It was a new moon night, a dark night in which the crickets made their sounds clearly heard out of the calm environment. Mother and I sat under this dark roof of sky.
Breaking the profound silence I asked, “If you had a chance to become a bird, which bird would you choose?” She smiled at me, a slow smile which warned me of the direction of her thoughts and her wise words that will soon add color to the dark night.
“You tell me, what you would choose?” she asked the question back at me. The answer was obvious. “A dove,” I said. “A beautiful, white dove,” I added emphasizing the words and imagining myself far above the clouds dotted white among them. Oh! I couldn’t wait to become the ‘dove’ of my dreams.
“I would choose to become a crow,” came my mother’s voice, interrupting my thoughts. “A crow?” I asked surprised. Who would want to be an ugly, black crow? There were more than a million of them anyway.
Mother sat up straight, switching into her philosophy mode.
“The crow is not like most of the other species of the birds. They are considered to be one of the most intelligent species in the bird family as other than taking time for life’s basic necessities and raising a family, they make sure that everything is equally divided among them. Also, an important bird of the Hindu culture, crow’s divine presence during ancestral prayers is considered as a good sign by the people. ”
“This black bird has survived and succeeded among us in the city feeding on our leftovers, cleaning up what has been dirtied and destroyed by us humans, becoming the lowly scavengers that keep our environment clean.”
I listened in great attention to the wisdom told out by Mother as the black-coated crow slowly raced to one of the super birds, I clearly forgot all about the pearly white dove.
“Beauty is beyond just a fair appearance. Beauty is confidence, the will to be yourself and most importantly to have a beautiful mind and become useful to the people and the environment around you.” “Appearances can be deceiving, my dear and fairness creams can only whiten your skin, not your thoughts,” she concluded.
On that dark night, Mother’s wise words made me see a mass of colors on the shiny black coat of a humble crow!