A love unspoken: Racket-Tailed Drongos

I was once privy to a fascinating dialogue between a pair of Racket-Tailed Drongos in the semi-evergreen forests of Vagamon. I had no idea what they were chirping about. But it looked like a heated debate. One seemed to intimidate the other. There was some dancing. It was theatrical.

The conversation lasted for about three minutes. They made up and flew away together. It was as though they suddenly realized they were late to a gathering of pixies. And that life was too short and difficult, and the universe – too unimaginably magnificent, to be wasted on disagreements.

Arguments between people stretch a lot longer than that. Many of them end on a sour note too. It’s like dealing with auto-corrections while typing on the phone. It doesn’t matter what one wants to say, the other will misinterpret it.

We tend to argue to prove ourselves to be right, instead of encouraging a common pursuit of the closest version of the truth.

I catch myself, at times, arguing with people even after realizing that their theories are more logical than mine. But I persist to either preserve misplaced integrity or protect my sense of pride.

I end up learn nothing; only that I can be a brat who would rather showcase a wealth of borrowed knowledge than share unbiased and purposeful discoveries.

Birds have the same five senses of perception that we do.

Unfortunately, we don’t have half the melodies that they do in place of our ill-advised words.

I want to be
preoccupied,
talking to
slender-billed singers
with wings
for microphones.

Racket-Tailed Drongo, Kerala

(Photographs: Thekkady, Valparai)
(Video:
Vagamon)

 

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32 comments

    1. Thanks Stephen. They are commonly found in the Indian subcontinent. You’d be surprised how many walk/drive past them without noticing their wondrous songs and extravagant tail feathers.

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  1. Your need to argue may lessen as you get older. Then again, it might not. See – I argue with myself still (but rarely argue anymore with other people.) As for the arguments of birds, with the drongos it will be “my tail’s better than yours”, “no it isn’t” “yes it is”. I can guarantee that!

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    1. Thank you BW. It’s a strange experience – this birding. They make me feel like a “fool on a hill”. I suppose it’s better than being bird-less and under one.

      We are all guilty of it at some point or the other, as you said. It seems to be one of those inherent traits of being a human.

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    1. Bigger pictures worry me, comrade. Tinier they are – the easier it is to squeeze them in-between the thumb and forefinger, like the distant evening sun.

      What ghouls, we mortals be.

      Thanks for the honest trail of thoughts again, meister!

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      1. She is leaving the country for a week or so, she ll help when she is back. I tried to put it through one of those online babel fish translators. Didn’t quite present itself for linear reading.

        Tis’ a summer promise to myself, to read it (smile).

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      2. I pondered on translating it myself but came to the conclusion that the prose is simply too German (in the most ambivalent way). Any result would be disappointing hence. So please don’t bother her 😉

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      3. She learnt it throughout her higher schooling. She did some advanced classes in max mueller bhavan (a language institute) for many years. Plus, an opportunity to stay in Germany for a year with a friendly family.

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  2. It’s been a long time since I’ve logged on to wordpress.. but one of the first things I did when I signed in was check your blog. What a lovely post and pictures of the gorgeous drongo 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fantastically attractive bird, and enjoyed the videos (both of them), Christy. When someone presses their verbal garbage into my unwilling ears as some kind of fixed ‘truth’ without argument is a hellish nightmare to me. I can only keep my tongue so long; better to walk away and never go back than show my dark side.

    In order to quit arguing with some people, cutting ties altogether may be necessary. There are plenty of people out there who don’t subscribe to irrational thought/actions. Find them. 😀

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    1. I am happy you two met, Shannonroo. I was sure you would be tickled pink by their tails.

      “Fixed truths” – Gosh. Aren’t they just the worst? Like you, I find it hard to hold back my tongue. I quite enjoy lashing out too, except that I am filled with guilt once it is done with

      “Cutting ties altogether” – Yes, that is our battle cry, comrade. Hiyaaaaaa!

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