Saturday, 8 October 2011

Black bird

Jet-lagged, heavy head, I wake up and try to concentrate hard– where am I? The room seems unfamiliar. The sheets, the duvet, the curtains are all white. Then it comes to me. I am some hundred miles away from home. Home? Wherever that may be? Light filters through the curtain. Did I sleep right through the afternoon to the next morning? The clock by the bedside issues a little tick-tock. It is 9:00 PM!

A bird calls. It isn’t even 12 hours since I got off the plane. The bird appears to whistle a little tune. Here we are. And so it begins. The bird on the trees somewhere across from the patio sings a slow, melodic song.

I recollect the opening bars. The mind clears. A blackbird sings in the dead of the night. And for the next few years it will sing from the rooftops, hiding in the hedgerow, while looking for grub among the decaying leaves, from trees across the patio, in summer, in autumn, in spring. A blackbird will always sing.


Asha said...

So nice, that you are always tuned into Bird-song station, potentially available at all frequencies, anywhere in the world :)

I am usually more tuned into Squirrel-station, but I also listen to birds, though I can't identify most of them.

Anvita Lakhera said...

Thankfully, Indian palm squirrels are among the few wild animals tolerated in urban India but then they so easily become like a pet. Maybe that's why we like to have them around :)

Actually bird song is becoming a rare treat.

There is no dawn chorus or any bird chorus in Bombay's highrises...mostly crows (well, it is a song bird but...) and sparrows (who are getting rarer by the day). In Delhi birds and their songs exist only in rapidly diminishing green spaces, and that seems to be true for most urban areas.

In my limited experience, I'd say, bird song isn't as widely available in the world, as it should be. Mostly because people have stopped tuning in.