Tribhuwan N. Bhan

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   Kashmiri Writers

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Pigeons at my window sill

By Tribhuwan N. Bhan

Every morning after getting up, the first thing I do is to feed the pigeons by putting some cereals at the window sill. But, if I have slept late the previous night and I do not get up at the usual time, I hear sounds of 'tick', 'tick' ... at the glass window when the pigeons strike at the glass pane with their beaks, demanding their breakfast. When I spread the cereals like wheat or jawari at the sill, the pigeons at once come flying to have their feed. Sometimes they fall over each other or have massive fights, catching each other's beaks and pulling each other violently, I try to separate them. These pigeons remind me of Mohammed Waza and his son Ali Katsur (Ali the blond), he was given this nickname as he was the only blond boy of the locality Chotta Bazar near Kani Kadal at Srinagar.

Mohammed Waza was a famous cook of those days, who excelled in cooking the well-known culinary delights particularly Tabak Maaz, Goshtaba and Rista. Being a chef was his family profession, besides that he was very fond of pigeons. His love for these birds was a passion with him. At his humble dwelling, he had erected huge wooden frames on which his pet birds used to perch. He would spend hours watching the pigeons fly away in formation and then return to their open air abode. Once all of them would perch on the wooden frame, Mohammed would make some loud sound and the birds would fly again in unison. This obedience to his command was the delight of Mohammed. He lived for that moment. Watching the birds fly away and then return was an addiction with him. He would indulge in this for hours together. This affected his health, particularly his eyesight. In the morning I feed my pigeons at least thrice till I am sure, they do not want anymore and they had their feed. In the evening when I return from work, these pets of mine return to the window sill. Though the windows are shut, how they know that I have come home is a mystery to me. There might be some telepathy. If there are any cereals leftover from the morning feed on the sill, they devour the same. Then they strike with their beaks at the window pane, demanding more.

Catering to their demand gives me utmost satisfaction and happiness. Some say pigeons bring good luck. Whatever it be, whether they bring good luck or not, they give me infinite happiness for which I love them. The early morning 'tick', 'tick' ... sound of the glass pane is more pleasing to my ears than any earthly music, as it gives me the feeling of belonging, which gives me confidence to face the ever changing vicissitudes of this murky world.

There have been times when due to the loud sound of crackers during festivals or marriage season, the birds are too scared and are not seen on the neighbouring trees in the morning. They are too scared to come to the window sill. It is a bad beginning of the day for me. Out of frustration, I put on some soft music by Shiv Kumar Sharma or Vishwa Mohan Bhat or Ravi Shankar. The speakers of the music system happen to be near the window. It may be unbelievable but soon the pigeons can be seen flying in one by one and cooing. I noticed this once. I repeat this whenever I do not see them at the window sill in the morning. Who says birds do not enjoy music? The legend has it that when Orpheous the Greek God of Music played on his lute, even trees uprooted and left their place to follow Orpheous. On Shravan Purnima, two pigeons appear near the Shiv Lingam at Amarnath Cave in Kashmir. People have a firm belief that these two pigeons are the re-incarnation of Lord Shiva and Parvati. It is this belief that draws lakhs of pilgrims to the holy cave of Amarnath. My firm belief is that the pigeons who come to my window sill are the re-incarnation of my forefathers who looked after me with loving care when I was a child. I am now reciprocating the love and affection they showered on me then, by taking care of these birds now, who come cooing to my window sill every morning.

Source: Milchar



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