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Two B’s have kept me busy and away from my blog these past days. The first of the B’s stands for Bangalore where I have been for a while, visiting the son and the daughter-in-law. Last week, I had posted a picture of the green canopy of a magnificent rain tree right in the middle of the city. But trees welcome you to Bangalore even before you enter the city proper. Part of the way has rain trees on either side, standing well back from the road, a delight to the eyes. Who had planted them, and when, I wondered, silently blessing the person/persons for their forethought.

As you go along further, you will still see occasional rain trees, but copperpods, gulmohars and a few queen’s crepe-myrtle here and there take over. Once inside the city though, rain trees rule, massive ones, ancient looking, with branches spread out in benevolence. You can also see some fine specimens of peepal, ber and more. Bangalore is special that way when it comes to trees. I doubt if any other city has as many trees as one finds here.

Once I reached my son and d-i-l’s house, I noticed a tree right outside their balcony. I didn’t know what it was, but it seemed quite a promising one considering the number of bees and butterflies flitting about – always a good sign – taking an undue interest in it. Are there birds around too, I asked the son. No, he replied, only pigeons. That was rather a disappointment.

The next morning though, I woke up to hear an Asian Koel. I spotted him among the branches, glossy black feathers, ruby red eyes, singing his heart out to the speckled female bird who tossed her head and flew away with a loud cry. I was ecstatic. My guess was right. Birds visited the tree!

Just then I noticed a movement on another branch and who should I find silhouetted in the morning sun? A barbet, probably a White-cheeked Barbet. But I couldn’t be sure as it flew away as if hurt at being spied upon. Soon I heard an all familiar chatter. Sunbirds, of course! I counted four of them, hopping from one branch to another, chattering non-stop. The parrots were a noisy lot, their squawks ringing out as they busily flew from one building to the next. Somewhere a Kingfisher called out. Against the blue sky could be seen kites, the feathered kind, flying in circles, their keen eyes searching the ground below. By now, I was grinning at the ‘no birds around’ comment of the son.

The skies were not always blue during my stay. The day I reached, by evening they turned grey and soon it rained, not just bringing down the temperature, but cooling my heart and mind, much troubled by the heat in my hometown.

The son and daughter-in-law filled me up with good food, those that they made at home, also from the many restaurants they took me to. There weren’t any interesting movies, so we gave that a pass. I finished a whole book while at their place. I also met a blogger friend Meena (after almost seven years), for lunch. Picture to the left.

The time to return was upon me only too soon. At the pet shop where I had gone to buy treats for Luci, I met a five month old, white Golden Retriever called Casper. Seeing the frisky pupper brought to me with force the welcome that awaited me at home. I pictured Luci’s barks, the non-stop wiggling of her bottom, the wagging tail. I just couldn’t wait to get back. That made the return journey also a happy one.

As for the other B, that has to wait for another day. 😉

The tree loved by butterflies and bees. Birds too.
The grey skies that brought rain
Caught in the traffic on the way to the airport.

© Shail Mohan 2019