Friendship Day!!!

July, 2021

Dear Friends

If you thought Friendship Day is meant only for celebrating with one of our own species, I would say think again. Just look at these pictures shot at the famous Karanji Lake at Mysore, which has India’s largest walk through aviary, managed by the zoo authorities. They say it all. The peacocks there are so friendly and ever ready to show off their plumage that they seem to be waiting for you to stand next to them and click. I felt they were walking down a fashion ramp oblivious to who was watching them. They didn’t care a damn if there were people or not, if there was a jury or not, if there was applause or not. They just seemed to be in their present moment, enjoying and entertaining.

Unlike caged zoos where the birds have restricted places, Karanji Lake Aviary is a vastly spread bio-diversity park in the heart of the city where birds fly around with freedom and gay abandon. The staff are as friendly and welcoming as the flying inmates. I couldn’t believe when I could stand very, very close to a peacock and capture his glorious feathers as he turned around and gave a 360 degree panoramic view. The environment is so pleasant and open that the birds do not fly away in fear or anxiety at the sight of a visitor. Instead they ‘perform’ so to say, joyously and willingly. They pose so attractively that any top model could be put to shame. It was incredible to see our avian friends ‘chatting and cooing’ at each other even as the tall bamboo trees swayed and sashayed and made soothing ssshhh sounds as we walked along the neatly maintained pathways that hardly had any visitors. It was almost like being one with nature, one with oneself, in a state of ‘nirvana’ amidst the diverse plants, trees and birds. This is a must see place which has some rare botanical species, a mesmerising expanse of lake, quiet and serene and an exciting range of orchids. No jostling crowds, no shooing security guards nor disgruntled staff. Karanji lake beckons you like a bosom friend in whose embrace you can forget all your woes and illnesses – an idyllic getaway which continues to remind why Nature is man’s Best Friend ! Just that the reverse is not true !!