Lock-down Baby


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A pigeon laid two eggs in one of our flower pots, in the balcony. This was around the time when lock-down was announced.

The flower pot was placed on an iron stand. The iron stand served the dual purpose of holding an AC outdoor unit on top and giving cover to a washing machine placed just below it. Because of the washing machine, we needed to make frequent trips to the balcony. We tried our best not to disturb the pigeon.

In the initial days, the mother pigeon got fidgety seeing us. But, over many days she learnt to tolerate our presence.

And one day, the two eggs hatched. They were two tiny chicks, yellow and delicate. The mother started leaving them alone for some time in the morning to fetch food for her babies. The chicks made lot of noise when they were being fed by their mother.

As days passed, they grew bigger. One of the chicks was a silent one while the other was very active. Seeing any of us in the balcony, the active chick would stand up and puff himself to look bigger. He would then snap sharply towards us. The silent would just sit quietly behind him.

Slowly, they shed their yellow hair and their feathers grew bigger. Both of them looked like small pigeons. They also started flapping their wings. Now, we expected them to fly away any day.

The plant in the flower pot where they had grown up, had died as we had stopped watering it. The entire area around the pot was now covered in bird shit. Hence, we did want them to fly away so that we could reclaim our space.

One day, I walked to the balcony after waking up in the morning. I could see only one chick in the flower pot. My first thought was that the active one had flown away. But, as I looked down, I saw the bird lying lifeless on the floor.

We don’t know what happened. Probably, he tried to fly away and fell and hurt his neck. We did not have an answer but just the fact that one of them was dead.

A week passed. The silent chick did flap its wings but not to fly away. Mother Pigeon came to feed him every day.

Yesterday morning, I found the pot empty. Instinctively, I looked down at the floor. The baby pigeon was sitting by the base of the washing machine. He was alive.

The entire day, it would fly up and down the pot. His mother would come by frequently probably to encourage him. The baby pigeon even walked inside our house confusing his way. This time I felt a little sad knowing that the baby was ready to leave home. But even by night, he had not left.

Today morning, he had flown away. None of us could see him flying away.

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