Science of life: Of humans, monkeys, and birds

If I were to make a list of the traits that distinguish humanity from other species, I would start with ‘kindness’ and end with ‘cruelty’. Our ability to be harmonious has co-existed with our capacity to be a destructive force. Most of us were Frankenstein monsters in search of the doctor who had created us.... Continue Reading →

Yours animatedly, Velvet-Fronted Nuthatches

Like many children of the 80s, I used to be an obsessive gamer. My dad brought home an Atari 2600 home console sometime in 1988. It came with two 8-bit games - ice hockey and tanks.  At once, I understood that it was going to be a spectacular end to the decade. And he knew... Continue Reading →

Orange is the new black: Bird photography

I love photographing birds. It feels so exhilarating that I am willing to walk out on any part of my life for it. But first, I must buy a professional camera. Then, figure out a way to make people pay me for it. It’s a pipedream that may take another decade to evolve into a... Continue Reading →

The best things in life are feathered and free

I’m not sure what freedom means to me. I may be free, technically, but there are signs that seem to indicate otherwise. I recognize them only while trying to plot an escape from drudgery. The hair follicles on my neck stand up. My throat is parched. My knees feel weak. Sweat trickles down the bridge of... Continue Reading →

A single shade of grey: Francolins

Grey Francolins are regular sights for birders during morning hours in the drier parts of the Indian subcontinent. They look like domestic hens dressed in sensible brown suits. As well-camouflaged as they are, Francolins are paranoid to the point of comic relief. We have made genial clowns out of each other. During my morning walks in scrub forests, I... Continue Reading →

Home is where the Hoopoes are

The Common Hoopoe  is supposed to be a commonly-found resident in my city of Chennai. But I haven’t spotted a single one in my neighbourhood. I have seen them many times on the outskirts. Every time, they hijack my gaze. Detoxify the air in my lungs. Then, leave me breathless. I can’t imagine getting any work... Continue Reading →

The blogger who doesn’t have a Ferrari to sell

I remember a conversation I had with a friend about blogging a few years ago. I was making light of my attempts during the mid-2000s. In hindsight, I realized that I had made a few assumptions. One was that my older blogs were failures and the second - that the current one is a success. ... Continue Reading →

The answer to life is not 30: Great Indian Hornbills

When I turned 30, I felt insecure about my age whenever I accidentally caught my reflection in the mirror. I groaned as I sauntered past glass-encased pillars and tinted car windows. It wasn't about the wrinkles, the graying beard or the receding hairline. But in my eyes – there shone, ungallantly, a reminder that things... Continue Reading →

War on stress: A phantom menace

Stress isn't a loud-mouthed villain. Very often you can’t hear its war cry. You just don’t see it coming. Stress can be a cold and calculated sociopath. It won’t catch you in a bear hug and squeeze the life out of you. It waits for you to go to sleep. It climbs into the bed and... Continue Reading →

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