A long, long time ago, when I was still new to this site, I had posted a snippet about a certain "mr. and mrs. crow" and 3 years down the line indulged in some "Crow Talk". I had in one of the snippets rued the fact that they came to my balcony to have a go at my plants, leaving the plants and trees in the park downstairs unscathed. At that time I had seen a crow with a greyish neck and another variety which was completely black. I thought I knew what I had to know about those birds to ensure a successful life. Everytime I waited in my balcony with a camera, waiting for an unsuspecting avian species to make its appearance, I was confronted by more crows and pigeons. I had almost given up hope of seeing anything other than those two, when other birds like the sunbird and the tailor bird started putting in their appearance. Even the common myna which I had not seen after my school days made a return and HOW! Soon enough I noticed the absence of the other bird of my childhood which had ensured food going down my throat - the sparrow. Who can forget those 'kaka-kurivi' or 'chivu - kau' stories of our childhood? Quite recently, I suddenly woke up to the fact that I don't see so many crows these days. They don't show much interest in my plants either. Oh dear, did I offend some visiting ancestor when I tried to ask them as politely as possible to go away and leave my plants alone? Whatever be the case, the deed was done. Just two days ago, I was mentioning that I hardly saw crows anymore and that at this rate, there would be a time when I would go chasing crows for pictures, not very different from the way I crave to see a little sparrow again. If wishes were horses ..... but this time around, they did turn out to be horses and HUUUUUGE ones at that. Yesterday I was standing at the window, camera in hand, waiting for a bird to make an appearance. Day before had been a great day for me, start out as it did with a darshan of the Greater Coucal or crow pheasant or Bhargav bird which is supposed to bring luck. Luck to me means great bird pics and those I sure did get day before. Would the experience be repeated yesterday? Suddenly I noticed a movement in the tree across the road and looked up. Tere it was! A huge bird. My eyes are not as good (even with glasses) as my camera lens. So I clicked the bird and suspecting it was a crow, I settled down to examine the picture. It did look like a crow ..... but there was something odd. Just what had this crow been eating to get to this size? Had the obesity pandemic reached them too? Anyway, as embarassing as it might seem, I brought myself to ask a friend - an avid bird-watcher since our college days - what it was. Turns out it was a "large billed crow". I had neither heard nor seen this one before or if I had seen one, I had not registered it in my local hard disc. This bird apparently chases kites for passing its time of day. Which explained what I had observed day before - a crow and a kite in the distance and the crow chasing the kite. I had watched the scene with a mix of amusement and bemusement, for the crow seemed to be getting the better of the kite. So it must have been this same species! Lesson learned - Life's lessons never end even if that lesson be that there are more variety crows between heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy. And so, we live and learn. Glad to note that my existence is not in vain, as long as I learn and enjoying learning something new every now and then.