Four months ago, I lost the love of my life, my pet dog, Chikoo. The heartache was unbearable. All the love that I was used to, was gone, forever. Dealing with his absence was exhausting.
Heartbreak, or loss of someone you have loved dearly, takes its toll on the heart. It takes time to mend and get back to its sunny, cheery self again. I found it strenuous collecting the pieces of my broken heart and getting through this alien phase. I knew for sure that I wouldn’t be bringing another pet to fill the void Chikoo left. How could I give his place to someone else? And, getting attached to another soul would mean going through the pangs of separation all over again.
My day would begin with remembering my dear departed pet, and end with his memories. There were times I would find myself caught in the tussle between my mind and my heart: should I bring home another pet? At least it would save me from feeling lonely. But, what if I am not able to show them the love I did to Chikoo?
And, one day, out of the blue, hubby brought home a parakeet. A bird?! I was astonished. Why? Oh, why, did he have to give in to his impulses? Why couldn’t he have conferred with me at least once before bringing home the bird? I was already finding it difficult dealing with all the confusion, and now I had to deal with this new arrival! He was finding it difficult to deal with the void Chikoo’s passing had left, and, so he got home this bird, was his reply.
A dog and a bird are as different as chalk and cheese. The dog being the cheese – gooey and soft, and oh, so lovely – and the bird being the chalk – as emotionless as the piece of stationary. Or so I thought. Because, each time we tried to feed it, it would shrink away in fear, or try to peck at our fingers! I felt it may have had a traumatic experience with humans in the pet shop. Or, it may be in need of some time to get adjusted to its new environment.
But, even after three months, the situation had not improved. I, too, had not tried to bond with him, or her. We couldn’t even make out its gender! I did not want to get attached to anybody all over again. Everything I did for the bird, was done mechanically, without investing any emotions.
Until, I began ‘talking’ to it, it being the only other soul in the house all day. Not that I would have heart to heart conversations with it, but I would just say things to it to hear it respond, “Eh?” It sounded cute. Moreover, I really don’t remember what had overtaken me.
And, one fine day last week, as I sat beside its cage, reading a book, it hopped over from its little stool ( its cage is placed on a stool and the door of the cage is open for the bird to move about freely) to mine. I just watched silently, in surprise, as it then snuggled against my back, and went off to sleep! it was seeking from me the warmth it had missed out on all these months!
In a matter of days, he had moved on to perching on my shoulders, nibbling at my neck or my ears and eating from my dinner plate. And, I had moved on from referring to the bird as “it”, to “he”. In short, the little birdie had found its mama, and I had found my Chikoo, all over again.
I remember this quote I read sometime ago:
“All the love that you give away, will one day find its way back to you!”
He loves to lean on my shoulder and chat with me in ‘parakeetese’. We hold deep conversations, he and I. And, when he is tired and sleepy after all the activity he indulges in, he hops on to my lap, nestles in my armpit and goes off to sleep. He is fond of all the stuff Chikoo was fond off. He, in fact, displays traits that were so typically Chikoo! I believe that my Chikoo is back. Maybe, his soul took three months to find its way to the bird, and that is why it took me three months to bond with the bird.
Silly, emotional me!
I am aware that this guy, too, will be gone some day. That’s what happens, isn’t it? People enter our life, touch our heart and move away when their time in our life is up. Saddening, but true. But, that’s okay. I am strengthening my heart, making myself resilient to the changing nature of the world.
Oh, did I tell you, I call him, Cookie, which, at times, changes to Chikky, which was another name for Chikoo! And, so often, he doesn’t respond to, “Hey, Cookie…!”, but definitely does to, “Hey, Chikky…!”
*Linking this post to Friday Reflections, at Write Tribe.
The prompt for today was the 25th word on the 25th page of the book we are reading presently. And, the word I found was ‘found‘!