It was an honor when I was presented with an opportunity to spend a morning with an enthusiastic group of children at The St. Anne’s School in Palakkad, Kerala. A session that kicked off with a fun quiz, then gravitated to an interactive session to share bits of wisdom using write ups from my blog.
By early afternoon, I taught some, learnt some and had a big group of eager, happy teens (who forgave me for using their Physical Training hour) as my new friends.
This is what one lovely student of St. Anne’s Convent wrote to me.
What do you think?
It was a new moon night, a dark night that seem to make the crickets chirp louder and the countless stars that dot the Earth’s inky roof, dazzle and shimmer brightly than ever.
Mother and I sat under this dark canopy.
Breaking the enveloping silence I asked, “If you had a chance to become a bird, which bird would you choose?”
She smiled, a slow smile that 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 would you choose?” she asked, throwing the question back at me.
The answer was obvious.
“A dove,” I said. “A beautiful, white dove,” I added for emphasis imagining myself flying free on the expanse above. If I were a dove carrying an olive branch, then I became the embodiment of peace and by my own lonesome self, I was a white beauty.
Oh! I couldn’t wait to become the ‘dove’ of my dreams or would it be a white swan, gliding gracefully in the placid waters.
“I would choose to become a crow,” came my mother’s voice, interrupting my flying 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, switching into what I usually termed as ‘her philosophical mode’.
“The crow is not ‘bird brained’ like most of the other species of their kind. They are considered to be one of the most intelligent species in the bird family as other than appropriating time for life’s basic necessities and raising a family, they indulge in group play among themselves and others of their kind.”
“This black bird has survived and thrived among us in the city scourging 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 rapt attention to the wisdom doled out by Mother as the black-coated crow slowly elevated to the rank of a super bird, my pearly white dove clearly forgotten.
“Beauty is beyond just a fair complexion. 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 multitude of colors on the shiny black coat of a humble crow!
Shreya is a Grade 8 Student studying in St. Anne’s School, Palakkad.