I saw a Crow
he was perched upon one of the upper most branches of the
Mayflower tree. It was afternoon and I saw
him as I settled on the sofa and looked out of my apartment
My home is in Pune, but lucky me, it is secluded from the
hustle and bustle of the busy, noisy city life. Therefore,
instead of the maddening, incessant horn of the vehicles on
the roads or the constant heavy, irritating noises from a
construction site or the deafening music from wedding halls
and rallies, I just hear blissful chirping of the birds throughout
the day. The abundant trees in our colony make an ideal abode
to a large number of beautiful creatures like mynahs, sparrows,
parrots, pigeons and as I discovered this time, to crows too.
Yes, the fact that
crows were also present here was indeed a revelation to me. Ever
since I moved to Pune after my marriage two months ago and settled
down in my apartment with my husband, I hadn’t seen or heard a crow.
Call it absurd if you wish but it was true. The other birds like
mynahs, sparrows and pigeons always made their presence felt with
their twitter and chirps and sometimes with occasional visits to
my window sill. But I didn’t even once spot a crow anywhere in the
vicinity. This was unusual because back home in my native Udupi,
crows were the most frequent visitors to our sprawling front yard.
They came to peck at tit-bits on the ground, to savour the previous
evening’s oil soaked wick from the earthen lamp kept in front of
the sacred tulsi, to quench their thirst from our dog Cookie’s water
bowl; much to her annoyance or simply to relax on the veranda, roof,
telephone cable, compound wall and any other place of their fancy.
Our cat, Bingo hated crows and would enter into a verbal fight with
them every time they gave him a slip before he could pounce on them.
Thus, crows were a part and parcel of my daily life then, but now
since I didn’t see or even hear them in the city of Pune, I missed
Then on this beautiful Thursday afternoon, as I finished lunch and
settled down on the sofa with a bowl of ice cream in my hand, I
casually threw a glance outside and there I saw a crow! Yes, finally
I saw a crow. I was so very happy. I know this is the most unlikely
event to be as happy as I was at this point, but trust me I was
elated. He was on the Mayflower tree outside my second floor living
room window. He seemed lonely. He kept cawing and jumped nervously
all over the branch on which he was sitting. It’s when I noticed
the slightly longer and more curved than usual beak and his red
mouth. Instantly, I knew he was a baby crow. Even as I was enjoying
a moment of bliss at having spotted a crow after a long long time,
the poor bird seemed nervous – may be he was afraid at having come
to alien territory.
For a long time,
he didn’t leave his branch and was cawing continuously. He
would stop for a minute or two, throw a confused glance here
and there and again start cawing. I turned away momentarily
to pay attention to the ice-cream in my hand. The flavour
was Fruit Bonanza and
it tasted delicious. I put a large scoop of it into my mouth
and turned back to the crow. This time he was sitting on a
higher branch. From there he jumped to another branch and
from there to another. I suspected he had difficulty in flying.
But he proved me wrong.
As I was still wondering what he would do next, he took wings
and with one elegant flight, flew to the next tree a little
distance away. This tree was hidden from my view.
I couldn’t see the crow clearly I could see his grayish black feathers
in between the thick canopy of the tree. Moreover, his melancholy
caw-caw told me that he was very much there.
I finished my ice
cream and soon the caw-caw died down too. I craned my neck to get
a better view of the tree to see if the crow was still there. But
it seemed like he had flown away. So there goes the crow I said
to myself. I’d finished the ice cream too. I placed the bowl on
the tea-poi and looked outside to scan the other interesting things
outside the window. Dark rain clouds were gathering above my head.
The always clearly-visible Sahyadri hills in the distance had turned
faint with only the contours of the majestic mountain being seen
now. It must be raining heavily on the hill side there I thought.
Just as these stray thoughts were racing through the mind, my eyes
caught sight of something that came flying in from the direction
of the tree hidden from my view. The next moment I saw the lonely,
baby crow in the same tree and the same branch on which he had been
sitting when I first saw him. No, it couldn’t have been another
crow. The longer and curved than usual beak and his red mouth were
too hard to miss. Caw-caw he went again and jumped nervously around.
Just then something wonderful happened. Another crow flew down in
great speed from over our four-storied apartment, went straight
towards the tree on which the lonely crow was sitting, circled the
tree once and flew away in the direction of the Sahyadris. The clouds
had cleared in the sky and the hills were more clearly seen once
again. As soon as the lonely crow saw the other crow, he too took
flight and followed in his direction. In the next few seconds, two
more crows flew down from over the apartment, circled the tree like
the first crow had done and flew in the direction in which the lonely
crow had gone.
Were the crows the lonely crow’s parents? Were they just other members
of his flock? Had he got separated from his flock and now that his
family found him, was he happily flying away with them? Was it his
flock at all? Lonely, nervous, confused and may be scared, was he
following just another few crows that came his way? I do not know.
But I saw the lonely crow go….I stared at the foursome until they
were just a speck in the sky. I’d seen a crow after a long long
time and I was happy.
Pavan - I hold a MS Communications degree from Manipal University.
After a years stint as a Lecturer in Journaliam at St. Aloysius
College, Mangalore, I'm now a housewife. Children's literature,
wildlife and radio documentaries are my area of interest. I write
stories and articles in the abundant free time that I get.