I first saw Brown-Capped Pygmy Woodpeckers inside a reserve forest in Kumily. But, love was not in the air. Maybe, they were in a hyperactive mood. Or just camera shy. Because every time I tried to photograph them, they would fly away to some other spot. No matter how closely I tracked one, it simply refused to stand still. Disappointed, I left them in a hurry.
Later, I spotted them in Megamalai. Once again, they escaped my camera’s frame by fluttering about, like a kamikaze fleet getting ready for a fight. And I walked away with my head hung low.
The third time was the charm. Two years ago, I stumbled upon them during a rocky climb in Thattekad. They were hunting for crunchy insects inside the bark of a tree. While they continued to be quicker than hiccups, I wanted to try something different. So, I decided to give them an hour or so to warm up to me.
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.