Spring is here, I am sure. A little bird told me. Two little birds to be exact. I don’t know exactly what birds they are. My knowledge of birds while not little enough to fit on the back of a postage stamp is nowhere close to even amateur ornithologist status.
They are swallows of some kind I think. They are migratory. Of that too I am sure. Cos they frequent their mud home outside my window only in the two months of spring. And they swoop.. very elegantly too.. they must be swallows. Swallows swoop don’t they? Not for them the inelegant flap flap and `i hope my wings can lift me a few feet’ of the other feathered specimen in my apartment block – the pigeon. But more on them later… this one is about the swallows.
They appeared suddenly while we were breakfasting .. peering in through the glass windows, ensuring the occupants were the same benign, albeit slightly crazy family that they had seen the last time around. Satisfied with the `Sssh.. don’t move..they’re back’ reaction they got.. they proceeded to inspect the mud nest they had abandoned many moons ago once their kids had had their diving lessons and moved on in life.
The first morning they spent sitting around inspecting the nest that was in a state of dilapidation. Size does matter you know. You just need to know how and where to use it. The little things made me feel quite guilty for landing them in this state of affairs (when God knows I had, for ten months, done everything in my power to ensure no cleaning lady ever got close to their nest in her over- zealousness). But duniya zaalim hai... all I got in return was accusatory stares from the two of them. Once they realised neither the sharp looks nor the aggrieved stance they adopted later were going to be much help they got to work.
From the sounds of it they had a fairly long drawn argument on how much repair and of what kind was needed but by day 3 they were hard at work. Assiduously bringing in soft feathers, long grass strands, mud, some other un-identifiables and glueing it all together with I-have-no-idea-what.
Once again the little half-cup shaped mud nest is up and ready for starting a new family. This time the choice of colour for the external walls is more blackish than the reddish of the previous years. Housing aesthestes in the swallow world are possibly gung ho on black this year.
Looking forward now to their congenial neighbourliness as they go about laying eggs, watching over the hatchlings, feeding them, pushing them out of the nest to fly….. it does my soul a lot of good to see this little piece of never-changing circle of life …. year after year for the last six years… brings all the ups and downs of the financial markets, the earthquakes in New Zealand, the craziness of IPL, the anger over corruption and traffic, the rising prices.. into perspective.
This, finally, is what life distils into. A cadence that is simple, meaningful, unchanging .. and all the rest is noise.