Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ingenuity + Perfect Tools = Joy + Satisfaction

Each time i go to this road called Pantheon Road which boasts of the largest number of small eateries i never miss out to grab a bite of the grilled cheese and vegetable sandwich from the vendors out there.Not that i can't prepare that myself at home but my chutneys don't taste as piquant as theirs and no matter how hard i try, i am unable to slice cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, boiled potatoes to that perfect thinness/thickness that is a key ingredient of a  delectable and oh ! so ! filling sandwich.
Of course that requires some skill and a lots of practice but observing them while they get busy with their orders and doing their jobs casually in a jiffy chatting with their assistants about mundane matters requires  not only a sincere sense of entrepreneurship but some secret ingredients and definitely some specific tools .

Maybe i am saying this to console myself.As though if i had those tools and the secret ingredient was known to me i would stop being a street food lover and perhaps become the best sandwich maker who might put Balaji or Manoj out of business.Now these two gentlemen can never forget the ever so hungry me who they greet with a smile and offer with great delight all their new varieties of sandwiches. And much to their chagrin i go to them for my standard Vegetable Cheese non grilled but original piquant chutney laced and gently spiced sandwich.

But honestly i was very fascinated with the knife that they use to chop the vegetables into that perfect slice. And to my amazement the best sweets and snacks outlet in town Sree Mithai also has a sandwich corner apart from all types of chats where i noticed the proud seller using the same knife happily cutting roundels of onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, boiled potatoes to the ever increasing order of his plain or grilled vegetable sandwiches.

The lovely cooking shows on Travel and Living channel on TV leave me high and dry when i see Kylie Kwong using a special knife to match her skills while Nigella Feast only makes me more hungry when she uses her bare hands and lots of  i should say erotic sounds from her mouth and whips away to God's glory with her sophisticated kitchen equipments.
Then i try to remember the ever so humble Yan who always said,'' If Yan can cook so can you" and convince myself to keep trying.

 i finally gave up one day and instead ran to Balaji/Manoj , the sandwich maker and asked him to tell me the secret of his chutney and pleaded him to get that special knife for me.
The secret he divulged too quickly and without fuss for which i am grateful to Balaji. But there was a funny glint in his eyes like that of a prankster who knows the outcome already and is laughing within himself and trying hard not to give it away.
Regarding the knife he said that he would have to place an order and that i should come and collect it later.
Judging my sincerity he explained that the knife is made to order and it actually is a ''hashhaw'' blade.
Trusting him to get the knife i left after having my fill and reminding him once again that i shall be back for my hashhaw blade next evening.He nodded and got busy and i thought i have achieved partial success as i was already loaded with the chutney recipe while the blade was on it's way to help me prepare that perfect slice of cheese vegetable sandwich.
That knife, the hashhaw blade i came to know soon enough is the toothed and jagged Hacksaw blade which is made toothless and sharp to make it perfect for the job.
Necessity rightly they say is the mother of invention.Man has known that since time immemorial.And while i munch at those lovely sandwiches just when i am too hungry to think anything or see anything it is strange how i drifted to my favourite tool that i cannot do without.In fact i am often afraid of misplacing it or losing it. And hence that favourite tool is always tucked away safely as if it was a priceless piece of jewellery.i remember misplacing it once and how every nook and corner of the house was ransacked to retrieve it which left the house in such disarray that it took me a whole tiresome day to put things back to where they belong.
For that tool is just the perfect weight and size to do what i need it for.Just like the hacksaw blade which is indispensable for these sandwiches so is this highly utilitarian tool of mine which was originally meant to be a bottle opener.

Broken at the usable end but not on purpose but only because of wear and tear and still having a strong head this piece of tool is indispensable for what i do with thrown away fused bulbs.What i do is nothing original but how i do it is what i am so proud of. i know many of my friends have tried it but have given up just like how i gave up on those sandwiches. And just like how i still run to Balaji/Manoj for my perfect sandwich so do my friends come to me each time they want the used bulb object d art and they never ask me for my tool to try it for themselves because they know that only i have perfected that art of the perfect pressure with the help of this tool that sees their bulb in full piece without any damage to the glass or to the holder but made beautiful enough to hang them around the house.

Why i had to tell all this is because this post is a prequel to my next post which should be the sequel of my earlier post ' My Collections-I '. i somehow felt like sharing all that i do for the simple reason that i feel happy doing these things and i know if it makes me happy it will surely make others happy too.In a way this post of mine should be considered to be a tribute to all the street food chefs , their indigenous tools and secret spices.Together they have not only made eating out fun but also given us satisfaction and loads of joy.
And so has my tool kept me satisfied for the last twenty years ever since i found a good use of it as i picked it up from the trash can into which my husband had thrown it after it was broken and was considered unfit for any use.

i just thought that since i talked so much of the sandwiches and that special blade in this post of mine that it is only fair to introduce the great chefs and their best.So in manner of sequence:
                                                                  Balaji and Manoj
                                                           Manoj and his favourite tool
                                          Ready with his ingredients and tools including a spare
                                           First butter and a generous layer of green chutney
                                            cucumber rounds sliced to that perfect thickness
                                                     followed by onions, boiled potatoes
                                                last of the vegetables-tomatoes placed on top
                             Cheese gratings -amount optional-top bread ready with butter and chutney
                                                             Dash of the secret spice
                             Ready to be sliced into convenient bite sized squares with that special knife
                                                     Sliced into 9 equal square pieces
                                     Boxed and ready for takeaway with tomato ketchup satchets

i know i meant this post to be something else but it wrote itself. i had not intended it to center round sandwiches but sadwiches stole it's way into my post and so did Manoj with his hasshaw blade and his ingenuity.So all i can say for the time being is BON APETIT...till my next post.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Collections-Part I

Thanks to the Government of India we have been provided with a spacious well lit,airy and very comfortable apartment in the heart of the city as my husband is an Officer with the Central Government.And i really don't have to cry hoarse about improvements if any as automatically improvements are made. So i was thrilled when the old ceramic sinks were removed from the kitchen and in it's place a trendy shiny stainless steel sink was installed. For a change this one looked good than the other one and was larger and more sleek than the boring, primitive looking rectangular plain sink plus it had additional features.
Then the net shutters were installed on all doors to keep mosquitoes at bay.But a few months back the entire house was provided with power saving bulbs.
Now all these refreshing things happening and is it possible to be thrilled and anguished at the same time?
So i sang praises for the efficient Works Department which is seeing to all our comforts and encouraging us to go green too.True it is, saving energy goes a long way in going green.Only thing, a person like me was just too pained to see all the 12 ceramic sinks lying in a heap in the play area downstairs.Some lay broken due to manhandling and some nice and rectangle and very beckoning to a person like me who has this thing about items going waste.And if i could i would start potting in anything which can accumulate enough soil for a small plant to grow.So even a slightly chipped wine glass has a plant sitting pretty on the center table of my drawing room.
Needless to say then as my heart wept at the broken sinks and while i silently cursed the workers who were so reckless, i missed no opportunity in asking permission from the Inspector of Works for ownership of these sinks.Which he gladly obliged giving me a funny look that said," This lady what is she up too...must be crazy going for condemned articles..."
But his look soon turned to admiration when he rang my bell just to tell me how wonderfully i have utilised what would have been dumped into oblivion.
All the condemned ceramic sinks now are rooting grounds for my thick frondy palms and Jasmine shrubs which had outgrown their old terracotta pots and  were crying out loud for bigger outfit than the medium sized one and which  it seemed was bursting at it's seams as they had cracked in many places and the should- be covered- with- soil roots were hopelessly peeping out of the drain holes.
Although a lot many apartment occupants are reaping the benefit of this reuse concept of mine when they go for a stroll to the terrace and some have even praised me for all the pains i took to get those heavy ceramic sinks up yet the exultation i feel to see my overgrown babies happily swaying in the breeze and very snug in their new ceramic pots cannot compare to the momentary happiness i get when i receive these compliments.Because in my heart i know it that i was just satisfying my own need and taking care of my own idiosyncracies.That being, i simply am a collector of sorts and i hate throwing things away.Typically Indian even when a thing is broken i would tuck it away thinking some day i might need it for something.Funny isn't it?
 i sure know that all hell will break loose when my husband discovers what all i have accumulated in the store room and in every cranny and nook of the garage.But that is only going to happen when we have to move on transfer and for that there is still time.Maybe then i will have to part with these but i don't want to think about it now.The river shall be crossed when we reach it.Why worry now?
Meawhile i feel satisfied and happy that when i need planks of wood, or a wire or glass bits for my creativity i need look no further than my store room or garage.
So this brought me closer to knowing who i am.All this while i kept believing that i was more like my Dad whereas the fact of the matter is, i am every bit my mom.We used to laugh at her affectionately when she would store things like this. Plastic bags, gift wrappers, twine, cardboard boxes, even boxes that came along with shoes or shirts and the best part she would clean sweet boxes too and spruce it up to store items like nails, pins, broken toys, rubber bands that came along with boxes and so many small things that i lose count of.
Laughed at her alright yet every time we needed boxes for either school projects or just like that or twine or plastic bags and even decorative papers she would come to our rescue with her well pressed, well rolled, well smoothed out treasures.Everyone would automatically run to her for sundry items knowing very well that even at midnight things needed were very much in the house and that we don't have to wait for morn to go to a shop to buy one.
My Dad would find this habit of hers just too cute and i know that when we talk of her now his eyes moisten although he tries to conceal it. When he remembers how beautiful his wash basin area looked onto which she had placed Money Plant in empty but thrown away bottle or how she would hand over all his spotlessly white kerchiefs pressed and folded and stored neatly in a washed and cleaned Surf Powder pouch.Laughed at her alright but everyone in the house including the never ending guests knew who they had to approach for sundry items when they urgently needed one.Be it nails or twine or boxes or even gift wrappers.
All the broken toys were a delight to the toddlers who came with guests as they squealed with gurgling laughter to see a lame cart squeaking away or a doll which had lost all her hair and was almost completely naked and eagerly pick up the broken rattles, toy carts and would remain happy thereafter.They somehow didn't seem to mind anything at all as all her treasures surrounded them. i still remember her carrying her box and turning it upside down at which the whimpering rustic babies would just stop crying. Also i am more puzzled now to think when  or how she found time to repair some of these in her own indigenous ways. She had used bottle caps to attach as wheels for a toy car that was devoid of all it's four wheels.Only when the thing looked like a hazard would she give that thing away or else she would go on adding to her collections to fix it and use it when the need arose.
Ma must be collecting wishes now for us to fulfill wherever she is but in me physically i am seeing every bit of her.
And it took me so many years to realise it.
We i believe have lot a lot of misconceptions about ourselves and time slowly unravels all these one by one.Of course Time what else...
Experiences just bring us closer to what we really are but it is always time that tells you finally that it's okay to be what you are, how you are and though you might have incorporated many things from nature also from the myriad experiences yet you are unique in your own way and there can be no one  like you.
Maybe when i see that i have inherited the same green thumb of my mom as i hurriedly pot something in the earthen pot from which we scooped out Misti Doi two days back still i know that no matter how hard i try i may be more like my mom but i can never be her.Her enormous sense of bearing pain stoically, her endurance and her sense to serve i have yet to assimilate and incorporate.She was unique in her own way and i am unique in my own way.And my speciality although originates from her, has undergone evolution in a way dresses undergo evolution.So although borrowed i am special .
 i think now i understand what Quentin Tarantino meant when he said something like...i cheat from all the movies made so far.

Now i must get back to making my plams green as being outdoors throughout it has lost it's original greenness and looks more yellowish.Frondy palms i am told loses it's greeness if kept in the sun all day long.
Solution sits on the terrace itself where a broken bucket has been preparing compost from all my vegetable and fruit peels and other organic wastes.
My Smart Forest Officer also told me to prepare a mix of bonemeal and Khalli which is the cake used as fodder for domestic milch cattle and fertilise my frondy palms with this mix. Let me see if doing this brings back the green magic promised to me.
Only thing i hope i do it right.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nature's Best Architect and Teacher

Female House Sparrow. Photo by Dave Kinneer.
Red Vented Bulbul!!! by joshi1982.
Spotted Dove - Streptopelia chinensis

A Bird’s Nest
My husband coming in from work said,  “Look what I have found—
A perfect little bird’s nest!  It was lying on the ground.”
I held it in my hand and said, with serious contemplation,
“Just think—the birds have been building nests ever since Creation.”
Somehow they knew the place to live was high up in a tree.
Instinctively they realized that’s where their home should be.
They’d look for where some branches came together in conjunction,
And there their future nest would wedge for daily life to function.
Material for their home must be light-weight, so why not straws?
Not heavy, carried in the beak, they’d serve a worthy cause.
To find them they would have to search, but work is part of living.
They’d trust their Maker every day for strength He would be giving.
When straws were found, the bird would choose and clamp one in his bill
Then fly it to the tree-notch.  He would make these trips until
At last he had a little home with perfect insulation,
And perfect for his own dimensions—marvelous creation!
In time birds start their family–what ingenuity,
For God intended birdlife to have continuity.
The parents bring the little ones their daily food supply,
And when their wings are stronger, then they too begin to fly.
The marvel of a bird nest!  In my hand was the construction—
Circular and perfect.  Where do birds get their instructions?
Their precious God-given instincts have preserved generations,
And in our hearts is praise for all God’s wonderful creations.
The Scriptures tell us Christ was the Creator of all things,
And that includes the birds—yes, the little ones with wings.
This contemplation blessed my heart–how much, I cannot tell.
We know that God who cares for birds will care for us as well.

Claire Hess ~

When i arrived at my sister's place to baby sit for her younger daughter i was in for a big surprise. Her beautiful well kept and artistically done up with personal effects home also has a beautiful lawn and a garden of sorts which is a motley of house plants , fragrant trees and fruit trees. And three of such trees had something that delighted me and promised me quiet hours of entertainment while my little niece was away at school.
On my arrival the smart Forest Officer husband of my sister proudly declared while showing me around that there were not three but seven of such delights all around the house. And that these were not only restricted  to the garden and exteriors but also in the toilet and in the garage.

So what is it about nests that delights even an oldie like me? Kids are known for their intense fascination  for nests but then how come when i am no longer a kid i am still amazed and more rapturous about birds building their nests much to the chagrin of the domestic cleaners who have to clean what they call as mess created by the birds? i guess then because it is their job to grumble for they have to work TO DO and it is my job to admire and dwell in the amazing artistry of birds or rather at their perseverance through which the birds build their homes. Maybe if i was an ignoramus i would be the same because i feel ignorance also makes one less sensitive to nature’s marvels or else how could a worker in the fields not be amazed by the weaver bird’s hanging nests, an artistry par excellence, hanging and swaying on the acacia bush nearby? Or is it the plenitude of it?
Is it that they are bored with their work and the sights to be admiring nature’s architecture? It could be any of these or none. As of me i become my ten or else year old self at the sight of nests.

It has always made me happy to find a sparrow or a  bulbul building a nest  around any place in the house. It gives me something exciting to look forward to. It not only fascinates me but also entertains me to see the bird flitting about very near to me. Alert and suspicious of  humans yet complacent at times but on guard of eventualities nevertheless.
That arduous job of bringing each single twig/hay/dry grass in it’s tiny beak and going about in it’s construction to make a soft cup like depression where her tiny body should fit snuggly as she incubates her eggs.
All that enormous patience amidst all that chatter as they go about their home building which in every way makes me want to know their language in a way that i can converse with them and add to some more innovative ideas. But human innovation is fruitless in front of birds who deal with their basic needs and that's all. Surely they are not as greedy and as desirous of comforts as we humans are. And human wants and desires are insatiable. Whereas birds and animals are so self satisfied and they take only what is needed and nothing more.And though i don't know much i know one thing for sure. They are not plunderers and exploitative like us humans. This concept of reduce,reuse and recycle can best be seen in these creatures of the universe, when  what a shame we have just woken up to it.
Sometimes i get this strong urge to help them out by picking up the twigs myself and carrying it over but  then  i control my urges lest i scare them away completely.

Thus i was promised of much entertainment by these birds as i started from the garage where amongst the roller shutters i found the first nest made with hay and that of house sparrows.
Nesting is practically all the year round and about the nests from Salim Ali The Birdman the nest is, " A collection of straw, rubbish and feathers in a hole in the ceiling, niche in a wall, inverted lamp shade, and every conceivable site within or without an occupied building."

i was joyous to know that i shall be having my fill of house sparrows here because in Chennai where i live they are kind of extinct. Noise, pollution and destruction of their habitat has not only driven the sparrow away from Chennai but most cities of our country. Thankfully
they still exist chirping in their chwee chwee here.
The next one was simply superb and complete in it most delicate cup like structure with three mottled eggs and this was cleverly hidden amongst the tiny leaves of the popscical shaped  hedge forming an entrance to the lawn. This beautiful round nest was made of smooth twigs and i saw the mother too as beautiful as her nest perched close by on the electrical pole wires outside the campus eyeing her nest and in between preening her feathers. The Red Vented tiny Bulbul is indeed a very stylish bird and i found her as sophisticated as her nest . Nesting season is chiefly between February and May, varying with local conditions.The nest is." A cup of rootlets plastered outside with cobwebs, in a bush or a tree,1 to 10 m (3 to30ft) up. Eggs-2-3 pinkish white, profusely blotched with purplish brown or claret."  These eggs i could see as Salim Ali has explained in his book and though i could not gather the plastered cobwebs because of my poor vision from where i tried to peer, i knew now that the smooth cup was not dried twigs but rootlets. Wow! what diversity in choice of home building materials!.

But what kept me fully occupied the entire day when i was alone either doing nothing or perhaps reading my latest by Yann Martel was the busy nest building by this twosome known as the White Throated Munia.
 On one look and you might pass it for a humming bird kind because it is just too tiny and as balancing in it’s flight although not entirely as the humming bird. Only a close perusal with the help of  binoculars revealed the small sparrow like silver beak which told me of it’s true identity. i guess then  that it is not surprising that it is known as the Silver bill. The male and female Silver bill make one feel romantic with their togetherness and their concern for each other. i know what love birds are but till i was watching them from my balcony i was unable to address them as Munia or Silver bill and called them my love birds instead. Strange but watching them made me think of my husband whom i have left home alone and wondered if after all these years my absence from our nest is making him any bit lonesome.
For these love birds too the nesting season is throughout the year, varying locally and the nest is,"A large globular structure of coarse grasses, lined with softer flowering grass". In cotton growing districts, cotton wool flinched from neighbouring fields is largely employed. Old Baya nests are also habitually utilised for laying eggs in. Eggs- 4-6 ,pure white. Both sexes share domestic duties. Disused nests serve as family dormitories."
Unutilised Baya ( weaver bird) nests mind you.There is no encroachment or trespassing here.
Oh ! is that an avian trait ! i didn't know that. And we call ourselves the most advanced of the species when we are so mean and self centered about this human concept called SHARING and REUSING.
The wide breezy balcony provided me the appropriate distance and view to watch these made for each other couple as they got busy building their nest in the forked branch of the Aracaria tree. The cook of the house, Ashu informed me that since my stay is short i will not be able to view the fully made nest as the round structure of the nest will be all covered with just a tiny hole to allow the passage of these birds. And unlike the bulbul’s eggs i will not be able to view their litter of a dozen or less eggs even with the help of the binoculars as the eggs will be safely tucked deep inside. But as he went on to make comparison and quell my inquisitiveness he explained that the passage is made slanting in such a way that even when it rains the nest and the eggs will not get drenched and will remain safe and dry. He then educated me that though the nest is not intricately woven like a weaver bird’s nest and not hanging from the branches yet in many respects it is no less than that of a weaver bird’s safe haven. All this information from the cook not only deepened my affection for the cook but also proved my earstwhile thoughts about daily workers wrong.
i realised that even those who see all this on regular basis may actually have a lot more interest in these beauties and their constructive activities than unfortunate souls like me who have just woken up to this new education and now ravenous about this enthusiastic trail to such an extent that i want to get hold of good set of binoculars and just set out birdwatching as much as i can.
Thus the forest officer was saved of my torrent of never ending questions about my love birds or the Spotted Dove who had the nest all ready for laying eggs in the wonderfully topiared Shami tree (Prosopis spicigera) which for known religious reasons was planted on the right side of the building gate when the house was still under construction.
The Shami tree which is a sacred tree and worshipped by Hindus is planted in most houses here in this part of North India towards the right side of the entrance of any house as it is considered auspicious to view the tree before leaving the house and equally as auspicious to have a sight of it when entering the house.
And from this tree emanated the familiar Kruk kruk koo of the spotted dove.Before i could strain to look up into the bushy boughs with tiny but not pin like leaves i saw the pretty bird nodding it’s head and walking on the cemented ledge of the gate. It’s partner whose tail and head part was only visible, sat snugly kruk kruk kooing on her nest. Perhaps calling on to her male and asking him to stop playing truant in his domestic duties.
i found the kruk kruk koo quite entertaining although some feel that the call of this bird sounds mournful sometimes. But i guess it all depends on our moods. If we are in the best of spirits then even a dirge may not be able to make us gloomy. Maybe i could be wrong on this part but i guess when i am sad or gloomy i find the entire nature so and i feel it must be the same for everybody.
Now the nesting of this bird is undefined and it can be practically all the year round. But the nest is, "The customary flimsy dove structure of ' two crossed sticks' low down in a tree or bush; also under eaves and on cornices and beams, etc., in verandas of inhabited bungalows. Eggs-2, white.Both sexes share in all the domestic duties."
The nest of this spotted dove was hard for me to shoot with my cyber shot because of it's placement and the height so i let it be but when i peered i found hay strips and twines hanging from it too.In fact the entire nest looked like it was made with fine twine or fibres of some kind, greyish in colour.

On the fragrant well blossomed Champak tree which had the white buds and blossoms of the exotic and perfumed flowers i happened to see the common crows nest too which was undoubtedly a  round structure made entirely of twigs.

Above the toilet geyser as my forest officer had said i found another house sparrow's nest complete with family as the fledgelings chirped constantly asking to be fed and the mother flitted about sitting on the window grills with food in her tiny beak. i could not tell how many babies there were inside and once again Ashu provided the needful, telling me with disappointment that there were 4 babies of which two tumbled down the nest and while one drowned in the bucket of water the other baby was pounced upon by their pet Pomeranian, Buddy. i was sad the whole day to know this but once again the nature loving cook told me to brush my sadness away.
He said,''Mausi (Aunty)  they are so used to all this and they breed constantly so don't you feel sad. God has made them this way that they get over the loss just too quickly to mourn over it like us humans.''
Well he said that but i still could not control my melancholy as i was thinking of my empty nest.When my baby has flown away and is studying abroad so that one day when he is sufficiently strong financially and mentally he can build his own nest too. That is our life cycle which in every way is similar to the avians excepting that we sometimes slow down in our day to day goings because we miss our fledgelings just too much. And worse still we are so stubborn about letting go.Maybe my stay here had another purpose too.
Watching these birds i must stop missing my son so much and stop worrying about his well being. And that i should only think in terms of his flight and wish well that his flies well and builds his cosy snuggly nest with chirpy fleglings to provide him with a well deserved symphony after a hard day's work.

The Empty Nest

There in a high branch of a proud old tree, 
Lay a nest of babies which no one could see.
Beside the nest, stood Mother, with loving heart,
And Father looking on, guarding as from the start.

The babies were young and filled with delight, 
The ways of the world were beyond their sight. 
They were wanting to try their wings of gold, 
And enter the new world, ever so bold.

Their parents were hesitant, all so knowing, 
Their babies had not finished growing. 
But knowing they needed that freedom, 
Were willing to let the babies leave them.

The first little bird, so eager his wings, 
Thoughts of the new world, losing his strings, 
He jumped on the side of the nest so fast, 
And flew into the air, was free at last.

The next little bird, so timid, so shy, 
He wanted to go but not a goodbye, 
He timidly went to the side of the nest, 
And flew to the next branch, then passed his test.

The last little bird, the last of the three, 
Looked round at her parents, then forward to see, 
The new world was opened for her to reach, 
By trying her wings, trying what they did teach.

The wind got under the wings of the last, 
And she flew through the air, into the world so vast, 
Leaving the only home that she had known, 
To go into world, the breaking of dawn.

The parents looked on as all of the three, 
Found love and happiness and family. 
They were proud of the choices that were made, 
But their love for their babies never did fade.

The empty nest will always be there,
But visited with love and care,
The empty nest will be a guiding light, 
A home for hope and stars so bright.

~Donna O'Braint~ 

My sister's beautiful home gave me all... love, affection, good food and plenty of entertainment as i could watch the natural beauties from all corners of her house including the toilet or the kitchen.And when i failed in my lack of knowledge there was Ashu and the so many nature books in a well stacked library of my smart Forest Officer.Could i have any better vacation than this? Although my sister calls it babysitting.

Image courtesy: Niece's cyber shot pics of Red Vented Bulbul's eggs and nest, House Sparrow's nest , White Throated Munia's ( Silver bill) nest in the Aracaria tree.
                     : Rest from the internet on Flickr and elsewhere.