Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sounds of silence in our summer garden...

Yes, the colors of spring are slowly fading now, the chill is history. Welcome to the Delhi summer. Dry, hot and seemingly lifeless.

Summer is the time when even the leaves refuse to flutter in our garden. The absence of any unwanted noise or presence of a much revered silence. The absence of voices doesn't mean no living activity. Silence has its own energy and vibrations.   

Silence in the summer noon is not lifeless though. Last weekend I decided to check by myself sitting in the garden. Not in the usual morning or evening when I water the plants but during the early afternoon when we usually remain indoors enjoying all around avian sounds . Yes it feels like we are in a jungle cottage when Barbets call each other from different trees and we hear them from inside. Blessed feeling.

It was early noon and there was unusual movement of two adult babblers. On close scrutiny two set of tiny eyes caught my attention. See by yourself.. 

They were sitting on the mango tree which is not in very good shape due to some extra active anti-environment 'human' neighbor, but able to give some homely atmosphere to the avian neighbors nevertheless.

These tiny chicks seem to be waiting for someone...

Ahh.. here the mother cames with mouthful of lunch... 

Another one...

Yes both the parents at the same time with food, what enjoyment.

Imagine yourself in this situation, you would know the real feeling.

Near absolute silence, the voices are very low pitched and very calming ...

Very homely too, in a strange way...

They all huddle together, knowing my presence and still comfortable ...

The parents wait till the first serving of the food is swallowed. And then the next is offered to a fluttering baby..

Yes the babies keep fluttering the wings when they demand food...

They take small bites of the insect I notice...

Some conversation is also going on along with munching... dining table conversations you know...

But these conversations are all almost silent for human ears....

This is not the end of enjoyment. Another variation of silence is about to come. Another set of tiny eyes catch the attention of a camera lens.

Some little creatures...

Beautiful little eyes waiting for someone inside the lemon tree... Safe cocoon of a place.

What bliss...

No we are not grumpy... we are cute as bunnies..

I know you are watching, who cares?

My mom is watching too... Do you know that?

The watch guards are sitting very nearby...

Here she came with the food . Sorry for the poor picture quality but sometimes real eyes are better record keepers than the mechanical one..

After meal time may be we should do some stretching...

Walks are also a healthy option...

Meanwhile Mr. G who is all the time snacking on the Moringa flowers is also found lazing around .

Seems like he is also enjoying silence irrespective of neighbors.. like us...


But it's so hot we need water too...

We have our own watering hole ....

But there is a tough competition at the watering hole..

Some visitors come angry...

Some are quite shy to take risk..

Some come for water quietly and do the job as if spying on someone...

Witnessing the constant watch on the watering hole, Mr. G decided to challenge me with his own style of sumo pose...

On the other side there was another story unfolding... A new beginning happening...

A couple searching for a place to build their new home and why not, who stops you from starting a new life this summer.

While one of them keeping a watchful eye on the rest of creatures around....

The other one is busy building a new home, home to her new summer life... deep inside the mehendi bush.

Many visits to the ground to pick up thin sticks and some silk cotton flying around... and returning to the same spot...

 In the meantime the young babblers decided to take a walk in company of their parents. In safely camouflaged grounds...

The Bulbul chick also decided to show her antics...  and anger...

Of course in presence of her parents...

The stern look... as if saving the smaller chick by hiding her behind...

And then telling her someone is watching, be careful...

Stretching wings to show I am no small kid...

Did you see that?

I am a grown up bird now...

This much in one single day, who says summer is lifeless and silent? They have their own sounds and communications, it's the human mind that is clouded by the maddening turbulence.

How is summer at your end?

PS : The post is jointly written by both of us, myself and Arvind, and the pictures are also taken by both of us. There are days when we don't want to miss whatever is happening outside in the garden and weekends are the best days to record such things. we took turns in sitting outside for a couple of hours that day and all this was recorded. All pictures are processed by Arvind.


  1. Wonderful pics and I loved the commentary. Wow, its been a long time since I went out, sat still and just watched ...

    1. Watching silently is so enriching too Ritu. Kind of connecting you to something you craved. Do that soon. :-)

  2. A silent Kumbh
    in the shadows of a still afternoon.

    Families together
    for a dip in the cool green
    of shade, quiet,and goodwill.

    with obedient kids,
    who wait where they are told,
    as the parents search for food,
    and then return,
    to painstakingly
    cut and share the food
    bit by little bit
    for the kids to chew,
    ensuring no wastage
    and no plastic
    and never mind if
    nothing is left for themselves.....

    with more opinionated kids,
    independent and vociferous
    with food,
    never mind if some trickles down,
    it is biodegradable..

    And there is always
    the rush for
    clean drinking water
    sometimes flavoured with petals
    and leafy spices,
    and a typical
    rushing to get your chance
    like at the real spectacle
    except the water here is perfect.

    Some quietly setting up homes,
    some restlessly
    shifting around,
    climbing up and down
    between sips, chews
    and gestures of strength.

    So many
    from so many different places,
    wandering for
    Roti, Pani and Makaan.

    The two
    who are supposed
    to keep guard ,
    quietly stay out of the scene,
    for some quiet
    post meal birdnaps,
    not for themselves ,
    but for the visitors .....

    1. And here come our blessings too.
      Thank you Suranga for gracing this story with a poem :-)
      Such beautiful thoughts.

  3. I can appreciate the amount of effort that must have gone into the creation of this post. This is beautiful and I cannot tell you what a profoundly positive effect this has on my mood and morale.

  4. I am so glad this post could bring your mood to a good smile :-)
    Thank you Amrita and come some day we both would sit and watch them mumble..

  5. Love this post. The pictures are amazing and the post is awesome.

  6. Reading it makes me want to have my own garden. What fun to do this instead of rotting away in office.