Once upon a time, in a gnarled, wizened hole on the old, casuarina tree lived a parrot. Emerald green bright she would zip through the pink flower tufts.
The World never ceased to fascinate her. The humans their nests their noises their young. The ravens would murmur among themselves, “Doesn’t she know they hurt as much.”
In and out she would weave through the neighbourhood trees, the cornered terraces, the orchid hung balconies- she would whizz by other nests and snatch food from open gangling chicks. The weavers despaired the most, just at the moment when the knots were to be tightened, she would fly through it breaking it to stray strings and they would have to start over again.
She didn’t care what any of them thought, as far as she was concerned, her life was perfect even without them.
The hole she called her home, was a much coveted spot on the tree. The tree in itself was a favourite of all the birds in the neighbourhood. Young males would fight each other for a space there. Young females would count the seasons the elders have stayed there already. “When will it be free?” they would obsess with each other.
When she was younger, she gathered for herself such a fearsome notoriety she didn’t have to do anything out of her way to get her home.
Our story begins on a day before the monsoons were to arrive. Everybody was excited and chattering even louder, scampering about to make all the arrangements in time. Nobody wanted to be caught in it and they were definitely due for an emphatic monsoon. The old casuarina tree was visited by a tiny, bedraggled, starving squirrel-he brought with him the monsoon and a shiver he couldn’t shake off.
He was so vulnerable and scared, he managed to touch her selfish, little heart. She couldn’t help but offer to share her cozy, little hole with him.
They soon became the best of friends. Hand in hand they explored, every day a new adventure.
She began to think of him as an extension of herself- the two of them, a team against the world. He began to slowly come out of his timid, meek shell. His personality began to show, an infectiously vibrant enthusiastic one that too. He was so affable, not even the grumpy, sleep-deprived owls could hold out against his charm.
The problem began when the rest of the world started squeezing in between. They liked the squirrel, the parrot they barely tolerated some going to the extent of blatantly ignoring her. They would talk only to him. They would try to catch him alone.
It had never mattered her to before but now it hurt. She was jealous and sad. She felt lonely. She felt rejected.
He tried to include her but she hated the trying even more. They fought more nowadays.
She kicked him out of the hole, the other day, in the heat of the moment. He also lost his temper and told her how he agreed with what ‘they’ said about her.
They haven’t spoken to each other since that day. They haven’t been friends since then.