The balcony of my mom’s living room overlooks a line of trees. Each time I visit my mom, I realize that the foliage has become thicker. The neighbourhood cricket training ground – that was once clearly visible – is now completely obscured from view.
But the trees provide their own entertainment.They host, what we call, the Evening Gossip Brigade.
My mom and I usually stand at the balcony at around 5.45 p.m. Hundreds of birds descend on these trees. Crows, mynas, sparrows and many more that we cannot see. Squirrels also flit about from tree to tree, seemingly boneless.
By 6 pm, the cacophony starts. The Evening Gossip Brigade kicks into action. We wonder aloud about all the cawing and chirping. Maybe they gossip about their long day, the places they visited, the availability of food or the lack of it, general health issues, nest discussions, love, friendship, petty fights….!
Then again, if one observes closely, there are a few loners, who sit away from the Brigade, lost in thought. Is it age or loneliness? We wonder.
There is a lot of movement between the trees and the various branches. And slowly, as if by magic, the decibel levels drop. Another bird day ends. One by one the chirping birds quieten down for the night. Except for a few birds that are clearly outlined, the arrival of twilight casts many shadows and the birds merge with the foliage.
Now and then, a small chirp or caw can be heard, maybe little baby birds asking for their moms.
The night is upon us. We wish our little birds a good night and head indoors.