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 →

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 →

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 →

United we fall

The daily challenges faced by many people in my country do not bother me as much as they used to. Because I let go of the guilt of having had a more privileged upbringing.¬†And I am not skilled enough to fight the system by tweeting about how unfair everything is. What really bothers me is... Continue Reading →

Where the words end and the birds begin

When I am not bird-watching, I like to watch people. Strangers, in particular. I am captivated by their nonverbal behavior. Gestures such as shoulder shrugs, head nods, and hand movements are significant parts of human interactions. They are our inner whistle-blowers that leak out top-secret information about our personalities. Tell the world who we really... Continue Reading →

4 smartphone apps that can make you a better human being

When I was 24, I swore that I would never use a smartphone. It seemed like an Orwellian abstraction. A sling blade that hurled a hateful stone at the third eye of the collective consciousness. A step closer towards a totalitarian future in which the government implants computer chips in our brains to keep track... Continue Reading →

Goodbye, Mr. and Mrs. T

Excitedly, I woke up at 4:30 AM. It was my first visit to the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary. I was there because of the Malabar Trogon - a brightly-colored creature that looks like the afterbirth of a psychedelic experience. With a spring in my step, I walked out of the cottage - as jolly as I... 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 →

Best friends with deficits

Pond Herons are one of the easiest birds to spot. They can be found all over the city. But I have never written about them. I barely photograph them. Every day I see them, alongside the distressingly-polluted Cooum River. They saunter through shallow waters, like stoned tap dancers, and hunt for crustaceans and small fishes.... Continue Reading →

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