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Posts Tagged ‘birds’

A Different November 2nd

It’s jarring to me when I talk to people at home in the US and they mention how cold it is. Living here it’s hard to remember that November in my world has always meant I’m about to start dreading going outside.

But after living through months of monsoon I’m in some sort of seasonal time warp. Hearing the word November doesn’t compute with the hot weather I’m experiencing.  But with this not-rainy and not-cold November, I’m getting to enjoy something I normally don’t really pay attention to: the birds.

I know the only time I’ve written about birds here before was to describe the crazy crows on my terrace- and they’re still there. But I’ve also really enjoyed sitting out with a cup of tea watching what the world has to offer. Yellow birds mix with green ones, hawks searching for prey soar over crows lazying on a telephone wire. I might be in the middle of a city but we’re still in a very, very different climate.  In my past life I’ve always been happy just to see an oddly colored pigeon.

It’s nice sometimes to get lost in that. We’re lucky enough that the view from our terrace looks out onto trees- we’re one of the few blocks where some bungalows haven’t been replaced by high rises. I know it’s probably a bit ironic to think that while sitting in a high rise, but it’s true.

So for today, I’m not going to write very much. I’m just going to share a few pictures of the view: the birds and the sunset. In a city of chaos, and especially on November 2nd when my mind is inevitably brought home thinking about elections (and my old jobs where I’d be obsessed with them), I can’t help but enjoy a November 2nd where I was able to sit outside, look at some birds and marvel at a sunset.

Welcome to November, Mumbai style. I’m glad this year I get to enjoy it.

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Crow-cophony

I know this is going to make me sound like a crazy bird lady, but the crows outside my windows drive me nuts.

Mumbai has all sorts of creatures roaming around (I would like to be politically correct and say this is mostly due to the tropical climate, but in all honesty the plethora of animals may also stick around because of the trash layer that permeates a majority of the city). There are lizards of every shape and size crawling outside our walls and occasionally inside. We saw a rat the size of Phoebe on our porch the other night. Cows live on the streets. On our block alone at least ten street dogs have claimed the territory.

My new favorite toy AKA the mosquito racket

And the mosquitoes are so ubiquitous that we had to buy ‘mosquito rackets’ — electric tennis rackets that kill bugs on impact (When I say ‘we had to buy’ I really mean ‘I thought it would be fun’).

I don’t mind most of these things. Nisha is scared to death of lizards, but Daniel and I are ok with just sweeping them away. The rat so far seems to be a one-time thing that only came out due to heavy monsooning. The dogs leave you alone and the cows are normally tied up. And the mosquitoes now offer a chance to watch uncoordinated people try to chase a fast-moving insect around an apartment with a racket (i.e., me).

But the crows are inescapable. They’re inescapable and — dare I say it — a little bit psycho? When I first got here I thought they were like bigger and more tropical looking pigeons. But I was wrong.

Crows are everywhere

The insanity starts every morning as the sun comes up. They fly around, sit on telephone wires and chatter about their mornings. As the day continues they migrate to the rails of my porch. They sit, molt, do their business and look at me as though thinking, “What are you going to do about it?”

But recently, the crazy crows got even weirder. When the monsoon is imminent it would seem normal for animals to act a bit off. But for these crazy birds, ‘off’ is an understatement. The other day heavy rain was on the horizon. So the birds decided to have an angry convention on my terrace. They flew in droves in circles above my head. They didn’t stop – they just circled and circled with a madcap intensity. Dozens gathered to sway on the telephone wires and watch the circling. And the noise was deafening. You would have thought the end of the world was coming (If you need evidence, I’ve embedded a video to give you an idea). I have no idea what started it, but only the torrential downpour of the monsoon could (literally) drown them out.

But it never stops for long. Even as I sit here writing, the birds are crowing. They’re saying goodnight as the sun goes down. I usually get a bit of peace and quiet until morning. Yet even as I write about how obtrusive they are I can’t help smiling – they’re insane and impossible, but even when I want to complain about them they’ve become such a part of my surroundings that I can’t help but feel a bit protective. They’re lunatics, but they’re the lunatics who reside on my porch.

Only a crazy bird lady would say that.

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