Last night, the one that dusks on Fathers once a year- being the Fathers’ Day, a strange thing happened. Whether by coincidence or by cosmic harmony i don’t know.
It was in Bangalore and at about 8 in the evening, a koel started its plaintive call. A call that was strange to my ears not only because of the timbre of the call but also the timing of the call. The koel’s call was a DISTRESS CALL. It was not the joyous one that is heard during the monsoon days.
Reclining on my bed, shut out all music and sounds waiting for the call. A koel calling so late was new to me and my mind sallied to grasp the possible reasons. The LOOSE SALLY OF MY MIND led to interesting areas. It was FATHERS’ DAY night and what does the koel have to do with PARENTING? The koel is the bird that fathers but does not PARENT. I had written a blog yesterday, quite trenchant about initiating new practices in the church with reference to FATHERS’ DAY. But a voice similar (to the link below) but high in pitch and reverberating rent the late evening air in the neighbourhood.
How appropriate i thought, that it was the Cuckoo’s (another name for koel) day. The koel, as we all know, lays its eggs in the nest of other birds and leaves the parenting to the nest builders. That the smart crow ends up parenting the Koel/cuckoo till the cuckoo starts singing, speaks a lot about the daftness of the crow. But life has its harmonizations after all smartness has to be checked by the Creator!
Was the koel’s distress call , i wondered, because his female had not come to roost for the night?
Was it because, the male koel was anxious that the female had been in some difficulty and calling for locating it?
Was it the call of cuckoldry, that the male was calling and announcing that his mate had found another koel to father her eggs?
Maybe like the Raven of Edgar Allan Poe, the Koel was saying, “NEVERMORE WILL SHE BE MY MATE. SHE’S GONE ASTRAY!”
I do not know, but it is strange that the Koel called plaintively and sonorously on the night of the FATHERS’ DAY!