Sunday, June 27, 2010

Maternal instincts in the wild !!

We,humans take pride in our parenting skills….We think animals,specially small,insignificant ones, are dumb and incapable of anything-leave alone taking care of their youngs…My entire notion changed when I happened to come across,among a few-the parenting of an octopus and a strawberry Poison-dart frog …..

A strawberry Poison-dart frog….lays her eggs,as expected,in a pool of water-and when the eggs hatch-the momma frog gets apprehensive-To make sure the tadpoles survive,she carries,each one,one at a time,to different water-filled spaces,like the bromeliad axils (which are epiphytic i.e. growing on another tree trunk ) and deposit them there-separate spaces are important,otherwise the tadpoles will eat each other during the growing process….The frog often makes a climb of half a mile to one mile up a tree to search for separate water-filled spaces or bromeliads-each time it carries a tadpole.There is not only so much toil behind this entire up and down and nursery-searching process, but sacrifice and maternal thoughts,even in an amphibian.

And she doesn’t stop at this- she visits the growing tadpoles every few days and deposits one of her unfertilized eggs- source of food for the growing young ones …..

An octopus,slimy and weird looking as it is, is a creature deserving commendation for it’s parental techniques !! A male octopus dies after mating…and the female lays the eggs-sometimes 200,000 together,after a few days and hangs them in strings from her nest-They look like clusters of grapes from vines. She stops eating entirely, so that she doesn’t have to go out to hunt and leave her embryos in danger ….She sometimes has to sustain out of her own body parts- She,like a caring mother,gently sways water over the eggs, to ensure they get a constant supply of oxygen. And once the eggs are almost ready to hatch, the mother octopus leaves the lair and is too weak to survive the attack of her predators…She sacrifices her life so that there wouldn’t be any competition for food between her and her young ones ~ ~

Maternal instinct exists in perhaps all the living creatures- It is us,humans, who fail to see it or realize it, bcoz we are too pressed for time, are selfish and busy, taking pride in our intelligence, which we have successfully used in wiping out hundreds of species from this earth- species whose maternal instincts we would never come to know !!

The swaying curtains .....

The windows were open,the curtains were moving in the light summer breeze-A lovely summer afternoon…tea was on a tray with my favorite cream cookies..Cookery show was on and the bell rang-Dad is home !! And that was when I woke up ~ ~ Woke up and found that the window was closed shut and the curtains weren’t moving either-There weren’t any tea on the bed,the television was dead and everything was still,boringly dead …… ~

So, I woke up not from a dream,but from the past to the present ~ And even if the curtains swayed now,I would feel like being on an ice floe,alone in the cold,in Antarctica …trying to survive and live another day !!

Deja Vu

A dream or a forgotten experience- I had a déjà vu-while watching LIFE- Snow-covered conifers,frozen lakes~Have I ever been to such a place ?

All those tall trees standing aloft,touching the sky-reminded me of someplace I had frequented in the past ~ Few jumbled-up feelings of nostalgia,déjà vu and faint memories which might or might not exist ~ Painful,exhilarating ,exciting,eerie ..among the various named emotions I’m going through right now !!

Memories of a garden,of a similar garden which I can see on the screen right now- where Mom showed us that so many butterflies have lain their eggs under the leaves of a certain plant …of several butterflies fluttering around and making us wonder if there will be more within the next few months !!

Memories of hundreds and hundreds of caterpillars at a certain time of the year on the Night-flowering Jasmine ( Shiuli ) and drumstick tree ( Sojne ) – barring us from venturing anywhere near them during those times ~ ~

Memories of the beautiful and short-lived flowers of the cactus,during summer nights ~ Mom’s greatest collections – waiting, ever since laying eyes on the buds ,specially after dusk…almost as if to catch them in the act of blossoming and then taking pictures,before they close and shrivel up in the morning sun - to cherish them forever ..

Those were not Déjà vu ….these are real memories…and I have surely been there !!

The Star of my balcony ~ ~

I took in long,deep breaths and enjoyed the enchanting sweetness of the Jasmine ~ kept on submerging deeper into the sea of fragrance with each inhalation….of the intoxicating Jasmine ~ My very own home-grown Jasmine….coming in 1s and 2s and sometimes in 3s….when the heat sets in !! As pleasing as they are to look at….I call them the stars of my balcony garden ~ their fragrance surpasses everything that can be called beautiful and awe-inspiring.

As the daylight gets absorbed into the oncoming dusk, the star of my balcony sets out to hypnotize us with it’s aromatic spell,after it’s share of all the mesmerizing it accomplished during the day, with it’s beauty ~ They remind me of my childhood days, of summer, of my hostel days….

And each time I breathe in into these delicate beauties, only one thought comes into my inebriated mind – if only I could hold on to this perfume forever ~ If only I could keep on smelling this smell and nothing else ~ Why do things of beauty and bliss always have to be so transient,passing and ephemeral ?