There is a plastic cover that has been on a windowsill for over a year now. The corresponding window is a wall-high fixture in one room of my family’s house in Bangalore. Given the usual direction of winds in the area and the relevant properties of the substance, the window is speckled with pigeon shit. Even the plastic cover must have been adrift in the wind for hours before it had the misfortune of settling, for just a moment, on the sill, in freshly dropped pigeon shit. But as it rested there before it took off again in its wonderfully aimless journey, the shit hardened in the wind and cool, and trapped the cover there. And there the cover is still. It flaps about when the wind is strong, which it often is, but while it has struggled for many months, the shit has held. The plastic lost its characteristic translucent lustre over time and turned brown-black and vile. Both pigeons and dust have pecked multiple holes in its body, so much so that it will need a particularly gusty breeze to set it dancing again, and no less than a storm to set it free. The itself shit has stuck, stayed solid and unyielding, pinning its precious to one arbitrary, inconspicuous spot forever, awaiting oblivion.
I’m a science editor and writer in India, interested in high-energy and condensed-matter physics, research misconduct, pseudoscience, science’s relationship with society, epic fantasy, open source/access/knowledge systems, H.R. Giger’s art, Goundamani’s comedy, Factorio, and most things that require a lot of time to get the hang of.