Life reflections

The Bulbuls

In the month of February we saw bulbuls busy building their nests. They were busy from morning to evening. Two birds decided that the space between the tube-light and its holder, in our mukhamantapa, an ideal place. The above Kannada word refers to a verandah enclosed with grills. The grills are wide enough for the couple to fly in and out. We watched the pair with despair. The tube-light was smooth and their nest just could never have stayed there. They were busy the whole day bringing dry leaves and twigs. They tried to fix them in their chosen place but the material kept falling down. They did not give up for almost two weeks. We were worried and tried everything to stop them from wasting their time.

A few years ago two bulbuls had tried to build a nest on the rod by the side of the wash basin. I really did not understand how they thought they could build a nest there. They used to fly in through one window. I closed that window and they would fly in through another. For some days we did not open the windows. They gave up. But here in the verandah we could do nothing. My husband made a small bowl with the sheath of the areca leaf. We tied it to the grill, hoping the birds would like it. But they were not interested. We were worried if there would be enough time for them to build another nest. I knew it was no use worrying because we could do nothing. They have to learn when to give up and choose the next option.

In our lives too we learn from our mistakes. As a parent I think I must have rushed to the recuse of my children when I thought what they were doing was not really going to help them. It is difficult to stand by and watch our children take steps that we think may not be the correct ones. I don’t remember now if I acted thus when our children were growing up. I must ask my children. We must have; it is but natural. It is amusing that most of us believe we know better.

We take so many decisions depending on our way of thinking at that moment. I don’t remember the exact words but someone said that we learn whether our decisions were correct or not only after we have travelled quite a distance. And if we learnt that our decision was not the correct one, would we have the courage to take a new path, or would we keep blaming ourselves? In hindsight it is easy to be wise and all-knowing. All these thoughts came to mind as I watched the two birds vainly trying to build their nest where it would have been impossible for it to have been secure.

I wonder where they built their nest. Did they have enough time to build a new one? I will never know the answers to these questions.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”
― Richard Branson