News that today is being observed as ‘World Sparrow Day’ made me very happy and prompted me to post the following status on facebook:
“It is long since the sparrows have vanished from our house and garden and we rarely get to see them nowadays, that too when we move far away from the city; at some temple, dhaba or in the villages. I really miss these birds, which lived in our garden and inside our house too!
Observation of ‘World Sparrow Day’ and worldwide efforts to conserve these tiny, lovely, happy and super active house sparrows, amidst which I grew up makes me very happy.”
Reminiscing old times, I really miss these birds. Any given time of the day; from dawn to dusk, these birds were available and easily visible at our house. Their chirping could be heard intermittently. However much we tried to stop them, they found ways to enter our house and make nests on the ventilators and top canopies of ceiling fans. They moved about freely in the house picking up something or the other to eat, especially from leftovers on plates at the dining table and at the kitchen sink. It appeared as if they loved our house as much as we. They maintained distance from us but never seemed afraid of us until we were shoving them away. We and our children grew up seeing these birds every day. Mothers used to feed babies and small children by diverting their attention to the activities of these birds, which came very close to them for some food. There was a musical way of calling these birds in Telugu for the sake of children – “Dhayi dhayi Pitta” or “Pittamma ravay”. The birds living in the house sometimes caused nuisance with their droppings, their eggs falling out of the nests and sometimes the chicks falling out of the nests and then the birds accidentally getting killed by the ceiling fans. And outdoors in the garden their numbers were huge. On clothes lines and tree branches we could see rows of sparrows at any time. These lovely house sparrows have gradually vanished from our house and the city. Now we can only see them when we move out of the city to far off places.