01 May 2015

WHERE ARE YOUR FEATHERS?

Posted by Vinoth Subramanian | Friday, May 01, 2015 Categories: , , , , , ,




It was first April 2015. The day of my IBPS bank results. I was waiting in front of my lap top. It was first Wednesday of the month. Power shut down for the maintenance purpose in our village. I knew that. Still, waited with little hope. Result would be around 9:10 am. I read in bankersada website. It was 9:03. Power off!

Government has done the right thing at the wrong time. I called Saranya (my friend) and told my roll number and password to get me result if they upload. Power will not turn up till 5 P.M.
We know. My mom suggested me to go to my sister-in-law’s house to kill the time. It is near to our place. We can reach within half an hour. We started at 11:00 and reached around 11:30.
She was not there. I knew. I called her before leaving my house. She thought of skipping the tailoring class after hearing our arrival. I said not to skip and we would come at 12:00.
“We’ll start at 11, catch an auto, get down in the middle, buy something for her and will reach at 12:00.” My mother told before leaving. Auto-man collapsed the entire plan and said he knows the place and will leave in front of her home. We said no. but he was not interested to leave us anywhere except at her home. Her house-owner received us. An old lady. Obviously above 60.
She invited inside her home. She asked us to sit at her home till my sister-in-law comes. We didn’t have other option. We sat. She prepared coffee and brought to us. I refused. My mother had a little. They were chatting like close friends for decades.
“No current since morning.” The lady said. I told about the maintenance.


My sister-in-law entered.
“Why didn’t you call?”
“We didn’t want you to skip the class.” I replied.
She unlocked the door. We entered.
“What is chirping outside?” I asked.
“Parrots.” My mother replied.
I went out and observed. They were walking and running.
“What happened to their feathers?”
“Broken!” my sister-in-law replied.
By the time we started having our lunch. The parrots came at the doorstep. She was conversing with them and placing food in the entrance.
“Who broke it?” I asked.
“Actually,” she started narrating the whole story, “They are their pets. You met the old lady no? The house-owner? Her daughter-in-law has bought them. They went somewhere, bought these parrots without wings.”
“Without feathers?”
“Yes. They used to break the feathers and sale. Now she went to ---- for the delivery.”
“Didn’t the feathers grow?”
“Yeah. It grew. The elderly parrot started flying. It went and sat on the branch of the banyan tree. Vikki only went and caught it finally.” Vikki aka Vignesh, the son of my sister-in-law’s brother-in-law and staying there for his studies.
“She is very obsessed with parrots. Her mother-in-law is taking care of them.” She said and poured some curd in my plate. I couldn’t eat further. Somehow managed to finish the lunch.
The chirping was disturbing me still.
I went out to catch one among the parrots but took back my thought for it was new place.


Time struck 4:30. Vikki came. My mother might have told something. He took a towel and chased the parrot. It was hiding itself under the sofa. He caught hold of it. Came to me. And placed my hands on it. “Head.” “Body.” “Legs.” “Beak.” That parrot became a touch screen mobile and that was the way he made me touch it. The towel had wrapped around the body. He was holding with infernal consciousness. I left his hand and touched on my own. Beak was my target.
“Anna no!” that 8th standard boy shouted.
It didn’t take much time for the parrot to bite me and bit me twice. He left it on the wall. It started clambering. My mother made a deliberate attempt to catch hold of it. This time the bite was bit strong. My mother shouted. I was happy. The current had already come at 3:30. Saranya was still struggling to locate my result. I thought of going home to check it. Leaving is not a good sign so we stayed there.


I felt little bored. Vikki brought the carom-board. We played. First round was over. Out of 160, I got 85 and he got 75 points. We played the second round. This time he was 120 and mine was just 40. It was very interesting to me. We moved to the third round. This time I was 95 points and he got the remaining 65. I couldn’t believe myself. But that is what happened. Fourth round. I got 30 and the rest was his.
I was not new to caroms for I used to play in my school.
“Let us have another game.” I said and continued,
“Let’s keep all the other coins aside and play with one coin. We have to strike the coin into the pocket. The target is 50.” He agreed. Later it was reduced to 25. He was in a lead in the initial stage. He was continuously pocketing the coin where I didn’t even open my account. I started my account when he was 5. I got 5 points when he was 8. Something went wrong. He had been missing the coin and sending striker into the pocket. Result, minus! Both of us stood with 6 points. He was not in a mood to give up the game what so ever. His mistakes gave me some psychological strength. I was chasing him. Sometimes he had to chase me. When I was 10 he was 9. In the last four games, I was the one who got lot of negative points by pocketing the strikers instead of coins. When I was with 0 points I sent the striker into the pocket and surrendered the coins whenever I got. But last game was not like that. He had been committing the mistake. Mayhap, due to the single coin.
Surprisingly, I was 13 he remained in 10.
“Anna, shall we fix it 20 point as target?” I didn’t say know and the game continued.
He got two more points and reached to 12 when I was 14.
My mobile vibrated.
New message!
“Hay! Banker or not?” I saw the message and put the mobile into my pocket for I also had no idea about my result.
“Anna! The parrot is trying to reach you. Now sitting on your right!” he said and struck the coin. I was scared a little even though I liked. I had a desire to console by touching it but afraid of bite.
“The smaller one doesn’t bite but the bigger one is scary.” He said and handed over the striker.
There was a chirping on my left.
“Anna, now, both of them joined. The smaller is on the left and the other one is on the right. Right at your knees.” He said with excitement.
My mind went out of the board. It felt like conversing with the parrots. It was an unheard conversation. Mind to mind conversation. Unfortunately, I alone spoke.


“People want to rule others not only in the name of power but also in the name of love. They long for that love and try to dominate the other when they get. They love; they serve and ask the beloved one to follow their commands. Men do it to women and women do the same thing to their children and pets. Unfortunately, dear parrots, I am seeing you as victims today. I shouldn’t have met you. I shouldn’t have come here.”
He got another point. 14 all.
“You should have been flown by this time. But, sitting beside me. How did you feel when your feathers were broken for the first time?”
He started taking over me by getting another point.
15/14.
“How did you feel when you came here? Were you happy? I don’t think so. You wouldn’t have been.”
16/14.
“I don’t blame that daughter-in-law of the family. She loves you in fact she loves you to the core. And that is why you are sentenced here. But, she doesn’t know how to love. How do you feel when other parrots fly?”
17/14.
I didn’t move from 14 points I realized. Got the striker, hit the coin and missed it.
“But flying is your basic right. They shouldn’t have snatched it from you. How did you feel when the feather grew again? Do you remember that? Do you have memories? Do you think of it? I am able to understand your joy when you flew and sat on the branch of the Banyan tree. You would have thought that you got the freedom again. I was told that your feathers were broken again. It should have been painful. Very painful. I can understand. Vikki should not have brought you back. See! He’s happily playing caroms now.”
18/14. 2 more points to win for him. For me it was 6.
“How are you able to accept this horrible condition? These people are selfish even in love. They want to love other with upper hand. They want to be superior in that. They want to be superior over other feelings. I also wanted to touch you not out of desire but to motivate. I know. You want to be loved and not to be touched. You are scared when others try to touch or catch you. This time I won’t touch you. Don’t get scared. I love you and I respect your feelings. When I was holding you, I asked you something. Do you remember that?”
19/14.
“Where are your feathers? was the question. I believe. I strongly believe that your feathers will grow one day. You need not respect anyone here. You just fly away. If their love was true they would have respected your feelings. But, they expect you to respect their words.
Feelings should be more respected than words.
The daughter-in-law of this family will arrive with her baby. Wish her and quit the place soon. Remember, they may break your feathers when it grows again. Please be careful. I will come to this home again. You should not be here. I should ask them where your parrots are and not where are your feathers to you.”
20/14.
He won. The parrots chirped finally and ran. The game off.

2 comments:

  1. Wonderful! How're you able to write such a touching post as this? the first line of your conversation with the parrot was really good. Yeah, people try to rule others not only by power but also by their more powerful love. it's not loving by any count, instead it's possessing; yes, desire to possess others. good story on the whole. enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete

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