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The Cuckoo and the Sparrow Series - Part 1

By G. Balasubramanian

One beautiful morning, a cuckoo was sitting at the top of a tall green tree, but in a pensive mood. A sparrow which was passing by stopped for a minute and asked “Oh dear, why are you not singing? You seem to be a in a depressed mood.” The cuckoo heaved a sigh and said “yes, I am upset because no one seems to be listening to my song.”

“How do you know others are not listening?’ asked sparrow.

“Well, No one is any where around. There are no followers to me.”

The sparrow laughed and said “don’t you know many people who don’t even know you may be listening to your song and enjoying from a distance?”

“May be, but then I don’t feel celebrated.” The sparrow raised her wings. “Oh, are you singing only because you want to be celebrated?”

“Not really” replied the cuckoo. “But it helps”. “Helps what?” asked the sparrow. The cuckoo didn’t reply. The sparrow said “Don’t bother to be celebrated, Be thyself” and it flew away.

A few days later the sparrow saw the cuckoo again in a different mood. “What happened?” it asked.

“I am unlearning. I am trying to change my voice and melody so that others could enjoy. “said the cuckoo. “Like what?’ asked the sparrow.

“Like the crow. How popular it is! Everyone feeds the crow. No one bothers about me. So let me also change.”

“So, you want to compete with others. You don’t want to be yourself. Remember, you will lose your identity.” The sparrow flew away. The cuckoo saw a nearby crow eating some thrown-out food from the garbage. Started wondering what to do!

Another day, when the sparrow passed by it saw a lot of colourful leaves near the place where the cuckoo was sitting. But the it was difficult to see the cuckoo. Yet, the sparrow made an attempt and saw the cuckoo a happy soul. The cuckoo said “Do you see all these beautiful things around me. These are the rewards and awards I have got for my popularity. Now, nobody cares how I sing. Yet, I am on demand.”

The sparrow asked “What about your song?” The cuckoo said “I have unlearnt”.

“But everyone nearby only sees only these colourful leaves and identify you. They still don’t enjoy your soulful song.”

"What if I don't sing what is natural to me?" retorted the cuckoo.

"That is your heritage. That is the unique gift nature has given to you" said the sparrow.

“What should I do?” asked the cuckoo. The sparrow said “Be Thyself”

The cuckoo introspected and asked “What are you doing to be thyself?”. The sparrow said “Well, I spend my entire time doing my little job, searching for my food, enjoying the nature all around and being a mute witness to all that happens around me. Time and again, I chirp, whether people listen or not. I am not bothered.”

The cuckoo asked “So you want me to be like you”

The sparrow said “No. Be Thyself” It flew away.

The cuckoo wanted to gather back its soulful voice. But it had unlearnt. Now, it has indeed a problem of bridging its soul with the mind… Most of us have!