Once upon a time, there were quite a number of big trees such as Banyan, Pipal, Blackberry, Myrobalan and Tamarind along with many other known and unknown plants on both the banks of a river. Very near the awful bend of that river there were quite a few huge Banyan and Tamarind trees. The large trunk and boughs of which had countless number of crevices and cavities. A large number of parakeets found their abode within those tree-holes, their readymade homes. They happily settled there within those available facilities. Those were their dear nests, their own homes.

In that riverside grove there were many other birds and different wild-lives too. They lived in their respective nests and habitations. Nevertheless, the flocks of parakeets were the most vocal out there. Notwithstanding all the varied birdsongs buzzing all around, the high-pitched-notes of the parakeets would conspicuously fill that entire vicinity. Other birds would bear with the dominant parakeets. At times they would fly in large flocks over the river and the nearby pastures and the distant hamlets.

One fine morning around thirty of them flew over the river, crossed a few villages and found a beautiful tree-lined compound. They heard sounds of some known animals and chirrups of familiar birds. As they heard sounds of their own kinds coming from a place very near to a big Karanj tree, they flew down towards that tree. Perching on the branches of that tree they noticed a place completely barricaded by iron grills on three sides, a wall on one side and a roof above. Some of the outer-kin flew from the branches of the tree. They sat on the grills of that enclosure out of sheer curiosity. The inner-kin were amazed seeing those outer-kin from such close quarters. The parakeets of the outer-world too had never seen other parakeets enclosed in an inner-world from such proximity. Within a few minutes’ time they exchanged their high-pitched-notes and introduced each-one to the others.

The outer-kin shared their freedom of flying in the open sky and their happy-go-lucky life in an around that riverside grove of huge trees. While the inner-kin shared their uninterrupted peace and security and an assured supply of food & water every day. Before the dusk set in the outer-kin flew away back home.

After that fortuitous meeting, those outer-kin would visit that zoo-compound occasionally to enjoy the company of those inner-kin. And they would remain engaged in busy high-pitched sultry tones for some time. They would enjoy their rendezvous precisely their umpteen kinds of mimicking sounds and cacophony.

A few months passed. Quite a lot of water had flowed through that river. One morning the outer-kin came to that zoo-compound. Perching on that Karanj tree they exchanged their conspicuous cries and caricatures. In that morning an interesting planning took place. Both of them, the curious inner-kin and the fidgety outer-kin, were desirous to experience the essence of each others’ life-instincts. They fall in with the idea unanimously and agreed to act for a well-thought plan.

An employee of the zoo came to keep food and water for the inner-kin living therein. As usual he would clean and upkeep the enclosure too. As he was opening the door, one of the outer-kin, pretended to be wounded, grounded nearby, and tried to seek the attention of that man. Absentmindedly he took few steps towards that bird. The bird changed its position further away. Once again he approached and the bird in distress moved with queer flutter. Meanwhile, some birds of the inner-kin flew to escape through the little gap of the unlocked door and joined the outer-kin on the boughs of the Karanj tree, while some outer-kin came down flying swiftly and entered the enclosure through the same gap.

That man in oblivion finished all his chores, came out carefully and locked the door. That morning the grandest flight of their lives was waiting for those inner-kin who had come out of their enclosed-world. And some of the kin of the outer-world remained confined within the cozy enclosure and happily gorged to satiate the easily available meal. As they reached that riverside grove, those inner-kin were done up with long stretch of tiring flight.

A few days passed quite happily. Neither those inner-kin who came outside nor those outer-kin who came inside the enclosure expressed any dissatisfaction. Some more days passed. Some of the outer-kin complained for having no much space to fly with their heart’s content. For days’ together it was too monotonous for them to live in that limited enclosed space. Thus, they turned unhappy. They stopped eating. The other birds living therein failed to console them.

A few more days passed. The winter was about to approach. The air around the grove consequently turned a bit chill during the late-nights. The river turned narrower owing to the less water flowing. One evening a big snake reached one of the crevices of a very large Tamarind tree. Seeing the snake all the birds started making a cacophonous noise so that the snake would retreat. But to their utter dismay, the serpent came upon them and killed a fledgling. And then the monstrous glutton swallowed the poor nestling for she hadn’t developed its wings and feathers yet. All the birds remained in a state of despair. Some inner-kin, who had come out in the world of outer-kin, they were cut up for witnessing such a scene of utter-helplessness. The panic of the serpent-attack got abroad among them. Immediately they wanted to go back to their safe zoo-enclosure. They stopped eating. Within a few days they had much fallen away since they arrived first out there.

The very next morning the parakeets came to the tree lined zoo-compound. Some outer-kin came along with those inner-kin who left their cozy-home and had come to live in the riverside grove. They all perched on the same Karanj tree and then all of them, the inner ones and the outer ones as well, engaged in their serious chirrups & cries. Those members brought up in the outer world, which had entered the enclosure to experience the life within that cozy dwelling-place yelled, “We want to escape from that enclosure as early as possible. We are sick and tired of not getting enough space to fly freely.” They found the taste of the food no longer good. They stopped eating. Slowly their health broke down badly.

After having the exchange of their varied notes of sheer necessity, they chalked out a resolute plan. And then they were waiting for that man. They knew very well, that he, one of the employees of the zoo, would come to keep food and water and also upkeep that zoo-enclosure soon. The outer-kin, perched on the branches, were very seriously looking for the arrival of that person with bated breath.

Everyone is liable to face some troubles from which the surroundings cannot save anyone. One has always suffered from death, sorrow, disappointments of various kinds including diseases. It is only self confidence and the absolute reliance on the almighty that can help one to get over these despairs.

The sun was about to set. The horizon turned red. Home-bound aquatic-birds were seen moving in celestial formations. Those members of inner-kin who had experienced enough about the unsafe outer-world finally felt very happy and content having entered back to that cozy zoo-enclosure, their home. While those members of outer-kin, who had just escaped from that zoo-barricade, were flying back home along with some of their kin. The gurgling sound of the flowing water reverberated underneath.

The flock of homewards euphoric flying-parakeets was mesmerized hearing the song of a boat-man below, which said,

“One bank of the river exhales and says that the other bank must be having all the happiness of the world…”

***

Note that the following Group verbs were used in the story::

[ bear with (tolerate), broke down (fall down), brought up (reared), came upon (attack), cut up (very distressed), fallen away (become lean), got abroad (became public), fall in with (agree with), done up (fatigued), get over (overcame) ]

 

 

~ Two Worlds ~

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Chandrayee Bhattacharyya
বাড়ি বাঁকুড়া জেলার মন্দির-নগরী বিষ্ণুপুর শহরে, জন্ম সেখানেই। বাবার চাকরিসূত্রে গুজরাতে আসা। আর তার জন্যই স্কুল কলেজের পড়াশুনা গুজরাতের কাঠিয়াবাড় প্রান্ত থেকে। বর্তমানে ফার্মাকোলজি নিয়ে পোস্ট গ্রাজুয়েশন করে বরোডা সিটির একটি এম এন সি তে কর্মরত। মাতৃভাষা বাংলার সাথে শিশু অবস্থা থেকে কখনই যোগাযোগ বিচ্ছিন্ন হয়নি। নিজের পড়াশুনোর মাধ্যমে ইংরেজি, হিন্দি এবং গুজরাতি শেখার সাথে সাথেই বাংলা বইও পড়তে ভালো লেগেছে বরাবরই।

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