So, when on the way home from the JLR bird survey in B R Hills, I was introduced to a young man called Shyamal, it took me (as usual) a few minutes to put two and two together and realize that this sprightly stripling was the wise old sage I had been imagining!
After that, of course, our paths didn't cross much. He talks seriously about bird distribution and is involved in documentation in a most methodical way...and I am at the other end of the spectrum, wondering if a juvenile crow looks different from an adult (er, the inside of their beaks shows reddish-pink.) Then a couple of months ago, when I first went to Hebbal Lake, he gave me a delightful 101 on the feeding habits of waterbirds.
I have always been struck by the vein of commonsense and humour in what he writes; the tinge of laughter leavens and makes very attractive, the serious topics that he addresses.
And today, he told me about another very interesting person, Kumar, who, apart from being a a committed birder, is also a very good artist. Kumar is from Thiruvannamalai,and paints on Cuddapah slabs. These can be seen in the eco park at Thiruvannamalai. Theodore Baskaran, says Shyamal, informs him that he has done some work at Auroville as well.
"He was an ex-poster painter - but put out of business by digital printing -
and is now employed to paint for a
eco-park there," writes Shyamal.
A while ago, I had written about the three artists who have created marvellous murals in the Jungle Lodges and Resorts property in Bandipur. I feel that Kumar uses his talent to augment his interest in birding...and I wonder how many more artists there are, undiscovered and unsung, who, because of the exigencies of earning their living, are forced to put their talents by....
Here's the picture of Kumar with one of his creations-on-stone
Thank you, Shyamal, for letting me use your pictures.