Month: September 2015

Be kind and rewind: Vernal Hanging Parrots

She’s a peach
more than she is a promise,
a pickle jar of a person
and a pretty postcard
to old wounds; she’s a tulip
in search of the wind, a tiny dancer
waiting for a special tune.

I read Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when I was about 12 years old. I found it both frightening and fascinating. Especially when Willy Wonka describes to Veruca Salt how whipped cream is made. He goes on to say, “whipped cream isn’t whipped cream at all unless it’s been whipped with whips…everybody knows that”.

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Raptors, falcons and rain-fed philosophers

Some need corns and calluses
to take a leap of faith
and start anew; others wouldn’t
dare jump unless they
wore boots sturdy enough
to land on the moon.

I feel intoxicated whenever I see a bird of prey soar high. I have always been fascinated by them. Their dagger-like talons. Anxious mouths with fishhooks for beaks. Beady eyes that boast of razor-sharp vision. And a grace in flight that makes them the ballerinas of the skies.

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Strange fruits: Plum-Headed Parakeets

Whenever I go looking for a particular sub-species, sooner than later, they tend to show up. I had recently written about how much I wanted to see Plum-Headed Parakeets. About a week later, in Kerala, I spotted a large number of them on different occasions. Each one – an apple tart, wrapped in painted cabbage leaves, with wings.

There were so many flying around, from one tree to another in search of food. I wanted to curl into a foetal position by the side of the road and wildly smile until nice people in white coats chaperone me to a happy and well-padded place.

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Birding across the border: South India has wings

I was on a birding trip with a friend last week at the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border. While good weather played truant, the birds certainly didn’t. I was lucky enough to see some for the first time.  There were a few scares too.  We had to climb a tree to escape an enraged Wild Boar.  There was yet another Indian Gaur incident. And a storm had us holding onto our dear lives.

Like Dickens said, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. Except that even the worst of them wasn’t all that bad.

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Birding season: Frankly, my dear, let’s build a dam

I find art to be transcendental; always a step above human drama. In a way it assuages the drama I find myself exposed to. As a writer, I don’t enjoy creative processes turning into therapy sessions either. But it is inescapable. I succumb to it like a dead leaf does to leaving its tree-house in a storm.

The difference being that vanity doesn’t follow torment as far as the leaf is concerned.

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A Black-Lored Tit in hand…

People can be choosy about when they tell you that patience is a virtue. First, they need to recognize your lifestyle as being similar to theirs. Then they need to approve of your career path. If they don’t, they will not speak of patience as a virtue. Chances are they will tell you that time is not your side.

For instance, if you are above 30 and unmarried, they will ask you to start panicking. That unless you find someone over the next few weeks, everyone you know and love will die. And so will you, alone and miserable too, surrounded by stray cats. The fact that they underestimate how fascinating cats are seems to be one of the problems.

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Let’s talk about death

What if you could bring back to life
a loved one in small portions?
Would you pick a nose hair
or a toenail or saliva stains
on a glass of chai?
Or would you need something
more wholesome to remember them by?

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Moon-stalking

At 6 AM, the moon was still around,
bleeding rare orange –
like a peach iced tea stain.
I drank her with my eyes,
and my love begins to pique
as her salted cheese wafers
crumbled inside my cheeks.

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