Sunday, August 17, 2008


Now and then, the soul of your story goes missing when it appears in the paper.

When the Indian Institute of Technology - Madras, IIT-M, celebrated golden jubilee in the cool comfort of the students activity centre, only a few realised that the doors have been closed, forever, to a few swifts that had made the centre its home.

In fact, a professor in charge of the nature club in the campus wrote that change in architecture of the centre could endanger the swifts, an uncommon bird, in the guindy national park. Swifts do not nest everywhere and look for places like chimneys. The student centre in the IIT-M suited them perfectly and appealed the administrators not to interfere with the architecture of the building.

When I called up her for a feedback, she said: ``For the golden jubilee celebrations, they have air conditioned the students centre. I think, the swifts have lost their home''.

Needless to say, the story of technocrats shutting the door of the swifts went untold. Till now. A few days later, a deer drowned itself into death in an open tank. Technologists sure need to think hard about clearing the forests for construction. They should go vertical or underground :)


Krithika Ramalingam said...

Another famous institute whose name I will not name has tried to clean up its gardens to route out all the snakes. Now they are seeing an uncommon increase in number of bandicoots... Funny such bright minds fail to see beyond tomorrow's comfort!

Matangi Mawley said...


Vani said...

Unusual and touching insight into the blinkered-ness of those running one of the country's most elite instituions, that too one which boasts no end about its sensitivity to the wildlife that have been forced to share living space with humans.
I remember the IIT director making it a point to mention at every pressmeet how concerned they were about the deers and assorted wildlife on the campus. As is the case with such tall claims, a lot of wantonness goes on outside the public eye.
Great stuff, Arvind, the swifts may have lost their home, but their loss has at least been spoken about.

Stories From The Soul Town

There lies a magical land. Surrounded by the green ghats to the west, gurgling great rivers on the east, the valley with the very blue sky. A temple town of the tamils. Sitting on the dancing rock on the highland overlooking the valley, the writer procreates the lives of the people of this lesser known south west. Full of strange yet simple souls.