The Birdsong

It was an afternoon in June when the little child of six got her first Class Monitor badge. It was a proud moment for all parties concerned, but for some members of the extended family, the time of reckoning had arrived.

“What have you decided?” They questioned her mother over large sips of tea. “Will you choose your career or your daughter?”

In their opinion, this was the ultimate choice and the home-truth all women needed to face. Eventually, the mother chose neither. She decided to grow up again with her daughter, while pursuing a very busy career as a teacher, dietician and health expert for the little one, all at once. It wasn’t a loss, or a compromise, to have given up her corporate career. She had decided to do so for greedy reasons. For the peace she felt singing her daughter a bedtime song. For the gratification she received in teaching her daughter the essential lessons of life.

The daughter grew up to be a child prodigy and an angel of sorts. (There are times when you absolutely need to trust your narrator.) Aside from her mother, the grandparents had a lot to do with it. The reality of the grandparents, however, lent to sections of society another interesting subject to talk about.

“I thought they were your husband’s parents!” The tea party conversation would begin. “He loves them like his own.” Her mother would smile.

The mother, the only child of aging parents, had chosen to live in the house she grew up, together with a husband who understood this perfectly. “Shouldn’t you live in a house of your own?” She had chosen not to. Though, true to tradition, she had moved to her husband’s place after marriage, he had eventually been transferred to her hometown. They saw this as a perfect opportunity to let their daughter grow up amidst the grand love that only grandparents can provide. 

With time, the mother and daughter grew to share the birdsong on monsoonal mornings, the chill in the first flush of winter. They walked with the sun to new places, to see new celebrations. She taught her daughter the importance of travelling. They read to broaden their perspective, and she jumped with glee when books arrived on Mothers’ Day. She didn’t choose between the colours of the rainbow which was sometimes visible from their terrace. It was a better proposition, she figured, to bring them all alive within people around her.

A couple of years ago, the mother had taken fiercely ill. Onlookers had expected her to choose between bedrest and misery. After all, there was only so much that the womankind, fragile and weak, could take. Instead, she had taken charge of her life and chosen to shower her family with the love of a lifetime. She shared with her daughter moments that can never be forgotten, and protected her husband from pain by promising she would never leave his heart.

We still hum the birdsong together, these winter mornings. The koel’s melody, the confidence of the crow – you name it. My mother and I then become the voice of the wind, the thought by the window, the aroma of a new day. To me, she is all that and more, receptive to the world but not affected by it, attuned only to her heart and the people in it. 


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This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus.

10 thoughts on “The Birdsong

  1. This is a heart warming post, showering the beauty of love and affection on your readers and friends. I always believe that we humans across the globe form a chain of goodness and blessing. One kind action reach out to an unknown person. Heart warming, Debo:)

    • That is such a lovely thought Vishal! Reminded me of how we were taught that good deeds always come back to you and manifold at that. 🙂
      So happy you enjoyed the post. Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  2. A beautiful piece and humbled for the writer to share with us and not for one minute did the integrity of the writer come into question…flawless.

    Mothers are the angels sent by a higher source to bind and keep the world together. Such is the depth of sacrifice, love and affection within a mother that even if one began to measure and comprehend, it would be an impossible task. You know the sad thing is that when we now look forward, a growing generation doesn’t seem to have the time or a moments thought to tell their parents how much they love them. As I was growing up, a close friend once told me, “each and every day tell your parents how much you love them, each and every day”……when it’s all gone then all we have is our memories to hold onto, those no one can take from us.

    My advice to the world is, wake up, smell the coffee, build those memories, forget what you are chasing because it’s not worth it in the end.

    • Thank you very much for the warm and encouraging words. Really means a lot to me.

      I agree with you completely on how we should never miss a moment to tell people we love how much we love them. Life is too unpredictable to put things off for later. Mothers, especially, are loving in a way no one else can be. They are truly angels in this world of apathy. I will take your advice about keeping close only people and things I cherish, and let go of things that eventually don’t matter. 🙂

    • Oh my, hope the special day was every bit as special as only anniversaries can be. 🙂 Delighted the post struck a chord with you Shailaja. Bear hug. 🙂
      Haha, the narrator deserves a few good words every now and then for the hard work in telling the tale, don’t you think? 😛

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