The nightingale roused one early morning,
Peeked out of her nest into the greyish fog.
Sensing the cold air gush through her lungs
She shivered in bliss,
Projecting the infinite dews resting on her wings.
She cocked her head from side to side
And huffed in disapproval that her sisters were still fast asleep.
She grabbed the nearest leaf and tugged at it.
The solitary drop, the rain left behind entered her throat.
She gulped it down in contentment
And cleared her sour throat from the ardent song, she sung the other day.
Satisfied, she broadened her chest
And took in all the air until her lungs could stretch no more.
As if have found a new yet familiar energy
She sung to her heart’s content,
With her voice echoing up to the mountains at the horizon.
And just as on queue,
The sun peeked from between the mountains,
curious on whose melody shooed his sleep away.
He let his rays shatter the maze, the fog had created to get a better look.
His rays reached the nightingale’s nest,
Creating a golden mandala art inside her residence.
He hummed along with her.
Their song waking the whole word.
Pleased with the folk’s chorus,
She spread her wings out and dived into the sky,
intrigued by what new thing she might learn from the human world.
However, the sun wasn’t her only spectator.
Hidden from the nightingale’s sight, sat a hunter under her very tree.
Empty handed and tired from his hunt.
The nightingale’s voice had disrupted his string of snores.
Yet he closed his eyes,
Not from sleep but to enjoy her intoxicating melody.
A new feeling of love rouse in his heart.
But this blooming flower was also adorned by thorns.
The clinking of golden coins blurred his vision.
‘Aah! The amount of money I would make from this bird!’
He thought to himself and strategized for the very same.
The rain was heavy that day.
Lightening adorned the sky with patterns
While the thunder shook the earth.
The nightingale finally returned home,
Tired from hiding from the rain
And hungry with no prey at sight.
With wet and heavy wings she landed on her branch,
Ready to hope into her warm nest.
Just so, something golden caught her eyes.
She peeked down to see some scattered grains.
Driven by hunger she bee lined towards the bait.
Thanking the god for his generosity
But missing the devil’s play.
She was blinded both by hunger and fate.
As soon as her claws landed on the mud covered net,
The hunter sprang into action.
Though the probability of the bird escaping was nil,
The hunter caught the bird hastily,
breaking her wings!
She screamed and thrived in his hold.
Her voice wasn’t enchanting any more but disarrayed notes of distraught.
The pain was evident
But the nature’s instinct to alert the others overcame it.
She screamed for her friends to hide and foes to abide.
But was soon shushed after being stuffed into the devil’s bag.
She was taken far away from her paradise.
Body caged and mind at home.
‘A broken wing but not a broken voice.
A useless bird but a caged delight.’
Quoted the hunter.
He banged on the metal cage in rhythms
To get the bird to tune.
She was thirsty at days and hungry at nights.
But the demand for her never subsided.
News travelled, words spread.
And it soon peaked the king’s interest.
‘What is it about the flightless nightingale?
Who dares to have something that I don’t?’
The king demanded.
And soon enough, the bird was brought to his majesty’s court.
He ordered his best gold smith to build the most expensive cage.
The rarest and juiciest of the fruit to be brought.
And it happened so of course.
She was a fine bird in the hands of a fat cat after all.
She woke up every morning hoping that the sun would hum to her melodies.
But she was always blinded by the over reflected rays striking her golden cage.
The best of fruits never compared to the worm eaten delights.
The water from the golden bowl never quenched her throat from long hours for heartless singing.
She slept for long hours,
Finding sleep her only escape of reality.
And when such day while she dozed in the memories of home,
A courtier banged the cage abruptly.
Scared and alert, she banged against the cage harshly
And broke her beak.
‘A flightless bird without a voice?’
She was precious no more.
The king stopped feeding the bird.
She filled her stomach with grains given by sympathizing courtiers.
Sometimes at broad daylight and other times in her deep slumber fantasies.
Days passed and flowers withered
And soon the winter came.
And brought along a hope within the nightingale.
The urge to flee from the cold lands
The urge to migrate.
She opened her wings forgetting that they were broken,
Tried to sing but deaf to hear.
And blinded she took her flight,
Colliding with her restraints.
Again and again.
And dies realizing that she had sung her last song long back.