Dedicated to Raj – a friend / brother / filmmaker / bird lover (May 8, 1991 – May 22, 2015).
Sometime in November 2013, I was tickling the evening air with my tongue on a parrot-green grass hill near Mooppanpara in Kerala. It was about 5:30 PM and there was a chance of rain. It had been a long and tiring day. I didn’t feel like vacating the spot anytime given how comfortable it was. Especially given how mesmeric the scenery was, with the sun resembling a dusty yet blushing grapefruit.
I soon had to because of the weather. Howling winds were turning into hesitant whispers. The blueness in the sky was fading away as rain-fed clouds were starting to take over. (more…)
is a song
in the hills,
leather is just skin
and fur is in vogue
only during the kill.
Valparai is a sleepy-eyed and fauna-rich town on the Anaimalai Hills range of the Western Ghats. It is one of the few hill stations in Tamil Nadu that is not a total ecological disaster. In the two days that I spent over there in January, I had lady luck dipping a hot-cross bun in a cup of lemon tea and giggling with me.
It seems as though it is only our species that is fixated on celebrating its ability to adapt. We treat it as though it is a triumph of the human spirit. We sometimes feel entitled to it. Most tellingly, we pretend like it is within the realm of our control. As though our instincts are not governed by laws set in motion millions of years ago.
We swam away from the ocean, learned how to walk upright, invented the wheel and even decided to use currency to climb atop the food chain. If we had not changed, periodically and holistically, we would not have survived.
About two months ago I had written about the Asian Paradise Flycatcher. I lamented about having never seen the white-morphed male. Just a few days after that, during a trail in the Thekkady foothills, I saw an adult male (orange-morphed) land on a tree a few feet away. Like a curious bystander, he flew from branch to branch until he was directly above me. The timing was exquisite. A minute or so before I spotted him, I was talking about his continued and inconspicuous absence from my life with an experienced birder who was accompanying me.
I told him how I might do something ridiculous if I ever saw a fully white-morphed Asian Paradise Flycatcher.