Saturday, June 01, 2013

The Lessons We Learned

I've had Pilly and Gilly for couple of years now.
While I had my doubts in the beginning, I'd gradually become fond of them.

When I despaired, I'd look at how happy and content they were.
I have spent many many hours watching them groom eachother with love.
Looking at how they would take turns caring for their eggs and later when they would hatch, I used to marvel at how God placed such divine emotions and roles even in the hearts and minds of the littlest creatures.

Today as I do every morning, I woke up and as I greeted them, Pilli didn't move. He was lying in one corner of the cage. Gilli by his side.
Pilli was dead.

They were my children for the 2 and half years that we had them. 
He has fathered about a dozen finches, survived 2 near fatal accidents and was the braveheart.

Pilli loved Gilli, with a passion that only God could understand. Gilli would sometimes chase him around and I'd scold her. Pilli was always the kind of father and husbands that human females would fantasize about. He would let Gilli take bath first, eat first and would groom her first.

Today, as he lay in to the corner, we saw Gilli was distressed. She would sit next to where he was lying down. Chirping, in a way willing him to get up. She wasn't used to him being idle and non-responsive.

To many people who don't have pets that love them, what I'm about to say might sound trite, even ridiculous.
When Pilli died this morning, something inside me died too.
He didn't call me Dad.
All I spent on them was money in buying seeds, toys and taking care of them.
They didn't ask me for 'their' share of money or my love. I gave it as we could.
They didn't speak my language, nor I theirs. But when I was next to them, they knew I loved them.
I never blamed them for chirping as loud as they did, but I'd miss it when they didn't.
They never worked a single minute of their lives, but still had everything they needed.
They never shopped for a single cloth, but were still dressed in the most wonderful way.
They never expected anything from their children, yet they cared for them in the most gentlest way I've seen. 

Gilly has been silent the whole morning. As if in mourning. For all those who say birds have no intelligence and hence can't emote or feel, our feathered children taught me unselfish sacrifice and love. In the tiniest most exquisite way they could.

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