सोमवार, जून 7
A strange guilt
The other day, I was watching my puppy, Lilly, eating and like always a bird sat on the roof waiting for Lilly’s leftover. Lilly doesn’t like to share her food but once she goes away to play, the bird comes down and eats some.
I usually sit there and watch the interchange between these two beings. It is so much fun to see Lilly being protective of her share and the bird being persistent to get a bit from it. Here in Puerto Rico, the tropical climate produces lots of edible living organisms for the birds and therefore this bird has no dearth of food but she likes to be a forced guest at our home. Similarly, usually Lilly has more than she can eat but she doesn’t like to share, at least knowingly.
As Lilly was playing after eating, the bird found a good opportunity to grab a speck from the surplus. Lilly and I saw the bird coming down towards the bowl but this time Lilly didn’t jump on the bird. Thinking that she must be tired, I waved my arm and chased the bird away. The bird flew away without the food, hungry.
A strange guilt penetrated in me. The bird must be hungry. As a principle, we never let anybody go hungry from our house and today I dismissed a hungry little bird from my house. Why did I do that? I did it probably to get appreciation from my friend, Lilly. I am sure Lilly was happy but how did the bird feel? Did she feel rejected, humiliated in addition to being hungry?
Getting humiliated is not a good feeling and it is worse when you are hungry. I know it because I have had days when humiliation and hunger were frequent visitors in my life. You can’t even cry properly because you don’t have the energy to do so. I remember looking at daal-chaawal (lentil and rice) in other people’s plates with desirous eyes, in vain. I wondered how could I do something similar to another living being. I was so disappointed in myself.
After a while, the bird came back on the roof and looked at me from above as if she was asking me, ‘ ‘how many times do you humans hurt or ignore a needy person because you want to be good in somebody else’s eyes?’ I got up, took a handful of food from Lilly’s bowl and threw it on the roof for the bird. The bird reminded me of the blessing of being human is to be able to share.
on जून 07, 2010