Thursday, June 19, 2008

Joie de Vivre

Perhaps the most suitable title to a post of mine yet and with good reason, I suppose. Today was the second time in two weeks. There "he" sat, at my doorstep. I choose to address "him" as "he" cause I don't have the heart to address "him" as "it" (although "it" would sound rather cute) and, I could not discern "he" from "she" in this case. Plato didn't bother to either, as far as Love and Beauty were concerned in his most celebrated symposium . So, there "he" was, at around 7pm, all of not even a handful but "his" mite mightier than many a might! Just as Cecil Alexander had sung his hymn- All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small,...

"He" was, going on and on. Violently flapping "his" wings, to get that elusive take off on "his first flight" although "he" seemed awkwardly far from it. Chirping away loudly, surprisingly for "his little stature"; I am not sure whether "his" cries were directed at "his mother" for "his" helplessness or that "he" wanted to tell me how unrelenting "he" is and that "he" would certainly make it. But "his" cries were pitiful. "He" had fallen off from "his" nest located atop the wall A/C unit in the apartment next door. Fortunately, "he" crashlanded rather safely; fortunately I spotted "him". For the next two hours, I tried all that I could to help "him" out. I held "him" on my fingers and could see that "his" perch was just about fine and "he" was raring to take off every other moment. Sensing that "his" mum was probably around looking for "him", I could from "her" cries, I left "him" just where "he" had fallen to see if "she" would pick "him up. And didn't "she" turn up within the wink of an eye?!

I have lost count of how many times I have watched documentaries on animal behaviour as if they were just another piece of information but when it happened live before my eyes - mom failing to get son going and hence abandoning "him" to the forces of nature, not very many things get as close to being that depressing. After it got dark and the silence out of the lack of "his" incessant chirping got me, I stepped out again to look for "him". The spotlight (from a torch) was there, and "he" promptly chirped everytime a flash dawned on "him". It seemed comical and cute, out of "he" being excited, I hope, rather than bewildered although I fear the latter was more plausible. Concerned that "he" might have exhausted himself, I brought "him" into the house. "He" felt so much at home. I fed "him" some water which "he" graciously gulped and when I let "him" free in the living room, "he" ran around until "he" found "his" bearings and headed straight for me! It was probably the chill and "he" wanted some warmth- what can better the assurance and warmth of a human palm?

Left with little choice, I decided to turn "him" in at the small animal care centre in the Vet Med School, just as I had done with another of "his" kind not so long ago. Fortunately, a couple of friends agreed to give company and to "his" luck, "he" hitched a brand new ride! Thanks to Arvind and Harini (and Bhu's entertainment), he is now in safe hands. Not to mention Harini's characteristic cuddling of the poor thing* at "his" plight, or beauty I gather :-) , and Anjan's jocular baritone rendition of "Olimayamaana edhirkaalam.." (read "bright future...", a tamil song) to the little fellah. Indeed, after Darwin. After handing him over, I just quipped- what a fortunate chap "he" is, to get a joyride to life!

Mention to be made of my friend Gowri, for her prompt and able assistance on a Saturday evening, in time of need. I remember vividly, and ironically, how we discussed of the disappearance of sparrows from around the Indian households in recent times. All thanks to the advent of the cellphone and illegitimately high signal strength as a consequence of which the radiation levels have driven the Indian urban sparrow to the point of extinction. But, I suppose I've done my bit, the little I could, in their interest.

Onto the higher plane... I don't quite understand the Chemistry I enjoy with small creatures and why this has been ordained. I have done this in the past- twice for sparrows and once for a little squirrel and not a thought crossed my mind. But after today, I'm thinking.... of-

A sparrow's joie de vivre.
"His" mom who abandoned "him" out of despair that I took "him" away from "her". "Her" futility!
And, the futility of humaneness!

Sigh.

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* For once, I choose to call- "the poor thing"!

3 comments:

shriram said...

:-) I wonder if you remember the little sparrow that Somu "took in" for a day or two..during some cycle test too...!That sparrow had incestous comments directed at it after it dropped its "guano" outside the domain alloted by Somu, namely, one page of The Hindu!:D Why dont you buy a pet? How about a dog to give you company during your PhD?:D

MaVeRicK said...

Heheh.. i remember the sparrow in Somu's room episode. I was also a part of it, in a supporting role though. Thankfully. Yeah, that silly bird had dumped its stuff all over, except at the intended domain. No surprises at Somu's attitude change towards that.

About pets... hmm, good question. I'll probably wait. Lots of things I am unaware of, plus some really crazy rules in this country - not yet interested in intellectually stimulating pursuits like picking up yr animal's stuff when you walk it around. It will be something of a PhD if they ever let a dog enter a class 10 cleanroom! ROTFL

Hariharan Sriram said...

Nice read. Thought provoking lines you have put in add to the charm pf this post. The narration seems to make the scene come alive. Too much praise, i know. Shall stop.