written by: Nivedita Das
Spring is the most cherished and celebrated season accredited for new life and growth. Conversely, for me, Pigeons created a catastrophe in my courtyard. Every year pigeons found some place to make their flimsy nests and lay eggs and my mother’s efforts to hush them were in vain. She always complained about the scattered twigs and smell of the droppings. And if by chance the squabs were attacked by crow mother would remain grumpy and cross the whole day.
As a little girl and then as a teenager I assisted my mother in keeping the courtyard spotless-clean. One thing I never understood then was, mother never broke any nest. When the pigeons laid eggs and warmed them, she kept food and water for them. In a short span of time yellow hatchlings came out of their shells and wandered in the courtyard. This was perhaps the most grueling period for mother as she had to keep an eye on the rambling crows.
With the course of time, I left home for higher studies and then jobs in different cities visiting home on vacations and holidays. After years when I went home in spring, found mother mopping the courtyard calmly and keeping food for the pigeons. She had built a bird feeder for the occasional stray birds too. I was amused to watch this ritual for a few days and then couldn’t resist asking her the reason. With a twinkle in her eyes and a flash of a smile, she said, “These birds give me an inexplicable sense of pleasure and fulfillment, they are my little companions. They lay eggs; hatch and then one day fly away, like my own fledglings. What I am left with is memories and anticipation of their return to my nest.”