They come in the mornings
And sit on parapet wall or nearby cables, in search of their first meal of the day
They start calling us with their raspy signature voice
I think they staunchly believe in equality, as we can’t
Distinguish one from the other, either by their looks or voice
Yet I could spot a lame crow repeatedly, for whom claws at the bottom are missing
When they find food or we feed them pieces of roti,
They call other crows as if it was a feast; Their camaraderie is amazing
Some nibble and swallow there and others pick a piece or two
and fly away, may be to feed their progeny
If the serving is delayed, they keep on cawing their hunger out
Hope men too become vociferous to meet their basic needs

When one of their folks fallen injured or dead
Entire murder of crows congregate in empathy
And proclaim their anger or sympathy loud and clear
Their sorrow and solidarity can be ear-piercing

It is surprising that in Indic culture crows represent
Departed souls, to whom descendants offer food balls (pind)
On thirteenth day of death and on every anniversary thereafter
And if no crow appears to accept the offering it is construed that
Either they are annoyed or they have desires yet to fulfil
Their sense of ‘share and care’ is natural and a survival instinct
Wish homo sapiens to inculcate it a bit, to become better beings.

Who knows not about the legendary wise crow,
Which quenched it‘s thirst after raising the water level
Of the pitcher by putting pebbles in it
They are intelligent enough to recognize their image in the mirrors
Silently they proclaim to the world that ‘black is also beautiful
Brainy as they are and faithful for life to their companions
it’s unfortunate that unproven bad omens are ascribed to
these innocent creatures in some sections of society

As foragers and omnivores, they help to keep environment clean
For the birds of their size, their resilience, adaptability and communication skills are noteworthy

We have already lost cute little sparrows from our urban landscape
Let’s not loose these stark species which are often calm and brooding.

*Indian house crow (Corvus splendens) | Paintings courtesy- RK Laxman, a renowned cartoonist from India