My childhood in 1970s – no television, no phone and no internet, the only luxury that we take for granted today was ‘electricity’.
But the life was more fun then. Pollution free nature was always at a stone throw distance. Often I would go with friends to the outskirt of the town in bicycles and spend hours leisurely playing a game of hide and seek on wooded banks of pristine Mahanadi. No other human souls would ever disturb us, but sometime we would get distract by the weird noise from a flock of goose crisscrossing over our heads. We would all stand and sing in chorus – udigale gendalia jhadidei para, an extract from a popular Odiya song from the movie Matira Manisa (1966).
With no cameras, cell phones and scope for further knowledge, I would never know about them in details, except what we called them ‘gendaliya’ in Odiya, a kind of bird that would feed on snails in swamps.
Years later, thanks to the world that has so rapidly transformed, I can learn a to z of this bird with a mouse click. These are some of my captures of greylag geese in Thol and Little Rann of Kutch bird sanctuaries.
However, it is pity that I have to look for them in sanctuaries by paying hundreds of rupees of entry tickets. A close observation also reveals the rapid loss of their habitats even in these sanctuaries. Mindless tourism and continues honking of monstrous vehicles have taken a toll on their habitats.
I am still wondering for answers – whether my childhood ignorance or my grown of state with a lot of information on these lovely birds need more appreciation.