Nepal | January 18, 2020

Pigeonholed!

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MIRAJ CHAUHAN

After a grueling day at work, everyone longs for some respite wherein he can spread his wings and experience the gentle joys of doing nothing. The other day when I reached home, completely exhausted, I spotted two pigeons on duty.  They were heavenly occupied in building a nest for their offspring. They took innumerable flights to and fro, and with every flight, they would bring the tiny bits of stem for their dream house. They very meticulously put each stem in a predefined order, which testified their supremacy in the realm of architecture. I stood in boundless amazement looking at their crafts-pigeon-ship.

As I approached the staircase, I gazed at the stained wall. The ventilator occupied by them had become their transit home, and they used it in its totality, even for answering nature’s call. Leaving it to the refugees, I climbed up the stairs and finally retired to my room. My mother came with a glass of water, and I could sense the grim expression on her face. I, very politely, enquired about the reason behind her seriousness, and without any further ado, she spilled the beans.

She was furious because of the sudden intrusion by the pigeon couple. She urged me to intervene in the matter.

Reluctantly, I had to. She equipped me with a long bamboo stick, and, like a military commander, ordered me to go and destroy the intruders’ base. As a true soldier, I moved forward.

My heart throbbed hard at the sight of the mother pigeon that was now in charge of the un-hatched eggs awaiting the arrival of her better half, but my mind went by the orders given by the high command. I directed my sword-like bamboo stick towards the nest and destroyed it in no time, leaving the mother pigeon shattered. The bereaved mother flew and sat on the main gate. She was traumatised to see the broken eggs that lay on the floor.

Later she was joined by her male counterpart who, with a heavy heart, probed the remains and assessed the damage done. In the evening, they both flew to an unknown place. The following morning, the maid cleaned the wall and swept the debris of the house taken down. The commander (my mother) was ecstatic, and I, somewhere deep down, was mourning. To my astonishment, I saw the pigeon couple again in the afternoon. They sat at the ventilator as if they were performing the last rites for the departed souls. They continued to come for almost a fortnight before they were gone forever.


A version of this article appears in print on October 16, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


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