Three birds of paradise, two funerals and a wedding

Last December, my grandpa passed away a day prior to my wedding reception. Bed-ridden for months, he was in a lot of anguish. The beige color of his skin matched the peeled sections of the bedroom wallpaper. His head, resembling the plucked breast of an owl, bobbed up and down whenever I visited him. It... Continue Reading →

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But first, we need to talk about the floods in Kerala

Kerala is wounded. Its people are suffering. Nearly 400 have been killed due to the recent floods that are ravaging its citizens, as well as its neighbors in Karnataka. The loss of livelihood has been unimaginable. If you live outside of South India, you may not have heard of the crisis. Hell, I live about... Continue Reading →

How to cope with the hypocrisy of being a nature-lover

Nilgiri Tahrs live by Kurt Cobain’s theory that “just because you are paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you”. Endemic to the Western Ghats, they hang around by cliff-sides so that they can flee the jaws of dholes, leopards, and tigers. Dawn is when the Tahrs are the most active. They... Continue Reading →

Why dirty talk at dawn is not for the birds

I romanticize every sunrise I see. Whenever the first light appears from behind the clouds, the sky hosts a grand ceremony to celebrate life, death, ecstasy, and despair. It turns into a soaking wet fruit salad. There are rosy cherries, honey-roasted plums, and smoked orange slices. One time I saw a pineapple undress itself. The... Continue Reading →

Goodbye is the new hello: Jewel bugs

It was around 5:00 PM. I was tonguing the evening air on a parrot-green grass hill at Mooppanpara in Kerala. Despite the cloudy weather, I wanted to stick around. It had been a long and tiring day. And the scenery was mesmeric. The sun resembled a dusty grapefruit trying to un-blush. It sunk, beneath the... Continue Reading →

They might be giants

In 2013, I saw a large squirrel hiding in-between the branches of a plum tree in Kodaikanal. Bashing its bushy tail against the leaves, the creature stared at me with its beady eyes. Its reddish-black coat  shone in the sun. I had never seen anything like it before. The only squirrel I knew then was the... Continue Reading →

Kodaikanal, my turquoise queen

Kodaikanal, a hill station in south India, is my happy place. That sweet spot halfway between the gutter and the stars. Her songbirds, smiling faces, street food and silhouettes of trees have filled me with warmth. She births unsupervised fires in me. Whenever I climb up her turquoise thighs, she holds me in a vice-like grip. She... Continue Reading →

The lizard or the panther?

I used to obsess over spotting wild cats in their natural habits. Leopards, tigers or jungle cats, it didn’t matter. I would feel like a fortunate son of the earth as long as it had whiskers. While I gave up the search in favour of bird-watching, the felidae family members continued to haunt me. Even now, when I explore the... Continue Reading →

Love in the time of thunderstorms: Birds of Chennai

I hope the people of France are safe. I wish them a speedy recovery. But today I support my state of Tamil Nadu. She has been ravaged by heavy storms. People have been losing their homes and livelihoods, and others - their lives. For the past 12 hours, there have been nonstop thunderstorms in Chennai. My city has... Continue Reading →

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