Oct 25, 2014

Sparrows Remember

When I was a kid, I used to frequent Tauseef's house. I am very poor with memories. There is some sort of auto flush that wipes them away. I neither retain the good ones nor the bad ones. I have a past that is forever under construction. Its an open canvas, I paint it at will. But I remember the Gauraiyyas (Indian Sparrows). Tauseef's house was always full of them. Little chirpy birds that kept pecking on the dining table or sitting right next to aunty and waiting for her to drop them some grains. They would flit about all over the place. I don't remember any of those big celling fans ever being switched on in Tauseef's place. The gauraiyyas were always safe in his place.
When I started working on plantations some 16 years ago, I always kept fowl at the managerial bungalow. There was this ill tempered gander, two insufferable flying ducks, dozens on hens...but no sparrows. There were no sparrows in Kerala and you could not buy a sparrow, a sparrow can never be owned. The sparrow chose its own home.
7 years ago, when Hyderabad International airport was commissioned, I saw sparrows flying inside the terminal. There were about four of them making merry near the eateries. I talk to animals..and birds and reptiles and ghosts and spirits and God. I called out to the nearest sparrow and told her that someday I will make my own house and then you should come. She looked at me for a micro second and made a curious face before she flew across to join the rest of them.
It is three years since  I shifted to my own place. Last week, I saw a nest coming up near my air conditioner. Two Sparrows looked insolently at me, busy building their nest on my balcony.
A long loop thus closed. Welcome home.


  1. I hardly spot sparrows these days and their absence is a bit depressing! I just love their chirp and their careful hops but these damned mobile towers.. :X

  2. Rajesh, Thanks for the October 25th BLOG writing. I’ve tucked it away in my memory in a place where “the auto flush” won’t wipe it away. “My past,” too, “is forever under construction.” I especially like your story of what happened at Hyderabad International Airport…. the short meeting with a sparrow, and how she flew back to her companions, no doubt to tell them about the good man who invited her to come to his house when someday he got his own home… and I will have a good day today just thinking about the nest near your air conditioner… and the “two sorrows looking insolently” at you to tell you they are there on their own terms.

    You, Rajesh, are a fine writer… thanks for sharing what you write.

    1. Wonderful words Jerral. You are a kindred soul.


Goodbye Ganesha

As long stretches of empty cranes stood waiting, for the last of the Ganesha's to bid adieu, I felt my eyes welling up from a sadness th...

Popular Posts