All the worlds is a family, they say. A nature lover, I have always been inspired by breathtaking landscapes and each of God’s creations. Haven’t these fascinating flora and fauna kindled the poet within many of us and given birth to masterpieces, even generated great music over years and eras? With values to love one and all ingrained in us, right from childhood, it was not difficult for me to live with these new friends. Yes, friends.
So, some years back when these visitors started frequenting our bedroom’s small balcony, in our second floor four-room flat, my husband and I felt invaded. Initially, that is. Ten months into our marriage, both of us having lived on the ground floor in the past, the experience was new. And though our Landlord had covered a part of the balcony and extended one room into it, he had left this space for the better of these red-eyed, Grey - feathered Aves - Pigeons.
Or so I thought, for four months later, I quite enjoy the ‘Gootter-Goo’ sound and the flapping of wings throughout the day. It sure is a menace too, a mild one though, because we were unable to utilize the balcony, hang our clothes or put some plants there. Much to my husband’s disgust, there were drops of Pigeon excreta all over, even on the new Air Conditioner placed at a height-which are a dirty sight. Any amount of cleaning with water would not help and the pigeons wouldn’t leave.
And why should they, we invaded their privacy, didn’t we? They have been there for year’s probably-enjoying a safe, shaded place, away from predators.
Every week some or the other female pigeon lays eggs in one corner as half-a-dozen male pigeons guard her. The daily happenings added spark to my everyday routine, as I watched their antics keeping track of two pigeons in combat.
Our locality included the Hindi/Sanskrit term ‘Mayur’ also meaning the peacock- our national bird. So enamoured were we by the presence of these friends that we considered this a divine coincidence.
The chirping of the common birds early morning especially the sweet sound of the mynah is about the only natural sounds that we hear in any Delhi housing society.
Of course gardens and natural parks all over Delhi have many more birds frequenting selected pockets for water, food and leisure. How to forget the various species of birds, in multi-colored crowns with different types of beaks and body structures my sister and I had seen in Sariska, Sultanpur and Nandan Kanan National Park.
Playing the newly married housewife became more interesting with some time devoted by me everyday, observing these simple creatures. I had seen them perched on window sills, electricity wires and shady enclosures, but now they have become a part of my routine.
And this is not only because of how close they are from our balcony door, is very clear. As soon as the door is opened, they enter the room. Peering through the windowpanes they are always in search of a safer place.
We shifted residence four years ago. The balconies now are sunny and airy. The friends only come to rest here and do not lay base.
They bring cheer to my life and remind me that we humans are not the only inhabitants on Earth. Sadly, that’s what we always forget.
The fact remains that we are but a small part of the vast bio-diversity on this planet.
Image (c) Gettyimages.com