Auto-correcting sanity of little black bird


His voice pierced through the humming of the bus and snatum kaur singing from my earphone.  Few heads looked up with mine, to see who is making the noise. We were sitting on the top of double-decker bus, which was making a steady pace on the highway to work.  Sitting in the front seat was the loud toddler in uniform, who clearly seemed different and special. He was repeating some gibberish in a familiar nursery rhyme tune. Sitting next to him was his father, who neither responded to his loud singing, or to the murmurs of fellow passengers.

He caught me looking at him and smiled at me and I responded with smile. He turned around kneeling in his seat to face me. He stretched his hands to reach and I extended mine. He got excited now, and started singing louder, holding my hand in swaying movement.  His hands and eyes did not coordinate, and he kept looking at the passing trees. Listening closely I realized he isn't singing gibberish but the actual rhyme in his own way. He smiled for every word as if he meant what he sang.

Shame ridden, I looked around to see if anyone noticed our interaction. There were only bowed head zombies with their earphones now delivering louder music. Unmoved by lack of audience he kept singing throughout the journey. He sang for everything, when the bus stopped he sang, when the sunlight and tree’s shadow danced on the floor he sang, when someone got up or sat down, guess what he went “lahaalaaaaa” in loud piercing pitch.

As if this wasn't enough happening, a little black bird hit the window of our bus with loud bang and slowly slid down. I am no special child expert, but I bet he sang louder and in disapproving tone. No one else noticed the demise of the black bird and no one mourned louder than him. Uncared, his father scooped him up in one hand and his worn out bag on another and got down the stairs of the bus to get off. I bet you can cut through the tense stares and signing relief as his voice went down.


It was complete pin drop silence, when bus started again.  Sunlight kept dancing with tree shadows, black birds kept flying high and people went back to auto-correcting their sanity.



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