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Warbles and tweets inspire verse

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Birds of song: Some of the birds given life to in poems in ‘Nammude Kilikal’.
Birds of song: Some of the birds given life to in poems in ‘Nammude Kilikal’.

Ignatius Pereira

A poet and avid

bird-watcher chooses 30 of his avian friends to write poems on.

KOLLAM: “Nammude Kilikal,” a poetic description of 30 birds, is a labour of love. Even the crow, which rarely makes heads turn, is transformed into a beauty in poet’s Kottathala Vijayan’s book.

Mr. Vijayan is an avid bird-watcher. So, some of his avian friends’ quirks, which may not be attractive to most, are colourfully described in the book. On reading them one will learn to appreciate the seemingly strange obsessions.

The ‘lead characters’ of the book are, among others, parrot, black headed oriole, black drongo, crow pheasant, mynah, barn owl, tree pie, great Indian hornbill, black eagle, Indian pitta, kingfisher, hoopoe, grey heron, chestnut bittern, pied wagtail, swift, purple sunbird, pond heron, woodpecker, Caspian tern, house sparrow, bluebird, yellow sparrow, water hen and the magpie.

The poems are suitably embellished with rhymes and alliterations. Interestingly, the one on the house crow is the longest.

“That is because I get the opportunity to watch the crow the most,” reasons the poet.

Lifelong passion

As a boy, he used to while away time watching birds on paddy fields and streams by his house at Avaneeshwaram near Kollam.

The special relationship began there.

“All of us come across at least four species of birds daily. The book is especially for those who do not care to take a second look at them and enjoy their beauty,” Mr. Vijayan said. Though meant for children, the poems ought to captivate people of all ages. The book will be released by former minister G. Karthikeyan at a function at the Kollam Press Club hall on September 25.

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