Lessons in parenting from Sparrows

It was my father who bought a birdhouse from the NFS Exhibition Stall at the InOrbit Mall in Mumbai and we fixed it the very next day outside my bedroom window on the seventh floor.

To my surprise it hardly took a few hours for the sparrows to come checking out a brand new accommodation in a space starved city like Mumbai. It just goes to show that it is not only humans, but even birds need a roof over their heads in this city.

We were glad that our new ‘investment’ gave shelter to sparrow couples helping them in raising their little ones in a safe environment.

It was around the same time that we were expecting a baby and my husband and I would often watch how relentlessly the sparrow parents worked hard to first set up their new home and make it as comfortable as possible before their young ones arrived – just like any ‘human’ parent would want for their newborn.

We were humbled, one worm at a time the parent sparrows took turns to feed their hungry babies. These parent sparrows made stories of ‘sleepless nights and nappy changing’ feel so petty and small to would be parents like us.

It didn’t matter to the sparrows whether they had a boy or a girl as they gave equal attention to both. As parents they were a perfect team working unanimously towards raising their children into fine young sparrows. The parents never cribbed or complained, took turns in feeding their children and protected their little ones against crows, pigeons and common mynahs who tried to bully them.

It just goes to show that no matter how big or small you are, being a parent makes you so brave and strong that you can take on any challenges in life to protect your family.

Finally when our little one arrived and we brought her home, we ‘introduced’ our newborn to the sparrow parents. We brought her to my windowsill while the couple sat perched watching the baby with great intent as if blessing our little one that she too grows up to be a fine offspring.

Tanya Munshi
The images are a copyright of the author.