The Bird Flew Off
by Gitanjali Maria
They watched with joy and anticipation as their little three year old chubby faced rosy lipped daughter bounced around the bushes trying to chase butterflies. Ramesh and Gita had come with their little girl, Swetha, to enjoy a quiet evening in the park near their house.
Swetha was the apple of their eyes and they adored her. Swetha ran around the park playing and enjoying herself. Everybody’s head turned around in her direction as she sing - songed and went about playing. Elders around there smiled at her as she stumbled by where they picnicked. She was indeed a sweet kid. She could catch the attention of one and all by her cute smile and playful mischief.
She joined the Mission School nearby when she was 5 years old. Clutching her mother’s sari tip she walked into the class, shy and timid but soon to grow into a confident and smart young girl. Gita used to teach her back at home and help her with her homework, projects and assignments. Both mother and daughter enjoyed and fought as they pasted pictures on chart papers and made models out of clay and plaster of paris for her school projects. Swetha was a quick learner, sharp and bright and was the teacher’s pet at school too. She was also an avid reader, a good dancer and good at Sports and Games too. She won various laurels for her school in many extra-curricular and sports competitions and grew up to be a popular figure in the school and neighbourhood.
On weekends the father-daughter duo used to go trekking or riding somewhere and had a nice time out.
The delighted parents cherished every little thing their daughter did and silently and proudly watched their little girl grow up.
Time passed soon and she moved on to a different city for continuing her higher studies. She joined a prestigious college, where too she excelled and shone in all the activities she did. Her parents were sad that she stayed away from them but at the same time proud of her achievements. They eagerly waited for her to home for the semester breaks and the three-some family would spend some nice moments together.
She passed out with flying colors, did her post- graduation too and landed in a plush job in Delhi. Her parents were sad to see her leave home and settle in yet another different city, further away from home. They used to wait eagerly for her to come home during annual leaves or they used to visit her.
The little bird they had given life to had developed wings, wings strong enough that powered her higher and higher up. The bird was to leave the nest. The day had come when the bird was ready to build her own nest.
They watched with joy and grief as the apple of their eye walked out arm in arm with a complete stranger, who was to be her partner for lifetime, her mate in building a new nest, her companion and better half. They watched as the seed they had nurtured grew to be a sapling, a bush, a plant and to see it flower; but only that the flowers were to be somebody else’s though its scent would forever remain with them.