I am not sure why the sparrow with her plump, limp self is back.
She has been interrupting my thoughts.
She had flown into a class of fifth graders and smashed into the fan. She fell on a desk, surrounded by curious racing hearts and a range of screams.
I am not sure why I was chosen, or did I volunteer? The blue eyed anglo indian girl who was always the monitor, another girl whom i dont remember, and I, we were given the duty of burying the bird. We had permission to leave in the middle of class! A privilege beyond imagination.
A ragged rough copy book was her bier, we trudged down two floors and silently agreed that the foot of a tree near the grotto was the correct resting place.
Her bier was our spade, a crumbly cardboard melting more than digging. She lay on some leaves while we formed a precarious cavity in the hard and dry amdavadi soil. She filled the cavity perfectly. She was covered, and pebbles and flowers marked her grave.
Three ten year olds stood with their eyes closed, heads bowed, hands folded. Never having gone for a funeral, no tv, probably through films, we knew how to stand,in funereal gloom, adult like.
I remember thinking I should cry. I remember thinking I should pray. I remember thinking we have buried her so maybe the gayatri mantra will refuse to send her soul to heaven, the monitor had probably raced through 'Our father...'
I remember opening my eyes and seeing the possibilities that a sprawling empty playground dangled in front of me. The heart raced once more.
I remember thinking I am in mourning, so I should walk slowly, like in the movies.