It began one day when A was drying clothes in the balcony and I was giving him moral support out there. We were discussing how some of our t-shirts and tops were missing, when suddenly he noticed my Anokhi (this detail is relevant, trust me) top on a tree nearby. Without the height advantage, I had to lean out of the balcony on my toes to see the tree and that’s when this eagle swooped and clawed my head before flying away.
I ran inside and kneeled in sharp pain and saw A right next to me also kneeled, but doubled in laughter. Given that this was an unprecedented situation (and A wasn’t done laughing), I called my mom to ask for a home remedy for eagle scratches.
Me: Amma, an eagle attacked me and I have scratches on my head! What to do?
Amma: What did you do to the eagle? (Notice how even in this situation, my mom gives the benefit of the doubt to an unknown bird.)
Me: I didn’t do anything! My Anokhi top is on a tree and I was just seeing how I could get it back.
Amma: Anokhi va? Isn’t that the shop where simple cotton tops cost some 1000 rupees?
Me: (Mumbling in silence)
Amma: Appo ve I told you, 1000 rupees for a simple cotton top is too much, now see what happened.
Clearly, I was getting nowhere with Amma so I googled for “what to do when attacked by an eagle”. The few results that came up referenced babies or other small animals and all of them suggested calling a local sheriff. By then I knew if I have to get somewhere with this, it has to be Quora where all the crazy is. I was right and found a group of falconers from Dubai who suggested I get a tetanus shot. A and I drove to the doctor while I was figuring out if I had intentionally ever wronged birds. The clinic was shut and I really didn’t want to explain over phone why I am asking for tetanus shot for an angry bird scratch. So we dropped the plan and went home.
A few weeks later, I was in Bombay at home when I noticed an eagle staring into my room. I immediately took a picture, drew a red circle around the clearly visible eagle (Times Now style) and sent it to D (the best friend) as well as A. I wasn’t delusional to believe that the same eagle followed me from Bangalore but this clearly this wasn’t normal. While A responded with his usual LOLs, D was the one who took me seriously and suggested I could be under surveillance by a national network of eagles.
Over the next few months, I saw eagles perched on different trees around my house. I began limiting my visits to the balcony and as any woman, who has been stalked before, wondered what I had done to cause this nonsense.
I visited Delhi last month and was having lunch outdoors with a friend when I noticed some eagles being unduly aggressive. I naively chalked it up to Delhi and let that be.
Two days ago, I went to soak some sun in my balcony (Bangalore is cold you guys!) and an eagle swooped real close with no respect for my personal space. I ran back in and shut the balcony door. This was all the pigeons needed to decide I was easy and they began to get comfortable in my balcony. That was it. Something in me snapped and I decided I was no longer putting up with bullying by pigeons or eagles.
I went screaming into the balcony with a newspaper in my hand and scared the living daylights out of the pigeons (and possibly the uncle in the opposite house who was standing on the terrace for a smoke).
This is it. I am now reclaiming my home, my balcony, my space. Enough is enough, birds. Your time’s up.