Over the past two weeks, Lady Luck has been on my side. I saw nearly 50 Ashy Woodswallows. Over fifteen Spotted Owlets. Three spiffy Sparrowhawks. A flock of hyperactive Eurasian Spoonbills foraging for food; they looked like giant headless chickens, clad in priestly gowns, playing ice hockey. A White-Throated Kingfisher at war with a pond crab. And a Glossy Ibis finally decided to let me close enough to photograph it.
If my semi-charmed life was a movie, these sightings could be indicative of some grand design. But the truth is that birding season is a month away. The first fleet of winter visitors has already descended upon burnt soil of ours. Even the local bird sanctuary has opened its gates earlier than usual; its lake brimming, despite the scarce rainfall.
I know that I will spend every weekend I can, until February, with them. But I am not sure I will be able to spend much time with you, dear reader. At least, not as much as before.
The last three winters have seen us bonding over my solo birding trails across the hills of South India. Generally, between November and February, I travel a lot. I feel love surging through my insides. I can touch my liver through the skin, and it doesn’t hurt one bit. The heart turns into a mouth-organ. The calcium in my bones dusts itself. And I share these sensations in hope that you may find some love too.
However, this year, I will have to be a little more selfish. I will have to make you wait until the birding season is over before I can tell you all about it. Because I have decided to stick my stubby fingers in different projects with other people. Considering my day job, I may not have the time to regularly document my adventures with birds.
I will certainly appreciate your support for the projects I am a part of. But this is neither the time nor the place to talk about it. Do follow me on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter for updates on them. I will also be uploading videos on my YouTube channel.
If you are only interested in my posts about birding and human behavior, do continue to visit this blog every now and then. I will try to post an article at least once in a week. Because you mean more to me than either of us can fathom.
If we end up strangers. I won’t hold it against you. We had a really good run. I have said it before. It’s the longest relationship I have been a part of.
It may be weird and awkward to say that I love you. But I know that I have a sizable amount of love for you. Some of it I want to share. The rest of which – like so many of you – I will spend the rest of my life mulling over what to do with. For now, thank you for giving me the mind space and digital real estate to connect with you.
You can always say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you have a beautiful winter. In case some of you decide to leave over the new few months, do have an unequivocally beautiful spring, summer, and autumn.
They poke their fingers
in each other’s wounds,
like an exclamation point
and a question mark
in search of the end
of an unwritten sentence.
(Photographs: Chennai / Vedanthangal)