Just Emkaying: The Birds in my life

Aug 17, 2014

The Birds in my life

Hello dear digital content consumer,

Something tells me I've been doing it wrong...

August seems to be a good creative month for me. Even in the midst of mind numbing stupidity from our news channels and the general religious trolls on Social media, my mind has been abuzz with questions and thoughts that could change the way humanity would function forever. Like - how much time would I need to train a dog to fetch Beer from the Fridge?

Anyways, while I have this going, I want to write as much as I can. I've not been an avid bird watcher in any sense of the term, which of course either way could have taken away my glorious singledom. It's very difficult for someone of my XXL size talents to stay single. *insert universe face-palming emoji here*

My first encounter with birds was when I was a kid in Bahrain. When I was out with my family, we'd invariably pass across some kind of palace which had vast gardens, where in neat circles, on small posts were nested several Falcons with patches covering their heads. Falconry is a popular sport in the Gulf, given that there are such vast grounds in the form of deserts to hunt. I have always wanted to have a Falcon - such magnificent birds with such a focus, speed and agility, all the while looking dignified. But amongst the many birds and bees stories in my school text books, what I did learn was Falcons were birds of prey and such creatures were never meant to be tamed. Of course I don't think the same rules apply to the Arabs (no offence) who also have Cheetahs and Lions as pets.

I pride myself on not getting irritated very easily. But when I do, its for random things like when people see any larger than normal birds and say "look look eagle / vulture". Every bird with a sharp beak is not an eagle. There are falcons, hawks, kites, osprey, etc. While am on the topic, THERE ARE NO CHEETAH'S IN INDIA. India has the dubious distinction of being the only country where Cheetah's are extinct due to unnatural causes.

Then, somewhere in the 1990's I went back home to find that my mom has a surprise for me inside a blue colored bucket. It was a beautiful blue lovebird. Tiny little creature. It had flown in from some place into the house and mom had spent most of the day trying to capture it as it flew around our tiny one room apartment. In a few days we went out to buy a cage and also got another lovebird, a yellow one to give company to the original one. They were lovely, always making those chirpy noises, especially when the TV was set to some channel that had animals making noises. We used to cover the cage up around 6 pm so they'd go to sleep.

Mom always used to clean the cage with the cage door open. One fine day many months later, the bird we bought for company flew away when mom was cleaning the cage. It seems strange, that a bird used to freedom would stay back, and a bird bred in captivity would choose to fly away. In a few days we gave away the remaining lovebird to a family friend who had many.

I often wonder where the two eventually wound up, if they lived to their life span, if they were happy. Today I can't bear to see birds in a cage. As much as I would love to have a bird (or an aquarium) I think the only time I will ever get one is if they are injured and can't be free in a natural environment. 

In between this, I remember many interactions with sparrows. When I was in India my granny had a large courtyard where we'd throw rice in the evening and sparrows would flock down to eat. It was so beautiful. And another time a friend of mine rescued a baby sparrow from school, and there was that time when I had a nest built right outside my apartment door in Mumbai, which meant the elevator doors were closed that much more softly.

Kaalia the alarm crow. Never says Hi. 
However, the current stars in my life are Kaalia the alarm clock and Pink Floyd Pigeon. 

Kaalia the crow has been a regular for two years. I first spotted him in the monsoons of 2012 when it was naturally so cool in the mornings that you'd want to sleep in. But NO. The crusader of the morning, the destroyer of blissful sleep, the most irritating of all sounds and the keeper of time - Kaalia, would not let me. He comes on most days when the window is open, to sit on the edge, and I don't know how and I kid you not, crows the living daylights out of slumbering me at sharp 7.00 am. Though he never stays long enough for me to take have a decent conversation. Just "caw caw thank you ma'm" behavior. Despicable.

Pink Floyd Pigeon
( note the white mark )
Pink Floyd Pigeon (PFP) has been a more recent visitor. He has this name because most of the time I spot him, is when there's pink Floyd playing. 

I can't be 100% sure it is him (or her) but there is this distinctive white patch on his beak which is quite aesthetically shaped. A proper curved rectangle if I may. The second strange coincidence is that I have very recently discovered Pink Floyd (scoff if you have to) and there must be some 4 songs that I really like. And PFP has been around for approximately the same amount of time. He also has an uncanny bravado one would not expect from pigeons, not flying away even after I wave my arms at him. Which in hindsight doesn't really make my arms look very good.

Maybe he has bad eyesight.

Among my many theories, including that I am the next Air bender, I also have a theory that Pigeons are going to take over the world. Here is one that broke into my house when no windows, doors where open. I have no clue how he got in. But there he was, in my bedroom, after making an entire mess of the house. In hindsight, maybe this was a reconnaissance mission of some sorts. 

Pretty sure this guy came in for my precious Nutella. NEVER.
It took one hour of trying to chasing, discussing, reasoning, and even bargaining to convince him to leave. Finally I left a mug of water and an open window, switched off the light and he was gone in 5 minutes. So much for 7 habits of Highly Effective people.

Have you ever had interesting encounters with the winged kind? or those creatures that drop from heaven with wings? (wink wink nudge nudge) Drop a comment below!!!


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