Speed dating with Crow Pheasants

Often, we fall in love with the idea of what people may mean to us rather than with the type of person they actually are. You measure the value that they bring to your life instead of being attentive the way that they lead theirs.

You yearn to be analyzed by them. Cherished. Destroyed. Rebuilt. Again and again. You never want to be let go of. Because you realize that they can make things better for you. In the process, you forget that priorities can be aligned but they can also, just as easily, change. Distracted, you only pay attention to yours.

If it all comes crashing down – you lose your individuality.  Your aspirations. Whatever it was that once made you happy. You turn into a shell of yourself. And you listen to a lot of Ed Sheeran before going in search of your next parasitical endeavor.

Human relationships are more complex than the many trysts I share with birds. If I wake up early, dress in dull-colored clothes, drive, go to the right place and keep silent when I have to, there is a great chance of having a perfect date. There is music in the air. And love. A chilly breeze butterfly-kisses our cheeks. Photographs are taken. Memories are created.

While I can never tell whether they had a good time, I find myself smitten every single time. If I had tail-feathers, I would shake them, like some feathered mongrel.

Lesser Coucals (Crow Pheasants), though are reluctant lovers of mine. Most of them don’t stand still for more than a few seconds. There is barely enough time for me to blush and coyly smile. They don’t want me to take snapshots either. I had to embark upon guerrilla missions to point, focus and shoot.

But I see them whenever I am birding in the city. They are one of the most widespread species of cuckoos in southern India. One of the most beautiful too. They resemble mythical birds of war, armed with glossy shoulder-pads, powerful jet-black beaks, and eyes – fiery red like cherry wine.

I used to feel bad about it; that they seemed skeptical about spending time with me. Later, I understood that love can’t be trapped inside an hourglass. Or within the body of a cuckoo that lives inside a wall clock. Each bird has its own song. Its own special way of making me feel connected to the world around me. And I want to get close to each one of them. It really shouldn’t matter for how long.

Time is relative but space isn’t.

Come to me again, dear Coucal. We will share the sweetest goodbyes.

I want
to bake a croissant
of a girl, with raisins for pimples
and a can of cocoa butter
to caramelize her lips.

I want
to marinate her hair
in creamy cinnamon dip
and hold her over a low flame,
to loosen her cherry skin hips.

I just want to bake my
very own gingerbread girl.

(Photographs: Chennai, Kanchipuram)

45 thoughts on “Speed dating with Crow Pheasants

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    1. thanks 🙂

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  1. Aww…a caramelizing crunchy recipe of a dream.poem you bake..n then a v.soul searching write.. n the birds.awesome post frnd! need to say i loved all three, the written non fiction is more close to my soul, that spiralling in self search is wat solitude artist ever seek, had known oncevn agn this truth by hard bled stumbles n faith on that elusive other.
    n aww..the caucal, vernacularly called sempoothu, is v.nearly n commonly sighted around trees in my home, its bottled echoing sound digs deep in the bosom.:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. bottled echoing! perfect 🙂 solitude has in it as much secret despair as it does sunny dispositions, artists are funny like that. the punch line being that we care either too much or way too less, i think


      1. funny the artists become as one tries to unfurl this life, this enigma..yeah, that either way you say are possibilities.. N the punch line being the passion n intensity exhibited in both solitude n dispositions…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Actually had to read the last line twice to understand…we let others define us..and become how they define us..and see ourselves as per that definition…are we too afraid to know much about ourselves..what do u think..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “GINGERBREAD GIRL”, wonderful poem, intriguing idea about creating your own girl, and of course always stunning photos. I especially like your thoughts on falling in love with ideas, not people. I think you approached this beautifully, and honestly, how different would our relationships be if we truly knew ourselves?

    Enjoy your weekend,

    Liked by 1 person

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