How I stopped worrying about WordPress being a jerk

A few days ago, WordPress disabled my blog without any warning. It was gone and replaced with a tactless update about how I may have breached the terms and conditions. I cursed under my breath and wrote about five emails to WordPress Support. I had no idea why it happened. I thought perhaps they had... Continue Reading →

Falling in love with birds: Do’s and don’ts

People can be strangers. Even the ones we know and love. They can be empty in places that we aren't, which can lead to miscommunication. False expectations and heartbreaks. Birds make for much more reliable companions. It doesn't matter that their calls are lost in translation to our ears. We can still understand and respect them. In turn,... Continue Reading →

The incredible trunk and the invisible tiger

When I visited the Periyar National Wildlife Sanctuary  in 2013 with a friend, we opted for an expensive and grueling 9-hour paid trek around the border of the jungle. There was a couple from France who accompanied us.  We were chaperoned by four armed forest officers. Obviously I would have rather gone solo to chew on dead sunflower stems in the heart of... Continue Reading →

Sorry, we are not bringing sexy back

I don't have bucket lists. My existential excuse is that they seem too purposeful. It would be a disaster given how instinctive I am. Of course the obvious reason is bucket lists require a lot of planning; something I am not good at. I did once try to think of five birds I would want to spot in... Continue Reading →

A summer in Kerala: Come rain or wine

Summer in India and the monsoon season soon after generally comprise tumultuous times for me. I am fond of neither summers nor the rain. They represent a slew of reasons as to why most of my recent birding trails turned out to be damp squibs. Birding isn't impossible when it rains. They still need to come out and... Continue Reading →

Dot and the forehead

The bedroom door creaks, as her pottu runs cold, reaching speeds of estimated tax returns; she shakes her fists at the world, screaming "turn me into a porcelain doll before my private parts start to burn". A pottu or a bindi is a little coloured dot that Indian women wear on their foreheads. It is more... Continue Reading →

To catch a flycatcher

Birds are potted plants for rent; Even if their terrace gardens may change, the colour of water that kisses their roots will remain the same. Old World Flycatchers (Eeppidippan) are beautiful passerine birds. They are notoriously difficult to photograph. It took me about a year to spot the Asian Paradise Flycatcher. The Tickell's Blue Flycatcher... Continue Reading →

5 things a writer can do to avoid getting punched in the face

As a writer, you are probably more self-absorbed than the average person. You find it cumbersome to socialize. You hate confrontations when it is your turn to listen. I am not saying you can be moody too. Just that there are motherless honey badgers in the Kalahari desert with shorter fuses. Only in language have you... Continue Reading →

They know what I did last summer

At dawn, she weaves straw hats and tosses them out to safer shores. The dusk sees her curled up, dreamless, like someone else's pocket comb. Vembedu village is a few kilometers away Ponneri - a small town in the Thiruvallur district. Found near its outskirts is one of my favourite birding spots. One has to... Continue Reading →

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