Tuned in to you

When you are tuned in to bird sounds, you hear them even midst cacophony of wheeled, smoke-spewing monsters. In a bumper to bumper traffic I heard a barbet call, clear and loud. It isn’t the loveliest of bird sounds but it massaged my aching heart. Barbet, I am tuned in to you. 45 degrees tilt of the head and the world is so much more charming.

I was at my parents’ house in a quaint little, quiet town. I didn’t just see birds, I stalked them there. I exaggerate not, but some magic has happened since then and it is very special. For instance, one morning I said to myself that I wanted to see a new, bigger bird – and two minutes later into that manifestation, an Indian Grey Hornbill flew right in front of my eyes. She perched on a beautiful Amaltash tree, and I ran to confirm. It was indeed her!

My mother said to me that evening, that considering how much I love birds and spend time watching them, perhaps I will be a bird in next life. I asked her, “Will you keep water for me every day.” “Of course,” she said.

Can I hide under your warm plumage tonight, please?


Grey mushroom clouds
hang on a sky sunless, stolid
Lamentation begin
as the flowers wilt
in your lonely bird’s beak.
But tonight the blood moon
will rise in her purple iris
and the night river undulate
through her lifeless veins.
And she would say,
“Can I hide under your warm plumage tonight please
and hear the music of your sorrowful heart beating?”

A beautiful story and performance by Andrea Gibson..

Sooty be her second name, not Treepie

What do you do
when you see
an arboreal rufescent dream
perched on a banyan blanket?
You’d want to cuddle with her
under her plummage
and sing to her calm sea’s lullaby.
Her beautiful head,
sooty be her second name
and not Treepie.
And where did she get that silver so grey,
makes me go mad.
‘Give me your colours’, I tell her.
She responds,
a sweet string of ko-ki-la
and away does she fly.

Road Trip -2 Paradip, spotted a Rufous Treepie.

You be my favourite birder and I will be your Rosefinch

This one is for my favourite birder and a friend,
Christy, who has a lovely blog where he posts photos of birds, writes poetry that makes one’s heart ache for its beauty, and magically weaves words and thoughts to make a warm blanket for his readers, followers, fans alike. I often put this blanket on, on cold misty days and find solace.
I offer you
the entire gamut of colours
on all the birds that fly or that don’t.
I offer you
every single juvenile and adult,
female and male chirp and tweet.
I offer you
their wings and feathers,
their flights and descent.
I offer you
their open vast skies,
their swamps and their woven nests.
I offer you
their plumaged warmth,
their tetrachromacy.
I offer you their bills,
their egg-shells, their mating calls.
I offer you
their nocturnal songs,
their mobbing and their swoops.
And if I could I would
turn into a bird,
perhaps your favourite one.
Make it happen somehow,
sprinkle some pixie dust or pinch
‘You be my favourite birder and I will be your Rosefinch.’