Somewhere a bird sings, its chant hang plaintive and melancholy fills in the still air… I think it’s a lark or something. Our tradition has it that they sing with voices of lost lovers. If the stars are smiling on them you will hear its mate call back in a moment. The silent woods that border our house, we share it with birds, and its strange birds have always been a part of our lives.
My children are over their cocoach bashing days. Both are young adults. Sometimes I wonder at the way they take their bonding with nature for granted.
Right from the day they were kids somehow birds seem so much part of our lives. First it was the sparrow; there was one that had its nest on the loft of my daughter’s room. And my daughter would leave crumbs of bread for it.
When we moved to this place on top of a hill, that overlooks the river strangely enough we don’t seem to fraternize with the sparrow any more the birds are more exotic now, the Bhardhwaj, the peacock, the speckled eagle and other migratory birds.
My daughter’s have got into the routine of leaving a few grains of rice and a dish of water for the crows. The crow is so demanding it will eat the grains only if I or my older daughter leaves it. what I found most amazing is when I had an accident and was bound to my bed, a crow would perch itself on my window, the minute my daughter left, and stay there till she returned it she would enter the room and say “Hi amma”
the crow would caw before I could reply, and fly away.
My nephew had come down to visit us, to him the birds were something he had never really observed his first interaction with the avian kind had him gushing, “The bird he flew from his swinging creeper to the top of the wall and he opened his beak and sang a loud, lovely trill.”
“OH! He is showing off” my younger daughter retorted.
“Actually nothing in the world quite as adorably lovely as a bird when he shows off—and they are nearly always doing it” explained my older daughter.
“How do you know?” my nephews tone was that’s a long haul you are throwing.
There have been days when the butterflies perch on my daughters palm like she was a flower quite comfortable, while she carries on doing what she has to do. I have heard tell the bird in a very reasonable tone, “Just wait I’ll get the camera” and the bird holds on until she has clicked it.