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Why you should be reborn as a Pigeon

The New York Times today carried an article about India’s incompetent municipal administration highlighting the problems of Trash in Bangalore. This is a satirical post on another irritant, pigeons, that I have had the ‘pleasure’ of cohabiting with during my years in Mumbai.

Hey I am Gru, your friendly neighborhood pigeon. Actually, I am the same fella whose guttural rhythmic sounds you wake up to every morning.

I see that you indulge in some soul searching in the mornings. I know this because I see you watching those bearded and half-naked men talking on the devotional channels on your TV.

Since you believe in Karma, let me tell you why, if you can’t make it to paradise, you should wish to be reborn as pigeon in Mumbai.

The Comfort in Numbers

Mumbai must be the most pigeon-friendly city. We are so many here and there is a comfort in numbers. And in this city, the next pigeon is always as welcome as the last one. I know, as humans, you are not used to this kind of thinking. Well, welcome to better thinking.

Being Beautiful

We are beautiful birds, you know. Agreed sparrows are cuter, but you drove them away a long time ago. At dusk, isn’t it magnificent when all of us take flight in a frantic flutter at the same time from one terrace to  ..… (we’ll figure out where we are going to land)? Some of you may sneer that our silhouettes don’t look too different from those ugly bats but who else has seen them? And what else is left for competition, crows? Are they even birds?

Get Gluttonous

If you have to work for your food in paradise, then it must be a fool’s paradise. In Mumbai, if you are lazy, there is this staple grain that some of you (you call them Jains) offer to us at temples. We love these people and their religion. But give them this friendly feedback. They are not always generous you see. They scaffold their corridors, stairwells, and all open places in their residences with meshes so we don’t make ourselves comfortable in them. They stand for peace and non-violence, but see the hypocrisy, the other day I shat on a lady and she started spewing ‘incomprehensible’ vitriol. I beg to ask, is it not the result of the grain YOU fed me in the first place?

Sorry…I got distracted, I was talking about food. So, if you are bored with the grain, then you have the choicest cuisines to choose from. Mumbai is a foodie’s heaven and most of it is easily available by the roadside. Since there are more messy eaters than food outlets, you can easily be a swiller, so what if we only have 37 taste buds.

‘Do It’ Easily

Sex. Ah the most definitive indulgence in Paradise and ‘the’ reason you want to be in it in the first place. Well, again being a pigeon and in Mumbai is the way to get ‘spent’ on sex. Unlike other species who can only ‘do’ it in a particular season (hee hee), we just need warm weather, which Mumbai provides throughout the year.

Getting attention of the female is a chore but nothing as difficult as growing a long, complicated, and otherwise useless and uncomfortable feathery tail like the peacock. No fancy acrobatic dance moves either. Just puff your neck feathers, bow down, coo like you always do, and go around yourself. I don’t get it either but that’s all there is to it. And in return for a few used earbuds and iron nails as your contribution to her nest, she will be loyal to you. Can you believe that?

So how long can you be in this paradise? As long as the mighty lord wishes my friend because we have no threats. Birds larger than us like the vultures have their own problems to mind. Squirrels (they are really just rats with furry tails, can’t understand why you find them cute) are too small to be a threat. You people can be a threat but we are of no good use to you. The last thing we did for you was carry messages eons ago. We actually sucked at that, but you losers had no options then. Thankfully for us and for your own good, you’ve moved to other methods.

So if you are convinced you should be a pigeon in Mumbai, great. Work towards that. If not, you are worse off, now that you know how cool our life is. So what’s it going to be, huh?

… puff…. bow… coo… strut…turn…



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  1. Kiran awesome !!! Its the only word which came up my fingers (As we don’t speak these days but type 🙂 ) Do you have a blog or something I would love to read your previous posts and set RSS feed so that I can read each new one. You are one hell of a good writer 🙂  

  2. Hey Mandar, glad you liked it. I have a blog @ After seeing your encouragement, I guess I have to do a better job at managing it 🙂

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