When I came to Ulhas, a mini town within a town – Burdwan in the spring of 2011, I noticed a bird on my cornice on the very first morning of a Sunday I shifted there along my mother and elder brother with. As I threw open the window, the bird flew away, only to return after turning round a sprawling corn field next to my window.
I looked up at the cornice. The bird seemed to be perched tentatively on the edge of it. Time to time it looked down at me nervously and gave out a short, shrill cry.
I found its chest mellowed yellow and wings chocolate; head black. A multi-coloured slim creature.
When the Summer fell, the unknown little bird had gone away. My neighbor observed that it was a migratory bird. (I don’t believe in word “migratory.” Because living beings are migratory in nature. Sometimes we migrate physically, emotionally at other times.)
Around the Winter, in mid-November, it came and made the cornice its home again. Its animating cries filled in chirpily the otherwise blankness of ordinary winter days. Though a big tree was there opposite the window at that time, the bird avoided it. The reason of it was only known to it. I felt.
The bird had some habits which I got used to over the following years. Maybe, I might have been becoming a known entity to it in those years too.
No longer did it have to flutter away when I opened the window. It only made some shuffle with its legs. And that was it.
This year the yellow bird did not come. I am still waiting for its return. Do not know how long I have to wait.
This morning, as I turned on my radio and tuned in to Gitanjali, that is Kolkata A, an environmentalist informed on his Radio Talk that for the last decade alone one lac crore birds had died only due to plastic pollution.
I went back to the window, looked outside. The hazy day looked back through the window.
Far away on the horizon, a column of smoke trailed off a pile of garbage as it was set on fire.
I looked up at the cornice. Its edge had broken off slightly. A patch of dark moss is trying to cover it desperately.
I slammed the eastern window shut.