The screaming guarantees

I first spotted the Coppersmith Barbet on a chilly morning, outside a bird sanctuary in Chennai. I followed its metronome call to a large berry tree. I saw the barbet feasting on wild berries in one of the branches. The long winter shadows had cast a spell over the leaves, and I was unable to... Continue Reading →

Show them where it hurts

The watercock is a solitary member of the rail and crake family. It keeps to itself for most of the day - only coming out in the open for feeding, and to attract mates. I have spotted it just once in the last five years. I was driving past the Annamalaicheri village in Thiruvallur, and... Continue Reading →

Where hornbills fly to when we die

Two years ago, I was inside a taxi – returning home after a birdwatching expedition to Valparai. I have never been fond of return journeys. I get upset over the beautiful things I must leave behind. But I wore a grin on my face. It was not because I was happy. That would have been... Continue Reading →

Eat crow, scratch the itch or die trying

Some of my best comebacks occur to me only after the argument has ended. I do not act on it. Obviously, that will be childish and ineffective. It is tempting, though. Especially, when I am dealing with road rage caused by mouthy traffic violators. I tend to lose my cool around them. Many a time... Continue Reading →

The punk who did not have a Ferrari to sell

Rejection can be the best free advice we get. Whether told off by an individual or an institution, we learn something from it. At times, we may have been undeserving of our aspirations because of a lack of determination. So, we set off - with renewed vigour – to try harder the next time around.... Continue Reading →

Why you should listen to your body

Asian Openbill Storks are prehistoric-looking birds. A common sight in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, they wade around in wetlands. The conspicuous gap in its gigantic beak seems almost tragic. But the shape remains a very useful ally while preying on freshwater snails that comprise their staple diet. By appearance at least, they remind... 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 →

Man vs wild: The fantastic beast edition

(Updated - with videos) I have had a few memorable experiences with the Indian Gaur - the largest bovine species in South East Asia. During our introduction in 2012, I saw a herd crossing a golf course in Kodaikanal. Awestruck by their imposing physique, I approached them with reckless abandon. Mercifully, one of the alpha... Continue Reading →

The night when I saw six leopards

A few months ago, I spotted six leopards during a single night. I had seen these wild cats once before in 2016. But I had forgotten to press the “record” button on the camera. And I had nothing to show for it. People tell me that I was lucky to be there - experiencing the moment.... Continue Reading →

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