Return to innocence: Bulbuls of South India

When I was a kid, people kept asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I never had the fortitude to tell them that I just wanted to be an adult. Because I was excited about growing up. I thought that adults had it all figured out. The bread and butter, and the bells and whistles,... Continue Reading →

Shake, rattle and unfurl: Grey Wagtails

I first saw Grey Wagtails during a taxi ride in Kodaikanal. One was perched on a wooden gate, looking like a June morning. It wore the hues of an early sun, flanked by greying clouds. The driver told me, in Tamil, that they were called Valikaati. Loosely translated, it meant “pathfinder”. My mind started to... Continue Reading →

You make me want to dance: Owlets

I have a sneaking suspicion that birds dance more than we may assume. Especially when they think that nobody else is around. I may have seen Owlets in action, without their knowledge. I can't be sure. They may have just been belligerent about being spotted. Perhaps they had food poisoning. I am not an ornithologist.... Continue Reading →

10 reasons why Madras wasn’t just about the filter coffee

It is tough to pigeonhole Indian metropolitans. They are Dickensian by nature. Often, their identities shift, like tectonic plates, under the pretext of urbanization. All the while, they play a game of cat-and-mouse with the past, whether good, bad or ugly. They are works in progress or experiments in terror, depending on how you see... Continue Reading →

In pursuit of indebtedness to the sky

I am not fond of routines. Inelegantly, they wrap themselves around me, like dirty parasites. And I am left - nonplussed and numb. It’s why I cling on to weekends. I get to break my routines by watching birds go through theirs. Some people talk about wanting to live the way the wild creatures do.... Continue Reading →

Friends, semicolons, countrymen, lend me your sparrows

I get stuck in traffic while going to the office every day. During this time, young women in rags approach my vehicle to beg for alms. Emaciated babies wedged in-between their hips and the dull tangerine sky. It is an amphitheater of despair. A showcasing of les misérables. Well, we are all miserable. But if... Continue Reading →

Dawn of the planet of the Minivets

The crack of the dawn fills my head with colors. It does weird stuff to my lungs. Leaves my insides all shook up. But I don’t feel like puking.  It’s like the sky is undergoing a cesarean section to the tempo of Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody Number 2. And I am watching the rebirth of... Continue Reading →

Love at second sight: Indian Eagle Owls

About two summers ago, I was in Gudalur during a trip to the Nilgiri Hills - with a few friends. Barely five minutes after reaching the spot, we spotted a pair of Indian Eagle Owls. It was my first sighting. They flew past us, and into a section of the forest. And it all happened so... Continue Reading →

Because I am not happy: Migratory birds

There are still a few months left for birding season to begin. And I can’t wait for the rains to go away. So that migratory birds will visit me from all over the world. Because they will make me happy. I may even tap the shoulders of strangers to tell them about it. If they... Continue Reading →

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