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Monday, January 9, 2012

Sharing The Afternoon Meal With My Winged Friends


It's three o' clock in the afternoon and my daughter has just finished her lunch. But before she rushes off to play or do her colouring, she heads to the kitchen and picks up a box kept in the corner. Most days she asks me to help her open it up, some days she does it herself. She opens the lid, then heads towards the kitchen balcony, opening it slowly. She calls out to me to come over.

As we both head to the kitchen balcony, our winged friends are already waiting there for us. They flutter around, just waiting at the corners for us to scatter the grains and move, so that they can start the feast. As my daughter scatters the grains on the balcony, I fill up the water bowl that has been emptied since morning. I call out to the birds who are already sitting on nearby balconies and ledges, or flying in circles above us, some even going out a little and calling out to their friends that lunch is being served. We move away in some time, coming back to the kitchen and closing the door quietly, and almost instantly, the birds come swooping in. Within minutes the food is all gone. And just like that, so are our winged friends, after spending a little time lazing on the balcony.

I started this feast a little more than a year back. It started just by chance. Of course earlier I used to put bread crumbs on my balcony and there was always a water bowl on all my balconies and window ledges for these cute ones to come in and take a sip. Then one day while my father was here at my place, he brought in a bag of bird food and scattered it on the balcony. And since then, the feast has continued.

It's amazing actually how the birds are always on time!!! And I have to give it to them that no matter what the season, what the day, these birdies are always ready for their meal bang on time, on the dot! I have maintained a meal time of 03pm and every single day, without missing a single day, they are already present by 02:45pm, before time!! We live on the 23rd floor, and these darlings have never ever missed the floor, knowing very well where their meal is placed.

Every time they are thirsty, they fly up here to our floor and take a sip. And with each passing day, their number has only increased. What was initially a handful of birds is now a big big group of birds - pigeons, sparrows, crows - all flying in in batches....

And its something both my daughter and I really look forward to each day...

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And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta