There was a rustle in the leaves outside my window this morning. I turned to see this graceful white bird catching the morning sun that drizzled between branches. As I stood at my well-worn spot near the window, a sombre thought hit me.
This bird was free. I was not.
No lockdowns to clip its wings. No shops shut for it to worry about buying vegetables. It just flew to wherever it felt like. And munched on fresh leafy greens (full of protein? b12? It was too free to bother) and looked as happy as well...a bird on song!
Like all of us these days, the bird had no ‘lockdown-list’ to be achieved before nightfall. It had not planned to rearrange its cupboard, then cook pasta in a complicated pesto sauce, then clean the house, then start on French lessons, then practice Spanish guitar, or Bengal flute or Hungarian Harp or whatever, then make it for the online class on digital marketing, then try and form new networks on social media because apparently that’s the only way business can grow hereafter...and while I was still adding to the list, this bird just flapped it’s wings and majestically arched into the sky
Into the sky.
We could never arch into the sky on our own. However much Elon Musk might try to have us believe we can.
This bird just flew when it felt like. And rested on any tree that it chose. There was no agenda to be followed. No targets to be met. No impossible lists to be ticked off.
As I saw the bird fly further away, I realised that it moved to the rhythm of the light. Absolutely content with what it had. Never looking at the part of the glass that was not full.
This lockdown was touted as a time for reflection. An opportunity to press the reset button. To understand ‘real priorities’. Instead, it has increasingly become a period to ‘discover’ new things to do. To add to our lists. To reach for new stars (whatever that means). And finally, to feel frustrated because we cannot manage to realise half of these new ‘goals’.
Meanwhile the bird was a distant speck. While flying, it seemed least bothered about clicking pictures of the sky to post on Birdstagram. It had the whole sky to itself.
(The author has worked with Rediffusion, Dentsu and RK Swamy BBDO in the past and is currently running Rain 7.)