Thursday, November 18, 2010

The winged visitor...

Often times these days, i wake up to the sounds of conversations. Real ones. These aren't from the hidden recesses of memory, that deny you the peace of sleep, and the seeming calm of the todays and the yesterdays. These are benign conversations. "I just gave you a Dosa right? What are you still hanging around for?", my mom would say. I'd enter the kitchen, sleepy eyed, to find her in the middle of an earnest conversation with this particular crow. The responses vary. Sometimes we'd just get 'Caw Caws' in varying tones and decibel levels. At other times the crow would poke it's beak in, through the ample gaps in the kitchen's window grill, and take in the scene, before returning to it's pleas. A little louder. A little more demanding. I've come to recognize this crow. You need to pay attention to tell one crow from another, unless it has a broken beak or an absent foot.

In the belief system that i was born into, crows are considered 'pithrukkal', which in sanskrit, means fathers and forefathers. Despite my being an agnostic and my conscious attempts at being rational about things, i can't help making the connection. In an existence with so many unknowns, i find it increasingly difficult to be absolutely sure about anything. To be absolutely sure that crows are just crows. And so i indulge the crow. Whenever he flies in. Seeking food, attention, and an update on how things are at home. I feed him half an idli, a piece or roti or a full appalam. Anything that's around. Appalam being his favourite. Of late we've even started exchanging pleasantries. And he is beginning to find me familiar enough to pick pooris off my palm...

15 comments:

Vidya said...

I always had an argument about this with my own mother. I wanted to know - how can you be so certain that crows are our forefathers? I had a habit of feeding the street dogs (which she didn't appreciate, since it attracted them to our house even more) but I simply argued that dogs (who are Bhairava's vehicle, after all!) could be our pithurkkal too.

And now my heart (and stomach) craves a dosa.

june said...

First things first - A post from you after so long! woohoo!!

As kids, I've grown up seeing my mom serve the crows the first spoon of fresh steamy rice, before serving us calling them our forefathers. These days however, my mom's taken it a step further. She talks and feeds the stray dog, the pair of very loud squirrels, the family of cows and the two black snakes that visit her.
I'm pretty sure that even Ravana's forefathers are happy with her. :|

Ricercar said...

how sweet :-)

pallavi said...

It gave me chills!!! I liked the way u wrote it!!

Anonymous said...

Its great to see a post from you....

I dont believe in lot of Indian customs..I have troubling believing in God even. But ever since my mother died..I wonder if the crow are really our ancestors....and wehnever i see a crow on our window,,,i wonder if its her, come to look out for me....

childwoman-

sup said...

Great one :) Why its not just the crow - just like June wrore, I guess we have the habit of talking to all different birds, squirrels, stray dogs and cats that visit us regularly at meal time. :) Keep writing.

chandni said...

just discovered ur blog and loving it!

Swami said...

happy new year... write more machi...

Trauma Queen said...

I'm quite scared of crows (and sparrows and butterflies and well, just about anything), so I was pretty much going "wow" while reading this post, specially the poori part....

Don't rationalise everything in life man...when you feel something...just feel it...as long as the crow don't poke you in the eyes (one of my irrational fears around birds), it should be fine :)

RagzZmatazZ said...

Many years ago, my grandmother told me that when people die they become stars, that way they can always watch you. I know that stars are not just stars. They are life waiting to happen all over again !

Trauma queen said...

is no news good news?

DegeSMS said...

it is very lovely.

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