The sunlight stabbed through the rents in the foggy morning clouds, their lights refracting and reflecting off the dewdrops on the hedges; shining bright like diamonds.
Anamika sat on the steps with a frown, tears rolling down her cheeks. She wiped the tears with the back of her hand. She sat there looking at the ants that ate away, the crumbs of biscuits lying by her feet.
“Hey Good morning Anu” I called to her, as I opened the gate and walked in. I took the roll of newspaper lying on the tiled walkway.
She lifted her head and looked at me, and then turned her head down to hide her tears- may be.
I took her up in my arms and walked into her home, she buried her face on my shoulders.
Anamika woke up and stayed awake in her bed. Sun shone bright through the window on her right.
“Mommaaaaaaaaaa….” She called out.
She searched for her teddy bear, her silent companion. There it was near her little legs. She pulled it by its ears and took it in her arms.
She turned her face away from the window and rolled to her left, hugged her teddy bear, her chin resting on its head and closed her eyes and waited for her mom. The teddy bear smelled of chocolate.
Her mom came in, gave her a kiss and took her away in her arms; teddy bear hung by its ears in the tight grip of her little fingers accompanied them.
It was Rusty her little dog who discovered the new visitors at her home. Two little birds on the “Yellow Tree” as she calls it.
Rusty and Anamika stood watching the birds go in and out of the leaves at the yellow tree twittering. It was fun watching them. She sat besides her dog.
All of a sudden Rusty gave a bark, may be his way of greeting the newcomers. Anamika was startled, so was the birds. They stopped their twitter and flew to a higher branch.
“Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh..” said Anamika to Rusty, making a gesture of “Shut Up” with her little hands.
She ran inside to her home. Rusty following her.
“Mom!!!! I want to show you something” said Anamika and started pulling her mom by her hand.
“What?” enquired her mom?
“Two Small birds on the “Yellow Tree”. Come..Moma…Come”
Her mom followed her. Anamika ran ahead of her and stood under the “Yellow Tree” waiting for her mom.
“Quick..Quick…” shouted Anamika in excitement.
“They are making a nest, so do not disturb them” her mom told Anamika.
”Wow!! Why on our ‘Yellow Tree’ ?” asked Anamika as it was according to her the shortest and leanest of the trees in her compound.
“May be its safe….” Her mom really didn’t have an answer.
It is safe, since her brother was away at OOTY doing his schooling and he won’t be around to kick the football into the tree; Rusty cannot reach the nest too. So it is safe.
“Go inside the house and you can watch the birds from the balcony” said her mom.
“Yes!!!” exclaimed Anamika.
It never occurred to her that she can watch it comfortably at her eye level from the balcony of her home, rather than look up and strain her neck.
Anamika felt a new responsibility, ‘protecting the nest and the birds that trusted them to have their home near her home on her Yellow Tree’.
She shifted her play area to the balcony. She painted in her color book and played with her toys, while the birds ‘lived’ in their nest under her watchful eyes.
Many days passed, since the house warming of her avian guests.
Her mom told her that the ‘Momma Bird’ has laid eggs and is hatching it like the hen does at her grandparent’s home.
She don’t like hens as they poop in the sand where she plays, but the ‘little chicken babies’ are fun to watch.
She found it fascinating to see the ‘Papa bird ‘bring food to ‘Momma bird’ just like her dad does, But birds didn’t have to cook their food like her mom does.
She was learning the complexities of life. The thinning line of diplomacy called love in the fast forwarded world.
One afternoon while her mom was giving her lunch, she asked her mom.
“What if ‘Papa Bird’ lost its way? There are so many /Yellow Trees’ and what if it never comes back?”
“No, He won’t. It knows its way to its home. They can identify their home, the way you identify yours” replied her mom giving her food.
We are all bound by an unknown force, the SOLACE; be it a shoulder, or home or an asylum. It is a belief, a trust that there exist a heart, like a fireplace on a winter night, burning with memories of yesterday, hopes for today and desires for the future, that is waiting for their loved ones arrival. For the crusaders of life, his mind is like a compass that always points to the direction of the most loved heart.
“I will give momma bird biscuits.” Said Anamika, gulping down her food.
Anamika wanted to see the little birdies, the babies, so would the “Papa Bird” and “Momma Bird”. Everyone was impatient.
It was a Sunday morning.
“Anoooooooooo!!” called her dad.
She sprinted off to the direction of the sound.
He was standing over at the balcony with binocular in his hand.
He took Anamika in his arms and gave the binocular to her. She looked through it at the nest.
“Wowwwwieeeeeeeeee!!” . She giggled in excitement. There inside the nest was three little baby birds. They looked like red wax figures to her, dark red and they got big mouth. The mouth was yellow. It had no feathers. She was not very impressed by the site.
She expected it to be like the little bird hanging inside her car.
She spent almost the whole day looking at the nest through the binocular. Now both the ‘Momma Bird’ and ‘Papa Bird’ were busy bringing food to the ‘baby birds.’
“Where do they find so many worms?“ She had not seen any worms in the walk through her garden that day morning.
If you are clear about what you are looking for, you will find it, when you look for it with your heart, not your eyes. Eyes can trick you.
That night she went to sleep, thinking if the ‘baby birds’ need blanket to keep it warm in the cold night.
One day a crow was getting closer to the nest and Anamika shouted at it, the crow never moved; then she had to throw the crow with a Color Crayon to shoo it off.
She threw it with a white Color Crayon anyway.
Sometimes the “Papa bird’ and ‘Momma Bird ‘come inside the balcony looking for spiders and insects then she would sit like a statue, as not to scare the birds, just her eye balls tracking the movement of the birds.
Weeks passed and the little baby birds grew feathers and began to move around in the nest.
Anamika watched them with growing excitement everyday.
Anamika sat on the couch near me.
“They left- the birds " she said sobbing.
“Okay, may be they left for a vacation. The way you go to Ooty at times.” I replied
She didn’t say anything.
“Why did they leave me? Don’t they trust me?”
It’s the question which most of us have faced in life one time or the other. I clearly didn’t have an answer for her; even I was hunting for an answer.
It is true that when the person whom we found comfort and solace in life paces up ahead, never looking back. We feel trapped in the worm holes, dark and lost.
It is because, we never take the thoughts and eyes off the person who left us and lie to ourselves so much and convince ourselves that the blurred figure in the distance will materialize back.
Deep inside me I know it’s not their absence that’s hurting her, it must be the feeling of being ignored after all they shared together!, though silent moments.Moments they 'treasured'.
The feeling of being worthless, Worthless feeling it is!!
Why do they leave us? Circumstances may be.
When one learns to live without the warmth of another; the magic is lost. The umbilical cord that connects them snaps. Here I would say the ‘adaptation’ not in evolutionary level but in behavioral level should take shape.
She had already learned a valuable lesson in her life. Funny!! Life is; the way it teaches us many things.
“Okay!! Where is your brother?” I asked her
“Ooty” she replied looking at my face. She may be wondering about the connection between her brother and the birds. May be thinking, I am gonna say, it went to meet her brother?
“What is he doing there?”
“Studying” was the reply from her.
“Did he ‘leave’ you?
“See, the birds they have gone to see the world, they are learning to fly, learnign how to make nest and…Hey!! Where is your teddy bear?” I asked her.
She looked at me, then the stairs, slid down the couch and ran up the stairs to her room.
When we love someone so much and when they leave a vacuum in our life our conscious starts the post mortem on our now dead cold memories. This throws up a lot of rhetorical questions that assumes the shape of a hydra that gnaws at our toes where ever we go pulling back, making us sick and giving us the sinking feeling, breathless we would be!
I was sipping on the hot cup of coffee her mom brought me, when Anamika came down hugging her teddy bear close to her chest and with a smile on her face.
Only way in life we can move forward is by “>>>M.O.V.I.N.G >>>> F.O.R.W.A.R.D>>>.” else we run around in circles, which takes us into a deep grave in its whirlpool.
We both read the cartoons in the newspaper while we waited for her dad to come home after the morning walk.
Thank you, Sandhya Prajin (BA.LLB, running for White House) for letting me use the real names and letting me blog about the incident.
Well! Now you can release the finger from the trigger!