In my final year at Christ University, our classes had moved to the third block which was in Birds park. A sober-looking building tucked under the girl’s hostel and surrounded with lush greenery that attracted over 53 species of birds round the year.
I hated the 500-metre sprint from the parking to the block’s main door because I was perpetually late to the campus.
Unfailingly, I would miss the first hour because The CU logic was that the farthest block’s door would close first!
Consequently, I always had sufficient time to spend with students from other blocks and the packed cages of love birds. I’d feed them leaves and tease them with twigs.
For days, I’d compare both the birds and I were caged! They were in a metal cage and I was in a concrete one.
With a minimum of 85% attendance and a startup focused on college students I was practically grounded in my University campus!
I remember when I audaciously interrupted a professor from entering the block because he too was late!
Rules were rules, right?
Nope, turns out CU logic doesn’t work that way.
I was suspended for a day with a stern warning and had to kill time till my friends got done. So, I was fiddling around the caged love birds when my sight fell on an unusual white bird.
It almost made me puke!
It wasn’t flying but hopping from one Matka (earthen pot) to another. It had lost most of its wings and its pale like wax skin was visible at random spots throughout its body.
I went through many emotions noticing that bird. Anger, pity, frustration and awe.
But that flightless bird grounded me.
Even after being ravaged, It was still alive and surviving! It couldn’t fly but was hopping. It couldn’t lovingly peck other birds yet was constantly messing around and having fun. It relished the grains and the leaves that I thrust through the square gaps in the cage.
That old bird was having the time of its life.
When I would be in trouble (which was almost aways!) I’d go check on the bird. It was thriving and so I’d go right back and figure things through.
I remember one day around graduation when I was brewing an audacious plan: To crack open the cage’s fragile lock and set the birds free!
I was calculating the logistics of this plan. So, I could get away unnoticed and the birds would be set free!
There was only one problem: I was beyond terrified that that white bird wouldn’t make it in the real world! Here, it was protected, well-fed and nurtured.
Just then Payal, a friend who was also late nudged me out of my deep brooding as I looked at the birds. She enquired what was I up to and I spelt out the idea and the dilemma.
Then, she effortlessly quoted something biblical that shifted the way I looked at the dilemma!
I don’t remember the exact phrase but it meant that if He can take care of the smallest of being’s needs, won’t he take care of me?!
It wasn’t the bird’s survival I was terrified of! It was my survival after graduation. I let the plan go, thanked Payal and the bird. It had truly prevailed as a wise teacher!
I resolved to not look for a job and instead to build something on my own.
If the featherless, balding and aged lovebird could thrive, Couldn’t I?