Sunday, April 10, 2011

Intentions and Interference





There was this article in The Times of India today about disappearing sparrows and one man, Pramod Mane, who is doing all he can to protect sparrows in Mumbai. The article blamed the real-estate boom fed by the politician-builder nexus, the monstrous skyscrapers and predatory crows for sparrows' dwindling numbers.
They forgot pigeons. While I have absolutely no idea if pigeons eat sparrows (or their eggs or if they destroy their nests or commit similar unholy acts), I mention pigeons because they gave us a lesson: Don't do your bit to sustain sparrows if you live in a high-rise.

Mom, inspired by her sister (who doesn't live in a high-rise and consequently can bird-watch all day at close proximity), decided to keep something to eat and a bowl of water in our balcony for sparrows and other birds, if they would like to honour us thus. She wasn't thinking of pigeons. (No discrimination, there are just too many of them).

For the first two days, we looked on in wonder as the sparrows pecked at the food, struggling to put even the smallest grain in their mouth. It really is fun to watch them, provided you're blessed with tinted windows. Otherwise they fly away like they've spotted dragons (of course, they've probably heard sparrow folktales about how humans have tortured the best and strongest of sparrows).

So we were all happy and pleased about the good karma we had achieved, when on the third day, there were no sparrows. Only pigeons, gobbling up all the food. Now pigeons would have been tolerable had they not driven the sparrows away; but we did not have any sparrows after that day. Neither did we have pigeons, because we stopped keeping food in the balcony. Serves them right.

10 comments:

  1. Best one in recent times. Personalized, but has the ability to connect with the reader.

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  2. Thank you!
    Isn't anonymity criminalized yet?

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  3. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1841778_1841782_1841791,00.html

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  4. Hey great article..completely acceptable and undeniable.. I too wonder where sparrows have disappeared over the time-being b'cuz have hardly seen one for over a week. But never thought it was the pigeons who could be the culprits though i hate their population in my area. However always blamed the crows though..

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  5. Hey, thanks! I don't know if the pigeons are a particular problem around here or not...

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  6. Hey Anonymous, thanks for the link!

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  7. Man ! I miss sparrows and their chirps and them flying and bathing in earth :(
    There used be dozens of species of birds even in cities just a few years back and nowadays one'd be hard pressed to find them even in villages. It's wrong to blame pigeons. The species had been co-existing for thousands of years. I think, it's uncontrolled urbanisation, deforestation, lack of food and high radiation from power lines and cellphone towers. :(

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  8. True. I'm not saying pigeons are conspiring to commit sparrow genocide...but they're eating up whatever little resources the poor sparrows have.

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  9. Nicely said! Its always interesting to get a different viewpoint than to simply follow the norms!

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