Friday, April 9, 2010

Twittering Friends!

We are in the internet age, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you are thinking of Twitter as you read this post. But that’s not what I’m about to talk here. I’m talking about what we traditionally associate with the word twitter: the chirping of birds. If you are on my Facebook page, you may know that my room and the adjacent ante-room are infested with sparrows. I say infested because they can be really pesky. They are quarrelsome, they are noisy and they are restless. They can go on for hours, letting out a shrill yelp-like sound at an interval of 5 seconds. They are more tenacious than crows when it comes to making continued noise and chaos. However, they are as silent as the water in a mug when the sun is tired of warming the earth on this side of the hemisphere.

I used to get mad at them initially. I used to ask my mom to keep the windows of my room sealed up to prevent them from getting home. Mom would do that but the sparrows outwitted her badly. They would think of new ways to get in and my mom would be clueless. My sleep was disturbed at dawn, every passing day. I felt a murderous rage against the sparrows for keeping me up all morning. And then, one morning, I heard the faint sound for the first time. It was the sound of the baby sparrows!

I climbed atop a stool to take a closer look. There were four of them, beaks open in eager hunger. They thought I had come with food. The guardian sparrows were not there. I went down and asked mom what I can feed them. She suggested milk. I climbed back again and this time I was armed with powdered milk stirred in water and a dropper. The dropper was mom’s idea, of course! I did that for a couple of days, and they made more noise as they grew up. But I was not so upset anymore. Neither did I feel the urge to keep the guardian sparrows out. I understood that keeping them out would be to cut off the food supply of the young ones. As for waking up, I was content with the idea that it was better to wake up to twittering birds than honking vehicles.

But, like many of my other relationships, they disappointed me badly. When the babies grew up, they left my room and never came back. My room was silent again, I could sleep peacefully again. But I missed my friends for days. Then I forgot all about them till life turned full circle. Their breeding season is back. The sparrows have started coming in again, with twigs and grass held possessively between their beaks. This time I’m not willing to be cooperative. I just let them be. They build their nest. I guess the eggs are laid as well because I found one of the eggs displaced from the high rack and squashed over my table. The baby sparrows may come any day now. But I won’t be friends with them again. I don’t like seasonal friends, even if they are twittering friends.


Nandini said...

Your writing is always great and thought provoking. But to be honest, when I started reading “Twittering Friends!” with “We are in the internet age…” I thought it’s another cold lecture on social media and so passed by silently. Now I have just one thing to say about the post, it’s Excellent. But I cannot support your conclusion. Because I believe, you should always embrace and treasure the happy moments as they come and let them go contentedly. Consider the in-between phase as a moment to pause, to stop and take a breath… to welcome the new twittering chaos.

Chanchal Roychoudhury said...

@Nandini: While I agree with you on treasuring the moment, I feel one has to be emotionally secure to live in the moment. Neither of us can claim to be so. We know the scissors will come down to snip away the bonds and yet we want to cling on to them. That puts us in a rather thankless position. I'm at a phase where I do not want to experiment with my emotions. I want stability and long-term associations. No more carpe diem for me, thank you!