“A is for Artic Circle” Arjun quipped. ” E? Ok..hmmm..E is for England” replied Isha.”Now it’s D for you.
What my little birdies…flying across the world, are you? Renu asked the two of them.”We are playing the game ATLAS, Aunty. “That’s interesting. Tell me more about it”Renu sounded enthusiastic.
Now see, Arjun said England, so I need to name a country starting with D. If I say Denmark, Arjun has to think of a country starting with the letter K.
Oh I see” remarked Renu.
And yes, we are ready to fly across the world”, Arjun explained, as the two giggled and flapped their hands as imaginary wings after rotating a globe placed on the nearby table.
“That’s so cool” “Well come here, let me show you something” Renu told them, her eyes twinkling. Soon the kids were rolling down with laughter begging her to show her phone again and again. Sheela, Renu’s sister and them kids’ mom walked in from the kitchen to see what the whole thing was about.The kids just pointed to the phone and squealed.Now it was Sheela’s turn to laugh uncontrollably. She could not believe what she saw.Her sister was seated on her bed and a parrot was sitting right on top of her head. Renu was enjoying what she saw.. she knew what it actually meant, beyond the craziness of the picture.She was preparing herself to answer the volley of questions that was soon to follow.
When the kids and Sheela finally could manage to control their laughter, they began all at once..”Tell us, what is this”
Renu lived on the outskirts of the city and her home was surrounded by greenery, something that you can rarely find in a city apartment. She loved the fresh air and the peace that the surroundings offered. It so happened that morning she was seated on the bed sipping her cup of coffee while reading through the newspaper that a parrot just flew in through her open window and sat on her head.
She did not realise what was happening, while her hubby who could not control his surprise, however warned her to stay quiet while he could capture the moment. It did look funny of course, a parrot perched on her hair which did look like a messy nest then, but it was something very beautiful – the trust that the bird had that he was in a safe place and no one was going to hurt him.
“Wow”, all the 3 of them echoed as Renu completed her narration.
“Renu Aunty became a bird sanctuary Mummy,” Arjun beamed.
“Sanctuary? Well you seem to know such a big and new word…that’s nice” Mummy said.
Yes Mummy, I even know that birds come in large numbers to a bird sanctuary from places near and far and I also know another word ” migration” but I forgot the meaning. So did the parrot migrate to your home, Renu Aunty?” The little boy wanted to know.
No dear, but I can tell you about other birds that move to an area to get a better environment for feeding and taking care of their young ones.
Birds are said to migrate when they go on long journeys and shift to better weather conditions when it becomes too cold or too hot for them. “Will they not lose their way?” Isha queried.
“No they don’t and you know how… they are so brilliant that they keep the direction of the sun during the day and sometimes the stars at night to keep flying to the right place.”
” Without a compass?” Arjun watched open eyed as Renu described more about migration.
“Can we see those birds Aunty?” Both of them chorused.
The two sisters exchanged glances and smiled. They discussed something quietly among themselves and then spoke to someone on the phone.
As the kids waited eagerly, Renu announced, ” Get ready birdies,a surprise picnic to a bird sanctuary tomorrow where you will get to see and know all that you want about migratory birds. We are going to Vedanthangal, a lovely bird sanctuary near Chennai.
“Vedanthangal – here we come!” chorused the kids.