Landing on a cold and foggy morning at Hyderabad airport, I was astonished to see some sprightly sparrows hopping and chirping about. They haven’t taken well to the urban spread. In apartment blocks, pigeons nest and liberally spray dung over parked cars, but sparrows are a rare sight. They don’t have the natural aggression of crows and the smarts of the pigeons and they are probably partial to more open spaces.
So much of what was taken for granted in childhood is gone. I remember waking up to the chirping of sparrows in our house in Bangalore. They would be impervious to their hosts in the house, probably a bit like Englishmen. They deigned to visit, but could not be expected to stay or respond to human advances. In time one got used to them and took the fact that they came close, investigated and then flew away as a natural routine. They were a part of our life, without ever being in a cage or being fed.
So what struck me about this modern glass and stainless edifice – the airport, was not so much the architecture as the feeling that the design was friendly not just to the flying machines made of metal but the real feathered ones as well.