“The Bulbul Nest – Love in the Times of Corona” by Meera Kumar Menon
Care Consciously! # DEFEAT CORONA

It is not often that we find ourselves stuck in the fine confines of our home. Comfortable and cozy for some, desolating and depressing for others, we each have our own responses to this quarantine exercise.

While some of us are taking a much needed break, some struggle to make ends meet, and others are trying to make the best of the situation.

But how do we go about it?

It’s been years since I got to stay home for days indeterminable. But what could I possibly do stuck at home, I wondered. More reading, was my best guess. Early in the morning next day, i heard my dad speaking to a little boy who is also our village milkman. About 10 years old, he was chirpy as ever. “Ushchoolokke adachallo uncley” he grinned, happy that the schools have shut. Achan added to his morning zeal by telling him that the exams were also cancelled for the primary classes. I watched their fond interaction (all done at a safe distance).

As I take the vessel of milk inside, (careful to disinfect) amma tells me how my otherwise strict father mellows down to the little boy, saving for him a chocolate or sweet every other day. How the boy must be missing it now, having to stay yards away, maintaining social distance, she noted. On my way back to return the emptied milk vessel, I see him smile broadly and wave at my dad, making our day. Even from afar, his smile warmed our hearts.

Next to the door i see one of mom’s hanging garden vases, filled with ferns. There lay a small nest within, tells my father, sanitising his hands after reading the news paper. I climb onto the parapet to take a closer look, a nest! and to my greatest joy, three very little Bulbul bird babies, just breaking off their eggshells. While i was scurrying to take a picture, Amma warned me, “Careful Ammu, they might be photosensitive”.

Apologetic, I climb down, having already managed to take a somewhat dull photograph. Before I could get down the Bulbul parents had already flown in, reminding me of their vigil. “Another move and we peck your eyes out”, they seemed to warn. I shall admire them only from a careful distance, i promised the parents.

Step any further and you will forever be quarantined, the Bulbul mother threatened. I took her word for it. Walking back with a grin I realised that our Bulbul birds were standing guard at the door, this quarantine.

Things I would never have noticed on a busy day. The little joys of the comfort zone. There is so much to connect with, even from within, I was reminded.

By the time I decide to get back, mother refilled a basin of water for the birds to drink from. “We got a ‘manchatti’ (a vessel made of earth) this time, it keeps the water cool for them,” she tells me. I see concern, and compassion, little things we often miss to notice otherwise.

While we stay inside, maybe we could make the best of our time focussing on the little things, maybe a pot plant, maybe a person, all that we hold so close, and are yet so far away. Maybe this quarantine, will remind us to reconnect with the little things, remember and revive our roots.

I wonder how many days it would take for the little bulbuls to grow up, learn to spread their wings, leave their nest and fly away. The parent bulbuls wait, and the world awaits with them.

Stay tuned for more about “Love in the times of Corona” 😊 
With Conscious Care, Together we shall overcome!

Disclaimer: The opinions endorsed by the speaker is solely the author’s and not in any way endorsed by the Institute/Programme.