Sunday, August 22, 2010

Using the Wings

Age : 10+ years
The day was bright, the sun was in its usual regal place watching out for everybody, the gentle breeze was imparting life to everyone around, the colorful birds were making their presence felt by filling the atmosphere with their chirping. Everything was just as it should be, as it has been, as it would be perhaps. But there was some lurking fear, some corner of my heart not happy, something bothering me, some anxiety, some apprehension in my heart. I was not able to exactly place my finger on what was disturbing me but I could feel something was not right, something was not perfect. It felt like some emptiness somewhere, some fissure slowly tearing my heart apart. I was mechanically doing the daily routine tasks since last week but my soul was somewhere else, quite far from my physical body.

I got up from my desk which is against the window that gives me a beautiful view of the lawn outside and went out in the lawn. I wanted to bring a much desired interruption to my chain of thoughts which was leading me nowhere, so thought, perhaps a change of place would give me what I am looking for. I went to sit on my usual spot - the one under the mango tree and it felt good as the fresh air of early morning was working magically on my mind and body. But soon enough the same lurking fear caught me there too. I should have known. Whom am I trying to dodge - my own heart, which is with me all the time and for how long, is it even possible? So why not get comfortable with the lanes in which the heart wants to wander. I stopped fighting with it and for the time being let it take control of the feelings and mind. While sitting there totally under the heart's spell and feeling melancholy, I looked up and heard some commotion going on in the nest which the birds had built three weeks back. Since this place was my regular hangout spot, I had witnessed each and every stage of these birds - right from the diligent efforts of the maina birds collecting twigs, straws, dry grass blades and leaves to make the nest, to the egg laying and the egg hatching phases.

Now there were four baby birds in the nest and they were being provided with food at regular intervals by their parents. I had watched them doing it many times during the day. They had gradually become a part of my routine life, I enjoyed throwing a quick glance at them many times during the day or watching them for extended durations doing their duties. But today some unusual turbulence was happening in the nest, it felt like some noisy interaction going on between the nest inmates. Perhaps they also argue and disagree with each other as we humans do so often. I went inside my room and sat on the same desk again from where the nest was very clearly visible and soon enough I could see the reason for their loud chirping. It was the day when the parents were giving the baby birds the training to fly. They had set a very simple target first, one parent sat next to the nest and the other sat on the opposite branch. The one sitting next to the nest was pushing one baby bird at a time towards the opposite branch. For just a split second it felt like the baby bird would fall but then the survival instincts would kick in and they could flutter their wings to reach the opposite branch in the warmth of the parent's wings. This training session was so captivating that it was hard to take my eyes away from the scene and I earnestly watched the whole exercise of baby birds learning to fly.

At the end, the chirping grew even louder and I assumed it was the celebration time in the nest and this celebration was so well deserved.

Personally a part of me was rejoicing with them but one part was a little angry at the parents for their way of teaching the baby birds to fly. What if any of the baby birds could not make it and fell on the ground? Wasn’t it too difficult a training session for these creatures? Did the parents have no concern for their babies? But then thinking a little rationally I understood the importance of this kind of teaching. The baby birds needed to explore the world and be on their own and this training part was the most important lesson for their future life.

This small realization magically lifted the burden from my mind too as if my anxieties and fears also grew wings and were flying away. Was it the God's way to convey a message to me that I also need to explore the world on my own now and should come out of the comfort zone of the home? And going to a hostel for my higher studies is the necessary training phase of my life. Since last few days this was the thing which had been bothering me. The apprehensions of a new place, a new setup, new people, practically everything new. It is always difficult to be completely prepared for any change but then change is an inevitable thing and will happen anyway so atleast it can be approached with more positivity and more enthusiasm.


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