WORD A WEEK PHOTOGRAPH CHALLENGE

WORD A WEEK PHOTOGRAPH CHALLENGE

UNDULATE – The wild grass, the coconut trees, other trees and the tree covered mountain in the distance, look like green waves.

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Memories of Childhood, World War 2

Unfortunately, acts of violence for the sake of violence have always been a part of human life, all over the world , through the ages. We read about the World Wars in books and magazines and there were so many movies about them. People are sacrificed and people are killed and it just cannot be stopped. My father was a small boy during World War 2 and he writes how it was a part of his life in the small town where he grew up.

  “ Dhrithrashtra was the father of Duryodhana and
other Kauravas who were on the battlefield of
Kurukshetra with their armies facing the Pandavas.
Dhritharashtra was sitting in his palace with his
minister,  Sanjaya.  Sanjaya had got a boon from
the great saint and author of Mahabharatha, Vyasa.
The boon allowed Sanjaya to see and hear  all that was
happening on the battlefield.  Sanjaya was narrating
all this to Dhrithharashtra.  Sanjaya’s narration gave
rise to the epic Mahabharatha written by Vyasa.

Now we come to the World War II that occurred  mostly
in Europe & North Africa between 1939 and 1945. Later,
USA joined the war in the Pacific Ocean area fighting
Japan.

  Sanjaya was the pen name of a correspondent of
the Kannada Daily Newspaper, Samyukta Karnataka ,
published from Hubli in North Karnataka (then in the
Bombay province).  We were living in Hospet, in
the then Madras province and quite close to Hubli.
At that time, there were neither radios nor TV sets.  So,
we were totally dependent on Sanjaya’s narration of what
was happening in the battle-field of the World War II.
It was an apt name for him.

I was only 8  years old then and it was my job to
read out Sanjaya’s writings to my mother.  With this, I
was keeping in touch with the World War. My mother used to ask
many questions and I had to reply, specially the
geography of the place of war.  You can appreciate that
all this kept my general knowledge quite up to date and
gave me the habit of reading newspapers and studying
Atlases.

At that time, Germany was ruled by Adolf Hitler,
a great and harsh dictator.  He had made Austria, the
country of his birth a part of Germany.  Germans were
totally upset with the conditions thrust upon them
at the end of the World War I, when Germany was totally
defeated by the British and allies.  They wanted to
take revenge.  Some parts of Poland, originally parts
of the old Germany were given to Poland.  Hitler first
attacked  Poland on September 1, 1939.  The British and
allies failed to persuade him to stop the attack.  So,
they started World War II on September 3, 1939 by
attacking Germany.  This is all history. After this,
Japan in the east attacked Hawai islands of USA in the
Pacific Ocean and the Americans joined the War. It ended
in 1945.  By telling the people of Karnataka  about the War, Sanjaya
and Samyukta Karnataka won great admiration of Kannada
people for these articles.”

World war 2

The Background photo is of my grandmother and my father. The other photos are from the internet.  My grandmother passed away when my father was only 12.

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE

JUXTAPOSITION – The beautiful Ajanta Caves in the distance. One would never imagine that something so beautiful and man made would be found in the middle of forests and mountains.The view point from where the caves were first sighted by John Smith in 1819.

Milestones

Milestones , those stones by the side of the road showing the distance from one place to another have always been a part of our  childhood. The distance may have been in miles or in kilometres, but they have always been called milestones or ‘mile kallu’ in Kannada. Kallu is stone. 

Every summer vacation in childhood was spent with our grandparents and cousins and close relatives. My father was working in Indian railways and we lived in far away places. We had to come by train and from the station, it was more than an hours distance to our grandparents’ home. We used to count every milestone  on the way and getting more and more excited as  we had to count lesser to reach our destination. Those were fun days.

Milestone also have a humourous side to them. There are people who love to talk and talk. They can talk to anyone, maybe they love to hear their own voices. It is said of them that they will even talk to milestone if there is no one else to talk to!! A reference to this and we immediately know  what that person loves most. Everything has two or more sides , milestones have a sadder reference too. Whenever I look at them , it comes to me with a force that they have missed so many of the milestones in their development from birth. Some of them have no milestones at all. They just exist. Everything has to be taken care of, if they are lucky there is someone to do that, if they are not, it is difficult to imagine their life. It is also sad to think what their parents must have gone through, waiting in vain to see those milestones. 

Milestones , which are so necessary  and so important in every person.

“There is a place that YOU are to fill that no one else can fill — something YOU are to do that no one else can do.”  ~Plato

DSC03832

The photo is of one of our country roads.

 

 

Our Bulbul Family :)

Sometime in the third week of December, 2013, a bulbul couple decided to build their nest  in our verandah, above the curtain rod, with the curtain as a secure base . We tried our best to discourage them but had not succeeded. The nest made of dried leaves and sticks was built .In the last week the eggs were laid and we saw one or the other of the birds always in the nest.

On the 4th of January, we felt the eggs had been hatched as we saw the birds busy flying in  and out. Till then they had hardly left the nest unoccupied. It was interesting watching the parents. While one went out to get food for the babies, the other kept watch over the nest. As one came in the other went out. On the 4th and 5th we could hardly see the babies, they were so small.

But on the 6th we could see three of them stretch the necks to take in what their parents put into their throats. On the 7th we could not only see the little ones we could also hear them after they ate their food- worms and small red fruits. Sometimes the parents left  the nest for more than ten minutes and at other times we saw  them come in at regular intervals to feed the babies.

 10th  We could  now see and  hear the cheeping of the baby birds very clearly, They were growing fast and the nest seemed small for them.

11th Jan  The little ones had a fur covering  and sometimes we saw them stretching their small wings and we were worried that they might try to fly and fall. 

14th Jan- Today morning  we were sitting in our verandah and the mother bulbul was not very happy about it and kept flying near us and we understood we were not wanted.  We came in. After some time I saw one of the babies on the floor,near the door. I came inside, just then the mother back to the nest. She realized  one of her babies was missing. She flew about searching for it, even went behind the curtain. The baby saw  and heard the mother and flew  after her. The mother then went to the nest and urged the babies to get out. One of them flew out to join the first one. She  made the babies fly about encouraging them in their own language. She was not very happy about me watching and was a little aggressive. I closed the door and left them to their learning. After some time, everything was quiet, I peeped out and saw one baby in the nest and the two others had flown out  with their parents.  By afternoon, the one remaining baby in the nest flew out  too .

 Less than a month after they had come into this world. We had been so anxious about their falling down and dying, but nothing like that happened. Thank God.

Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.
Rabindranath Tagore

“In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence.”  Robert Lynd (Irish writer)

Bulbul

 

Memories of Childhood; a cherished magazine

Growing up with books we lived in a world of imagination, where anything and everything was possible. We passed on this love to our children by reading aloud to them from the time they could understand, first the pictures  then the story. Magazines and comics like Chandamama, Tinkle, Amar Chitra Katha series, Phantom and Mandrake and so many more led them into the world of imagination.

My father had a much cherished magazine. It was a Kannada magazine called Koravanji.He has very fond memories about it and writes-

When we were young, there was a wonderful
monthly Kannada magazine called ‘Koravanji’.  It
was a humorous magazine, full of stories, jokes
and cartoons.  Each made you laugh and smile.  We
were eagerly waiting for Koravanji to appear in
the bookstalls.

It was priced at four annas.  The present
generation cannot understand this.  Four annas means
one-fourth of a ruppe or the present day twenty-five
paise.  Now, the twenty-five paise coin itself is
not there.  But, at that time, for us children, the
problem was how to get this money to buy the
magazine.  We did not have the courage to ask our
parents for this money.  But I discovered a method.

My father was good at playing tennis, and an
expert at playing bridge, a game of cards.  There
was a club, not far from our house on the way to
the Railway Station.  It was called Cosmopolitan
Club.  It had a tennis court and a small building
with  a large verandah, where the members played
cards. School’s Physics Laboratory attendant, known
as Singh worked as an attendant in the cub during
the evenings.

My father went to the Club every
evening after returning from the school.  First,
he played tennis.  He had some club friends, who
were also fond of tennis.  It was a doubles game
and they played one set every evening.

After the tennis game, he climbed the steps
of the Club verandah, where three of his friends
were waiting for him.  A table with four chairs
was already set and two packs of playing cards
were ready. They played for small stakes, one
anna for 100 points.  My father used to say that
playing bridge without money on the table was
no joy.  You must have played bridge.  There are
two types, auction bridge and contract bridge.
They played the contract variety.  After playing
two or three rubbers, the game ended and the
players returned home.

When Koravanji appeared in the bookshop, I
went to the club to watch them play tennis. I was
allowed inside the Club, as the Club attendant, Singh
knew me.  After they started playing cards, I did
not leave.  Perhaps, this disturbed my father.  He
called and asked me, “What is the matter?”  I uttered
the word, Koravanji.  And he quickly gave me four
annas.  I left the Club and went to the newspaper
shop, not very far away, and purchased Koravanji.
Then, for a long time, one could see a large
smile on my face.
Koravanji has disappeared now.  What a loss !

cherished magazine

(photos from the internet, the one in the middle is that of the Kannada magazine, KORAVANJI )