A 5-star review in the sky: Pompadour Green Pigeons

It was a cold start to the day in the sleepy village of Kurangu Mudi in the Anaimalai Hills. The sun wasn't up yet. I was sipping on hot beverage outside a tea shop, petting an old mongrel. We were watching the mist disappear from moist skirts the forest wore that morning. Suddenly, out of... Continue Reading →

Kodaikanal, my turquoise queen

Kodaikanal, a hill station in south India, is my happy place. That sweet spot halfway between the gutter and the stars. Her songbirds, smiling faces, street food and silhouettes of trees have filled me with warmth. She births unsupervised fires in me. Whenever I climb up her turquoise thighs, she holds me in a vice-like grip. She... Continue Reading →

The right to soar: Scaly-Breasted Munias

Scaly-Breasted Munias, like many other finches, are prostituted into the pet trade business. I'm not surprised that people are illegally selling them. I know the kind of things that people are willing to do for money. We all do. It's why the seller doesn't bother me as much as the buyer does in this business. I wonder... Continue Reading →

Summer is coming

Summers are hot and humid in the plains of southern India. It’s a tough season. We sweat, like incompetent lawyers, the moment we step outside our front doors. We feel dehydrated every few minutes. The tar on the road angrily gleams, barbecuing the soles of our feet. Suddenly, the sun assumes that we are all... Continue Reading →

Travel bugs leave behind hickeys too

You can find love in places that you can’t in people. A broken estuary or a canopy of trees will seldom disappear hastily from your life. When they gradually do, they are replaced in ways you may not even miss them. Wet grassy knolls, filled with butterflies and bee-eaters, might turn into muddy breasts – with... Continue Reading →

There will be blood: Weaver birds, cuckoos and hawks

Nothing is ever cruel in the bird kingdom. It's not as though they hold talons and waltz their differences away. They can be vicious too. They kill their own babies. They invade foreign territories. And wreck each other's air travel plans. But they do so only for survival. The most brutal attack I have seen... Continue Reading →

A love unspoken: Racket-Tailed Drongos

I was once privy to a fascinating dialogue between a pair of Racket-Tailed Drongos in the semi-evergreen forests of Vagamon. I had no idea what they were chirping about. But it looked like a heated debate. One seemed to intimidate the other. There was some dancing. It was theatrical. The conversation lasted for about three minutes.... Continue Reading →

Speak now and forever hold your peace

I wish the dead could speak. I don’t want to listen to family members talk about how much it hurts that they are gone. Or whatever their friends have to say about all they have left behind. Instead, I seek to find what went through their minds during the last few minutes of their lives.... Continue Reading →

It’s neither a plane nor a superhero, it’s a vulture

I have complained about being victimized by Captain Edward Murphy’s Law. And I have felt very silly about it. Bad luck is subjective in the long run. The timing is often random too. It doesn't deserve to be mulled over. We choose to obsess over what we are denied. We pay attention to neither love... Continue Reading →

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