Durga Puja – Surul Rajbari

Durga Puja - Surul Rajbari by Somnath Mukherjee Photoghaphy
Durga Puja – Surul Rajbari, a photo by Somnath Mukherjee Photoghaphy on Flickr.

The Surul rajbari is famous for its Durga Puja, and for its 18th century temples, which have terracotta carvings depicting scenes from the Ramayan, puranas, besides sundry ladies and gentlemen dressed in Western clothes.The Durga Puja started by Srinivas continues to this day, albeit in a truncated form. The Santhals, who used to perform in the dalan in their traditional outfit on Nabami, no longer visit. The section of the verandah overlooking the dalan that once used to be cordoned off for the ladies of the house during the Pujas became a gender-neutral space ever since women got used to standing side by side with men.


Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) by Somnath Mukherjee Photoghaphy
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), a photo by Somnath Mukherjee Photoghaphy on Flickr.

The Mallard, or Wild duck (Anas platyrhynchos), probably the best-known and most recognizable of all ducks, is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and sub-tropical areas of North America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand (where it is currently the most common duck species), and Australia. It is strongly migratory in the northern parts of its breeding range, and winters farther south. For example, in North America it winters south to Mexico, but also regularly strays into Central America and the Caribbean between September and May.The male birds have bright green head, while the female is light brown. The Mallard lives in wetlands, eats water plants, and is gregarious. The Mallard is the ancestor of all domestic ducks, and can interbreed with other species of genus Anas. This interbreeding is causing rarer species of ducks to become genetically diluted.Male Description: Breeding (Alternate) Plumage: Head iridescent dark green. Narrow white neck ring. Breast chestnut-brown. Back and wings brownish gray. Underparts light grayish. Rump and under tail black, with white area just in front along flanks. Tail white on outside with black middle feathers. Central tail feathers curled up toward back. Bill yellow to greenish, with black nail at tip. Eyes dark. Feet red.Eclipse (Basic) Plumage: Crown dark green. Face pale brownish. Dark line through eye. Breast warm brown. Body and wings mottled brown, white, and buff. Slight upturn to central tail feathers. Bill clear yellowish olive.Female Description: Brownish all over with mottled streaking of buff, white, and dark brown. Face paler than body. Dark line through eye. Dark streak on crown. Belly pale. Tail whitish. Undertail pale. Bill orange or yellow marked with variable splotches of black. Legs red-orange.Immature Description: Juvenile similar to female.Taken at Bird World, Denver Zoo (http://www.denverzoo.org/). Denver zoo has nearly 200 bird species, many rare and endangered, are exhibited in Denver Zoo’s bird facilities, all of which are located next to or in Primate Panorama.