now I have the head done and of course this live picture of the flying fox and dreams are on for the muscles and six packs.

To be renamed ‘BATMAN’ then!

The Flying Fox. The Largest Of The ‘BATBIRD’!

Happy Onam! The Truly Involved Festival.

(Avatara Vamana splashes Bali’s head, and sends him to the Patala. photo Wikipedia)

Onam is special. It’s a celebration mostly by Kerala people when everyone, irrespective of religion, age or anything, is involved in the festivities.

Onasadhya, the very tasty vegetarian meal with numerous dishes, served on fresh banana leaves, is unique. For children it’s the new clothes, fondly called ‘onapudava’ to look forward to.

Onam is the homecoming of the famous and gracious Asura king Mahabali, who was deposed from his kingdom in a ‘trick’ act in the rivalry between ‘devas’ the God’s favourites and the powerful ‘Asura’.

The Onam celebration include a procession with a decorated Mahabali walking with the crowd with his special umbrella.

Onam also remembers the abundance during this king’s rule. For many Malyalees, a pot belly signifies abundance and prosperity. So the person dressing up as Mahabali is big pot bellied.

But actually Mahabali is ‘Mahabalawaan’ the warrior king and should be sporting six packs and not the pot belly.

The story most attractive to me was told by a professor of Tezpur (now again Sonitpur) in Assam. And now we have the Wikipedia details confirming the story when you search for Mahabali and Banasura.

Some extracts:

“Banasura is believed to have ruled the present-day central Assam with his capital at Sonitpur (present-day Tezpur, Assam). According to the legend, Banasura was an aboriginal king. Some other sources say that since Banasura, son of Asura King Mahabali who is believed to be central character in mythology and culture of Kerala, inherits his kingdom from his father and is believed to have ruled from Kerala. There is a hill named “Banasura hill” [3] and a dam, “Banasura Sagar Dam” dedicated to the memory of their great ruler’s son Bana.”

“The genealogy of Banasura is as follows:[9]

• Brahma’s son was Marichi

• Marichi’s son was Kashyapa,

• Kashyapa’s sons were Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha,

• Hiranyakashipu’s son was Prahlada,

• Prahlada’s son was Virochana,

• Virochana’s son was Bali,

• Bali’s son was Banasura”.

The professor told me that, Assam at that time was known as ‘Pathala’ the unknown place. When Vamana Muni didn’t have the land to measure the third step, the proud Mahabali asked him to step on his head and the muni got him banished to save the worried devas.

The famous theatre in Tezpur is ‘Ban’s Theatre. Original Assamese women attire ‘Mekhla Chadhor’ is similar to ‘Ottamund’ of traditional Kerala women. Both Malayalee and Assamese are rice eaters with even have puttu as uniquely special. (Cooking method only is different).

I am not seeing this story getting mentioned in the many write ups on Onam, and I am happy to see the details on Wikipedia.

Happy Onam!

Happy Onam! The Truly Involved Festival.

A Stream- It’s a Brook or River! Swimming in it is the Greatest!

The beautiful river, in front of the house I grew up, is back to it’s old glory in the rainy season. And I was back in it yesterday to enjoy some of my favourite things.

The current is strong, and this stretch is deep (8.5 feet deep in the middle) and swimming against the flow is a challenge and brings absolute joy.

The river bed used to be white and clear with clean sand and polished coloured pebbles. Unmindful, perhaps savage, treatment of humans have reduced the river to a dumbing place for plastic and mud.

But the rain cleans it beautifully. The mud is gone from the bottom and replaced with solid rock boulders with probably a big rock formation underneath. Though I miss the white sand and coloured stones, this is second best. And I hope it will remain so.

My obsession with Apple Watch workout tracking had ‘open water swim’ as the rightly chosen category. But calories were not showing due to some set up error. So I shifted to pool swim as seen in the workout results of the watch.

Overall a very satisfying Saturday evening and worth the 70 kilometres drive to the interior of ‘God’s Own Country’.

A Stream- It’s a Brook or River! Swimming in it is the Greatest!