For the last 15 years, these flowers I had collected from the Kharlubar ridge (Batalik) during the Kargil War on July 7-8, 1999, had been preserved in the folds of a letter I had then sent to my Chandigarh-based fiancee, Hemani. I recently published a short memoir of those moments and mentioned the flowers. At the time I had picked them, they were the hues of yellow, blue and lilac, about 1-2 cm long and growing among rocks till 15,000 feet.
For all its lovey-dovey ways, the kingfisher is a butcher: it whacks the fish hard against a branch before gobbling it. This also helps break fish spines, which can imperil the bird's digestive tract. There has been a documented instance of this kingfisher taking out a fish, which was alive and kicking in its belly, whacking it hard to ensure death, and then swallowing it again for desired digestive comfort! Burp! Burp!