birdwatching: part 1.

Thanks to Sudhira for the idea of this story. Being a bit longish, I have decided to post it in parts.


“Hey bhOndOO?”.

“Hi, Siddhu. How are you?”.

“I am doing fine. What are you doing tomorrow?”.

“I… I am…”.

This is one question which bhOndOO always thinks hard about but always comes up with the following reply.

“… Well, nothing.”.

“Good. Then would you like to join us for birdwatching?”.

“You are going to MG Road tomorrow?”.

“No, why? We will be doing that in campus itself!”.

bhOndOO was utterly surprised, “You mean, there are birds worth watching inside campus?”.

“Of course! There are some very beautiful birds inside IISc.”.

“Oh! How come I never witnessed them! Which departments are they from?”.

“They are from… What? What are you talking about?”.

“I am talking about beautiful birds inside IISc.”.

Abe idiot! I am talking about Aves, not Eves; the winged, bipedal, endothermic, vertebrate animals that lay eggs.”, Siddhu is from Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES).

“Oh!”, bhOndOO was clearly disappointed, not to misinterpret Siddhu’s birds, but to lose the final hope of having beautiful birds inside campus.

“So?”.

“So what?”.

“Are you joining us or not?”.

bhOndOO was not interested, but to make some provision in Siddhu’s mind that he is also interested in real birds, “Okay.”.

“Good. Then we will start at 05:00 early morning tomorrow.”.

“What? So early!”.

“Of course, else we will miss some birds.”.

bhOndOO agreed with a lowered tone, “Okay.”.

“See you tomorrow then.”.

“Okay, bye.”.

“Bye.”.

bhOndOO turned to go towards CSA department and walked a few steps. The disinterest with which he had agreed to join birdwatching made him turn back and call Siddhu from behind with a hightened voice, “But what is the purpose of birdwatching?”.

A few Eves, a few Aves and a few non-Eves in awes turned towards bhOndOO. bhOndOO felt embarrassed to receive the attentions. The junta, except Siddhu, including the Aves, looked away when they noticed bhOndOO.

Siddhu replied, “This is an annual exercise. We note all the birds we find. This helps in concluding what all bird species have gone extinct or neared extinction in campus. It is also useful, if some new birds have entered the campus for their habitat.”.

“Hmmm….” and bhOndOO looked convinced.

The next day, bhOndOO cursed the snoozed mobile alarm three times before he had to get up to open his room’s door for Siddhu.

“I knew you would be sleeping. Get ready, we have to leave in 15 minutes…”, Siddhu ordered.

bhOndOO was about to ask Siddhu to go ahead and let him have his sleep, but the continuation of Siddhu’s statement brought him to life.

“… The girls must be waiting for us.”.

bhOndOO was ready in next 10 minutes.

They came out of New Block and reached Kritika where bhOndOO witnessed a group of four girls waiting for them accompanied by two bags on ground. Siddhu took the lead.

“bhOndOO, these are Mungi, Tingi, Bhengi and Chingi.”, bhOndOO nodded with a smile, his lips saying, “Hi.”.

“And girls, this is bhOndOO.”.

bhOndOO could not stop noticing the emphasized this. But the video in front of his eyes was worth concentrating on rather than worrying about the emphasized word spoken by a non-Eve of CES department. Unfortunately, the video in concentration added an audio, which made bhOndOO a bit suspicious.

“Oh!”, in chorus, followed by a giggle.

bhOndOO could not decide whether the giggle-connotation was negative and his sixth sense stopped him from inviting embarrassment by asking about the chorus.

“Shall we start?”, Siddhu broke bhOndOO’s thought process.

“Hey bhOndOO?”, the most beautiful of the birds, Mungi, spoke.

bhOndOO found himself smiling, leaning forward and his mind saying, What can I do for you, my Eve?

“Can you hold my bag, please?”.

“Sure.”, and bhOndOO showed all his courteous behavior to lift one of the two bags kept on the ground.

The courteous behavior changed to that of surprise when bhOndOO realized that the bag was sufficiently heavy. Does she carry stones in her bag?

As if sensing his thoughts, Mungi explained, “It contains a couple of diaries to take notes and two photo albums of birds in IISc.”.

“No problem. This is not at all heavy.”, who else, bhOndOO said so.

Tingi lifted the second bag. bhOndOO felt better to have lifted Mungi’s bag, because it looked relatively lighter. They started walking. Soon, homo-sapiens without bags were ahead, while bhOndOO and Tingi were following them at a distance. bhOndOO found Tingi breathing heavily and often giving support to the bag on her back to temporarily release her shoulders of the bag’s weight. He also noticed that Tingi did not make any attempt to talk to her sole companion. In fact, he found her looking at him with a disgusting face once in a while. bhOndOO never understood.

Soon, two things increased: the amount of sweat on Tingi’s forehead and the amount of disgust she showed towards bhOndOO. bhOndOO looked at the 3-in-1 combo much ahead of them, laughing and chatting. He knew what was going to happen and he knew it would be easier for him as soon as he accepted the truth. He asked Tingi to give her bag to him.

bhOndOO witnessed a facial transformation of disgust to triumph. Tingi, at once, as if waiting for it, threw the bag in bhOndOO’s hands and ran ahead to make it a 4-in-1 combo. bhOndOO recited the truth in his mind: I have been invited for birdwatching as a coolie.

Read part 2. Read part 3.

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4 Responses to “birdwatching: part 1.”

  1. maneesh Says:

    muahahahaha!!!! is it just me or are your blogs actually getting darker?! i like…

  2. onkar Says:

    How eagerly I wait for the next part !!!!

  3. birdwatching: part 2. « iisc life. Says:

    […] iisc life. Life of a student researcher — bhOndOO. « birdwatching: part 1. […]

  4. birdwatching: part 3. « iisc life. Says:

    […] part 3. By iisc Read part 1. Read part […]

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