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 →

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 →

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 →

How I met my grandfather

Lately, my maternal grandfather - Mr. Clarence Motha - has started to bear a slight resemblance to Spotted Owlets. Especially, the curving slope on his cranium. These days, it looks smooth and swollen, like the skull of an elderly owlet. My grandfather is 91 years old. His health has been deteriorating of late. He has... 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 →

When death becomes air: Fruit bats

During late evenings, colonies of fruit bats fly across pale orange skies in my city. With militant grandeur, they soar. With purpose and showmanship. But I see them so often that I don’t look up in admiration anymore. The only time I notice bats is when I see one electrocuted – having made fatal contact... Continue Reading →

Speak now and forever hold your peace

I wish the dead could speak. I don’t want to listen to family members talk about how much it hurts that they are gone. Or whatever their friends have to say about all they have left behind. Instead, I seek to find what went through their minds during the last few minutes of their lives.... Continue Reading →

Back to the future: Owls and Sunbirds

If you squint your eyes, babies look a lot like old people. Their soft and wrinkled skin. Tiny rows of broken teeth. Patchy hair. They tend to behave the same way too. Both need help getting around. They are easily confused. Frightened of being alone. They are likely to get hurt while trying to do things... Continue Reading →

Death becomes them

I have been thinking a lot about death since Raj Kumar passed away last year. He was a close friend. We wrote a film script together a few years ago. The story was centered on how intricately interwoven all our lives are. We were sure that it would have been the first of our many creative collaborations. Eventually, he... Continue Reading →

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