All right, very well! It has been ages since our desperate, thirsting readers were treated to a snack at the choultry. Last week was like a curate's egg. About the size of a regular chicken egg, round, offwhite, solid-yet-fragile and so on. Actually, that isn't true. Like all self-respecting layers of eggs and progenitors of hatchlings, the curate spent some time sitting on his egg. So it eventually ended up rather flat, yellowish, drippy, and mottled with little pieces of shell. So that's what last week was like.
And the disgusting egg and egglayer prelude lets us segue into the meat of this post. Not only does it let us segue into the meat of this post, it even lets us use the word segue in a sentence. Who uses segue in a sentence? We do. It is like wanting to use gargantuan, in a legitimate context. Some of use will go to any lengths, even feed an ex-colleague to a black mamba (or whatever), so that we can say "gargantuan" as the poor sod gasps his life out on the floor next to us. We're li' 'at.
We digress too much. For an urban jungle, Hyderabad seems to be exactly that. A jungle. A bunch of us go running ever so often on the banks of the Hussain Sagar, and the sheer variety of birdlife is amazing. You have your egrets, your cormorants (untrained, no politicians and/or lighthouse keepers in evidence), your ducks (not Ganguly's, yours! ha ha...), and so on. Vijay Cavale runs Indiabirds where you can see his rather fantastic pictures of various feathered fiends. Earlier this year, there was a bunch of differently plumed and hued egrets in the Sagar, a reliable source (not a little bird!) says that that's "breeding plumage" for 'em egret blokes.
And just last week, outside the flat windows, as one dissolutely plied the toothbrush in the oral cavity and gazed out over the unfolding morning scene in customary why-me-why-now-Suzanna fashion, out of the blue, a brace of Indian grey hornbills (ocyceros birostris) showed up in the neem (azadirachta indica) tree. It felt like a dream, as they flitted around in the dappled sunlight, as birds are wont to in literary works. None of the neighbours (homo sapiens) seem to have noticed them, and the passing cockroaches (periplaneta americana) motored on and took no heed. Even the Irrawady dolphins (oracella brevirostris) and the blue whales (balaenoptera musculus) scarcely raised a waterspout. Which is well and proper. Would've been one helluva of weirdass dolphin or blue whale to catch a glimpse of an Indian grey hornbill. Having used many scientific names in a paragraph (in case you didn't notice)...
A very good place to see birds, if you're in Bangalore, is to get out of Bangalore. Drive sou' sou' west, towards the Biligiri Ranganna Hills. You will pass through several wetlands, where impeccably feathered and improbably named jacanas wade through the marshes, and fill you with joy (the sight of Nature's variety and beauty), and perplexity ("How do I pronounce jacana?"). When you get to BR Hills, if you're very lucky, you will get to see an Asiatic paradise flycatcher and be amazed. "How did an Asiatic birdie make it into India without passport, visa, and bottle of Scotch for Customs?", you will wonder. Perhaps not. Certainly, you'll get goosebumps from seeing this creature.
The point of this diatribe is, there are many beautiful things in the world, outside of well designed Java applications.