There is nothing I enjoy more than clicking photos of birds while they are in motion or just about to leap in air. It gives me the chance to immortalize them in a fully charged state, suspended in air with wings stretched. That’s the image we humans associate with being a free bird, don’t we? Looking at these photos again and again kind of fulfills a need to be completely free amid our gloomy lockdown. Given below are some of them.
You must have perhaps noticed that most of the photos have a common setting, almost like a stage. Well, this is as Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage. And all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts…”
This pic below has been extracted from a video.
Can you guess which is the other set of twins in this pic?
My latest poem on Poemhunter.com today, ‘The World Beyond’ is inspired from my pics given below. Click here and read on.
On 23 April 2017, a Sunday, while I was unhurriedly putting washed clothes on the railing of our balcony to dry, a teenage boy shouted from the balcony opposite to ours, “Aunty, look! A pigeon is stuck in the window behind you. Please open it or else he will die!
Alarmed, I turned around to see. Yes, he was right. A pigeon was there indeed. But he was not stuck as the window was half open. We keep it that way all the time to let fresh air circulate. That’s how it must have entered there in the first place, I thought.
On looking closely, I observed that it was huddled in a corner. It was probably very sick and unable to fly. That could be the reason why it chose to hide behind the window to prevent itself from being easy prey to the fat cats jumping around.
I turned around again and shouted to the young boy watching me.
“No, the pigeon is not stuck inside the window, Beta. He is actually leaning against it. He is not well, it seems, and if I open the window, it might fall on the ground. So I am letting it stay the way it is.”
From the expression on the boy’s face, I could see that he was as puzzled as I was. But he nodded and remained silent.
When all my clothes were spread out outside, I picked up the empty bucket and went back inside. I now had new worrisome thoughts nibbling away at the back of my mind…If the pigeon doesn’t eat or drink anything today, it might die… Last year too, there was a similar tragedy in my home… A pigeon’s nest had fallen down from behind a big framed photograph on the wall and an egg had fallen out of it. A cat had broken the egg and in its attempt to lick the yolk, it had spattered it all over the staircase…
I suddenly heard a loud flapping of wings. It must be the pigeon, I thought, trying to fly away. My daughter Nanni and I ran outside to see. No, it was not gone yet. It had merely changed its position. It was now on the other side of the window, huddled same way as before, shrinking in fear.
I exclaimed, “Maybe it is old and about to die.”
Nanni said, “No, it is, I think, a small baby. I saw him yesterday. He was much smaller. He looks bigger today.”
“His parents probably disowned him because of his ugly looks and odd behavior. His brothers and sisters have all flown away while he, a poor guy, is still hovering around, still not able to enter adulthood and independence. If he doesn’t want to be gobbled up, he has to take some initiative.”
And then it occurred to me that he, (like Nanni, I also assumed that he must be male), must be very thirsty and hungry. I brought a cup of water and let the water touch its beak. He remained unmoved and didn’t seem to want anything. Well, he really must be very, very sick, I told myself with a fast beating heart, and I wondered if history was going to repeat itself this year…Perhaps I should consult some veterinary doctor about him, I thought.
Feeling helpless, I returned inside to focus on other pending tasks awaiting my attention.
A few minutes later, I heard the same flapping sound again. I rushed out to see what was happening. This time, to my great joy, the pigeon was sitting on the edge of the balcony, poised to fly!
I picked up the cup of water and placed it close to it, just in case it felt like having a sip or two before taking off.
A second later, he was gone, the cup of water untouched, while the potted plants looked on as passive spectators…
Best of luck, Bholuram, my dear Pigeonling! I hope that you turn into the most handsome pigeon in the whole universe very soon…
Here are some more pics…
Pic 1: This was how he looked when I saw him for the first time in my life…
Pic 2: Getting ready to take off…
Pic 3: Going, going, going…
Pic 4: Gone!…
Note for the reader: The blisters on the pigeon’s beak and feet are probably due to a viral infection that is contagious. To stop it spreading to other birds, the affected bird has to be quarantined. But this is not possible for free birds. This infection, however, is not fatal and birds generally recover from this on their own. I got these facts after I did a Google search. I would love to read your comments on this post.
My walk to the Metro station on 21 March 2017 had an unusual sight in store for me; a bunch of white birds sitting on the bare, brown branches of a tree. They looked like little balls of white cotton from a distance. I was absolutely thrilled by this sight. I wondered where they had suddenly turned up from. Such sights are rare in a polluted city like Delhi. Maybe Delhi is getting cleaner or perhaps the birds lost their way…We usually get to see only bigger birds like pigeons, vultures, etc in various combinations of shades of black, brown, and white.
I had a very strong temptation to go closer and take clearer shots, but, proverbially speaking, the only birds I had at that time were the ones in the bush, none in hand, and I had to content myself with that. I didn’t want to frighten them away and lose what I already had in my view finder.
The crows, I noticed, had very graciously handed over their house to the white visitors with a spirit of atithi-deva-bhava, a Hindi saying meaning a guest is like God. They were perched on the overhead cable, probably trying to decipher the words being uttered by foreign tongues below them…