On Diwali evening, a beautiful pigeon lost its way to my balcony. There were 3 little kids at my house who got very exited on seeing it. They screamed and jumped. The pigeon fluttered its wings in panic. But, blinded by night, and disoriented with terror, it only bumped against the pot with the withered tulsi. I drove the kids away and closed the balcony door hoping that in some time, the pigeon would find its way back out.
I checked up a few hours later. And found the pigeon dead. I picked it up and took it to the security with a weak hope that the dead bird would find an affectionate burial in their hands. They couldn't help. And I left it near the dustbin, to be picked up the next morning, along with that day's trash. I felt very sad. I affectionately asked the bird why it died like that. The only answer I got was an uncomplaining calmness of the dead.
That night, in wee hours, the thought of the dead pigeon visited me again. I thought how it would have been a glorious and beautiful bird that previous day. I mused if there would be near and dear ones at home waiting for the pigeon who would never come back. How would they feel when they learned of the inglorious death? How would they feel to learn that the corpse had got disposed along with municipality trash? Or was the pigeon loved by no one, in which case, being dead was also a homeless state? I wondered why it died like that. Did it get hurt by Diwali crackers, or the commotion of the bursting crackers and screaming kids scared it to death? I wondered what it may have thought of all this noise and fire: sports for the big and powerful; and death for the poor delicate creature.
I also wondered: how many pigeons die without anyone to mourn their death? With no ceremonies to mark their departure? No obituaries? How many beautiful lives are lost due to the splinters from the crackers of more significant creatures? How many beating hearts just wither away while the loud racket emanating from the sports of larger creatures goes on unceasingly?