Friday, 25 December 2009


The television anchor shouts.
The tv serial about the warrior queen shouts.
The background music shouts.
The man on the street shouts.
The guest next to you shouts.
The music in the car shouts.
The malls shout with their garish decors.
The shops in the malls put on loud music to out-shout the shouting garish décor.
The cafés, generally nice quiet places by concept, shout.
The prayers to our Gods are shouting matches accompanied by loud music.
We have become a nation obsessed with loudness.
Everyone is out decibelling everyone else.
This evening when I heard a thousand sparrows land near a tree, I wanted to shout too.
The sparrows are back. The sparrows are back.
But, even if I did manage to shout, it would have made no difference.
The collective sounds of the generator in the neighbour’s house, people talking to each other like they were researching hearing aids, an alarm that went off in someone’s car, would have drowned my voice.
Besides, what is so special about a thousand sparrows coming to roost in the bushes of a housing colony in Delhi?
Nobody noticed them gone for so many years in the first place.


Ainara said...

"Everyone is out decibelling everyone else."

Brilliantly put.

mentalie said...

you're right about those sparrows...i never noticed when they disappeared! ironically, the blasted pigeons are doing just fine and cooing their silly heads off outside my window as i type this!

Sameer said...

the sparrows are finally back!
we know what went wrong...but now when they've come back...what went right??

bythewindowsill said...

who cares if lights are blared up nesting trees,
if fences and cemented walls make deer fall prey to dogs in the iit woods?
I am tired of shouting...
who cares if the wetlands are shrinking all around thanks to prawn hatcheries...
all shyam saran can do is squibble with words about Copenhagen.
nobody cares.
a bird walk now, a jute bag later and everyone is happy.
I hope climate change comes soon and takes all away.

Munna on the run said...

It could be a combination of things. There was a study done in London where they showed certain birds evolved and changed their migratory patterns, because of bird feeders. Since people fed the birds, they no longer migrated in winters.
Sparrows, and I am only guessing, may have developed new survival instincts.
(And of course people's efforts in feeding and taking care of the sparrows would be contributing as well)
There's certainly something interesting going on. Been watching them with great interest.
Remember, sparrows are a sign of our own urban health. If sparrows are around, it would mean our living conditions are good as well.
Which explains less or no sparrows in South Delhi and such... :)

mikimbizii said...

I have been an obsessive follower of your blog for over a year now. I am totally awed by your splendid, prophetic writings and your drawings.

Good luck.