Week 5 Jan 26-Feb 1 2020. Brahminy kite by Meera Rao
We enjoyed our short stay in London. In late January 2020 there were hardly any obvious signs of covid 19 there. We did see a few travelers with masks at Heathrow international on our way to India but it didn’t mean much to us. Once in Bengaluru, we stayed close to home spending much of our time with family. Fighting jet lag by not succumbing to afternoon naps, I sat most afternoons in the balcony reading, watching, studying the birds busily flying around the trees and bushes in the yard and beyond. The Indian raptor Brahminy kite (Haliastur indus) circling and soaring high above but occasionally landing on the high branches of the coconut tree fascinated me. Considered a contemporary representation of Garuda, the sacred bird of Lord Vishnu, Brahminy Kite symbolizes bravery, swift action, precision, elegance and efficiency. The Northern Inuaina (Arapaho) man’s ceremonial shirt pictured for the week in the calendar, identified the wearer as high ranking in his society recognized for his bravery, generosity, wisdom and fortitude. I am glad I sketched the kite for this week in the Smithsonian Engagement calendar 2020.