A Lifelong Affair with Sparrows

Written by Apurba Prosad Basu

I fell in love with this little magical bird at the age of 36, in the year 1974, when I was house-bound because of a fracture of my left foot metatarsal, while playing un-habitual football with the local boys. My left foot was then plastered and so I was rather locked in my room with my son of age four.

I wanted to pass time with my son and started painting sparrows which were plenty on my verandah. I am not a professional painter — but painting, sketching and sculpting are my childhood hobbies. So during the early period of my confinement, I started feeding the sparrows with varieties of domestic small grains only to draw them, sketch them and get enormous pleasure along with my son.

The birds were so familiar with us, that at times they’d allow me to even hold them in my hands and again let them fly. So, to draw, I would catch them to see their colour, count their feathers, observe their feather patterns, measure their wing span etc, and let them fly again.

During that one month of confinement, I made some sketches. I attach one of them here . I find (with my seasoned eye) now some anatomical mistakes in the drawing, but still, it will be a pleasure on my part to show you one such, since you are attached to the Sparrow Movement.

My love for sparrow is un-faded till date.

– Apurba Prosad Basu

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