Posted in My life

Slaying Our Personal Dragons

We have just faced the worst fear of parents–children stepping out of their control zone! Our daughter has finally joined school. For 5 hours, she is out of our sight and very much on our minds. I can only wonder how parents send their children to hostels or marry them off. We can’t breath properly if until we see her again. It is like a part of us leaves with her. The house is too quiet and weird without her chatter.

And then, there is the fear for her well being–we know she is in safe hands. (My husband visited the school multiple times to ensure that.) But still the days and nights before the first day at school were filled with instructions.

  • Never keep hands on door threshold or some one might close the door and crush it. (Sure!)
  • Never close the classroom door. (Sure!)
  • Never let others close the classroom door. (Sure!)

Note that there are no doors in the classes of this school to ensure children don’t shut them, but still our daughter indulged us.

  • Never jump from benches. (I never do!)
  • Never run on stairs. (I never do!)
  • Clutch the railing tightly when going up and down the stairs. (I always do!)
  • Don’t stay alone in a classroom. (What if I am the first child in the class?)
  • Don’t leave your classroom unless accompanied by a teacher. (What if I have to use loo?)
  • Don’t play outside classroom. Someone might push. (Okay!)
  • Don’t play inside classroom. You can get hurt with all the benches. (Where will I play then?).
  • Don’t enter a class that is not yours. (Why would I do that?)
  • Don’t leave the school until Papa arrives. (Okay!)
  • Don’t stay alone inside school until Papa arrives. (Where will go then, if I am the last one?)
  • Don’t talk to strangers. (Papa will drop me and pick me up! When will I get a chance?)

And then there was more serious stuff about good touch-bad touch and self-defense heirarchy with increasing severity. If someone corners you or you don’t like their touch:

  1. Say No. Tell them to leave you alone. (What if they don’t?)
  2. Shout (What if they cover my mouth?)
  3. Bite and run (What if I can’t bite?)
  4. Kick (Not tall enough!)
  5. Fingers in the eyes, nose and throat, and run (My fingers are not strong enough!)
  6. Pencil in the eyes, nose and throat, and run (What if I don’t have pencil?)
  7. Anything in the eyes, nose and throat, and run (Fine, I’ll try.)
  8. Never use self defense against children. (What if a big boy at school hurts me?)
  9. Complain to a teacher. (What if there is no teacher?)
  10. Shout…

And so we go again…

In the end I was afraid that I had converted my daughter into a walking landmine, ready to explode at the touch, and I had to calm her down, reminding her that most people are nice and generous. They don’t hurt people and usually take care of children. I am wondering whether I have done a good job.

Even after all these preparations, on the first day, after walking her to school, my husband went back there to check on her after an hour and would have gone again if it wasn’t against the rules. He reached the school half an hour early to bring her back home.

All these years, we had waited for the day to come when our daughter would go to school and we would have some quiet time. Now, all we can do is look at the clock slowly ticking away the time until she returns home and fills our day again with her constant chatter.

Posted in Random Thoughts

Returning Guests and Action Sequence

I wanted to write about this for past one month but either I didn’t have time or the will or energy… So, our area is in temperate zone, around one kilometre from the river–half a kilometre by flight… of course planes don’t fly for such short distance, but birds do and that’s why we often see a lot of water birds here. Also, there is a small farm–I mean, really tiny farm–across the road inside what once used to be a government park. Which means that we get lot of birds around harvest and tilling. And there are trees, quite a lot of them where bird’s nest.

In short, it is a bird watcher’s paradise.

Every year, during winters I and my daughter spend an incredible amount of time on the rooftop, taking in the sun, watching birds and feeding birds. Several birds visit the rooftop on a daily basis and others we see in the overly large trees closer to water and larger fields close by.

We have gray and black Crows, Eagles, Hawks, Owls, Peacocks, Rock Pigeons, Wood Doves, Orange-black Mynah, Yellow-brown Mynah, Pied Mynah, , RufousTreepie, Babblers, Barbets, Cuckoo, Parrots, Magpies, Sunbirds, Sparrows, Tailor Birds, Kingfishers, Egrets and Lapwigs as a usual fare.

We also get guest birds during winters: green pigeon, Indian gray hornbill, black Ibis, brahmini starlet, speckled finch, black and white finch and others unnamed but awaited birds that grace us with their presence every year.

Out of all these birds, Gray Hornbill and Green Pigeon are the most difficult to take pictures of because of their colour and reclusive behaviour. They choose the densest tree and the shortest flight route. They move from trees to tree, hardly ever crossing more than a few feet at a time. A bunch of them is nesting in a tree that is just far enough that my phone never captures their picture. The only way is to either befriend the neighbours who live close by (not my cup of tea) or climb to the highest branches of the 60-feet tree (What are you even suggesting?!). So I had send out a prayer to God to let me take a pic and they started coming to a tree closeby so I and my daughter can look at them properly.

I took a few pictures. See if you can spot them.

first pic: At least 5 hornbills in the tree along with starlets

second pic: what horn bill looks like

third pic: Black Ibis

Fourth pic: at least 8 green pigeon.

Let me know if you see anything in the first and last pic. 😄