He did not survive. I did. I survived his death.
Little Krishna taught me a lot in his short sunshine existence.
1.No matter how much I tried to escape motherhood and its webs, being a pet-owner was a trap. I could not escape the tenderness, the protective clutch, the anxiety as the clock approached 5pm-seed- feed time, the flight of the mind in the midst of a busy day to envision his tottering delight at my arrival. Owning a pet is exactly like bearing a child.
2. How to stand your ground in the face of intimidation (from his own parents, no less).
3.How crystal clear animals are in their survival-of-fittest rules, as opposed to humans. Sultana did not protect her son, did not mollycoddle him.Would a human being be allowed to do the same, without facing censure and derision?
Ayn Rand says we are the only species who tries to numb and dumb children’s minds, try our best to evade their questions , try to smother their intellect. In effect, we try to dampen the mind, our strongest survival instinct that separates us from animals. Animals seem merciless, but their little ones become self-reliant much sooner than ours.
so is a human being a step-up or step-down the ladder of existence?
I became a grandmother when Krishna flew into my life.
I had cleaned the cage that housed his shell-cocoon , daily braving the fiercely protective beak of Mom Sultana. Then I listened in glee, 3 weeks later to the tiny chirp announcing his emergence from that shell.
He and elder Bro peered tentatively from their abode at me. Elder Balram dared to venture out first. Hop, skip, whirr and there he was…a perfect olive green dream.
Balram survived only two days! He simply refused to feed himself, waiting for Sultana to feed him as she did in the cage. Sultana resolutely refused to indulge him.
Balram had better plans in mind. He was a motivator. He would invest his precious little time on Earth to disappear into the cage , where little Bro Krishna still hid shyly. Or so I thought.
Balram would prod him, nudge him, repeatedly, till one day, Krishna poised on the edge, ready for his first take-off. It landed badly. Hop, skip and plop! Then I realized he wasn’t being shy.
My Krishna was handicapped!
A lovely powder sky blue, Krishna had a limp, straggly feathers, overgrown beak and gnarled claws. He waddled across with speed when he sensed his fav Kang seeds approaching. I wondered why he spent so many hours eating and still remained so thin; until I realized his overgrown beak made every bite a Herculean task.
He couldn’t perch on the bowl edge, so I got him low plates. Now he sat inside the dish to eat! One horrific day, I discovered him struggling out from the old water bowl, drenched and chattering because he aimed too high and fell in. His waterbowl too now became a plate.
yet, Krishna was a fighter. He scared away Papa Alexander(my vain conqueror) with indignant yelps. My Vet Shivani tried every remedy…vitamins, growth boosters, calcium. Krishna refused to heal, refused to bloom, refused to grow sturdy.
“He wont last long” she warned me at every visit. But he did.
Every morning was a nightmare for me. I thought I did not believe in God; but I still prayed every morn before I opened his cage drapes, hoping to find him alive. Every morning his hungry chirp demanded breakfast, his bright eyes met my tremulous gaze, his gnarled limp did not prevent him being the first at the food bowl.
Shivani shook her head, mystified. “I have no idea how he has survived so far. This is a miracle.”
Every day, the atheist in me genuflected before Hope.
Until…to b continued.