Monsoonal blues: Fly away home

No year has ever gone by without its share of obstacles. Except when I was 8 years old. Yeah, that was a good year. It must be the same with you, right? I hear people talk about their ups and downs. Isn’t that how things work? At least, I hope so. I will feel a... Continue Reading →

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Never ask a swamphen why it crossed the river

I didn’t exercise my right to vote this year during the State elections. Because I don’t pee in public anymore. See, I am already doing my bit to improve the community. Next year, I hope to stop wasting water while shaving over the washbasin. Today, I am just flexing my right to complain about the... Continue Reading →

A water lily that thought it could dance

I am pretending that summer isn’t in a fierce mood. I am ignoring the sweat dripping down my forehead. The constant buzzing of air-conditioners. The humidity in the air. But I am painfully aware that birding season is over. Many of the migratory birds are gone. The endemic ones are vacating regular nesting grounds in... Continue Reading →

Muddy waters run deep in Chennai: Give us a hand

Now that Chennai's immediate dangers are temporarily at bay, the public has begun expressing extreme displeasure over the city’s poor infrastructural standards. They are baffled at how our buildings crumbled like a stack of cookies in the recent floods. They are outraged that rabid urbanization was prioritized over safety regulations. Shocked that real estate greed, along with political corruption, has... Continue Reading →

There is a hole in my bucket: Flooding in Chennai

As I was stranded for over 5 hours in traffic due to the flooding in Chennai, two things occurred to me. One is that I cannot wiggle either of my ears. The other is that Chennai is as much a developed city as the whale is a fish. Even if it looks, sounds and smells like... 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 →

Be a woodpecker

A noisy summer's swansong as crooned by a woodpecker down on his luck, perched above a traveler, with hiccups and toenail clippers to accompany them at dusk. July can be a mean-spirited month. One moment it dares to wash the burn marks and sweat stains left by yet another sultry summer. The very next - it breathes fire into... Continue Reading →

Adukkam: Home is where the unwashed feet are

Utopia is where odd fellows rest, bench-pressing inkblots with blank stares and babysit blue orchids, bearing stars for seeds, that come in pairs. I have lost interest in keeping count of the number of birds I have spotted. I let it go around the 300-mark. But I still obsess over spotting new birds during every trail. If I don't, it's... Continue Reading →

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