Hey guys, I know it’s been long since I have written anything on my blog. Thought of taking a sabbatical for a certain period of time before I felt up for it once again.
Well, to let you know, we have a new member in our family now!
Yes. We named him “Chotu” because he’s so small and cute, although we know that he would grow up one day to become not that big, but big enough for a Cocker Spaniel.
We never thought or even had the slightest hope of having yet another canine companion ever since we lost our last member “Browny” who lived with us for a good fifteen years. I mean, the pain of being separated from Browny was too much for us to handle yet another emotional attachment with another pet. Well, life is full of mystery and surprises and we are extremely happy that we found such a great surprise in the form of Chotu now.
Let me tell you plainly as to what Chotu does. Well, the first time met him was after I got discharged from the hospital after being treated yet again for deliberately going off my meds for bipolar disorder. I would not like to call it selfishness because the wonderful experience that Chotu imparts on me every time I go near him or even think about is simply out of this world! The unconditional way he demonstrates his love and excitement at our sight and presence is simply very very difficult to translate in any word.
And it’s just not me who gets this feeling of warmth from Chotu. Everyone from my family and even my relatives, friends or any other visitors who come to meet us feel the same way. it is both magical and like a ‘nasha’ (intoxication). My friends, relatives and even our neighbors want to come to us or to Chotu, more specifically, because we are all intoxicated by his unimaginable ways of help us realize we still have life in us, that we can still be happy and carefree despite our daily grind of life.
The other day my nephew was about to go to Pokhara, a popular tourist destination of Nepal, along with his sister and parents. The very morning they were to leave for Pokhara, Chotu actually sensed (and dogs have a strange and a very strong feeling about certain things as you may well know) that Adwitiya was leaving him. He tried all his methods to actually prevent my nephew from leaving the house. However, since the van was already waiting for him, Adwitiya whispered a few words of consolation into Chotu’s ears and parted.
The evening Adwitiya was back from Pokhara, Chotu knew no bounds to his happiness and excitement. He licked Adwitiya and my niece, Smriti, as much and as hard as a two-month Cocker Spaniel could and would! Haha!!!
Well, Chotu is definitely a gift from the heavens to all of us. I am greatly indebted to Chotu for all his great and magical ways of keeping all of us so happy and upbeat. I thank him for showing what love is, what true happiness is!
They are called homing pigeons because of the fact that pigeons always return to their loft after an event or race. The reason I dedicate this post to pigeons is because of the fact that my father, a pigeon fancier, has raised over 100 generations of pigeons over the period of 3 decades. We have all kinds of pigeons from the racing pigeon, roller pigeon to the tipplers at home. Buwa (as I call my father) is more of a sporty nature who likes to gauge the flight of these navigators than raising fancy pigeons which are simply not made for flying.
I have been fascinated by these gentle birds ever since my childhood days (and still am). At first I would be a bit scared to hold them in my hands but with practice and closely watching my father handle these pigeons, I was finally able to let go of the fear and set them free to tour the sky. In my experience it is therapeutic to watch these birds fly high above independently in the clear blue.
Watching these docile birds closely, I can observe that they are very low-maintenance. A predator-safe, protected enclosure, food, water, grit, greens and companionship is all they ask for. Buwa, in the span of 3 decades, has been providing our pigeons all this. However, it is sad to see them fall prey to eagles and hawks while they are in flight even despite all these precautions.
I have fond memories with my pigeons and wish to have much more with these gentle creatures in the days to come. Nothing can compare to feeling of warmth that these kind birds generate in me.
Pigeons- masters of the leisure arts
In addition to their innate honesty, pigeons are masters of the leisure arts. They can spend hours at a stretch sunbathing, napping, flirting or nest-sitting. What amazes me the most is how they stand on one foot while they snooze away!
There are very few animals and birds which are loyal to the core. Like dogs who are man’s loyal companions, pigeons too exhibit similar trait. And what navigational skills they have. No wonder that pigeons were used as messengers in China and elsewhere when telegraph or modern means of communication were not invented.
Vertigo- A killer
There are several other dangers that surround pigeons. We have seen our lovely pigeons die as a result of ‘vertigo’. Vertigo literally means the state of feeling dizzy when one climbs a high building or a mountain and looks down at the ground. In the case of pigeons, vertigo is similar to having a dizzying sensation followed by the involuntary swinging of the head and falling dead on the ground. Although most of our pigeons have succumbed to death due to this sudden epidemic in the past; we are happy now that none of them have vertigo because it is a sign of a really serious liver derangement.
I leave you with an image of the article my father wrote on pigeons in Himal magazine some years ago. Click here for the image.
“We weren’t after a record. We just wanted to do all these things, climbing, paragliding, kayaking in one continuous trip,” Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa upon being asked by National Geographic about how things have been after being recognized for their achievement.
Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa and Sano Babu Sunuwar stand for adventure. National Geographic salutes them as the “two Nepalis who complete a mission to launch a paraglider from Mount Everest’s summit and kayak the Ganges to the Indian Ocean.”
In the year 2012, Lakpa and Babu won the People’s Choice Adventurers of the Year, National Geographic, setting a new world record with borrowed gear and a shoe-string budget. There were no corporate sponsors nor social media campaigns, only sheer grit, determination and hope.
Born in the Nepali soil, both of them have what it takes to be truly brave at heart and adventurous in spirit.
Watch their video here.
Know your adventurers
Lakpa, born in the Khumbu region in the Sagarmatha Zone, Nepal, always had the dream to fly. With many failed attempts at flying and damaging his paraglider in the process, Lakpa ultimately found a friend who shared the same passion in Sano Babu. They met in Pokhara, a paradise for paragliders, where Lakpa had gone to fulfill his longstanding dream of being airborne.
“I like to sing when I fly,” Lakpa said revealing his free spirit to all of us.
“Without adventure you are not feeling real life,” Babu says with passion about the descent and the entire trip to the Ganges in India.
Babu, a kayaker and paraglider by profession, also shared the same dream as Lakpa. A true adventurer at heart, Babu never gave up. There were times during their trip in the Bay of Bengal when they were robbed at knifepoint, however, they were strong and determined enough not to let their camera being robbed.
With heart so soulful and mind concentrated on just one thing- ADVENTURE- Lakpa and Babu are proud entities who not only made Nepal famous but also spread the message of solidarity and friendship.
Tashi Delek !!!
Crown jewel of Mid-western Nepal, Karnali Highway is a symbol of both reverence and fear for those inhabiting the region. Reverence because of its overwhelming size and stretch. Fear because of its treacherous rocky trail which as the locals say is “synonymous to a blood-thirsty goddess claiming her sacrifice”. Continue reading