It all felt rather strange to Khukon Thounaujam. Finishing the assignment at Monipuri Museum, Ludo League - the online game, was the uppermost thing in Khukon Thounaujam's mind. Not playing all day, he must have fallen behind - he thinks; getting in the top spot won't be possible.
Crossing the Bhanugach Bazar (In Moulvibazar district) area, Khukon Thounaujam gets a call from a junior of his, Bikash.
"Dada (Brother), I sent you a photo in your inbox, check it. It's a bird. A dog was chasing it after the rain, it can't fly. I bought it home. What can be done?" Bikash asked excitedly.
Bikash started getting interested in birds not long ago. He feels a deep connection with birds. Khukon Thounaujam can understand that feeling.
Thounaujam gets worried seeing the picture. It is a Black-rumped Flameback Woodpecker. An array of worries hit him - "How wounded is it? Can it be saved? Where will he get insects to feed it in the evening? It is already a chore even in daylight; what was it doing all day, what did it eat? Can it go back in the morning without eating at night?! Or will it get weaker and die?"
Khukon Thounaujam tells Arnab to speed-up the motorcycle, and take him to Bikash's home. Arnab speeds up the vehicle.
Worried, Thounaujam extended his hand towards the bird, remembering the sound of their beaks pecking on trees. Their beaks are very hard and pointed; it seemed possible that the bird might peck and pierce Thounaujam's hand. He was getting goosebumps.
It sat on the palm of Khukon Thounaujam's hand for some time, blinking its eyes. Khukon inspects it - the injury is not severe, the right wing is a bit folded. No bones broken. It should be able to fly after a few days of care.
"Dada (Brother), take it with you," Bikash said.
As soon as Khukon entered the house, little Leo the squirre
l squeaked aloud, ran to the next room and peeped from behind the door. The little bird is sitting on Khukon Thounaujam's palm and looking around at his surroundings, exactly as it would do in the wild.
The bird got scared by Leo's bark. Leo thought the bird was going to hit his head with its beak and pierce it; Leo didn't want to come close and was barking.
Khukon reassured him and told him to move closer. Leo came and hid close to Khukon.
Animals never harm people if you gain their confidence. Their relationship of trust with people is very fragile, humans are responsible for that. The so called best of creation, humans have never been able to take themselves to that height
The bird slept with its beak hidden under Khukon T-shirt, Sometimes gently touching his stomach with its beak.
Khukon Thounaujam was afraid to move because that might wake the bird and scare it. It needed rest to get energy and get well quickly. It had to go back to its own world very quickly
Surprisingly Khukon realised he didn't feel the urge to play Ludo League. He was enjoying sitting quietly, with the bird sleeping next to his body. Even the slightest movement might wake it up.
In contrast to this glee, all the delights of the world paled into insignificance for Khukon.