The Lost Son Returns
Today I could hear a crow cawing. Lying on bed, I really enjoyed it.
Enjoying a cawing of a crow? Doesn't it sound weird?
No, it did not harass my ears. Maybe it once used to do so when crows were many in my village. Now a crow is a sweet visitor on my premises. For the last ten years, the bird was no longer seen in my village, nor in any of the villages around in a radius of few kilometers. They had suddenly disappeared. Like a naughty child disappearing all of a sudden leaving everybody to cherish his sweet waywardness.
Why did they vanish-nobody knows that. We had only conjectures to make. Our farms are using pesticides in large measure these days. So they died, perhaps out of mass poisoning. Some had a different explanation to offer: there were cyclones and super cyclones and the birds were blown afar; they could not fly that much to return to their darling village. According to some others, the birds died very much the same way the mongoose and jackals did. None of them are seen anywhere around.
In fact it was not crow alone who have vanished from our habitat. There were sparrows, the dickey little bird under our thatched roofs. We used to get disturbed when they created ruckus. They used to preen and prim before the wall mounted mirrors-it was really funny to look at. They disappeared one day from our village and they have not come back yet. Then there were vultures. They were not exactly the inhabitants of our village, but they knew when their presence was required. They used to come in groups and finish their job happily. They were funny and dutiful. They have also stopped visiting our village since donkey's years.
Now return of a crow with its sweet cawing is a welcome event in my village. Nobody celebrates it, but everybody is happy-as if her lost son has returned, her naughty son has come back.
A. N. Nanda