Of Birds & Bees & Bugs

Joginder’s avian taxonomy is disarmingly ingenuous: birds that he can’t identify are classified as either fudguddi or kuchkuchiya, evocative vernacular for any creature that hops and cheeps.

January 22, 2021


The Bonduc Nut is a little like you and me: It has several monikers.

December 17, 2020


Tendrils are nature’s hieroglyphs – a poetic word derived from the Greek for ‘sacred carvings’.

December 5, 2020


He didn’t give up even after my failed attempt to kill him, something he insisted on mentioning each time he introduced me to someone.

September 5, 2020


He would always wait at the veranda. He’d welcome me with a grin, a tight hug and back rub. He had strong hands.

September 3, 2020


Mr Morrison was an Anglo-Indian tutor in great demand in my hometown. He admitted only the most dogged, and for a token fee.

August 22, 2020


You mean the indradhanush, I suggested. ‘Yes, that. It sucks up water and creatures from ponds and rivers, and then drops them somewhere.”

August 22, 2020


Neither is as drastic as we imagine. A lot changes discreetly during dormancy, a lot stays quietly unaltered during adaptation.
Our desire for drama spawns a lexicon which oversimplifies Nature and is comical to the cosmos. Even the fungus knows it’s all mighty complex. I wonder what Gerald Durrell would think of My Family and Other Fungi.
That innocent-looking button mushroom might just be sniggering at us.

August 22, 2020


In our unrelenting pursuit of excitement, and avoidance of tedium, we tend to forget that what we are really looking for is just a better story.
Perhaps there indeed lies, around the bend, a better story, a story smelling of sweet heady promise. Or perhaps, that is yet another alluring illusion.
It might descend upon us some day that life is almost entirely about the way we construct our silly little stories – so we can bestow upon ourselves a silly little grandeur.

August 21, 2020


In our big fear – the unknown – also lies our big wonder, the thrill of surprise and adventure.
This predicament has on tragicomic pitfall: our irredeemable hope that the unknown will ultimately reveal itself in our favour.
Tragic because we hope in spite of knowing that Nature, unlike us, is not a victim of vocabulary. And comic? Well, for the same funny reason.

August 21, 2020