News & Notes 644:Obituary for Rauf Ali

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644 icon.jpg   News & Notes 644
9 April 2016



Obituary for Rauf Ali


Today I received the shocking news that Rauf, far too young, has passed away. I have so many good memories of him.

He will live forth in my mind as not only as a friend but also as my mentor regarding the birds of Auroville. I had started out on my own to observe the birds but did very little with it, basically due to ignorance. When I met Rauf he taught me how to keep records and told me how to look. It culminated in a paper on the increase of the birds due to the re-aforestation efforts in Auroville. This paper was presented in 1983 at the congress of the Bombay Natural History Society in celebration of their centennial. It was Rauf who urged me to write and submit it. It was Rauf who taught me how to present it to an audience of 200 plus. It was attended by biologists from around the world and for them it was a hopeful sign that man can repair the damages done by them to the environment. Thanks to Rauf the tree planting work of Auroville became known to the world. There are lots more memories like the trips to Kaliveli or Lake Estate or bird netting or just having a good time in one of Pondy’s restaurants. It would fill a book and it is for someone else to write it.

Rauf I am envious, you are home now and I still have a few more years to go. But the memory of you will remain in my mind and I am grateful for the role you played in my life.


Pieter aka Big Pete (The Netherlands 03-04-2016)