The moaning bird who never forgives me
SHIMLA – Having been born in a village, hunting was a very natural sport for all the village children including me. I had learnt the art from my grandmother. A basket was balanced with the help of a stick tied to a string in hunter’s hands.
Throwing some seeds as the bait, hunter used to conceal himself nearby. As soon as the birds come under the basket to eat the seeds, string was pulled, making the basket fall and trap the bird inside. Then the basket was covered with a cloth sheet avoiding its escape while catching hold of it.
A pair of pigeons used to be seen sitting on the branch of a tree right in front of our courtyard. That day I set up the trap and both these pigeons came under the basket. The trap was successful but while catching hold of the birds, one of them managed to flee. Birds thus caught used to be killed by twisting their neck. The unfortunate bird was caught, killed and eaten. Thereafter the one who had escaped the trap used to be sitting alone on that branch for quite a long time. Even my childish mind used to feel guilty for having separated the pair.
Perhaps it was a couple and the loner one used to ask so many questions staring at me. Decades passed by and rest of my life till now have been spent in Shimla. Everytime fate snatched away a loved one from me; I am reminded of the situation of that lonely bird. I feel, I have been punished for that gruesome act, something I can’t even make amends for.
Narrator/Writer: Subhash Kumar, Shimla
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