It was about a week back. About 6 30 in the morning, I, Sai and Naresh met up for a sparrow walk around Thiruvotriyur market area. We decided to split up so that we can cover more in less time, go back home and get some sleep before going for our respective training. I was just about to finish my allocated area in the map when I came across a small street connecting two streets. As I entered it, I could hear sparrows chirping wildly. Just about 2 buildings into the street, in a small gap between two houses, I saw a sparrow hanging from a pipe opening with it’s right wing stranded wildly to a small iron railing. It was well beyond my grasp and I needed a chair or something to handle this hurt guy.
I quickly called up Sai who was some 4 blocks away, and he showed up within 15 minutes. As I waited for Sai to come, I just searched the neighborhood for some help. A Tata Sumo came screeching to the house next to the gap where the sparrow was hurt, and about 11 people came out of it, many ladies in that. It looked like, they’ve built their house and are stepping into it for the first time. They were so happy and they didn’t give a damn for me standing there in my shabby shorts and tee. Minutes passed. As not being a great people person, I just approached the guy who seems to be the father of the kids in that family and asked for a chair or a stool. When he asked why, I just showed him the sparrow dangling from the pipe holding for his life. He just asked me to come back after half an hour. Superstitious. He didn’t wanna start his new life in his house helping to save a life. 15 precious minutes passed. I couldn’t do anything.
I was very glad to see Sai around the corner, and we just decided to get the sparrow from the pipe. After few failed attempts to get over a slab just projecting near the pipe, Naresh gladly helped me and raised me to get onto the slab which was about 7 feet from the stony ground. The neighbor guy came back and just asked blankly
“Is that your sparrow?”
“No”, I said.
“What you doing to that?”
“saving it!”, I was pretty annoyed
“Okay, what you want?”
“We need a chair and a knife to cut the iron”, I said and he obliged to give us both.
After getting a bite from the sparrow on my pinkie, I cut the rusty iron railing and took out the sparrow happily but it’s wing was pretty much damaged. It would die if we just left it there. So, after bidding goodbye to Naresh to his training, me and Sai just found an old cardboard box, kept the sparrow in it and took off for Vepery Vetnary College, which is about 10 kilometers from my house and in the morning traffic, it took us about 50 minutes to reach there. As it being a Saturday, it was very crowded with dogs and their owners waiting for their turn for vaccination. We just took our token, and with the hurt birdie in our hands, we waited there hopelessly. It was well past 9 30 in the morning as we began to lose hope and we asked for an emergency service. As some people showed the way to the emergency block, the little guy just spurred as if in sleep and then remained motionless. He was just absolutely still. I just checked him below his beak, and could feel no pulse.
With our token still haven’t been called, I gave it to a lady who just came in as she gladly accepted it and we rode back to our homes, sad. Sai just took the birdie and left it on the way in the streets. We couldn’t afford to bury it.
Superstition. Bad luck. Less vet-care. Less awareness. And the annoying neighbor guy. All played their part in getting the hurdles in when we thought of saving that sparrow. Mainly the Vet-Care. With this big city, there is just one major Vet-Care Hospital. And the one which really bugged me was the superstition that the annoying neighbor guy had. Had he given us the chair and the knife soon, maybe that poor fella would have been living now.
Human or a sparrow. A life is a life and we ought to save it.
The only thing that still haunts me is that I said a “No” when that guy asked me “Is that your sparrow?”. I should have said a “Yes”!