I turned into a fidget when my parents told me that I was going away from home for further studies. I stayed here with my grandfather and grandmother, my dad and mom and my brother and sister for all those twelve years. How cozy our home is!
Early in the morning, as soon as I get up, grandmother would give me a glass of hot milk and I would drink it sitting by the side of the fire place. I would do my homeworks then. Whenever I had a problem, there would be my dad to help me with a genial smile on his face. Grandmother would prepare such a delicious breakfast for me. After breakfast, I would catch my dad’s hands and go to school. I would go and report him directly if anybody inflicts pain on me. Then he would go and scold them caressing my hair. I would feel safe and happy then.
After school, I would catch the hands of my elder brother and sister, one on each side, as dad would stay for some extra classes after school. When I reached home, either grandmother or mom would serve snacks again. Fried rice or Milk and leftover rice or Roti or Makai bhatmas would be our snacks. Sometimes, there would even be my favorite snacks Boke Puwa, a special type of Puwa my priest grandfather used to bring whenever he goes to perform some rites. If I wanted more, my siblings would not hesitate to give their share to me. Grandmother would suggest me to go to play with friends then. We would play Dandibiyo, Marble, Hide and seek and Police and Cops till evening. If it got too dark my brother would come looking for me and I would go home with him. Mom would ask how the day was, what I learned at school today, what I ate after school, what I played with friends in the evening, if I squabbled or fought with them – everything since morning till evening. After dinner, I would cuddle my grandfather and ask him to tell a story. Sometimes I would fall asleep before he ended the story and the next day I would ask him to repeat the story from the previous day.
But I was due to leave the home next week leaving all these things behind. What I will have with me after a week were only the memories.
One day, I was alone at home lying down on a bed at veranda staring towards the roof, completely engulfed by those memories. All of a sudden a young swallow fell off its nest that was in the ceiling. It managed to flap its wings for a while but got struck to the wall and fall down. Feeling sorry for the little bird, I brought a chair, caught it and helped it back to its nest. Thinking the little bird slipped from the nest, I reached the same bed and stared at the nest this time.
To my surprise, the little bird again flapped its wings. Its siblings were flapping too as if they are going to fly. The mother bird came. They chirped and flapped even more. The mother fed them and flew away.
I got amazed. Their mother would bring sufficient food for them in their home, the nest. The nest was in such a safe place; no rain, no storm, no hot sun, no fear from any enemies. They can cuddle their parents and sleep happily there at night. They don’t need to look for any food to eat. They don’t need to fear for anything there. But when they fly out, they have to face extreme weather – the scorching hot sun, downpours, snow and gales. They need to be aware of their enemies. They have to look for food. They may even have to face stones fired from a slingshot and die in no time. They have to flap their wings up and down and up and down so many times in a single minute to go somewhere. They may even not be able to return to their home if they fly very far away and get tired of flapping the wings.
Despite all these, they want to fly! They want to leave their home!
Maybe they want to learn to fly. Maybe they want to discover the world; they want to learn to search food for themselves. Maybe they want to learn to fight their enemies; they want to adapt themselves to the harsh climates. Maybe they want to conquer the uncharted territories.
The next time their father/mother came to the nest, one of the young birds took an amateurish flight. The next time the other and so on. It was only that young bird which did not fly which fell off and I had helped back to the nest. Maybe it got hurt but still it was flapping its wings.
That was the very moment I too decided to fly. I decided to leave my cozy home, with no fear, with no uncertainty. I planned to conquer the world, and before that, I planned to break my comfort zone. Because I had already learned from those young birds.