The Teacher Who Did Not Like Classrooms
Dimdima|April - May 2017

MY teacher was the world-famous scientist and bird expert Dr. Sálim Ali. He was slim and frail-looking, so we students referred to him as ‘Old Man’ even though we knew he was actually strong and full of energy! This may sound rude, but actually it was said out of our great affection for him and respect for his extraordinary knowledge.

Tara Gandhi

What made us happy was that he never wanted us to stay in the classroom! He expected us to be adventurous and go out to jungles, mountains, rivers and lakes to study birds. It was a joy to be taught by him and to learn about how birds lived in nature — the different types of nests they made, the food they ate and how they migrated.

From the time he was a young boy, Sálim Ali loved birds. At first, what he liked best was to shoot them! Nowadays, killing or harming birds or any other wildlife is not allowed, but at that time, when Sálim Ali was a child, it was a common sport. He would proudly carry a new air-gun that a doting uncle had gifted him and wander about the gardens and open areas around the house with a bunch of his many cousins and siblings, trying to shoot every bird in sight, even tiny sunbirds and sparrows.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM DIMDIMAView All

(S)Tahr Of The Nilgiris

The Nilgiri tahr is an endangered mountain goat found only in the hill ranges of the Western Ghats in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

2 mins read
Dimdima
October 2019

Tommy, The Tuff

A Dog story

3 mins read
Dimdima
October 2019

The One-Legged Sadhu And The Disappearing Ganga

Story

7 mins read
Dimdima
October 2019

Over And Over Again

A Zen tale retold by Aquarius

1 min read
Dimdima
October 2019

Deepa Malik

A tale of grit and courage

1 min read
Dimdima
October 2019

Bapu Beyond India

Glimpses of places in England and South Africa which have the honour of being associated with the Mahatma.

2 mins read
Dimdima
October 2019

The Teacher Who Did Not Like Classrooms

MY teacher was the world-famous scientist and bird expert Dr. Sálim Ali. He was slim and frail-looking, so we students referred to him as ‘Old Man’ even though we knew he was actually strong and full of energy! This may sound rude, but actually it was said out of our great affection for him and respect for his extraordinary knowledge.

2 mins read
Dimdima
April - May 2017

Environment Crusader

Lakshmi Menon, a designer by profession, runs Pure Living, an organisation in south Kerala that is dedicated to finding sustainable, eco-friendly, livelihood solutions. One of 42-year-old Menon’s passionate projects is making pens that grow into trees when disposed. Here she is in conversation with Monish Shah.

2 mins read
Dimdima
April - May 2017

Discovery of Everest

IN 1847, the British Surveyor General of India, Andrew Waugh while making observations of Mount Kanchenjunga, then considered the highest mountain in the world, saw a peak further afield that appeared to be taller. The mountain was tentatively named Peak XV.

1 min read
Dimdima
April - May 2017

When Coldplay Was In Town

I remember the first time I heard a Coldplay song — I was in class 9. Chris Martin, the band’s frontman, singing ‘Paradise’ in his unusual yet enchanting voice had me gasping for more.

2 mins read
Dimdima
February 2017