To me, life is all about the little things. I treasure every small lesson, memory or accomplishment. Right from my childhood, I have been thought to dream big but also appreciate the small things.

Gratefulness is the key to a peaceful and content life.

It is already day 11 of Lockdown in India and the list of things I feel grateful for is growing faster than ever. Every small thing feels like a blessing now.

Over the last few weeks, I have felt extremely grateful for the folding table that I have managed to transform into a workstation. I have set it up next to a window through which I have access to fresh air and sunlight. I am glad that there are no tall buildings opposite it. It also gives me a nice view of my parents’ home. Every day I spend 10 to 12 hours at this desk. I have decorated the wall above the table with some hand-drawn cartoons and inspirational quotes. It makes me smile and keeps my mood lifted.

My weekend morning routine includes an hour of yoga followed by an hour of writing. Today when I sat at my desk to write, I heard birds chirping – a very rare occurrence in this part of the city. Over the last few days, I have seen pigeons, sparrows, parrots and a few other kinds of birds fly around. On good days they even sit on the railing outside my window for a few minutes.

The summer this time in my city seems ruthless. Even with a fan on top of our heads and unlimited access to water and food, we are often left feeling restless and dehydrated. This made me think what the birds and street animals might be feeling. With everyone staying in their homes, they are left without food and water for days. So we decided to do our bit to help these poor creatures.

Karthik and I set up a bird feeder in our balcony. It took us only fifteen minutes to set it up. All we needed was 2 reusable plastic containers and a wire. Here’s a picture of the bird feeder.

WhatsApp Image 2020-04-04 at 1.41.40 PM

While we assumed it would take several days for our first visitor to arrive, we were surprised to meet her within a few hours.

It was a pigeon. She seemed to have come crashing down because we heard her arrival with a loud bang on the door. When we moved closer to get a better look, she seemed fine but was scared and tried to move as far away from us as possible. There were no bruises or signs of any injury. She was just exhausted. With the food and water at her disposal, we let her be. Occasionally we watched her through the window hoping she was doing well.

A few hours later, after having her fill with food and water, and resting her wings, she flew away. We were lucky to have witnessed her departure. The joy we felt is inexplicable.

While she rested we managed to take a quick snap (guilty as charged).

WhatsApp Image 2020-04-04 at 11.46.28 AM

Often it takes a good intention and minimal effort to help someone and that someone does not always have to be a human.

There is a lot we have taken away from these beautiful creatures – their homes, their source of food, sometimes even their family members for our selfish needs. Humans have taken (Read: snatched) more than what they are entitled to, depriving all other species of their basic needs. With simple gestures and acts of kindness, we can perhaps return some of it and save them while there is still time.

Do you have any stories of kindness and sweet gestures towards our friends of fur and feather? Tell me in the comments.

Stay home. Stay safe. Stay Happy.

Jai Hind.

Signing off

Ashwini Shenoy

Author of Shikhandini

Featured image courtesy: Photo by Johannes Plenio from Pexels