The Little Birdie in the Cage by Rohini Jayanti
It was dark. Seems like a deadly place. A place of marshes surrounded by weird trees and creepers all along the ground. The smell is nasty as if filled with some decayed stuff. There was no sight of the sun and I could hear the noises of the vampire bats screeching far away. “What place is this? Why am I here?” I tried to move but felt like I was tied from all sides. In fact, it’s choking. I closed my eyes helplessly. Thoughts from my subconscious awoke me.
“Mithu Mithu dear, have these nuts. You did not have anything since yesterday. Let’s go for a walk “, voice of Suchita still ringing in my ears. Mithu was the name given to me by Suchita, a 13-year-old girl who brought me from her uncle’s sanctuary. She lived on a big farm near the town. A beautiful town surrounded by greenery. Days were warm and bright. The chirping sounds of the birds that perched on the roof tops early mornings. The mooing of the cows and the horns of the vehicles on the muddy roads. I was living a comfortable life in a cage that was hung near the window in Suchita ‘s bedroom. Suchita was the only child of her parents. Her father was a Khadi cloth manufacturer and had many stores in the town. He was well off. Suchita studied in a nearby school. Four months ago, she brought me from her Uncle’s bird sanctuary. Morning and evening she used to play music for me on her keyboard and used to take me for a walk every evening, holding the cage in her hand. It was a week ago that Suchita’s relatives visited our place. She introduced me to all her cousins. They greeted me in my language though I did not understand a word. They all loved me and praised my beauty. My slim green body and my thin long beak and elongated central tail feathers. My blue cheeks, a black gorget and a black eye line. Hey I forgot to tell you that I am a green bee-eater. Days passed by and seasons changed. Its summer and holidays time not for me of course. I and Suchita went to her uncle’s house. The place where she brought me from. It was like going to my home town. We visited the sanctuary as well. So big and huge it was. Beautiful trees, creepers, canopies and other beauties of nature. There were many species of birds like me. My old companions greeted me. I looked around clinging to the wire mesh. In the evening we returned back home but the picture of the sanctuary still moved in front of my eyes. “How long should I live in this cage? Is this going to be forever? I want to be free. Free like any other bird that stops near my window every morning to wish me. I want to explore the world. Meet my friends and make new friends.”, emotions overflowing from my mind. I could hear music around. Suchita was playing her favourite song on the keyboard. But it didn’t amuse me. I was quietly staring at the window. My irresistible urge to go out got me this idea. I suddenly started fluttering my wings inside the cage. Suchita did not understand. She ran to me and anxiously looked inside. “What’s wrong Mithu? What happened?” I did not respond. I became desperate to move away from there and so continued flapping my wings hard. Suchita got worried. She screamed and shouted and started crying thinking that I am not well. She opened the cage door and took me in her hand and started caressing me softly. She took me near the window letting the cool breeze in. I opened my eyes stood straight and set off to fly. I flew, flew and flew so high and far away from her till her voice could not reach me. She stood staring at me with tears rolling down her cheeks. I was excited by the prospect to see the new world around. I sat on a tree branch for a halt after a day long flight. Suddenly I heard a soaring voice. I looked up. A big creature with wings wide spread and eyes shining bright approached me. Within seconds I flew again but not by myself this time. I was caught in its sharp claws. I screamed aloud for help but there was nobody to rescue. I fell unconscious.
Suddenly I could hear a rustling sound. I opened my eyes forcibly looked around turning and twisting my body. I was in a big bowl of soft materials. It was interwoven with sticks and grass and soft materials around. “It’s a bird’s nest so big, could be an eagle’s “, I thought to myself as I have never seen it before. It was dark and cloudy. Wind was raving so furiously and rushed through the branches. “This is the most horrifying evening”, I murmured in pain. All of a sudden, I felt I was falling to the ground. Not only me but the nest in fact. It could not stand the wind. As it fell it broke and I was set free. I moved my wings “hey, they are working”, a sigh of relief. I took a long breathe, with a faint hope I fluttered my wings and set off to fly, fly to the place where I was safe and secure, where two eyes always longed for me and where a heart always loved me. There were again the same nuts and the same music. But this time it sensed wonderful, in the cage near the window. The memories stayed long enough to teach me a lesson.
Rohini Jayanti – A lady who loves experimenting anything she finds new and works hard towards achieving it. Her educational background is a reflection of her experiments. A postgraduate in Information Technology, a Cost Accountant, Masters in English Language, a Story teller, a Yoga Instructor, a Classical Singer, a Soft Skill Trainer and the list goes on. Her flair for writing landed her into Technical writing with different IT firms but the love for her daughter turned her into a wonderful Homemaker who now gets true happiness in writing short stories, articles and poems whenever her little princess permits. Though grown up she is a child at heart and loves to play and spend time with kids and so chose Storytelling as her most exciting profession. She is a budding writer who hopes to publish many of her work in the near future