THIRD EYE - Indrani Raimedhi
Birdling, we analyse too much. We must be creatures of spirit and freedom, staying away from evaluating too much. We must be like you, awakening hearts and expecting nothing in return. For, if one loves the other because the other loves him, that is not love but transaction. And transaction must be set aside for worldly goals.
In spite of everything that has taken place the past year, you have come. That alone is cause for joy, considering what we, humans, have been through. Dear Cuckoo, I first heard you late one night, when, unable to sleep, I lay in the darkness, travelling through my life. Then, you let out that little poem from your throat, drip by drip. The night was suddenly redolent with magic then, and I marvelled how the earth turned, unhurried, bringing with it the signs and symbols of a season.
Dear Cuckoo, it is all of us who cherish your coming. For in the song of your throat pours forth, like strands of molten gold, the memory of days we spent with loved ones who are no longer in our midst, the aching yearning of a lost, faraway childhood, and a gratitude that Nature still survives the depredations of man. But sadly, your arrival is unnoticed by the young who are deep into PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite Battle Royale, League of Legends and Minecraft. They play to win against the machine, sucked into a world where violence and cunning rules. Dear Cuckoo, they need dopamine, lots of it, which your sweet songs cannot, it seems, provide. There is nothing else they want to do. They do not see the green trees come to life. Confined to rooms, to screens, the Spring wind does not ruffle their hair. Family members are ghostly figures drifting in and out of their radar
Yes, this is the truth, my birdling. You are a balm to the souls who are grateful for this planet. And you, dear birdling, are a little creature, emerging from myth. In Greek mythology, Lord Zeus transformed Himself into a cuckoo so that He could seduce Hera, as you were sacred to her. Shakespeare paired you with Spring in Love’s Labour Lost. In India, you are sacred to Kamdeva, the God of desire and longing. In Japan, you are the companions of those suffering the pangs of unrequited love. Your wandering voice is, indeed, the source of many myths. Some believe that to hear your call before breakfast is unlucky. Good fortune would follow one if he hears it while walking, and a child hearing on the first day you sing will have fortune always by his side. Birdling, you will not see too many lissome dancers this year. After all, is it natural to dance six feet apart? Is it possible to seduce the viewers with an ugly mask covering the face? Can one twist and pirouette when one knows people are ill, some are dying, there is fear everywhere and nothing is certain anymore? But we love these dancers, for they have in it the power to quicken our pulse and appreciate that grace and sweetness in them.
But birdling, not all women are like that nowadays. There are toxic females who frame and attack men. We have seen the girl accusing a food delivery man of causing injuries, which were actually self-inflicted. Then, three women abused a hapless taxi driver over a mask and the dashboard camera revealed thugs in the guise of women. Alas, birdling, the more laws are made to protect women, the more is their sense of entitlement and this mutation creates toxic creatures bereft of conscience and decency. Birdling, we analyse too much. We must be creatures of spirit and freedom, staying away from evaluating too much. We must be like you, awakening hearts and expecting nothing in return. For, if one loves the other because the other loves him, that is not love but transaction. And transaction must be set aside for worldly goals. But forget about love, we lack in simple fellow-feeling these days. In a neighbouring country, the green-hued army is dancing the dance of death. Innocent men, women and children have been massacred. Thousands have fled to neighbouring countries. Our country, or rather one of its states, does not give them even food, let alone shelter. Letters of condemnation from world leaders warn the green-hued army. How many lives will it take for countries to take action? In so many places in the world, the common man is a footnote, a statistic, a victim of State-sponsored terrorism, famine, civil war, plunging economies and often, sheer neglect. A fat man in a suit and a funny hairdo called the virus Chinese and this gives anti-socials the right to bully, threaten and attack Asian Americans in the land of the free and the brave.
Dear Cuckoo, when you come in the Spring and tug at the heart, one is aware of our infinite capacity for love, the depth, the delight and the ecstasy of it. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, we are anointed with it and our faces glow in its blessing.
The sloping hill, the swaying trees, the scent of flowers in the air, all lead us to the path of contemplation. We try to know ourselves and the more we do so, the greater is the clarity. But there exists no milestone that the search is over. It is like a river flowing, been tirelessly, never stopping at a bank.
Dear Cuckoo, I have never seen you, but only uplifted by your song. You make my heart sing, and that is enough for me. I will not make the effort to trace your flight, capture you and bid you sing for me alone. I know you will come next Spring, and that is enough for me. Love withers when it is trapped by possessiveness. You are free to go where you will, alight at any branch, seek your mate. And here, in the little corner of my world, I will wait for you with infinite hope.
Dear Cuckoo, what I envy in all of your kind, every bird and beast, is that you, unlike us, have not been trained for ambition. We cover it with pleasant phrases, but we are rapacious in our desire to move ahead of others, earn more than others. We are bracketed by the goals which we achieve and implode into a mess of self-pity and hopelessness when the fruits of our endeavour are taken away from us. In our lingua franca, spread your wings means to aim for higher goals. We can’t figure out how high is high enough. That is why we are the most confused species alive. Welcome, dear Cuckoo. Thank you for the music.