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Flights beyond frames

K.P. Purnachandra Tejasvi's birds are as multi-coloured, lively, and vibrant as the characters in his fiction

It seemed to me such a pity that people should still cling to their old ideas of the unpleasantness of the jungle when here was a world of magical beauty to be explored, observed, and understood.

Gerald Durrell

JAMSHEDPUR-BORN Durrell said this about the tropical forests known to be savage and dangerous. For Durrell, though, the same forest represented "a beautiful and incredible world made up of a million tiny lives, plants and animals, each different and yet dependent on the other, like the many parts of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle."

Through his writings as well as photographs, K.P. Purnachandra Tejasvi seems to echo the same sentiments. Each of his novels, short stories, and articles is not only entertaining, but also thought-provoking for the way it probes the beautiful and incredible world of man and nature. His photographic studies of birds are as multi-coloured, lively, and vibrant as the characters in his novels and short stories, displaying an amazing range of moods, manners, feelings, and attitudes.

In the recent exhibition, Flying Songs, organised by Bharath Yatra Kendra at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat, Tejasvi's remarkable skill and propensity in capturing the beauty of the birds of Malnad were in full view. Arresting his colourful protagonists with love and gentle adoration, Tejasvi, as is his wont, paid tribute to their lively vibes, temper, and character.

The 69 digital prints, neatly displayed, transformed a viewer into another world. Expectedly, Tejasvi sights his birds in their natural ambience and habitat. Nestled in a cradle of leaves, perched on rocks, crouching delicately on sunlit branches, or feeding their young, the wide-eyed creatures present to him a picture of poise and dignity. Many of them — with their regal carriage and natural gait — stand out like professional models! Others, not capable of such a fascinating performance, are still absorbing for their quiet simplicity and grace. The birds make available to the photographer varied moods and settings. If the White-breasted Waterhen (sitting on a rock by the side of a flowing stream) is seen fluttering her wings, the Ruby-throated Bulbul (perched on a rugged branch) seems to be looking askance. While the Small Blue Kingfisher basks in the sun, the gorgeous Malabar Whistling Thrush shows off her colourful feathers to great effect.

Tejasvi, a 'rare bird' himself, captures the birds of Mainad in a range of moods and manners

Blue Chat, Red-whiskered Bulbul, White-throated Ground Thrush, Tailor Bird, Pond Heron, Black Bird, Malabar Tragon, Scimitar Babbler, Small Green Barbet, Tickells Blue Fly-catcher, Golden-backed Woodpecker, Spotted Dove — Tejasvi's digital camera sights them all. The most dramatic ones have mothers feeding their young and proud aviators holding colourful fruits in their sharp beaks. While birds are the main attraction, Tejasvi does not forget to behold the beauty of other creatures, be it the Jungle Squirrel, Dragon Fly (clinging to a ribbon-like leaf), Jungle Rat, or the ferocious-looking Tiger Frog.

Tejasvi is a man of many talents. To him, photography is not just a pleasant hobby or pastime. It is, indeed, a creative medium to appreciate and capture the infinite beauty of Nature. And to sound the warning bell on how urgent and important it is to preserve and protect the flora and fauna — whatever is left of them.


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