Thursday, November 06, 2008

Mittu: Tale of a Parrot

( Had a story about a "Tale of Parrot" in mind and thought of writing it over a long period of time. I was sharing this with my friends and everyone has different opinions and conclusion. Few want it to be a happy ending and some accepted whtevr i hv narrated. Thanks to my frnd deepa for helping out to bring the story live and well written...)


Hari walked quickly towards the bus stand,cursing the manager who had kept him back with some extra work just given just before he started to leave for the day.He hated extra tasks,especially the ones that were given after 5.30pm.Well,who liked them?

He slowed down near the Bhai's chai shop,where he would stop for his usual cup of tea and then wait for the 6.30 bus to take him home.Today,it would have to be the 7.30 one.He called out to Bhai for the usual cup of tea,then sat down on the old bench in front of the shop.As he sat there looking at passersby,a small bird came and sat beside him-a parrot.He was at first a little surprised to find that the bird had sat beside him without any fear,but he reasoned later that it might have escaped from some house.It stood looking at him with curious eyes,just as a kid would look at an animal in the zoo.He was amused by the thought,and laughed aloud.Immediately came the booming voice of Bhai from the teashop-"What happened,Haribhai?Won't you share the joke with us?"

He gave bhai an embarassed smile and proceeded to look angrily at the bird,but there was something in its eyes which tranformed his anger into a soft simple look,and later to a smile.He and the parrot looked at each other awhile,then it flew away.He had his tea and went home,thinking about the parrot.

The next day,he was late and in a foul temper because his boss had just told him that he would have to stay back everyday for the whole of next month.As he sat at the tea-shop bench,he heard the soft flutter of wings beside him.Sure enough,there was the little bird looking at him through its round,inquisitive eyes!Somehow,he felt comforted by its presence.He started a mental conversation with the bird,communicating silently with it.To his surprise,the bird sat there through the entire course of the coversation,reacting in ways which seemed to him as being appropriate to his flow of thoughts.

Slowly but surely,the bird became his cherished companion during his brief halt at the tea-shop.He would sometimes carry a chilli in his pocket to give Mittu(for that's what he named his winged mate) , watching as it ate up the surprise gift and looked at him gratefully before flying away.He would tell his five year old son Balu about his encounter with Mittu and it became a kind of bedtime tale for him,one which never ended and never lost its charm because it was so different each day.

However,this ended him in unexpected trouble as Balu,by nature an adamant kid used to having his way,started telling him that he too wanted to play with Mittu and his Dad should somehow bring the parrot home.Mittu's friend could not even think of such a thing as imprisoning his beloved friend ,but utimately the loving father in Hari won the tug of war between his emotions.He decided that Mittu would be happier at his home than in the dusty road near the tea-shop ,where somebody might catch it or some predator may make its mid-day meal out of it.

The next day,he went to the tea-shop as usual,but there was none of the usual joy in his heart.He dsimissed his thoughts and concentrated on his plans to catch the bird.

As luck would have it,the bird did not turn up that day-as if it had guessed his thoughts and decided to keep away form him.The next day,he left early from his office,hoping that Mittu might turn up early.But Mittu was no longer there.He missed the bird now-the soft flutter of its wings,the comfort of a silent companion with whom he could share his thoughts,the innocence of its round eyes regarding him as someone special.With the bird,he was indeed a special person,not just one of the millions who went about the world and worked in jobs that could easily have been done by anyone else,men without an identity.

As days passed by,Mittu passed into oblivion.The usual chores and troubles of life ensured that he was kept busy,if not happy.But Balu never forgot the bird,as he no longer had his supply of bedtime stories.He kept pestering Daddy to buy him a bird,a talking bird.Finally,Hari went to the nearby bazaar and bought him a parrot-a small bird in a big,blue painted cage.

Balu was excited by the arrival of the bird and would not leave its side even for a while.It took quite an effort to drag him to school when the holidays were over and the school re-opened. The bird was quite normal,except in one significant way.Every day,around 7'o clock ,it would flap its wings excitedly,making a frantic attempt to come out of the cage,even hurting its beak once in the process.And it used to fall silent whenever it saw Hari.Hari,on the other hand,never cast a second glance at the bird which had been his companion for a short while in his long life. After all,he was a human with a long life and a short memory.


Shankar said...

Lovely and heart touching story dude... as u said, we're all just humans with a long life and a short memory.

Ravi said...

a different story...nice one. Keep writing dude.