Monday Sep 03, 2018
It was late at night, I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth getting ready for bed, that my husband started banging the bathroom door. ‘Stop I just put the kids to sleep, you’re waking them up. What’s wrong ?!’ I whispered irritatedly as I came out.
‘Someone found Peeka’, he said excitedly.
‘Wait. Really? Where? How do you know?’ I bombarded him with questions in reply.
‘Saw it here on the Nextdoor app someone put up an ad for pet bird found. This is our Peeka. She’s still alive. They’re looking for the owners.’ he said.
We’re a growing family of nine that includes myself, my loving husband Arham, our two wonderful boys - Big and Little, our two goldfish - Goldie and Scarlet, our two birdies - Peeka & Boo and our Baby Turtle - Allahditta.
Last Sunday we were enjoying family time in our backyard eating samosa and sipping on cardamom chai, that Little pushed Peeka and Boo’s cage. The cage fell on the grass and broke. Peeka and Boo were quick to fly away. We watched them go helplessly and stood there shocked for few minutes trying to believe what we saw.
Big is seven hence he understood the gravity of our loss. We, on the other hand, carefully said nothing that would further upset the kids. ‘It happens guys. Now let’s hurry up, pick up the cage and put some celery and cilantro in there. Maybe they will fly back in to eat that’, I strategically put my positive parenting skills at work and availed the hands-on opportunity to teach them life skill as to how we rationally deal with the situation in times of sheer despair, by not letting the negative feeling of disappointment and emotions kick in and take over. Instead taking remedial measure that would either prevent further damage or as in our case undo the damage.
‘But Ma do the birds usually come back home? How will they know which one is our house?’ Big questioned inquisitively while setting up the cage.
‘Let’s pray they do’, Arham jumped in the conversation and replied on my behalf.
The next two days were really hard for our family as we waited for Peeka and Boo to fly back home while praying for their survival. Until someone in our neighbourhood found Peeka. Arham saw the ad and we quickly connected with the gentleman who graciously took time to post the ad on behalf of his neighbour, who had rescued our Peeka. Soon the thread turned into a chain of people commenting and keeping each other updated. Our neighbours were on a mission to find Peeka’s family.
The next day I got a call from the daughter of the gentleman who had our bird and we had connected with. She said her dad was out running errands and had asked her to hand us our bird. We arrived at their house at the meetup time. There we saw a huge moving box on the walkway with posters on all four sides that read, ’Found Pet Bird. Describe it and you can have it’.
‘He did so much to find us’, I said. By now we were already amazed with the kindness we’ve encountered all along from people in our neighbourhood, none of them were Muslim. We thought of what great lesson our religion Islam has given on mercy, honesty, kindness, rights of animals, treatment of neighbours and how little of it we care to follow.
‘Will we ever go out of the way to this great extent just to get a tiny bird home to her family?’ I thought in my head.
‘I’m glad we’re able to find you. I have two kids too, I understand how it is. Oh and you may keep the container, it will be easier for transporting and the bag of food too. Hope you find Boo soon’ the daughter said while handing us our Peeka with a smile.
Overwhelmed with gratitude I said ‘Thank you so much, this means the world to my kids. Oh and here’s a little Thank You card for your dad. Goodbye’, and we got in the car with kids jumping up and down with excitement and joy.
Arham and I believe in genuinely appreciating goodness around us, and teach the same to Big and Little. This episode of our life strengthened our believe that kindness and willingness to do good is neither confined nor defined by religious belief, colour of skin or country of origin. It’s reliant on every individual of the society and how responsible you feel you are toward your surroundings. Societies don’t change until individuals do their part without thinking how big or tiny impact their effort may have. A positive attitude builds up a responsible society.