She wasn’t even aware of it and her world was just about to come crashing down. Everything she had built with her two tiny hands over the last five years would soon be crushed cruelly under the weight of things to be.
Barely five and a waif of a child, she watched the excitement in the house with affected disinterest. A few weeks back mother had suddenly disappeared from the house, after developing a bump on her stomach, which had started off as a harmless roundness. And now she was back with a wailing bundle, her grandparents, uncle and aunt.
There seemed to be too many people in the house. Mother was surrounded and it had been three days since she’d called her , her princess or picked her up or kissed her. All the corners of the house, which used to belong to her were now full of people, their sounds and laughter and worse of the cries of the wailing bundle.
She sought refuge in the balcony, her last escape. She took to spending her evenings curled up in one corner and watching the people go to and fro on the road below. Just below the balcony where a window protruded out of the building a pigeon had built it’s nest. It had become a fascination for her to see the helpless fledgling squawking to it’s mother as it brought food and water to it everyday.
She watched this for hours sometimes, some what horrified at the helpless of the tiny bird. When the mother was away she would sometimes watch to see if the bird was safe. She felt a strange sort of pity for the fledgling and also an affinity.
It was a sunny winter afternoon, and she sat basking in the sun. Tanned to a honey brown , but still content dozing off in the sun. She had built a new world all over again in the tiny space of the balcony. Her tiny bird, the trees and the tide of humanity ebbing and flowing on the street below.
The fledgling was flapping furiously in it’s first attempt at flight, the mother hovering about tempting it to a lofty spot just above the window sill. She felt weightless and air bound , as the bird took off from the edge of the balcony, and suddenly found herself in her mother’s lap. She curled up into a whorl comforted by the familiarity of that place and by the sense of a home coming.
She felt hot tears welling up in her eyes and then come streaming down her cheeks till she felt their salty taste in her tongue. And she asked her mother, ” Why! Why does the bird have to fly- far away, leave grow out of the nest. The one place, where it is so safe, why would her fledgling leave and where will she go ?”
And she replied…
This is why she flies , for she must live and for her there is no other reason but to fly. To drift and soar and be one with the air , to blend into the wind and to view the world as if from heaven. That is her destiny and she seeks to fulfil it. If not flight then death and she must choose between the two.