|Saturday, January 11, 2003||
WHO says birds of a feather always flock together? They simply donít ! I gleaned this truth while gazing into a huge tree, towering higher than my fourth floor room in state-of-the-art Sir Gangaram Nursing Home, New Delhi.
Every morning as the day
dawned, the mist rose to uncover a unique treescape where feathery
creatures of various shades and sizes, had chosen to live and sing
together. Tithari, munia, cuckoos, sparrows crows and humming
birds had made their abode here. A fork of two branches held a big
nest where an eagle would often swoop down with its large fanned-out
wings. Squirrels darting up and down its great trunk, flitting
butterflies and crawling ants along with other unfamiliar creatures
formed a part of this tree-family.
Iím certain that an audience if any, would have given them a standing ovation. This music still resounding in me, was the greatest balm, giving a soothing touch to my sick ní stressed body and mind in the nursing home.
One day the clear cobalt blue sky was suddenly overcast with dust-laden dark clouds. The tree swung in tempest before the storm. But the feathery folk sat safe and secure with their claws clung on the grand sireís strong bark. The tree furiously countered the storm.
Aai toofan, tune kya samjha, yeh ghonsle tinke hai jo bikhar jainge?
Meri tehniyon me to inka ashiana bassa hai.
Often a pair of pigeons with pink rubber-like legs, would perch themselves on my window sill. When I whispered, "Hello kabutar!í they flew away, obviously scared of prying human eyes. They came again, but at no fixed hours. Each time I spoke to them, they looked at me curiously perhaps thinking this patient from Shimla is a strange one.
Feeling reassured, their each visit was longer than their previous one.
Once a crow fell on the road, wounded or dead, I donít know. Suddenly hordes of crows swooped down shrilly crowing their concern. This is in sharp contrast to humans who donít care to stop to attend to injured or dying ones, due to fear of police/legal implications.
Tell me why... if birds of
different feathers can live and sing together in one tree, then why canít
we peacefully co-exist in our huge Indian sub-continent? And we the
intelligent humans, protectors of trees and birds, are only tearing each
other asunder, heading for a co-destruction. When will we learn to sing
our song of harmony? Come stand at the window sill with me... to see
this incredible paradise of songster birds.