B for Ball

We are with the 2018 April AtoZ Blogging challenge and its my fifth attempt. For those who missed it, here is the link to my Theme Reveal post. Do the alphabets still stand for the same things we learnt about in Nursery school? 

Its day two and the alphabet is B

B is for Ball. 

That is the time honoured object that a child relates the second alphabet to. Possibly among her (used the feminine pronoun only for convenience – can just as well be him) first toys as well. As she grows up, the nature of earliest soft round colourful structure changes and possibly only the round shape remains. 

It can become either a football, cricket ball, tennis ball, table tennis ball and so on…

At my stage in life, ball only refers to a golf ball. Rather should I say, its the weird propensity crows on our golf course have found for golf balls. 

I am sure you are scratching your heads in confusion.

Let me clarify… Whenever someone hits a shot, no sooner than the ball lands on the fairway (or bunker) than a waiting crow swoops down and picks it up and flies away. All this happens as fast as one can blink their eyelids. Golf balls are not cheap and losing them on a regular basis can become stressful especially when the player may lose a stroke for the loss. To add insult to injury, the crows invariably steal the ball after a particularly good shot wherein it has landed in a wonderful position for a possible birdie. Suddenly, that word (birdie) doesnt sound funny!

A good shot lands on the green.. now possibly being eyed by a feathered foe sitting on a branch…

We first faced this in the North East many many years ago. However, I guess picking up golf balls from the course has become a very popular avian sport and its common in Pune now. Do the birds confuse the balls with eggs? But then these are pretty heavy and quite unbreakable. I wonder if they stash these in some convenient branch or trunk hollow but  we haven’t yet heard of the stolen balls being found. 

This is dear hubby’s stash of unopened new golf balls!

The above image is proof of the fear these birds have instilled in the hearts of golfers. They prefer to keep the brand new stuff at home …

So near yet so far..

Is this bird behaviour seen across India and maybe other parts of the world as well? 
Do share!!

The nasty me surfaces in the first question I ask hubby on returning, “how many pars for you and what’s the score for the crows?”


Honouring Our Soldiers

It was quite a while ago, that I began a post about streets in my city named after women. That was inspired by a BBC article “Are our street names sexist?” 

This idea sort of germinated into yet another one namely, finding out how many streets in my city and outside of its Cantonment are named after soldiers… Outside the Cantonment is the key as that is the area where most roads are named after soldiers…

Thus began my search and for now my list has only five names… I know there will be many more and this list will be updated as and when I learn about them. So those of you who do come across such street names do let me know…

The list is in no specific order… 
Here goes:

1. Flying Officer Sudhir Pawar Path
2. Shaheed Colonel Prasanna Gore Path – in Sahakar Nagar
3. Capt Vishwasrao Himmatbahaddur Chavan Path – in Navi Peth
4. Sqn Ldr Sureshchandra Bhagwat Path – in Model Colony
5. Kai Col Suryakant Pandit Path – in Model Colony

6. Second Lieutenant Shrikant Rege Path – in Model Colony
7. Subhedar Namdev Jadhav Path – Ashok Nagar 

Waiting to hear from you all!
Take care!

K is for KNP

KNP is the popular shortened name for Pune’s Kamla Nehru Park. This is an ‘old’ park compared to other parks that the PMC looks after – ofcourse nowhere close to the Empress Garden. There are no records as to when this park was set up but many speculate it to be in the late 1930s or early years of the 1940s. Hence one can see fairly large and mature trees here and its a popular site for tree walks. 

The KNP is a small stately neighbourhood park, very popular with both young and old alike. The park is the meeting point for many senior citizens many of whom are from different parts of the city. These meetings are a great way for them to ‘let their hair down’ and relax to get away from the humdrum issues that increasingly become predominant at this stage of life. Kids too seem to love this place judging from the number of parents and children I have seen here. 

A vintage Marut aircraft of the Indian Air Force is on display here. I am sure many a young minds has been inspired to take up a career in flying just by looking at this aircraft. The Marut is the first fighter jet designed in India. In 1955 the country did not have infrastructure to build it yet the project did go ahead with ingenuity and perseverance. After the due phases of design, prototype, ground test program etc, the aircraft made its maiden sortie on 17 June 1961. (Source Bharat Rakshak). Do visit this link for the very interesting story about the life and times of this bird.

The KNP also has a memorial for Dr S V Ketkar who wrote the first encyclopedia in Marathi. 

Gardens, Pune, Kamla Nehru Park
Memorial for Dr SV Ketkar

As in most parks, there is a walking track around the perimeter, a play area for kids and a composting pit for garden waste. Here are a few important trees in this park … the Cannon ball trees (Courroupita guianensis), the Guest Tree (Kleihovia hospita), the Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica) and the Bartondi (Morinda pubescens). I dare not go on with this list as I am sure some of you would like to visit and identify them yourselves!

Majestic Bottle Palms in the lawn
Fun times for kids

While many will struggle to know the precise locations of many parks that I have written about, the Kamla Nehru Park will be a very easy recall. An excellent park in the heart of a residential area that fast losing its old world charm.

Timings: 6AM to 10AM and 4PM to 8PM
Entry: Free
Drinking Water: Available (Quality and hygiene not checked)
Rest Rooms: Available (Quality and hygiene not checked)

USP: Trees, Aircraft static display, kids play area
Location Map here

This post is part of my April 2015 AtoZ blogging challenge and I am writing about parks in Pune. You can read other posts on this theme here. Yet another ‘K’ park is the Kamal Nayan Bajaj Udyan at Wakdewadi, Shivaji Nagar Pune. I plan to visit that garden too. 

The Walls are Alive

Many years ago, when my husband was still serving in the
Indian armed forces, the most important aspect when moving into the allocated MES accommodation was getting it painted — ‘chuna’ was
our brutally frank description of that process. The team of workers ‘did’ up
the houses in a day, two days if we were lucky. All of us had uniform pale
yellow walls with white ceilings. Just that layer of coloured water on the
walls gave the homes a fresher feel and we happily settled in. The family was not separated, there was a Kendriya Vidyalaya for the children and we were happy. That’s
just how things were in our times.Decorating homes meant
displaying mementos, paintings, embroidery, potted plants and so on. Paint as
decor by itself was unheard of. 

Out on civil street after my hubby had quit service, we were quite confused
when it was time to paint our flat. We opted
for the
Asian Paints Home Solutions which
meant the company took care of everything including the dreaded ‘post paint’ cleaning of the home. 

With the provider chosen we had just one more task and that was choosing the colour-scheme. This was something we had never done before and there were just too many shades. I
did not know that a basic sounding ‘white’ could be ‘Pristine linen’ or
‘Egg shell’ or ‘Silence.’ 
And I have not even started on the rest of the colour palette. What about the VOCs? Did I want to keep inhaling
toxic gases?
there were
the textures… My
vote was for the ‘Spatula, the hubby wanted ‘Canvas’ and our daughter wanted
‘Dapple’. Any guesses on who won? 


You can only imagine the lively discussions that took place before we made our
Suffice to say that we tested the patience of our relationship manager and I
must say he was pretty cool throughout.

The team did a thorough job working on each room for six days. Six
days! Unheard of from where we had come but the
end result was stunning. Super smooth and silky to touch, the walls glowed
softly in the light of our lamps. My artefacts were truly unique (even if I say
so myself) but they looked more beautiful against these lovely
walls. The textured wall is the piece de resistance in our drawing room.  My driftwood looks even more beautiful with
the special wood finish paints and waterproofing products have taken care of
unsightly scars from seepage.

I have seen a TV ad showing an ArmyCaptain who decorates the house to welcome his bride. I truly
wish we had this facility in our times!

They say it’s the people that make homes what they are – cosy comfortable
heavens where we can anytime retreat to for unquestioned faith, love and care. It’s
the emotions and memories created therein that binds the family members
Homes whose walls keep track of the kids’ growing height, their tentative drawing skills, occasionally even serve as a ‘board’  when they  play ‘teacher teacher’ and groan under weight of the framed certificates! Walls that tell a story of their own… The only additional thing they need is they need ‘proper’ paint. Truly a “Home Sweet Home”.
This post is slightly edited from my submission for the Asian Paints & Ripple Links Beautiful Home Blogger contest.