A Sparrow and its Birdhouse

A Sparrow and its Birdhouse | Sushrut Munje
Pic Courtesy: See-ming Lee

During the early rains, he came across the birdhouse, snug away in a corner. Quite close to the trees he loved, yet hidden away like a precious secret. Ignoring our inquisitive human eyes from nearby windows, he made it his, claimed it for his own. Accepted it without questioning its origins. Perched right by its side, every day from the break of dawn till the dusk, merging its identity with his. Stayed put, for he knew it would be worth the wait.

The would-be spouses came and went, ignoring his insistence that this house could be their world – their eggs, their kids and teaching the nitwits to fly. He chirped how it can be their shelter in the rain, their shelter in the wind, a place for the mother to snuggle with her children as the moon glowed in the night sky, a lesson in warmth, safety and what a mother’s love means. The prospects did not stay, for a reason best known to their little selves. What could my human mind decipher from their flitting stance?

He still sits there, everyday.

His faith in the wooden birdhouse is striking. This attachment, however, a reminder of his vain desire to live like the other sparrows, have sex, teach kids to fly and die. He lives life without doubt, firm in his belief, unknowingly stuck in the cycle of endless births and deaths. Do we ever learn to distinguish between sparrows? Are we taught to tell them apart?

Life & Death

Most of the birds live and die with the seasons. They react to the clouds, hardly ever fly above them, except a few souls we claim to be off their teeny hinges. Those who fly above the clouds witness the stillness of the sky, for it doesn’t recognize what games the time plays. It is persistent to the empty winds, the shallow cold. Sparrows cannot know the vastness, the emptiness for they are tied to the daily hunt for the seed and the things that come with it. And they die a listless death only to be born again. The joy of finding a birdhouse means the world in this little life – and it hardly means anything if they ever get to fly above.

And we sip tea.

We sit by the window sill, humans with all arrogance, discussing birds and their feed and their fluffy journeys through the trees. Mapping them, studying through and drawing conclusions. Judging life what comes through our tunnel vision. We sit like a sparrow by our birdhouse – a stubborn body, limiting ourselves within, highlighting imaginary boundaries between you and me, us and them, life and death. We sit like a sparrow, chirping till we die, chirping on how our life revolves around this birdhouse of ours. And dreaming of that one crazy bird flying off into the clouds, and above them.


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