You need one to start a revolution. Kudos to the Batti Bandh gang for starting it. I had the chance to meet five of the people behind Mumbai Unplugged. They are 20-something, media executives. They’ve managed to rope in big organizations and institutions to support the movement too. The 15th finally came, and although it is a big task to get everyone to switch off, it was nice to know that a few did. I went out for a walk and was on my way back when I saw a bunch of Bawa kids all yelling at my building watchman. There were 30 of them — a rarity to find, considering we are gonna go extinct soon — all shouting in high pitched voices. “Ayeeeeee!! Lift band karo. Jaaldi,” they demanded. This followed with the loud noise of feet stumping the ground. They were enthusiastic, eager and enraged. Then I knew what my editor always said. He said that the youth was not interested in music and Bollywood is never discussed. Global warming, wildlife protection and water conservation is what they talk about. And lately, we’ve highlighted the sentiment on DNA’s Speak Up too.

The Batti bandh bunch

After the carcasses of Flamingos were found and the hunters were caught on video-tape, my buddy Priyanko Sarkar — who writes for The Times of India — exposed how poachers sell the Flamingo meat at local dhabas. Why would some one eat it? How do they ask for it? Would they say, “Flamingo fry”? I don’t really want to go in gory details but flamingo curry would be pink, won’t it?

For curiosity’s sake, I posted a question on Yahoo Answers.

It read: Where in Mumbai can I get exotic bird meat?

And, I turned white after reading the responses I got.

Here are some of them…
1. Have you not heard of “conservation”? There are enough birds losing their lives through loss of habitat, and you want to eat them. Get yourself a Bombay Duck stuffed with Semtex.

2. I want to know where I can get Mahafreed meat. I’m sure certain large predators like crocodiles or lions might find her a tasty snack. And as there are currently billions of humans on the planet, I’m sure she won’t be missed! On the other hand, the number of exotic birds is slowly diminishing. So, if you have a taste for exotics, I suggest, in order to do your part for ecology, you feed yourself to the nearest large predator.
Shame on you!

3. Yuk

4. I second the yuk.

Forums like these are the best way to measure public opinion in a jiffy. So cheers to speak up. All kinds of speaking up.