Asian Koel:

Asian Koel birds photographed in natural Habitat. Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes. The name koel is echoic in origin with several language variants. The bird is a widely used symbol in Indian poetry.

Asian Koel male & female

The word “Koel” is derived from the Hindi word which is onomatopoeic in origin. The Sanskrit root is “Kokila” and the words in various Indian languages are similar. It is traditionally held in high regard for its song and held in reverence with the Manusmriti, an ancient decree protecting them from harm. The Vedas, Sanskrit literature dated to about 2000 BC referred to it as Anya-Vapa which meant “that was raised by others”. This has been interpreted as the earliest knowledge of brood parasitism. Being familiar birds with loud calls, references to them are common in folklore, myth and poetry. It has been chosen as the state bird by the southern Indian state of Puducherry or Pondicherry.

Asian Koel2

Asian koel3

The male of the nominate race is glossy bluish-black, with a pale greenish grey bill, the iris is crimson, and it has grey legs and feet. The female of the nominate race is brownish on the crown and has rufous streaks on the head. The back, rump and wing coverts are dark brown with white and buff spots. The underparts are whitish, but are heavily striped. The other subspecies differ in coloration and size. The upper plumage of young birds is more like that of the male and they have a black beak. They are very vocal during the breeding season (March to August in South Asia), with a range of different calls. The familiar song of the male is a repeated koo-Ooo. The female makes a shrill kik-kik-kik… call. Calls vary across populations.

Amateur and part time fishing:

No High-tech gadgets, no fishing boat, net and not even any fishermen folks around him to help. All by himself, this part time and amateur fisherman barely with a towel wrapped around his waist has amazed me with his skills. All that he had was a local hand made steel rod connected to a fishing hook and weight by a long nylon rope of about 100 ft in length. At first sight I didn’t realize what he was up to while I was shooting blue sky, waves, fishing boats & sea at East Coast road Beach at Chennai TN, India. I have seen people with professional fishing kits at lakes, rivers and ponds but he was an eye opener for me as I didn’t know before that fishes can be caught at sea shore even, where tides and waves are so strong and fishes do ever exist at this close range for fishing.

I went nearby followed his actions closely to find his amazing talent and clicked those moments in a series of images and he was too willing to pose for me and explained the process too!!

Here is the success story of a man with no family, wandering around in a fishermen hamlet, catches fish in an unique way for living and proves the point that there is always an opportunity in Life only if we see it properly!

Waiting patiently after throwing the weight & hook as far as he could into the see.

Dragging the catch

Bait in hook used is the stuff inside these shells after braking with stone.

Dragging the catch

Prize catch close up

Winding up for next try

Attitude, after all, is everything – Optimism:

Optimist: Person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness.

“The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser – in case you thought optimism was dead.”

Is there any proof that optimism leads to better results?
Walter Isaacson  says, “[Steve Jobs] taught himself to stare without blinking so he could talk people into things — they called it the reality distortion field….He would make people believe they could do the impossible, which is why he was such a charismatic business leader.”

Is Optimism detrimental?

Generally, ‘optimism’ is not detrimental but is a good positive mental attitude.

However, blind optimism, obsessively optimistic, optimism with arrogance, irrational optimism, etc. can backfire on the individual.

In philosophy, ‘optimism’ can refer to ‘optimistic’ on the existence of god and going to heaven after physical death. The non-theistic would then be taking a ‘pessimistic’ stance in contra to this sense of ‘theistic optimism’. This theistic optimism can be detrimental to humanity arising from the excesses of theism.
Further debate on this subject would be too philosophical and hence full stop here!

I took this image without any planning in mind; Just a casual shot while I was desperately looking for some creative photographic subject. Then I searched for some suitable text and came up with these inspiring quotes/words and a story to back up optimism. All credit goes to those great people who shared the original thoughts.

The story is so old that hunting peacock was legal then… Don’t skip, read on!!

Optimism – A short story:

There was a king who once went to the jungle for hunting. He was accompanied by one of his ministers. While the minister was trying to arrow down a peacock, he happens to hurt the king’s index finger unknowingly. The king turns very furious. He decides to maroon the minister deep in the forest. Doing so, he starts off to his palace. On the way, he encounters some tribal inhabitants. They immediately take custody of the king and prepare him for a ritual sacrifice. While just about to kill the king, one of them notices the king’s bleeding finger. He informs this to all his fellowmen. They then let the king go, saying that an incomplete life can not be given as a sacrifice to the God.

The king realizes that the mistake committed by the minister has now saved him. He goes back to the minister, narrates to him what had happened, apologizes and thanks him. The minister being very optimistic says that it is he who has to thank the king for marooning him. Bewildered, the king asks what for he is thanked? The minister replies that if he had not been marooned by the king, the tribal would have killed him for being perfectly healthy.

Saying so, the minister concludes that there is always something good in whatever happensLet’s look at the better part of things.

No light no life:

In India, all festivals begin with lighting a lamp.

‘Festival of Lights’ or Diwali is a festival which has the potential of unifying entireIndiabecause of the charisma and splendor surrounding this festival. Diwali has been given the traditional name of ‘festival of lights’ because of the hundreds and thousands of small oil lamps or diyas lighted by many households. The burning of these lamps considered to be the lighted pathway of a person’s expression of happiness and also a manner of paying obeisance to God, the Supreme power for attainment of health, prosperity, knowledge, financial security and peace in one’s life.

No matter what the legend but the festival of lights or Diwali is celebrated with much enthusiasm and zeal in all over the country by people of all religions.

Here I begin my journey with a few light/lamp images from my archive to make it auspicious.


The ever eluding luck

 While I was studying sixth standard, like any other schoolboy I had my neighborhood friends. We use to gather at a place in our area that was popularly known as “ Horse house” for all our play activities. As the name implies, as there was a definite connection between horse and the owner of the house, as a Beautiful stone-craved full size horse statue in galloping posture within the compound of the house was installed. Anybody who passed through the road could not miss its majestic presence. For many days it never struck us to find the reason why such a statue was erected, which was quite unusual. Then we learnt that, the owner of the house had been lucky enough to win a huge jackpot at the Guindy, Chennai, India racecourse and that it was only with this prize money that he had been able to build the palatial house on an area of more than three grounds. Erecting the statue might have been his way of showing his gratitude. But then that was the truth. That was the first time in my life that I had come across a person gifted with such unusual luck.

          Luck can be defined as a chance, especially as it is perceived as influencing someone’s life at specific points. It is also an event, good or ill, affecting one’s interest or happiness and is deemed as casual, occurring by chance, fate, fortune. Luck is often used for good luck, as luck is better than skill. When someone attempts something unknown with success then that’s also called luck. An unknown and unpredictable phenomenon, that causes an event to result one-way rather than another. They say luck is lady.

           Have you ever played snake & ladder? As far as I am concerned LUCK is no more than a snake & ladder game. Just play, pass the time, enjoy and get refreshed in between your productive and career or growth oriented initiatives.

snake ladder

I have come across many young and talented professionals with above average IQ, smart, intelligent, hard working and above all with pleasing manners. Surely, I know more about them and their abilities, than the interviewers who just talk with him for half an hour or so and decide their fate. Then, that is what the employment process is all about. The lucky one’s definitely have edge over others.

           There is an important community World over, which consists of gamblers, those who play cards for money, casino players, betters for horse races, lottery ticket buyers and many others dealing with different aspects of betting business from ant race to elephant race that are being played all over the world. They rely and live only on luck and their success or failure is one of their own making: a consequence they have deliberately invited themselves into. The results achieved by them is seem to be a random type of luck and often, we attribute their accomplishments to random luck. Those who rely on random luck seem to have certain traits in common.

           I remember reading in many magazines, that even many world famous and top cricketers, football and tennis players have had faith and belief in superstition or luck in one-way or another. They preserve their lucky play kit accessories, vests, shorts, gloves, caps, helmets and many other such articles for years, even if they are half torn, dirty and deformed, and use them time and again when their team or country requires a match saving performance from them. They all have their own notions. Yet as far as I know, none these players have at any point of time in their carriers disclosed how consistent their luck has been with those priced possessions.

           The house owner and landlord of the place where I had my office once had incurred a cumulative loss of around Rs.30 Lakhs in the business that he had been doing for the past 20 years. Now that he is caught by the vasthu mania, hired a vasthu consultant and is redesigning the entire house at an estimated cost of Rs. 5 Lakhs. Every aspect of the change as perceived by the consultant is being applied meticulously including changing the position of lavatory commode. (The correct direction is Northwest-Make a note of it.) Strange here is that the owner of the house is a Christian.

            Almost all the World famous and the most visited websites attach much importance to Astrology and are featuring it prominently. Some even offer personalized service according to one’s birth star. Astrology is another popular form of finding luck and prosperity. Astrology is the only subject that has many things to say about luck and how to acquire it. It simply tells you to have faith in God and perform remedial prayers to elevate the debilitated planet that in turn will inherit more luck and prosperity. Of course the prayers cannot correct the so-called fate, but can do their best to nullify the effects to a bare minimum or nil.  There are many other religious methods like vasthu, Chinese Astrology and gemology through which ones luck can be enhanced. Some even believe that luck has something to do with the color of the dress; as for each day there is one particular dress color that brings in more luck. The above-mentioned methods that many opt for are applied with unquestionable faith.

  But in reality these superstitious beliefs are not tested for their authenticity. Superstition is devoid of scope for critical evaluations. Furthermore, some superstitions make extravagant claims about their scientific status. Superstitions may be harmful if they alone are used in taking decisions and solving problems. Yet this is being followed with utmost care and sanctity, by only a few of course. These concepts of a bygone era and other old beliefs are slowly disappearing from the minds of people but not Astrology. It is back with a bang with new colors and dimensions, even though the prediction patterns are the same old ones, as is evident from almost all the popular websites. Though I am not a habitual believer I often read my predictions just for amusement.

           In fact, on many occasions I have felt that, this nagging luck factor has not been favoring me. Is it true that luck is in only for those who are born with the silver spoon or born under an auspicious star? In my view to be a successful businessman, this phenomenon is also an important element. I thought I must make a through study of it, to know more about it’s whereabouts, source of its availability and the price to pay for it. How long must I wait and watch as others at work zoom past me with half the effort? To achieve success, I made several aggressive efforts and carried out quixotic projects that many businessmen try out and invariably in the end, I found myself beating the air. If there were four wrong ways and only one correct way, I would always take five tries to get things right, If at all, I did keep trying that long. Often I didn’t. But that does not mean all my efforts were without any forethought or proper planning.  Yet it is a difficult task because analysis, solutions and decisions, in real life, have to be made in an uncertain environment. Furthermore, no matter how careful our decision-making process is, it is unlikely that all outcomes would be always favorable. Often, I use to wonder, if I would ever enjoy being able to decide my own fate and imagined what it would be like to turn on a steady flow of good luck. I have learnt that being lucky is a skill, just like any other skill. As one learns and practices it, one gets better and luckier. Here are the practically experienced summery of successful tips, written by many authors World over that can greatly enhance one’s luck.

 Lucky people don’t believe in luck. Almost all the unusually successful people never believe in luck. It is the sheer hard work, dedication and wholehearted involvement in the work that matters. They don’t wait or look for random luck. They generate their own luck.

Lucky people look for the opportunity that’s always embedded in problems and in life’s inconveniences. “There is always a miracle in a mess.”

Lucky people are willing to start small and work their way up. They know what they want to accomplish and can visualize the end result in vivid details.

Lucky people never quit when they are holding a potentially winning hand. They drop a losing hand as quickly as possible. They know the difference.

Lucky people polish their people skills constantly because most opportunities are brought to them by others. They also develop a wide range of professional skills so that they are prepared when any opportunity knocks on the door.

Lucky people demonstrate flexibility. They are ready to face all the setbacks and detours that they encounter. They monitor their progress and make the appropriate adjustments and when a particular strategy isn’t working they just make a change and keep trying to achieve their goals.

 Other than these simple things, however, naturally lucky people don’t do anything special at all. As far as I know, that proverbial born with the silver spoon or born under the auspicious birth star theories never seem to work in favor of us in real life, because, “ one has to do his own growing, no matter how tall his father was”.

 I remember one quote from an unknown source.

 “I do not know anything about luck; I have never banked on it, and am afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: hard work and realizing what is opportunity and what isn’t”. “Diligence is the mother of good luck”.