June 2011

After the scorching, humid spell the overcast afternoon sky was a welcome sight. We rushed to the rooftop, faces upturned we looked expectantly towards dark somber clouds. They gazed us back with a passive expression as if testing and teasing. Just when my imploring and pleading look was about to turn into an accusing one a single rain drop kissed my forehead gently and then sloped down………..Ah for that gentle caressing touch……a blessing from the heaven above. That first rain drop acted bi-dimensionally….it sloped down filling all the pores on the way with life like a finger playing softly on the keyboard invoking the music, and at the same time the cool soothing effect percolated slowly deep down straight from the point the drop had touched me and the fusion of the feelings and sensations, coursing from two different directions was like a celestial experience…………as if a flower slowly unfurled it’s petals midst morning mist…….the soul opening up and embracing the priceless boons bestowed upon me………

We don’t really need to retreat to untouched, pristine locations to commune with nature. We can have that divine fulfilling experience even midst our concrete jungles albeit we develop and nurture a combination of acceptance and embrace. Acceptance of the place widens our perspectives, it allows us to see what is before us…..the green of tender neem leaves peeping through a narrow gap between two high buildings, the stately amaltas with a single bunch of golden yellow droplets swaying gently despite being entangled midst the mesh of wires, the birds atop poles and buildings, the strings of raindrops lined on wires, laughter of little kids jumping on the roadside puddle……………..or the first rain of the season.













The covered verandah running parallel to our drawing room is enclosed by the grill and just above the door leading to the drawing room is one tube light. Yes, tube light is there but it has never been switched on, the reason being on one corner of the rod is a permanent home of doves. The nest is there for almost more than ten years. This nest is kind of maternity home to dove couples. During this long period many couples have made it their home. Or is it the same couple ? they come when the mother is ready to lay eggs. Every time we see a new would be mother or father sitting there smugly incubating the eggs, we start waiting for the kids. After a long patient wait we are blessed with the soft cooing of the kids and protective reassuring voices of parents. It’s the beginning of a period full of hope and joy.

After few more days we are able to see their small unstable heads over the nest. ma and pa dove visit the nest frequently. Every time the wind blows with force, we are out on the verandah ready to do our bit to protect the nest and the kids but then dove parents have kept all the security measures in mind while building their home. Till date no wind or rain has been able to harm the nest.

It has always been two kids at a time and invariably one is smarter and stronger than the other. May be the stronger one is the elder one. One kid comes out of nest earlier than the other. They come down and start hopping in the verandah. Along with the parents we are also on a constant vigil. Once the sly cat of the back lane had crept in stealthily and in the evening when we came out few small soft feathers flowing desolately and some blood stains recounted the horrid tale of the irreparable loss.

We have been witness to one more sad incident. Once one of the little one fell down from the nest. I don’t know why but that dove parents have not repaired the nest properly before the hatching period started. They usually do that every time. The nest was too small to accommodate two growing kids. The tiny kid was hardly of the length of a finger .The body was trembling in short subdued spasm. Almost nine feet fall was too much for the small, delicate body. With the help of news paper we kept the body in the nest but next morning we found it again on the floor and this time it was lifeless.

Barring these two incidents,  we have always seen the kids grow day by day. Enjoyed the beautiful sight of parents feeding kids .The kids hopping down on the floor, taking short flights and then coming back to the nests always fills our heart with content and pride . And then one day they fly away to explore the world on their own way.

Just two days ago we have wished bon voyage to two more grown up kids and now the empty nest rests silently on the rod and we all are waiting for the new arrivals.


The comforting cooing, the soft hues of feathers and those round beady  eyes with tender looks ……..the doves  are a great source of reassurance and hope.




























pictures by sunder iyer