It is a regular morning. Your mom has cooked or is in the process of cooking breakfast. She’s obviously in the kitchen and doesn’t have the time to check on you constantly. So what does she do? She yells, ‘Wake up! Finish your bath!’ My household is no different. Our day begins only after taking a shower. And I thought it was just ‘we’ humans who gave importance to hygiene. Clearly, my knowledge about animals is less and it’s lesser when it comes to birds. I have seen animals especially the gentle beast (elephants) frolicking in water, flapping its ears and throwing water on itself. But birds… they never came into the picture until last month.
It was around 3 P.M. when I came across a family of myna’s gathering around a pool of water. At first, I thought ‘ah’ its just a myna (a common bird in this part of the world) and nothing great. I was about to move on when it hit me. It doesn’t matter if it is a common bird, it is a bird…a beautiful one. I stood there then and started observing their behaviour. There appeared to be around 4-5 adults and 2 young ones. It didn’t look as if they were thirsty because I could note an adult myna speaking in his/her language to the little one, watching and circling it, and sharing glances with the other myna (as if to tell its partner that ‘I got this under control’). I found this situation funny. Seriously! That minute, I traced myself to my childhood ‘bathing’ days where I would throw a fit to wash up. I would fight with all my might, with the annoying tantrums against my mother to tell her ‘Mom…I am the boss!’ Here, the youngster seemed like an Underdog no different from my past self. It eventually had no choice other than to quit whining and follow the orders.
After the family activity, the birds flew to a nearby sunny spot to dry their feathers and later headed back into the arms of their home tree before giving me their message – ‘We ‘too’ care about hygiene!’