Ladies and gentlemen, we are floating

Is it okay to say that female birds are not as attractive as their male counterparts? Or does it make me a sexist? I can’t be sure. Because people pounce on others for saying things that they deem, personally, to be offensive. Context does not seem to matter. As long as they are upset, they will fight you tooth and nail over it.

But I like keyboard warriors, irrespective of their gender or the social cause they support. Generally, their English is good. For some reason, they smell nicer than the average person. And they watch interesting films. Some are passionate about fighting marginalization. Others try and assuage middle-class guilt through their actions.

I am unaware how much good they are doing for the oppressed communities. But it is sweet that they want to do anything at all.

I don’t have the right to demean any of their actions. I live an unquestioned life – unwilling to contribute a meaningful amount of time to stand up for others. Whenever I am in front of a mountain, I want to curl into a fetal position and cry myself to sleep. I feel dwarfed. Not just physically. It’s just that I feel that I am of little use to the planet or its people.

It’s why I hold on to my silver linings. I need them to smoothen the ebb and flow of such emotional transactions about the bigger picture.

Most of my silver linings have wings. Man, woman or child – every bird is precious and important to me. And it is generally agreed upon that male birds are more beautiful. Even though beauty – conceptually – is subjective. It is evident that they are more vibrant and colorful.

There are a bunch of theories about it. This one, from Quora, sounds interesting.

“When females do most of the work, expending more metabolic energy, then they are likely to be pickier about who they mate with. That makes the males have to compete for the female’s affections. Thus, males have no choice but to grow prettier feathers and do more elaborate courtship dances, just to compete with other males”

I hope this doesn’t make me sound like a man-hater. Or a homophobe. These are confusing times our planet is going through. And we aren’t making it any easier.

Baya Weaver (male & female), Pulicat

Hence, some time ago I decided that men are stupid. Women are stupid. And if I had met enough members of the third gender, I am sure that I would find them stupid too.

Because why must any of us escape the accusatory wrath of the planet? Isn’t it obvious what we have done to it, and each other? Our sub-classifications don’t matter. Gun, grenade or firecracker, we all detonate.

But, ladies and gentlemen, we are – after all – floating in space. Spinning guilelessly. We are not in control. And we are terrified. Therefore, it is crucial that we maintain civility and fairness in the way we treat each other. There are issues that need to be spoken about. We can’t sweep them under the carpet. Thankfully, there are people who talk about them honestly.

LG – curator of the Diptoe Blog and one of my favorite writers – had recently penned a post on how depravity of the human mind is no excuse for horrid behavior.

Read it, because there is just as much evil lurking near you, in human form, as there is love in the shape of birds.

Northern Pintails (female), Chennai

(Photographs: Chennai, Pulicat, Vedanthangal, Valparai and Munnar)

22 thoughts on “Ladies and gentlemen, we are floating

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  1. Christy, I agree with you with every point. Political correctness has been taken to ridiculous levels. However, the line between humour and offence, is not only subjective, but also extremely thin, if existent at all. So, better safe than sorry, unless of course, we don’t give two hoots (and blog-theme-contextual pun unintended).

    Our blessing and our curse, as the “evolved” life form is our freaking capacity to think. If only instincts were all we had. Like your feathered friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The line is definitely subjective, LG. I can’t say that jokes about male pattern baldness, six packs, facial hair or paunches are as demeaning and insensitive as the ones thrown at women. But it is what makes matters confusing for me. Who gets to decide where the line is drawn. And who gets to distribute the memo. I am just confused, LG. That much I know.

      The conversation we had about it helped me understand the difference being un-mindful and being insensitive. Thank you for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There you go pricking fragile human egos again suavely. It’s a good thing species survival is not based on pen skills, what with you leading the avian sortie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Hemangini.

      I am not sure what my intention was in writing this. I can’t honestly say that I wanted to promote goodwill. I think, it’s a disco remix version of “why can’t we all just behave?”.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just be yourself and keep writing. You make people smile and sometimes add to their amazement by sharing the colourful world outside. You are actually helping many be in a positive mental makeup. This is your social service, your cause. So stop whining! 🙂
    I feel small too when I see mountains. But then, its good for the ego, to know its place in the universe….
    BTW I love the para from Quora….and CR, women are not stupid! that is indeed sexist! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you, Viv. And yes, I do whine. I presumed there was some charm to it, given I spray-paint the posts with bird photos to hopefully distract readers from the center of my rage. Believe me, Viv. was already spoken for hehehe.

      Also, one point. I think any member of any gender is stupid. Because we are all part of the same species. It would be sexist of me to say that women are not stupid. Equality, please hehe.

      At this point, I feel dwarfed by molehills.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This cracked me up. Because it is so on point.

    So much entitlement and right to be offended in the way we think (if at all we really do) and speak (which is all we seem to do).

    And I like how your silver linings with wings find a way to make these points you make stay etched in your readers’ head!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Elita. Feels good to hear that (smiles).

      Entitlement yes! That’s the word. It’s almost inescapable, isn’t it? I remember, despite all my talk on bird conservation, last year – I had almost bought some real estate in Pallikarnai – the birding wetlands that have been destroyed by urbanization. Thankfully, the floods intervened.

      Oh, what ghouls these mortals be.


  5. Of course, to a bird, colour and what we, humans, regard as ‘attractiveness’ may be something else entirely. Probably more along the lines of a traffic light – one colour tells you to stop, another tells you to wait, another tells you to go. (Well, English ones do, anyway). But I get your thinking about how humans behave. Here, in the UK at least, I find it very difficult to know whether someone is going to be ‘triggered’ by something I say and it has limited a lot of what I do want to say. That, in itself, is the way to silence us as a species. Why can’t we just be allowed to sing freely, like our feathered friends?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your traffic lights analogy, Val!

      In India too, it is the same these days. People are keener about being publicly associated with causes than actually doing something meaningful towards supporting them. It’s funny how the so-proclaimed liberated minds talk about censorship as though it signifies evolved thinking. Not that the orthodox / conservative folks are any better. Still, the irony has some comedic value to it.

      Indeed, Val, why can’t we sing. Sigh. We need loudspeakers as much as we do music, I suppose.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You give yourself too little credit for your wondrous writing which captivates and sparks delight for the beautiful and capricious world of birds which you so love. I find your witty and painfully honest comparisons of the worlds of humans and birds to be both hilarious and thought provoking. Truly, your love of the bird kingdom is the gift you give the world and this is its own mountain. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ‘We are not in control.’ I bet I say this daily! But I relish the fact that the females call the shots for the future of species. I enjoy the birds of paradise and bower birds the most for their unusual ways to look good to a potential female. I wish i had that kind of power!!

    Cheers from Texas, Christy. ~ Shannon

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The birds of paradise are something else, aren’t they! I swear, one of them looks like a smiley face scribbled on a butterfly wing! Shucks Shannon, been so long since we spoke about birdies.

      Much love, from Chennai!

      Liked by 1 person

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