Posted on 1st Apr, 2015: You are probably wondering why you don’t see me anymore. My buddies and I used to be around all the time – on every branch of every tree in every garden of every city. Singing songs and having a good time. I bet you can find us in some of those old family photographs too. Perhaps perched on a branch, next to the chrysanthemums or the gulmohar tree.
But then, all of a sudden, we disappeared. No goodbye, no see you later. Just gone. Look, we know you’ve noticed it. We also know how much you miss feeding us and having us around your birdbath. I’m sure your cats and dogs miss us too. They have no one to chase out of their gardens any more. Must be so boring for them to sit around and not have much to do.
I’m here to tell you that I hear you. That’s the reason I even thought I’d stop by and speak to you on behalf of my entire tribe and tell you what’s really going on. First and foremost, let me assure you that we didn’t disappear overnight. We didn’t abandon you and your cities because it gave us some sort of sadistic pleasure. Neither are we trying to play any mind games here, just to be clear.
Why speak now, you ask? Well, it’s because few days ago I saw big pictures of ours being put up across the city, for a minute I thought that perhaps the real Jack Sparrow finally got his movie break (he is my cousin who has a nest in a movie hall) but then I overheard people talking about a ‘World Sparrow Day’ – a day to raise awareness about our dwindling numbers. Well I am glad that you humans are talking about us. In fact, I learnt from uncle up north that one of the big city there, the one with lots of red sandstone structures we all love so much (you guys call it Delhi perhaps?) - has even declared us as their State Bird! Can you believe it?
So what happened to us, you ask? Why you don’t see us around anymore? Well let me tell you.
The simple answer is those fumes coming out of big metal animals you humans move around in (I am told you call them vehicles). There are just so many of them around these days and why these vehicles can’t poop like other normal animals, don’t they know that their fumes are killing us all! And what’s with these new places that you are building to live, why are they so shiny? They are almost like another sun right in our path, many of us simply drop out of air due to sheer heat these shiny building generate – wasn’t one sun enough for you?
My grandfather used to reminisce about times when the cities had so much open space with lots of trees and parks, we used to get plenty of food at such places but now all I see is space for your vehicles. Your old houses provided us with plenty of nooks and corners to build nests and raise our families, I was born in one such house, but in these new houses one simply can’t find a place to build nest – you guys have done everything possible to make us feel unwelcomed. You even put glass shards on any surface where we can sit and rest for some time. I have lost so many friends who just wanted to rest for a few minutes and did not notice the glass shards jutting out – why can’t you humans share even a little space with us?
Thankfully there are some good humans who I see leaving water and seeds for us to eat. Some of them have even hung boxes in their houses where we can nest.If we have survived in your cities it is because of kindness of such people!
And it is not only your cities, even when we move to villages where the buildings are still better and fewer vehicles spewing black fumes there is so much use of that white smoke in fields, it not only chokes us - it also kills all those worms we really relish so much. You know if you don’t spray that fume and let us feast on those worms, we promise that you will not need to spray to get rid of them – we will eat them all!
My wife and I have been trying to raise a family but every time we try our eggs hatch prematurely.I am told this is also because of those white fumes you humans have been using in the fields. Don’t you think that ‘A World Sparrow Day’ would be useless if we are not even able to raise our next generation?
You see, we are humble birds. Tiny too. So when there’s not enough food, the bigger and more aggressive birds are easily able to push us away. That’s what’s happening now. We are being pushed out of our cities that we call home. That’s why you don’t see me outside your window anymore and whoever is left is looking for new place to start all over again.
It’s hard to start all over again. It’s sad too. But it’s not all over yet. We will come back if we find enough food and fresh air to breathe. But the way things are, I wonder if that will ever happen? Do you think that will ever happen?