The photographs above were taken in the city of Jaipur, India (in 2007 and 2006, respectively). The one on the left is of a thick stone wall from Jaipur’s historic walled city, the one on the right is of a conglomerate rock located inside a city park. One major difference between these two is of age, the wall is less than 300 years old whereas the rock is estimated to be about 1600 million years old (yes!). Many (man-made) walls and structures in the historic Jaipur walled city are in a state of decay, some have crumbled, yet the rocks in the nearby Aravalli hills look as good as new! Isn’t nature’s ability to maintain or sustain itself amazing?
Come October and a great many indistinct trees in the plains of India seem to start speaking! Warblers arrive from the hills and countries up north and set trees abuzz with their constant, muffled calls. One of the most common warblers to visit the plains of north India in winters is Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca, the call of which has been portrayed in this animated graphic. Lesser Whitethroats continuously move and hop around the trees they visit and while at it, utter their call incessantly. Listening to their soft calls in peaceful surroundings is an ethereal experience.
This graphic attempts to highlight the contrast between driving skills and driving ethics amongst a huge number of drivers in India. Learning to drive in India essentially means learning to handle a vehicle; driving schools teach little or no ethics here. The Indian Government, over the past several years, made several policies and decisions to introduce a vast variety and number of vehicles on Indian roads, but did not bother to set up quality driving institutes or mechanisms to strictly punish traffic rule breakers. The chaos that has resulted is vividly visible on Indian roads.