Monthly Archives: July 2010

Lots of Sparrows and Losing the Sparrows

This was in Panvel Mumbai

It is a happy augury that lots of sparrows are seen these days on the trees, windows ledges of our house, The sparrows were becoming very scarce and the world was forgetting about them. I bet many of our children today having seen the bird. There is an incessant chirping to be heard in the early morning. It is hint from them that they are hungry and requesting for the food. We scatter the rice, Bajra and Jowar in the bottom of our windows. Lot of sparrows vie with each other for the food. They push and shove. Soon the pigeons also land and scare the sparrows. Similarly the squirrels come especially for Jowar. Sparrows dart away and scatter like bullets at the slightest sound or arrival of anyone of us nearer the window.

In the morning they are so desperate for the food that sometimes they forget that we are scattering the seeds, they come darting and get scared and without landing maneuver to fly away to safety on the trees branches in front of the house. The credit for all this goes to my wife who never forgets to maintain the uninterrupted supple of food from the market. In the summer, she arranges the water in small containers for the birds whose throats have parched in the scorching sun. They quench their thirst and eat food. There is plenty of seed and they don’t have to forage for food here and there.

But here up in North India where we were born and grew up before moving away for earning the bread for our families, once plentiful sparrows are gone somewhere away. About 35 years ago, there were so many sparrows living in our homes and in the evening there ensued a great cacophony in the boughs of the mulberry tree which was in the open space of our home. They fought with each other to occupy the best perches. They made nests inside the houses which were not pucca houses and raised their chicks there. I am very much surprised that there is not a single sparrow to be seen here now. On the contrary, hundreds of mynahs flock to sit on the ledges or supporting rods of the platform roofs at railway station in Chandigarh. So much so that if you go there to catch a evening train, you will hear a deafening noise of their quarrels for claiming the best beds for the night. Difficult to understand the changes occurring in the surroundings.


Where are the clouds ?

which agreed to become a messenger,

and take the yearning of Yaksha

to his wife far away

Where are the clouds ?

which bring succor

from scorching heat

breath fresh life into the earth.

The clouds which visit my house,

cannot be those,

when they pour,

my cottage trembles and leaks,

the floor becomes a pond

and everyone in the home weeps.


Daily in the page devoted to popular science in my newspaper, I read the funny and contradictory items. One day, a study reports that mother’s love inoculates the children against the stress when they grow up. If this were true then in India, hardly any male will ever suffer from stress because mothers here are very dotting about their sons. Most of the tension will be burdened by females. Other day, another study tells that the persons who are most loved by the mothers in during childhood will become too insecure as to face the stress with courage and boldness in the adulthood.

Some studies tell us that women enjoy sex around the age of thirty. Another study will make us believe that women become most naughty at the age of forty. Such funny stories one sees in the morning when already feeling frustrated at the spurning of their moves by their thirty or forty year old wives. it seems that such rubbish is available to the newspapers for free and helps in filling up the space.

Similarly, there are funny ads on TV. One such ad is done by an Indian actor for a face cream especially prepared for men to turn their face flawless by removing all the blemishes and making the skin fair. I don’t know how he had come to conclusion that an average Indian spends 12.5 minutes daily for combing their hair and 5 minutes daily on cleaning their teeth.So Europeans do not need this cream but it also targets the weakness of most of Indians in urban areas to look fair. Africans do not seem to have any grudge against the God for having the dark color of their skin. If we believe the evolution theory, the body traits are acquired to adapt to the environment in which we dwell whether of our own will or forced by the circumstances. People in colder regions have more fat on their bodies because it protects the body from the severe cold. The bodies of the African people are lean and long. This helps them to loose less minerals through perspiration. During early stages of the evolution, humans migrated from Africa to diverse places in search of food and easy climates and to avoid competition for resources at a single place. After thousands of years they acquired traits of personality so diverse that it became difficult to believe that they are children of same forefathers.

So please, let us be sensible and don’t be led astray by these fabricated researches.

Life will Never be the Same Again

No one can fathom the ways of God. We are very easily disturbed when something bad happens to us or to our near and dear ones. This is because we love our life too much and cling to it as the baby clings to its mother, moss to stones and are too afraid to face the realities of life. We always hope for the best to happen.

Sometimes one cannot imagine that a small incident or accident can permanently alter the course of one’s life forever. But at this stage, it is too late and birds had already flown away. Take it otherwise, no one have the power to change whatever has to happen will happen.

Never take anything for granted

For most of us, the working of our bodies is just like working with windows operating system on computers. Both are concerned with out form and don’t care for what is going behind in the background in response to our actions. The inner machinery has been hid in both the cases. But how much is being behind the scenes even for a small action is mind boggling. I have come to realise this after a very minor looking but an accident with very serious consequences.

When a child learns to stand up and walk, to hold the things in his hands, it is very clumsy in the beginning. Due to the lack of proper coordination between different muscles, things do not happen instantly. But then slowly and surely it becomes so seamless that we do not even think how much complex these tasks are. Even holding a spoon between your thumb and fingers becomes an impossible task if the coordination is lost. In an accident, a piece of glass cut through the wedge between the thumb and forefinger. Seemingly innocuous at first, after a few days when stitches were removed, I realised that my thumb is not behaving the way it should. I cannot bend the joint of thumb. There is a partial loss of sensation in the lower side of thumb. I cannot hold a small thing like a pencil in my thumb and other fingers. There is a tendon which is a like a rope made of fiber which pulls or pushes the joints. This was severed by the glass. After this doctors began telling that due to delay both the severed ends of tendon drift apart and we have to do exploration, find the ends and join them. Then it is anybody’s game, the joined part can strengthen or again tear off.

I have been eating the food now using left hand. Wearing the clothes especially fastening the buttons in shirts, pulling up the zip, squeezing the toothpaste from tube, opening the threaded caps of bottles have become a very difficult and uphill task. Now I have realized the importance of each limb of the body. I am helpless and trying to best adjust according to the resources available and reorient and modify the ways to perform the necessary tasks.

Control your Anger or else

It is rightly said that anger can take hold of you and bang you against anything. It is like the unbridled ocean whose mighty waves can throw you like a stalk of grass. It can harm you physically or the person who triggered it in you. If it  is confined or caged, it will become restless and if it is fed and nourished, it can become so strong that it will break the cage one day and then will destroy others. When it is exhausted, only then you will come to know the damage it had wreaked. Sometimes, the damage is irreparable and you will rue the time when this demon woke up and went beyond your control.

Looking at the sea

It is early morning. I am looking down from my room in the 13th floor in the hospital. The sea has receded far away and there are fishermen scourging for sea food like crabs, small fish and mussels in the poodles left by receding sea. These men looks like tiny specks from the height. Other people are loitering over the sea surface left dry by the receding sea.

The sky is pregnant with looming clouds which are expecting to rain. Sometimes the Sun looks through the clouds and colors the water gold. Now, the day progresses and with it the tides. Soon the naked surface is covered by the rising water.In the beginning the waves die down before reaching the shore. By noon, the waves become very high. They come with a hissing sound towards shore, slaps themselves on the shore and fall away into the sea totally destroyed.

I am relieved from the hospital and come down. Before leaving for home, I went to see the sea. There was Bandra Worli sea link in front. The hissing tides came and spent themselves on reaching the shore. Immediately the crows flew into the sand to catch small creatures left by the receding sea.

This is supposed to be the onset of monsoon season. So many people collected on the beach to watch the sea which have come to life. Showers relieve the torrid heat and usher the city into romantic, chaotic and deluging times. Some enjoy it, others who have no choice are left to face the fury of nature in coming months.