Goodbye through the frosty glass
“No, Jojo may not be back for the Christmas cake, but he is surely going to be with his other friends, soaring up in the sky and enjoying the sunny sky their own way. Maybe he comes back again and surprises you with gifts from Santa”. My 3 year old daughter, Mansi – lays back again; resting her back on the sofa. She covered her toes and pulled the blanket up till her shoulders, but still keeping her eyes open just to stare the empty portico and of course, to shoot me with another set of questionnaire on her friendship with the baby pigeon Jojo. Yes, he was also given a name after quite a discussion – last night only.
Our house was closed for a couple of days, while we were away visiting her grandparents. When we came back, we happened to see pigeons had built a small corner in our portico. They used the old wrapped up cable wire as a strengthened wall for their nest and had already been blessed with two young hens. That day, the bed time story for her went about – a pigeon and a princess.
Since mid November, Mansi used to get up in the morning, come out of the bedroom and stand still next to the safety door, watching the old hens (parent pigeons) bringing food for their young ones. The babies were too young to yet fly on their own but we could always hear their aspirations.
While she used to stand next to the safety door, she could only hear the sound of baby wings, but, could never see them. After a while she used to come back to the dining table for a glass of milk and tell us all about what kind of sound she hears and mimics them back. She also had starting knitting her own stories around baby pigeon. No matter she could not see them directly, but she knew the biscuit thrown out in the terrace would surely reach the babies somehow.
Then one fine day, she saw a small pigeon standing on the portico fence, looking right at her. “Papa, see the baby pigeon came down” – A million stars glittering in her eyes, seeing her friend in front of her. She told him all the stuff she used to throw out for him and sound she used to hear when he was a small.
Last night, we discussed a lot about the baby pigeon over various flavors of chocolates and finally settled for the name “Jojo”. It was the name she had given way back to her toy, when her monthly birthdays were celebrated.
This morning, it was a bit cold and a little frosty too. Even the sliding doors to the portico had collected frost. Mansi did stand for a few minutes watching the portico but somehow came back to the dining quickly. “What happened, buddy?” – I asked her. With sadness in her eyes, she said, “Jojo is not there!” I came out with her, to see if the nest was still there. It was – but surprisingly there was no one around. May be they have left; May be they found it cold to stay in this “yet to chill” winters. May be they are all out in search of food. And all my answers were starting with “May be…”
It was still cold and so, I brought a blanket to the living room. Mansi and I both slipped inside the blanket and she started with her “where’s, why’s and what’s” – all bombing on me like never before. And like always, I was trying my very best to score on all, while she was looking out of the window to trace him somewhere, … anywhere.
I could sense the remains of an everlasting friendship, which probably had come to an end. I don’t know how much I could manage but after listening to all my verdicts on why Jojo might have flown away, she looked at me again, came out of the blanket, and walked all across the living room to the window, carelessly stepping over her other scattered soft toys.
She stood in front of the frosted glass pane holding the curtain from becoming an obstacle and whispered – “Goodbye Jojo, see you soon!”.