My book shelf needed a micro- cleaning as it was completely enveloped with dust. I felt pity over the books and note-copies. They might be cursing me for the plight. Suddenly, something fell over the head. Aww, I had a bump, it may be punishment for my deed. It was one of my very old note-book, I started flipping through the pages and interestingly I found my all time favorite incident.
The loud alarm that dragged me out of my dream, the clock struck 6 am. The window pane was covered by thick fog and the view outside was completely blurred. Unwillingly, I got up from my bed.
I was attending training and bird-watching was scheduled in the morning. So, I armed myself with the binoculars, bird-book, note-book, pen and a camera. Narayani river was the destination as it was the season of migratory birds.
As soon as we entered the forest, I saw a chubby Crested Serpent Eagle staring at me. It was just amazing. Slowly, we headed towards Narayani.I couldn’t believe my eyes, what a spectacular view it was! There were hundreds of couples enjoying in the water. Don’t get confused with the humans; they are the ruddy shelducks, widely known as love-birds.
There were about 200 pairs; singing, dancing and madly in love with each other. I watched them for long time. Sometimes, they used to sprinkle water to each other, flap their wings, embrace, play hide and seek in river while sometimes girl would show some attitudes in ducky style and her beloved used to quack to impress her. It was fun to see the aquatic lovers.
I was scanning the area with the binoculars, suddenly; I was stuck at a lonely, black and tall Little Cormorant. The bird caught my sight and something was drawing me towards it. It looked sad and silent. It was standing on a stone at the bank and staring at the love-birds.
Though I wanted to stay more but had to return back for other tasks. I was waiting for another day to see him again. I saw the same condition of the bird every day. I wanted to study his behavior and in course of time, I had already developed some emotional bond with the bird.
‘Hey Cormorant, why are you here always alone?’ asked one of the shelducks.
‘Umm, I don’t have partner as u guys do, that’s why!’- Cormorant replied.
‘Oh, poor guy, don’t worry. You’ll get her soon.’
‘Phew, I am tired searching, I have neither luck nor beautiful face to lure a girl.’
‘C’mon, that’s not true. You are not that bad.’ She giggles.
‘Really? Or you are just flattering’
‘Why would I? Umm, would you believe if I asked you to be my friend?’
Cormorant was very very happy and replied, ‘Sure!’
Since the very day, Cormorant and shelduck were friends. He was very happy. They used to chat and play for long time. The neighboring birds were really glad to see the transformation on L. Cormorant’s life.
Time was passing by and Cormorant had started dreaming future with the shelduck. He felt that no one understood him like she did. He was in love with her but feared to express his feelings.
But, one very fine day, he collected his courage to propose her in the best possible way. But, opposite to his expectations, his proposal was rejected severely.
‘How could you ever imagine that I will fall in love with you? We are completely different. What made you think that we can be life-partners? I am, was and always will be your friend but not lover. I am sorry. I had come here to bid you farewell. My hubby is waiting me; I am returning today. Bye!’
Poor Cormorant couldn’t speak a word but his eyes were full of tears. His dreams were shattered very badly and he lost his one and only friend. He saw her flying with her love, far and wide. He just watched her till horizon and even further. That evening, there was a huge rain with loud thunderstorm. The Narayani was restless. Cormorant wept like he never had before. It seem even nature was sad for him.
Since that day, he is sad and silent. He always stares at the shelducks with the hope that anyone can understand him well and love him.”- one of the Senior Steppe Eagles narrated the story to me.
I felt very sorry for him and my love towards him got stronger. I wish I were a bird then I would love him very much and relieve all pains that lie beneath his heart. Unfortunately, I am not. The only thing I could do was; pray that he would find his lady love soon.
Time and tides wait for no men. So, I had to leave the place but before moving I wanted to see him one last time. As usual, I went to Narayani with my binoculars. I saw many ruddy shelducks making love and staying warm in the chilly winter morning. I didn’t find Little Cormorant. I searched here and there but there was not a single sight of him. I was worried.
With the heavy heart, I turned back. I was really disappointed not to find the Cormorant at the time of departure. Suddenly, I heard a loud call of flock of birds. I was spell bound to see about 300 Little Cormorants flying above the Narayani. I had no words to express my happiness and you know what, my sweet Little Cormorant was leading the battalion with a cutie Miss Cormorant by his side. They performed their ‘Cormorant style’ which was far better than Psy’s Gagnam style indeed. Then, he came flying near me, touched me gently and flew back. Awww, this was the best farewell that I ever had in my life.
The pages were over and I found myself in the same filthy room with books spread all around. I am happy for the Cormorant as he got the love that he was craving for ages. Wherever he is, I will always love and pray for the happiness of my Little Cormorant.