Wildbuzz | Nawab of the blue throne - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Wildbuzz | Nawab of the blue throne

ByVikram Jit Singh
Sep 10, 2022 06:39 PM IST

I switched off the ceiling fan, in case the Nawab decided to fly high in a fit of pique. But the Nawab remained glued to his blue throne.

Shy creatures flee from humans on distant eye contact. Yet situations arise when the odd specimen clings on like a magnet to a human without the latter having solicited the attention. I had for less than 30 seconds stepped out into the verandah lined with potted plants to scatter toenails in the lawn. I had clipped them very short to pre-empt toenails from going blue during my routine evening squash, a sport that jars the toes incessantly. I returned to the living room and my eye caught an Anomalous Nawab clinging to my blue chappals. The Nawabs are butterfly species, so named because their larvae sport a crown-shaped head capsule!

A shy Indian pitta landed in a Sector 4 bungalow, Chandigarh, and had sought refuge with the chauffeur, Joginder Singh. The bird was possibly disoriented and under stress. (FILE PHOTO: GURNIHAL S. PIRZADA)
A shy Indian pitta landed in a Sector 4 bungalow, Chandigarh, and had sought refuge with the chauffeur, Joginder Singh. The bird was possibly disoriented and under stress. (FILE PHOTO: GURNIHAL S. PIRZADA)

I had no idea from where or at what point the Nawab clambered aboard my chappal. And, now, this Nawab having declared his suzerainty over the chappal was in no mood to shift from his blue haveli. Neither was the Nawab probing my chappal or feet for salts as butterflies do; in particular, they relish sweaty, smelly socks!

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

I switched off the ceiling fan, in case the Nawab decided to fly high in a fit of pique. But the Nawab remained glued to his blue throne. I went into the garden and tried to dethrone the Nawab by taking off and shaking my chappal in a threatening manner. I finally had to gently grip the stubborn Nawab and heave him into the air. But he sailed down and crashed, unable to fly.

Puzzled over the Nawab’s abstention from shyness, I solicited an insight from Dr Krushnamegh Kunte, an esteemed butterfly scientist from the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru. “Your Nawab is an old specimen, not a freshly eclosed one (process of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis / pupa is called eclosion). It may be slightly injured or perhaps exhausted at that time when it clung to your footwear. The other contingency when a butterfly cannot fly is when freshly emerged from the tight, enclosing space of the pupa, it is moist. Its wings are wet and wrinkled and they need exposure to the sun to dry and elongate to take flight,” Dr Kunte said.

A shy Indian pitta landed in a Sector 4 bungalow, Chandigarh, and had sought refuge with the chauffeur, Joginder Singh. The bird was possibly disoriented and under stress. (FILE PHOTO: GURNIHAL S. PIRZADA)
A shy Indian pitta landed in a Sector 4 bungalow, Chandigarh, and had sought refuge with the chauffeur, Joginder Singh. The bird was possibly disoriented and under stress. (FILE PHOTO: GURNIHAL S. PIRZADA)

Murdering a tree

Eminent Parsi gynaecologist Dr Anahita Pandole, was badly injured in the Mercedez she was driving at a 100 kmph. The car had crashed, killing former Tata Sons chairperson, Cyrus Mistry, and Jehangir Pandole, a former international squash player. Dr Pandole’s injury would have brought cheer to a notorious section of society as she is also an impassioned activist of many years standing. She has moved heaven and earth, even filing PILs in the high court, to save trees and get illegal commercial /political hoardings removed in Mumbai.

Though Pandole felt she was “fighting a losing battle”, nevertheless she relentlessly exposed the sinister “poison murders” of trees by hoarding owners, who could no longer merely axe the protected green lungs. Pandole’s latest activism manifested last April when she brought to light the Palm tree poisoned on Marine Drive to enhance visibility of an illegal billboard.

Hit jobs on trees are carried out surreptitiously by drilling holes close to their base and on the back of the tree to avoid catching attention. Poison or a herbicide or acid is injected or poured into holes. The roots are destroyed, the tree dies slowly, and it has to be ultimately removed much to the glee of the smirking hoarding mafia.

vjswild1@gmail.com

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, May 25, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On