The sun had not yet shone. But I was awake at the regular time. Maybe it was a long night, maybe I woke up sooner. The children were sleeping, and I mesmerized by the moment, decided to stay by them a little longer. The sun refused to show itself, and it was just dawn. I needed a little more sunlight, a little more brightness for my dimming eyes. Searching food has grown difficult. Time passed but the sun remained still, deep in its slumber, refusing to rise. Left with no more option, I got up, ready to go, for another monotonous day of my life. I had to go, and go fast, for the people rightly said, “The early bird catches the worm.”

After him, Life has been the same. I knew he would never stay, but love is not planned right? It happened. Those few days with him were heaven and soon enough, he went away. But going, gave me three beautiful children, the three reasons to live. Everyday morning, I flew, in search for their food, leaving them in the protective care of the Neem. He is a good being, whistles them to sleep whenever they cry, cares after them, whenever I am away. Under his protection, we happily lived a family of four. Content and happy, never wanting more. Stirring the dizzy eyes of the little ones, I bid them a goodbye, and took off.

Today something was different. Something was wrong. People were running here and there, and every of those iron circular legged moving beings were loaded with sacks. Shops were filled with customers and few even sold out. Now that was weird. In so early hours of the day, people were already closing shops after their sell. On the way, a bunch of sisters were perched on a high tree. I stopped by. On enquiry they said maybe, today was a festival, maybe the prices dropped. Their argument seemed valid. After all they were up building various houses out of wood, cloth and a funny white material, unexpectedly light. I had taken a few chunks of it, to the base of my nest. They are actually comfortable, and the children love it.

Finding food has now grown difficult. You have to fly a long long way, to the field where all the waste was present. And among bags of polythene finding a worm is really challenging. Two hours passed by. Seemed that again the children had to sleep hungry. Just as I was to leave all hopes, there beneath the iron scalpel, two worms emerged. The children would be happy, the worms were long and plump.
Lost in the search, I had failed to notice the sky had grown darker. Wind speed was a bit high and dark clouds were approaching. Approaching fast. Worried, I took off. The wind was opposite to that of my flight, and kept me slow. No matter how hard I flapped my wings, it was of no use. Wind was continuously increasing its speed and it had also started to rain. Now, flight was impossible. I took shelter nearby, in a banyan tree. Wind rustled its leaves but it refused to budge. In its shelter were also a few other families, and they were scared as anything. Then they said something that was well enough to blow my senses out. And I flew, with all my might.

Phailin. Yes, that’s what they called this monster. This is the reason why the sun refused to rise. This is why people bought all and everything they could. This is why the roads were empty, and this is why the wind did not slow. They called it a category five storm, the one that would be enough to uproot trees, break buildings and flood the entire city. Oh Neem! Hold on!

It took me three hours, I strained every minute of it. My wings were sore, almost numb from the continuous flapping against the roaring wind. The feathers were wet, from the lashing rain, stuck to my belly. And finally I reached.

There awaited a sight which I prayed not to see. Neem was in his last breaths, fallen with his arms sheared off by the wind. And beneath a twig, lay three crumpled bodies. Neem was wailing how he tried but could not save the little ones, how his arm gave way to the gushing wind and he lost his grasp. But everything fell on deaf ears. Everything had grown silent for me. Tears streamed down my eyes and I did not know how to react. My three only reasons to live were brutally killed. Nature had played its game. And the game itself was rigged, because when nature played, life did not stand a chance.

And now, submitting myself to the monster I sit, in anticipation that it will consume me too. For I will be content to be killed by someone who killed my life. Else, I will have to find some other way to be with my little ones…
Nature-1 Life-0