Adventure never ceases.
Last summer, before moving to Chennai, I watched this video:
Today marks one week until school is out for the summer. Wanting just one more adventure before I leave, I set out with a friend to find this place. When looking it up, we discovered that Birdman of Chennai is an actual “place” on Google Maps. We drove straight there, more or less. We were looking for a camera shop, and there wasn’t one, but we recognized the neighbourhood from the video. And then we saw a big sign with birds all over it, on the second story of a mattress shop and upholstery shop. We got out, and the merchants told us, in broken English, that the birds would come soon. We had about 20 minutes to wait for the magic to begin.
In our research, Google told us that it “opened” at 4:00pm. Once we arrived, we learned that the birds gather to eat two times per day, 5-6am and 4-6pm. There are different flocks that gather on different “shifts” to eat. A colleague and professional photographer, Shannon Zirkle-Prabhaker, photographed the Birdman and the birds for an article in Silkwinds Magazine. Her photos are shown here and the Silkwinds article explains it all.
I didn’t realize that I chose green clothes, matching the birds, until one of the thousands of Rose-Ringed Parakeets pooped on my head while crossing the very busy street of Bharathi Salai. I grabbed my scarf to wipe myself clean and realized how my fashion accessory matched the surroundings!
The Birdman, and his friends, explained that the camera shop no longer exists, but he still has many vintage cameras and he would like to sell them. He lives in the building across the street, and continues to feed the birds two times a day. We didn’t fully understand all that they were trying to tell us but there was something about the BBC coming and shooting film for 4 days, and something else about the building being tied up in a court case. It was an amazing experience. I’m thankful, as always.
What adventure can you go on today?
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