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Mitu—The journey to freedom


Mitu—The journey to freedom


                       The lush greenery, melodious chirping of birds, the cool breeze, delicious food that ‘Maa’ cooked and Rahul’s unconditional love for me; it all seemed to come to an abrupt end. An end filled with pain and meticulous suffering. Why God? Why me? Why do I have to undergo this torment. The left eye won’t stop bleeding and my jaws aching to discomfort. There was I, sitting all alone in misery. Neither does the mixture of turmeric and warm oil sooth my affliction nor does my hope to sustain hold me on anymore. I want to die and end this woe, but my heart is not yet ready to give up. It wishes to pull through even though I feel weak and drowsy. In this pain and agony, I still remember that special day when my life would change forever.


                     It was about two years ago on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I was sitting with many lovely young parrots in a pet shop. Mr Mohanlal the shopkeeper came up to me, “Here eat this chilly, I know you birds love it,” he said. The sight of the luscious red hot chili made my tongue wag and I couldn’t resist myself from grabbing and chewing it delightfully.


                       “Excuse me… I am looking to purchase a parrot. Can you show me some of the beautiful parrots at your store,” said a deep and crisp voice. I immediately dropped the last bit of the hot spice from my mouth and turned around to see who it was. Draped in an elegant sari and dazzling jewellery she stood there. Charming that she was, she flipped strands of her long lustrous tresses at the back of her ear. “Here take a look at this one,” as the shopkeeper pointed his finger towards me.


                          “Madam, he is one of the most desirable and special from the lot. His colour is bright green, greener than the grass, his beak sharp and red as a tomato. The red stripe around his neck resembles honour. His body so swift that would make the female species swoon over him.” said Mr. Mohanlal as I wondered what made him praise or shower so much of attention on me. He further added, “And mind you, he is pretty stubborn too.”


                           The woman laughed and said, “Well he is adorable, I would love to take him home for my son Rahul.” The next half an hour I realized that I was brought to a small cozy two storied home. I was placed in a warm corner of the house in my dainty blue cage. Suddenly, a grumpy faced man in his 50’s stares at me. He yells out, “Radha! Why on earth did you have to bring a bird in this house?” That very moment I hated him and wanted to bite him hard for scolding the woman. I sensed danger when he came close to my cage. He looked at me observantly with his menacing eyes, as he adjusted his thick framed spectacles.


                           “Maa, I am back from school. Can I get something to eat? I am very hungry.” said a good looking teenage boy entering the room. He then picked up a napkin and started wiping his sweaty face. I still can’t believe it, this young boy would go on to become my best friend. Catching a glimpse of me, he hurried towards me with joy in his eyes, “Wow, you are stunning, you look like a soft toy” taking me in his hands, he cuddled and gently stroked my head and body. There was something about this young boy that made me instantly like him.

                                 Rahul felt proud of me and would feed me guavas and lovely red chilies as he knew they were my weakness. There were many times when Rahul and his father would end up fighting over petty issues and creating a ruckus. It seemed to me that things weren’t so hunky dory between the two. Their relationship was weird. Very rarely did they speak to each other. His father would envy me. Every time Rahul would play with me, his father would try to pull me out of the cage to harass me or shake away my peace of mind by poking a stick at me with the intention to hurt me. At times he wouldn’t even spare ‘Maa’. He would yell and glare bouts of anger at her or create huge noise if he found even little extra salt in his food. ‘Maa’ was the first word I learnt to speak, hearing Rahul address the sturdy woman who happened to be his mother. She took care of me as her own child and made sure I was always warm and cozy in my cage.


                                    Coming back to the present, the cozy feeling had vanished. I wake up and my body feels all heavy and swollen. I feel my legs and wings numb. The rotation of the fan on the ceiling makes me hypnotic and feel like I am in a Trans. Rahul drags his feet and walks to the kitchen to drink water. I know that he is trying not to look at me but still wants to catch a glimpse of me from the corner of his eye. His state of depression and worry makes me much more restless. I know he has a lot to say and wishes he could have done something to avoid the tragedy but what could he have done. It wasn’t his fault. He loved me and never asked for anything in return. I still remember the first time I bit him.


                                  “Mittu! Mittu,” he whistled and hummed like a chime. “You are right now my most prized possession,” Rahul said with a twinkle in his eye. Before he could end his statement it hit me that I was named ‘Mittu’. I did like him for his loving nature, but the torture that his father undertook on me had seemed to annoy and frustrate me. That morning I was in one my worst moods. As Rahul pulled me out of the cage to play with me, my egoistic side unveiled and without even battling an eyelid I bit his hand.

                                 “Ooucchh!! Mituuu! You Stupid bird! What have you done to me?” said Rahul with anger and disbelief in his eyes. He pulled me out and softly bit my beak with his sharp razor teeth, to teach me a lesson. I sat in the corner and felt hurt and bad about what I had done to Rahul. He didn’t deserve to be bitten. I saw the scar on his hand that I had left, all thanks to his disgruntled father. After some time Rahul came back to me and removed me from my cage and kissed my head and beak and said “I am sorry Mittu, I know you didn’t do this on purpose. I hate my father and with a person of his irritable nature how can I expect a little life like to you to love him. I understand you were annoyed since morning. No matter what happens, I will always love you.” How could this boy be so different from his father? They are the same blood but he seems to be more affectionate than anyone else in this house. That day my respect for Rahul knew no bounds. “Rau Rau” he kept saying to me “Mittu Mittu, he added further.” I laughed back, “Oh! Mitu! I love when you attempt to speak.”


                                One fine morning, I saw him enter the room holding something hidden behind his back and I cud hear faint and tiny squeaks. They were three little white rats. Frankly speaking, they were a nuisance. They messed up the whole place squirming on their fast paced feet. No doubt they had tiny mouths and bodies, when it came to food, they behaved like hooligans and gluts. Stealing pieces of fish from Rahul’s plate they would sprint to their secret hiding places. Weeks passed on while the rats and their saga continued. They would crawl into my cage with their long tails near my mouth luring me to bite their soft tail. Unfortunately every time I would seek to bite them, Rahul would whistle and give me ‘the stare’ to remind me that I needed to behave well. There were times when one or two went missing and then reappear after few days. ‘Maa’ was finally tired of their antics and decided to give them away. I truly missed them and their craziness. With their absence, I once again felt bored and lonely.


                                 Suddenly my eyes open bringing me back to my present agony. The rain wouldn’t stop pouring. Lonely was just an understatement. I felt I was nearing death. Rahul holding me in his hands with tears in his eyes. “Mittu, you don’t have to suffer like this. God should punish those who are responsible for your condition today. Never had I dreamt I would have to see you in such a state. It’s all my fault! I should had cut your wings the first time you tried to fly. This would never have happened. I could have prevented it. I am deeply sorry Mittu” Rahul kept apologizing as his voice grew fainter and my head dizzier. “Please God, if Mittu has to live or die, I accept your decision but please don’t let him suffer any more pain.” As he softly pressed his forehead against my body. The evening grew colder and the noise of the thundering gripped me with fear. The heavy showers flooded the streets. It was a dull and stormy night as I once again stepped down on the memory lane.

                                It was about one year ago during summer on a sunny Friday evening and I was busy nibbling a piece of apple that Rahul left for me in my cage. I could hear sweet twittering chirps of my fellow kind. ‘Maa’ brought a cage in which nested four dazzling parakeets—blue, green, yellowish green and a greenish yellow. I thought that finally I found some new company and that too of my kind. The 4 hopped and cheerfully played in their cage while I observed them happily. At first I feared they would take away all the attention that ‘Maa’ and Rahul showered on me. To my surprise they poured equal attention and love on us. I was the ‘wise old bird’ according to Rahul. He expected me to keep an eye on the young parakeets in his absence. I enjoyed watching them dance, kiss, and cuddle each other. 


                              The cage was like my own room. I hated coming out. At times, for a change I would step out and explore the place. As my ‘room’ hung from a hook on the ceiling I had a good view of the surroundings and trees outside the window. Rahul was a nester. He cared for us all. Once when ‘Kaalu’ the blue female parakeet flew out of the cage and accidentally hit her wing on the ceiling fan, we all panicked. But it was Rahul’s courage, presence of mind, and determination, more importantly, it was his immense love for her that helped her heal and recover within a week. I was petrified thinking what could happened to him had he lost her that day. He was very much emotionally attached to all of us. It was strange, but he trusted animals and birds more than humans. I guessed he was already going through a tough time in his personal life, be it career or relationships. Every time he felt disappointed about something, I could feel his pain. His joy was my joy. We shared a telepathy. There was some connection between the two of us which even words can’t describe. When ‘Kaalu’ wanted to lay eggs, Rahul went out of his way to prepare a nest for her. And the best thing about him was that when he took up any task, he would get so passionate about it that he wouldn’t find peace unless he completed it.



                                  Life seemed beautiful and things were on track when one day, my cage happened to be kept accidentally open. The curious bird that I was, without thinking further I flew out and suddenly felt a bang on my right jaw while ‘Maa’ was trying to close a drawer. Before I knew it, I had rammed into the wooden cabinet. Both Rahul and ‘Maa’ wrapped me with a cloth while trying to get my jaw fixed. It was red and swollen. “Why did you have to fly out of your cage you naughty bird?” questioned Rahul in a soft voice. He further added, “Mom you should be more careful next time. Keep a watch on Mittu while you open any drawers and please remember to always turn off the fan before opening his cage.” His mother nodded and apologized for being careless and quickly fed me a fresh piece of guava to my enchantment.

                                Months passed by turned into years and just that way 2 years had passed by. Rahul grew up to be a handsome young man working at a reputed company at a good post. He too was as stubborn and egoistic as me, but had a heart of gold. This was pretty much evident every time he would feed the street dogs and cats who came near the house as well he would do anything to help his friends. Time kept rolling. There were good times as well as bad.

                                Then came the most dreadful day. ‘Maa’ was busy cooking her delicious chicken curry while Rahul’s father was reading the newspaper. I kept calling out ‘Maa’ ‘Maa’ as I was hungry. She opened up my cage and gave me a nice tasty guava piece and in hurry forgot to latch my cage door. I don’t remember what made me act so foolish that I stepped out of my cage. I wanted to just experience flying high but it didn’t strike me the fan was kept on and that too on high speed. I fled straight up with excitement and to my utter shock my head hit the blade of the speedy rotating fan. I lost flight and collapsed to the floor. I can’t recollect what happened after that as I was feeling dizzy. Though I could hear shrieks and screams. “Mittu!! Mittu!! Rahul come down soon, look what has happened to him,” Maa cried out with shock. I could barely see with my eyesight growing dimmer. I heard loud footsteps down the staircase. Rahul wept “Maa what did you do to him? Mittu! Oh My God!! Maa what happened? You useless people can’t take care of him. I hate all of you. How could you people even let this happen?” By then I was losing more blood from the deep cut near my left eye and I couldn’t even feel my left jaw by then. I felt that my end was near. While all this was going on, Rahul’s father hardly reacted and continued to be the spectator, while Rahul and ‘Maa’ ran around to prepare medicine for my deep wound. As they applied the medicine and wiped my blood away, I felt my body shiver and burn. Rahul never had the strength or courage to watch me in agony. He ran upstairs cursing and muttering foul language. ‘Maa’ kept my cage in the corner once again.

                                 Now here I am counting my last few hours to live. I don’t know what plan God has in store for me and I have no clue as to what destiny lies ahead for me. The journey has been a tedious one with share of cherishing as well as heart wrenching memories. Rahul saw me today morning and caressed me while he fed me water. I will certainly miss him the most. I know it was an accident and ‘Maa’ didn’t do this deliberately. She was after all tormented by her husband. I am going to miss the antics of the cute little parakeets and ‘Maa’s mouth-watering food. Maybe life wants me to gain my freedom once again. Freedom from the pain and anguish. I can’t take it anymore. My body wants to give up. If I ever gain a new life, I would always want to be a human so that I can fight back against wrong doings. So that I can be Rahul’s best friend, his defender, his protector. It’s hard to bid Goodbye but I have to when my time is up. “Mittu, Mittu” I keep murmuring to myself in discomfort as I gaze out of the window at the other birds, humans, and trees with the wind blowing gently and the clouds in the sky moving swiftly. Till then I hope that I meet some other Rahul and become his best friend—his Mittu!

The end

 Yeah I know it was quite a very long post. But I loved writing about this. This story reminded me a lot of my pet that I had. I hope I was able to ignite flare in your thoughts. Also, I hope you guys found the story worthwhile. I will posting more of these interesting thoughts right here. Meet you next time with another interesting post only on Thought for Souls
Mitu—The journey to freedom Reviewed by Indrajit Das on 12:36 PM Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Very nicely written. I feel sad for the birdie though :-(

    ReplyDelete

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