“My mother was the one who introduced me to birdwatching when I was in Class 4. She gave me Salim Ali’s The Book of Indian Birds, a bible for birdwatchers. Initially, I found this activity slightly boring, but as I observed more and more birds, their sounds, personalities and names began to fascinate me.
I have now seen birds in Pench Tiger Reserve, Nagzira-Navegaon Tiger Reserve, Tadoba Tiger Reserve and Melghat Tiger Reserve and Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali. But there are many more places on my birdwatching bucket list. Every tiger reserve or national park has its own unique beauty. At Tadoba, I saw the Indian pitta, which we call the ‘navrangi pakshi’, which is almost extinct. Also, Pench has the Malabar pied hornbill. People come from all over to see this bird.
Pursuing birdwatching has taught me that if we are interested in something, we will definitely achieve our goals. I have since lost interest in most other activities. I’ve decided to become a veterinarian, because I feel that animals need doctors more than humans. When humans are hurt, they can communicate their troubles in words but animals cannot. When I was a little girl, we had many birds and animals at home and whenever they would get injured, I would cry a lot. Even back then, I knew that animals and birds need doctors more than humans.
I find the relationships between birds and animals and also animals and other animals very interesting. For example, did you know that monkeys function as informants for deer? They are always found together in the jungle. They alert the deer whenever they see danger in the jungle and the deer help monkeys to source food and water.
Now, I study in Mumbai and it’s not so easy to see birds here. At times we spot flamingos in marshy lands. My studies don’t give me a window to find time to go see birds, but I want to maintain a balance between the two and focus on both. ”