Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hide 'n' Seek With Sparrow...

I was around six. We had a small market complex in our neighborhood. The market was closed that day being its weekly off and therefore there were no walk-ins. That weekly off was the happiest day for us, kids, as we had full access to the vicinity to play around in that area. There were plenty of games for us, being tiny-tots. Hide
and Seek was a unanimous favorite. So, we decided to go for it, as usual. It was three in the afternoon, winter time, and the day was quite cold. The only relief was a mild warmth from the Sun's rays and the three sweaters which Mom had forcefully put on me. It is quite true that the number of warm clothes worn by a child is directly proportional to the intensity of winter felt by his/her mother. ^_^

The game started as per our set of rules, tweaked to suit our game! The youngest among us would be the last to get the turn to seek. This rule was advantageous for me as I was the second youngest one out of the seven of us. Rakshita Di was the eldest among us and she had to start counting while keeping her eyes closed and face turned in the opposite direction. We all had to hide at different locations, meanwhile. The conventional rule says that if the seeker is able to find all hidden players, the first player found from the hiding will have to take next turn to seek. But here the rule had been tweaked, based on which the turn to play as a seeker was already set and finalized.

Rakshita Di started counting with her eyes closed  and we started running towards the market complex to hide at various places. Rakshita Di was at the entrance of the market. I moved towards the right lane of shops and decided to hide behind the third shop in the row. Just as Rakshita Di finished counting till 10, and we all settled to our respective hiding place, I heard a very low chirping sound, quite weak in tone but apparently, from a nearby place. I looked around and found a sparrow, fallen on the ground, not even able to stand properly. Its beak was open. To me, it appeared as if it was not well and was thirsty, due to weakness and mild fever may be. It was not able to take flight, or even move around, to search for water.

I took it on my palm and started searching for water. I noticed a tap outside a florist's shop. I opened it and put some drops of water inside the beak of that weak birdie but to no avail. The sparrow by then, perhaps, had died as it was totally motionless, still and lifeless. I was afraid and dropped the bird right there, on the road. I felt guilty, as if I had killed the bird. I left the game and went home.

For two days I was very silent, lost and only one episode was hovering around in my mind - day in and day out -the bird and how it had died because of me. But, by the end of the day, I could not take it anymore and decided to narrate the entire incident to Mom and ask for her opinion - if I was really the culprit. I told her the truth.

Probably, that was a good decision because Mom, after listening to the whole story consoled me that I was not the culprit and the bird in the given circumstance, had to die. In fact she praised me for my effort to save the bird’s life. She told me that if I had not picked it up and tried to help the bird, probably some animal – a dog or cat would have eaten it there and then only. At least I tried to save the life of that poor bird with all my good intentions.

The entire conversation with Mom was a lesson, and a relief for my guilt - stricken conscience. :)

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Written for Kinley and IndiBlogger.

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