School of BIRDS

School of BIRDS

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I lost my father a few years back. He was a happy go lucky, ever cheerful and a positive man. I miss him sorely. But when I remember him, I decide that I should imbibe his spirit inside me and remain positive and happy just like him.

As I child I stayed in the heart of Pune, in one of the best areas of Pune. Now if you will see that place, you will call it horribly crowded and such a congested market. But as a child I remember that place very differently. My memories are of a huge stone bungalow with gardens on all three sides. A huge fountain at the entrance and surrounded by numerous mango trees.

On Sundays I would spend the mornings in the garden sitting beside father sipping  warm milk.

One day while in the garden, all of a sudden I heard a lot of cawing noise from a tree just above me. The birds had almost created a funny din up their. Looking up amusedly I asked my father why the crows were making so much noise?  Father looked up at the tree along with me, as if pondering and then told me, “Oh sweetheart the crows are having there school today.” Hearing these words in a matter of fact voice from father,  my eyes gleamed with excitement.This was certainly a very new and amazing piece of information for a 4-5 year old child.

I started asking him more questions, where does the teacher sit? What they must be learning right now? Which language do they speak in? He satisfied all of my queries patiently. He said there is that caw-caw language in which they speak. Said they have school only on Sunday and have holiday all the other days. My, my how fortunate I felt the crows were! I started prancing in the whole garden checking out every tree and then announcing which birds school was there on which tree. Somewhere it was parrots and at other tree sparrows. 

I feel that was my foundation for being close to nature, spending time in observing them, writing or should I say scribbling short stories of talking animals. 

Later on, with this habit or this ind of conditioning by parents, it helped me as a mother in bringing up my children,  being observant, active and friends with birds and animals. It was ok to bring injured squirrels, little birds keeping them in cardboard boxes and nursing them till they recover. Similarly as an educator as well of very young children, it helped me in telling them stories of animals and birds and inculcating in their young minds that animals are our friends and not foes. We need to help the animals  live well to co-exist in harmony.

Anuradha Singh

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