I have been living in this chaotic urban sprawl for well over two decades. I took to birding a few years back. Whenever, the people around hear me talking of birds, the general reaction is, “Birds! We have been living in this town for such a long time and there are no birds here.” Some add a condescending, “There may be a few crows but surely crows don’t count.”
The only thing that comes to my mind is what our venerable professor of Anatomy drilled into our minds as novice first year M.B.B.S. students. “The eye does not see what the mind does not know.” He thundered in class, “You will not be able to see an anomaly or diagnose a disease unless you know the normal and the abnormal.”
Now that can well be extrapolated to everyday life. People do not know their birds, and therefore never notice them. Here is a picture of various birds snapped within one kilometre of my home. And there are far more if I increase the radius to five kilometres. The only thing I have to say is nature is kind, it is bountiful and it is beautiful. All we need to do is open our minds and eyes to its wonders.
Vivek Banerjee is a pediatrician by choice and a writer by chance. He tries to escape from the pressures of his profession by seeking refuge in the world of writing. His debut novel The Long Road, which was well received by the readers, was published by Cedar- an imprint of Pustak Mahal in December 2010. He counts photography as a recent obsession.