The Cry of the Crow is a beautiful tale told among the Sumi Naga tribe. It is about the strange experience of an orphan called Kohito who they believe turns into a black crow.
Once upon a time, there was a small boy who lived in a big city. But he wished to live by the big, blue sea. One day, something wonderful happened. His parents took him to the seaside. The boy’s heart danced with joy.
When you live on a green verdant campus it is almost expected that you would be interested in nature and wildlife. I have been captivated by animals as a whole since I was young, but my interest in photography and the avian genus began in the thick forests of Kanha National Park. Renowned nationwide for its tigers, leopards and other exotic animals it holds a special place in my heart for igniting my passion for birds.
During one of my many meaningless browsing sessions through absolutely unconnected and random sites (as one is wont to do in the hostel), I stumbled upon a 2009 WWF report on the biodiversity in the IITB campus. It was a long, long report, with no photographs and lots of data and I soon got bored. But I gleaned something from it – there are over a hundred species of birds in the campus and about 85 species of butterflies. This was unbelievable, to say the least, for I did in no way remember seeing more than 20 kinds of birds I guess till then and had identified even less. So started my journey in looking for these elusive birds and photographing them. Butterflies were entirely not on my mind. I was absolutely sure I would never be able to photograph these tiny, flighty, delicate creatures who always seemed to be busy fluttering.
The Ficus tree at Kshitij adjoining the IITB Hospital was abuzz with activity. The Coppersmith Barbet, Mumbai’s official City Bird, rang out its tuk tuk tuk tuk call as it bobbed its head from side to side. Not far away, a male Oriental Magpie-Robin sang uninterrupted, its attention focused entirely on the female close by. The male followed his mate from branch to branch with a string of persuasive, imploring notes, sometimes choosing the highest vantage point for a perfect delivery.
With a wry, half smile he said,
“यहाँ कोई टेन्शन नही है, सब टेन्शन ट्रैनिंग में खतम हो गया.”
I was talking to a Jawan in the Indian Army posted at a border post in Batalic sector. Mind you, this is one of the posts at the border of Pakistan and India. Violation of ceasefire can take place any day, at any time of the day. Gun fires, grenades can hit you any time, nobody is certain of life at the next moment. And this guy was saying ‘No Tension’!!