New species of bird discovered in Arunachal Pradesh


According to a 2004 estimate, India, with 1180 species of recorded birds is 9th in the list of countries with the most diverse avifauna. Well, it can now safely be said that this particular figure is history, thanks to the spectacular habitat that is Northeast India in general and Arunachal Pradesh in particular. A new…

Tripping on the Brahmaputra at Umanada


If you ever find yourself in Guwahati with an afternoon to kill, head to the Umananda Temple. Located on an island in the middle of the Brahmaputra, it can be reached by taking a boat from the Kachari Ghat, right in the heart of the city. When I last visited this beautiful city, it was in…

When birds are made to fight in the name of tradition


The ubiquitous red-vented Bulbul is the hunted one these days in Assam’s Hajo. A 400 year old tradition pits these birds against each other in the compound of the historic Haigrib Madhab Temple on the day of Bihu.  A year after the contentious event was banned by  the sessions court, the bird fight is back this…

Pelicans in the heart of New Delhi


In the recent years, Delhi has been in the news for mainly two reasons – the lack of safety for its women and the ever worsening quality of its air. So be it the shocking rapes, pollution or the other Delhi staple – politics –  you would be forgiven for thinking that nothing good could…

Okhla Bird Sanctuary: A study in decay


Delhi, with its 2 crore people, buildings to house them in, vehicles to transport them is bursting at its seams. The cost of this human expansion is sadly being borne by the animals and birds that used to call this bit of geography their home. Nowhere is this terrible price clearer than at the Okhla…

40 Years of Bohemian Rhapsody: 5 of the Best Covers


40 years ago Queen released Bohemian Rhapsody and music was never the same again. It was an instant hit with the fans while critics struggled to put a label on it. The six minute track opened with a ballad, transitioned into an operatic verse which then seamlessly blended into an epic Brian May facemelter of…

[Mobile Photography] As Seen in the City #2


This is a continuation of my photographic adventures in the city, armed to the teeth with my mobile camera. This is also an effort to convince myself (and any others that need convincing) that you do not need a DSLR to take good photographs. No, I am not replacing my DSLR with my Nexus 5, not…

Call of the Dooars


I have always wondered where my love for nature comes from. The answer came to me as I was standing in the middle of a stream with cold, clear water lapping around my shins: I was born to it.  The first twenty years of my life were spent in the Dooars, the sub-Himalayan terai region…

[Mobile Photography] As Seen in the City #1


I was a late adopter of the smartphone; and once I did, it added much fuel to my already flaming love for photography. Now I did not need to carry my DSLR around. As long as I understood the limitations of the mobile snapper and had help from an editing app, I could produce decent images….

Birds of the Kumaun Himalayas


It is not an overstatement to claim that the Indian subcontinent is a creation of the Himalayas. As a barrier, it has protected this landmass from being encroached upon by the cold northern deserts, and has nourished it by harnessing the potential of the Monsoon winds. The rivers that flow down it has, over the…

[Mobile Photography] Delhi Sunsets


It is true that on most days, the air over Delhi is unbreathable at best; but then there are those evenings when the city throws you off with rich shades of crimson streaked over the azure skies. Few and far between they might be, but breath-taking they always are. Work leads me to commute between…

Postcards From a Snowy Wonderland


Sometimes, in our travels we stumble upon a special place or an experience so transcendental that all future endeavours  seem to be geared towards recreating that experience. But this experience is the product of a fortuitous coming together of the magical forces of the universe; hardly manufacturable. We, however, keep trying. Back in 2004, I…