The Pompadour Green Pigeon looks like a toy to me. I bet that every night – woodland creatures dip them in buckets filled with green paint. By dawn, they are free to roam in the hills. They fly around, ornamenting the trees with their madly-purple shoulders. And giving neck-cramps to birders.
My neck will snap if I ever go to the rain forests of Papua and spot the Western Crowned Pigeon. She will spread her crown for me. And I will quickly leave after taking a few photographs. Too much beauty can break me down. It can make me cry.
The feral Rock Doves in Chennai used to make me scurry away, in tears, as a child. But it was because I was scared. They would make eerie sounds at night. I would sleep with one eye open, picturing their ghoulishly-pink feet up against the window in my room. To make matters worse, they would soil the passenger seat of my dad’s scooter.
It has been an emotional roller-coaster with these doves / pigeons.
During the past few years, I have seen many of them in the hills of southern India. Different colours and theme songs. Each one a breath of fresh dew. The scent of love like camphor.
The Spotted Dove is a common sight. Like their cousins in the city, they gravitate towards human habitats. It helps them with nest-building and food-gathering chores. I was lucky enough to shoot a video of one having an evening snack with a little friend of hers in Valparai.
I have caught on camera – the Pompadour Green Pigeon, the Grey-Fronted Green Pigeon, the Yellow-Footed Green Pigeon, the Mountain Imperial Pigeon and the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon. In the city, I have also spotted the Laughing Dove and the Red-Collared Dove.
The commercially-sold white doves can be seen fluttering about too. But they just look like tumbling dolls of flesh.
doll of flesh
gathers no love;
a puppet is
as the hand,