And this one...
No? Still see nuffink? Look closely. We have helpfully placed striking yellow and blue rectangles. Look inside the rectangles.
Well, so there we were, dissolutely plying the toothbrush in the oral cavity on a Sunday midmorning, as one normally does, when we glimpsed aerial activity in the middle distance. Stumble in, grab scope, camera, and stumble back to window. Which is the story of those pictures. Anyway, the blue and yellow rectangles magnified.
Ladeej and jantalbhainses, we give you, live and hot from Begumpet, Hyderabad, a bevy of Little Green Bee-eaters (merops orientalis). These flitty things aren't exactly uncommon, but bloody fun to watch, as they take off periodically and dart about dementedly in search of...umm...bees. Almost beginning to wish we had a better camera...
In other ornithological news, the Birdwatchers Society Of Andhra Pradesh (BSAP) conducted their first ever "bird race" last Sunday. The very intrepid (1) Sheetal has an in-detail blow-by-blow i-was-there account of the proceedings. Teams spotted as many as 104 different species in and around Hyderabad, which is stunning, to say the least. To think that this primeval lump of barren Deccan Plateau...(shuts up hastily lest the lynch mob arrives).
We couldn't go to the race, nope, we couldn't. We were off running the Hyderabad 10k road race that same day. We ran this race last year, in the company of a curious sandbagging Irrawady dolphin, who this year thankfully spared us the agony of watching the clouds of dust as she took off at the end.
For this edition, we managed to get around 20 unwitting souls from work to sign up. We wended our way through Brahmanwadi at the crack of dawn, crossed the tracks and found ourselves at People's Plaza. The run was supposed to start at 7:00, but what with the dignitaries getting escorted onstage by each other (yes, there was an infinite loop of escorting-dignitaries-onstage), the crowd going nuts (right!) at the sight of killadiyon ka killadi (2), Sameera Reddy, Subbarami Reddy (3), and other Reddys, the thing didn't kick off till 7:20 or so. The crowd seemed a lot smaller than last year, there was no danger of fallschirmjäger sedimenting on our heads from the heavens, and there were portable loos (big, big improvement over last year, although lots of people perhaps hadn't figured out what the telephone booths were for at a road race!).
So we all set off, and we took pictures as usual. Here's one from Tank Bund, with little cute sailboats and stuff. It was a very nice day for a morning lun, no sun and all.
And, here's that much awaited mugshot of Ludwig Himself, in the flesh, somewhere between the end of Tank Bund and the Sanjeevaiah Park gates:
Yes, that's us. Except for the head, of course (the size is just about right). You see, this Predator with a serious yen for dum biryani, was in the process of materializing right in front of us, as the picture was being taken. Tchah. [Readers will be glad to know that Ludwig did not come to any harm. Pred courteously requested directions to Paradise, and in true Hyderabadi fashion, instead of actually giving him the straight and narrow path, we did the decent thing and told him how we thought he ought to go about the getting-to-Paradise algorithm, "Aap aisa karo...." Pred thanked us with a slap on the back [Note to self: Remove icky talon thing from between shoulderblades when showering next], and slithered off towards RTC Crossroads.]
Phew. Anyway, there are a couple of things to note (apart from the sexy, curvaceous looks) in the above picture. Which brings us to our final set of gadgets. Note the belt. This is a FuelBelt from the training-for-Marine-Corps-Marathon days. We whip it out once a year, mainly to hold camera, money and so on on these little runs.
Also, observe what is strapped to our left wrist. This is the latest baby of them all. It is what is called a Garmin Forerunner 301.
It's an inspire-fat-Ludwigs-to-run thingumabob. Has a GPS receiver which shrewdly plots your every move; a heart rate monitor which, with a steady, unblinking, unambiguous "0" where it should read "165", will clearly indicate to you that, you're in fact, dead. In case this crucial aspect of your existence had escaped your attention, engrossed as you were in following that item in tight red tracksuit, scooting up those impossible steps in the KBR Park circuit. So this sexpot (gadget) can store boatloads of data, and lets you do a bunch of stuff. You can download the data and view on your desktop (as in the below, which shows a run around KBR Park):
It computes elevation gain and loss (look closely, there is a picture below):
And when you hook it up to MotionBased, you can quickly upload all your data, do all kinds of analyses, and plot your path against Google Earth. Check out our new running log. The gory 10k details are available, and our final exhibit, a shot of the Google Map for the 10k, generated from the running log:
We loves the technology.
1. Intrepid for reasons including introducing a colour-blind, tone-deaf, biologically inept Ludwig to a hapless BSAP.
2. MMKR digression: "Dai, avan jagath jaala killadi da..." - Thanks to all 2 of you who giggled at this blast from the past.
3. Couldn't find a decent link for Mr. Reddy, but Google revealed this parliamentary debate. Snippet:
DR. T. SUBBARAMI REDDY (VISAKHAPATNAM): ...I would like to say that 17,000 mws of power was the only increase in the Eighth Plan. As far as the Ninth Plan is concerned, already one year is over and the Government is proposing 40,000 mws of power generation. Perhaps, it may be very difficult. The entire country is reeling under the shortage of power. The prosperity and progress of the country depends on the power generation. So, I would like to say that all the 545 Members must stand for power production.
MR. CHAIRMAN : Dr. Reddy, you are having extraordinary powers. You can contribute.
DR. T. SUBBARAMI REDDY : I sleep only for four hours because I am having extra powers. I am active for 20 hours with different social, political, spiritual and cultural activities. (Interruptions).