Indian Roller or Neelkanth 

Indian Roller or Neelkanth is a beautiful bird. It is seen here in the north india from summer and till winters. Usually one can spot the bird sitting on the transmission lines passing over the fields or on the top of trees like mangoes.

It sits at one place for a long periods of time. It swoops down to catch insects like beetles or grasshoppers. It is not easily scared when you take pictures.

The bird is about 26–27 cm long. It is similar in appearance to European rollers which are also here during summer. The difference is that breast is brownish and not blue as in the European Roller. The crown and vent are blue. The primaries are deep purplish blue with a band of pale blue. The tail is sky blue with a terminal band of Prussian blue and the central feathers are dull green. The neck and throat are purplish lilac with white shaft streaks. The bare patch around the eye is ochre in colour. The three forward toes are united at the base. Rollers have a long and compressed bill with a curved upper edge and a hooked tip. The nostril is long and exposed and there are long rictal bristles at the base of the bill.

The bird is associated with Lord Shiva in Hindu mythology and is considered to be a good omen if it is seen on Dusshehra or Diwali.

General morphology of a bird is given below

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During my visits to the fields or open areas near my residence, I have come across this bird many times and have taken quite a few pictures.

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Darkness

Darkness is a much maligned being. Everyone praises the light, everyone advocates in the favour of light. Especially on the occasion of Diwali, the most common refrain begins with “Let there be light……”, as if we are living in the dark till now.

Importance of light is due to the darkness. In fact they follow each other. It is only for darkness, we admire the light. The truth is that we have been blessed to see only a very narrow spectrum of the reality. It is a very narrow window in comparison to the whole spectrum. We are not able to see beyond the infrared and ultraviolet region. Only a minuscule window is available for us. Birds and bees are better off than us in this regard. Bees for example can see in the ultraviolet region. Birds can see in the lower frequencies than infrared.

In fact, the visible is just an iceberg floating in the sea of hidden or darkness. Dark matter which is counterpart of the visible matter is many times bigger.

Darkness is absolutely necessary for shutting down the process visible inputs to our mind. It forces the humans to sleep and rejuvenate the brain by giving it the necessary respite. Receptors especially eyes & ears are always receiving and feeding the information to the brain. They keep the brain busy. So the darkness helps to shut down these receptors periodically.

Everything exists in pairs in the universe. One is complementary to the other. Matter has antimatter, electron has positron, vice has virtue, Ravana has Rama, Yin has Yang, eggs have sperms, night has day as their complements. Think if everyone were good or everyone were bad, the evolution or progress will come to a grinding halt. Humans thrive on the competition, dominating others is in their blood. If it were not true, life would be so boring. Species will not have to do anything for survival. No one will challenge others as everyone will be satisfied and have no aspiration.

Some Facts About Bombay

The year 1840 marked the year of progress and prosperity.

  1. Great Indian Peninsular Railway completed first sod work in 1850 and completed the rails laying work in 1853.
  2. First bank of Bombay was opened in 1840.
  3. First tramway was opened in 1860 in Colaba.
  4. In 1857 first spinning and weaving mill started to work.
  5. In 1869, the Crawfors Market was thrown open to public.
  6. Tulsi water works were completed in 1879, Powai water works in 1889 and Tansa in 1891-92.
  7. Between 1860 to 1890 great influx of migrant labours took place and was held mainly responsible for city congestion and diseases like plague.