Body shaming is for the bird-brained

The Siberian Stonechat’s brown, black, and white color palette may not be an instant crowd-pleaser. But we cannot judge birds by their appearances. It makes even less sense than doing that to human beings. You reserve the right to pass on the candidate, who shows up for a job interview looking like Andy Dufrene after... Continue Reading →

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Whose life or death is it anyway?

We may be ungrateful for what we have because we think we deserve more. In the process, we forget to ask ourselves - who owes us anything at all? When our plans are left to die in the gutter, is there a someone we can hold accountable? If our tireless efforts go south, whose collar... Continue Reading →

At the movies with a bird watcher – Part 1

Birds are some of the natural planet's most watchable creatures. But when was the last time you saw a movie, besides the ornithophobic Birds (1963), that prominently featured them? There have been few and far between. Perhaps it is a good sign. No other species is cruelly collaborative for the sake of art like humans are.... Continue Reading →

Screeching the secret of instant karma

At times, when you stand up for yourself - someone will pull the chair from under you. They may want your seat at the table. Perhaps they dislike the fact you were sitting there in the first place. But you cannot let their schemes stop you from following through with your plans. As the saying... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

What young writers can learn from raptors

Predatory birds are known as ‘raptors’. Its entomology can be traced to the Latin term – rapere – meaning ‘to seize by force’. They are expert hunters, and their sensory capabilities are irrefutable. The prey may be cognizant of these extraordinary skills, but still they are snatched away by force. Large and medium-sized birds of... 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 →

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