Spotting a Shikra

I just happened to catch the silhouette of its winged flight and looked up to just catch it perching in our garden's tree. I raced to the top of stairs leading to our terrace and hurriedly aimed with my camera.Praying that it didn't whisk away into another flight ,laughing at the photographer's predicament who wished he could fly alongside it.But as i pressed the click button , I was lucky enough to capture this  :)

My capture of the moments ,this male shikra gave me to photograph
Upon feverishly googling to research what this bird was called I was at a loss .i picked up my Book Birds of India and narrowed it down to 3 species but to get an expert opinion I used a online  resource group's help. This is a wonderful group that let's you tap into the expertise of other birdwatcher's in India. I suggest using this group to identify a bird you spotted.

 The adult male shikra is smaller than the female with a striking red eye, pale grey plumage above and barred chestnut feathers below. In contrast, the adult female is darker and browner, with a deep-orange eye
The shikra was a favourite among falconers in India and Pakistan due to the ease with it could be trained and was frequently used to procure food for the more prized falcons .

Luckily this bird is at the safest part on the endangered scale.Wishing it remains that way.

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Loved the day I got my first passport.I remember the feeling of surging pride when I was required to show my passport at the immigration counter.It felt like a powerful affirmation of me being an Indian.

Here is a Norwegian passport ,with some pretty cool artwork.Indian Ministry of external affairs ,we could use some of these ideas for Indian passports too right?

The design on the inside features a minimalist vista with mountains and water; the designers said that nature "has always been an essential part of the Norwegian identity and tradition."
The design isn't as simplistic as it looks, though. Under ultraviolet light, the daytime landscape changes to night time:

Under UV light Norway's Northern lights is depicted on the passport

Here's a link (click here) to other pretty AWESOME passports on the planet.
Overwhelming memories of being Base camp leader for over 1312 trekkers at Dalhousie.Each trekker was unique.Each trekkers famous question was "Will I see snow ?" I was there to see them all successfully complete the trek and return back to basecamp. I simply loved listening to them ,when they excitedly shared there  experience at Kalatop,Khajjiar and Mangla. There was a change in the way they looked and spoke now.They all discovered the hidden CHAMPION inside them.

You report as strangers,and after you eat ,sleep, dance ,sing and trek as a single group.You return back home as lifelong friends.

YHAI Base Camp Dalhousie : Winter trek 2014 Dec to 2015 Jan

With another amazing Camp leader Deepjyoti Biswas

Last group flagged off trek from base camp
At work :)
Returning trekkers given the warrior certificate

The morning laughing exercise session :)

Wow, some of the quantum physics laden dialogues might escape us,but what a movie. Absolutely loved the experience of the movie. It was like the audience themselves where in that worm hole ,once in their movie seat.I am going to watch it again after I brush up a little on my physics.

This day 1984

Today, family member's paying their respect.
This day 1984, Indira Gandhi died.. leading to anti-Sikh riots. As a nation 30 years later... I can't help but notice we still tend to blame an entire community because it has some religious fanatics.Generations to generations we are not learning from previous mistakes.It's not BJP ,Congress etc. but the one's who have actually learned something from history who run India as a nation.They are the ones who give us hope when we wake up to a new day.

Her last public rally

Surviving family members of Anti sikh riots.

At a very interesting point of history where we're seeing the karmic effect, of our collective action in our very own lifetime.Our collective strength has  delivered more than expected while facing many challenges ,Global warming challenge just needs us to collectively take responsibility of.

One fought for girl child education, the other against child labour...both looked ahead ,far ahead than the present silent compromises in their nation.The nobel prize has again nudged us in the recognizing what incredible potential we have as Humans,Indians,Pakistanis neighbors. Main stream media is busy showcasing the "He shot first" Indo-Pak finger pointing game.Let us not brush aside this joint Nobel prize as a mere blip in the radar,among the daily flood of political tit for tat. It's easy to blame the politicians,but they are simply catering to a supply-demand driven market of votes.

WE are the cause of this situation,yes you and me, that chaiwallah, our teachers,colleagues,clients,competitors,friends,life partner, classmates etc. are the customers these politicians are catering to.Would we accept this level of customer service from a company that only catered to our insecurity. We would laugh at a company that just took care of the very bare minimum of security  and then turned around and expected our loyalty.That is exactly what the Pakistani and Indian leadership have been doing and will do unless we let it know ,that enough is enough.


We pay a premium for companies that set a higher standard,not just a PC ,we want the beautiful Mac,not just a phone ,we crave an Iphone .Then why settle for this almost 60 years Indo Pak status quo? This is isn't another peace loving hippie way of looking at things,I personally am ALL-IN for a Absolute ZERO tolerance policy to terrorism.The very fact I am sitting and typing this without a care in the world about gunshots, is only because a line of Men and Women are facing it bravely for me at the LOC.


I am grateful for this Army.Thank you,soldiers.However, let us be something worthy of protecting.These soldiers put their very lives on the line on a daily basis to protect us.Let's show our gratitude to them by us aspiring to be a billion  Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi.

Travel diary : Darjeeling

Suggested Reading for travellers to Darjeeling
Travel diary : Mc leodganj

 Memories at The Tsuglagkhang Complex in McLeod Ganj (His Holiness Dalai Lama's Residence)
Post by Hitesh Kumar J.

Suggested reading for Travellers enchanted by Dharamshala
Pages from my travel diary: Pondicherry. Here are some suggested reading before you take a trip there