The end of the Bulbul story

I had plans, that I’d watch them fly away when they were old enough. One of those chicks had died within a few days of me dropping them off at PFA. I visited them the same weekend and had “adopted” them at Rs. 1000 per month. I went again today with a cheque to pay for this month and also see how they were doing. Anand also tagged along this time.

I went down to the ICU, where some group activity was on and the door closed. It opened, someone came out and I gave a description of the bulbuls and when they were rescued etc. The doctor or whoever was inside heard me out and said they died a few days back. So that was it.

While we were standing outside, the guy who had sent me the first photo from the centre came by and gave us more details. “We can do what we can, can feed them what they need, but then without parents it’s always hard. Sometimes yeah, having the parent around helps. 80% of the time one of the parents comes along and takes care of them.” Now you tell me?!

Maybe I should have left them there and let the parent take care of them, but maybe they wouldn’t have survived the night. I don’t know. I don’t know what to think. I guess next time something like this happens, I won’t be going to an animal rights group, might as well let nature take its own course. Friends pointed out that I did my best, but then it is not about me. It’s just another bunch of lives lost, lives that probably did not stand a chance any way, but again that does not matter. In the grand scheme of things, in the churning of life a few Red-whiskered bulbuls don’t matter, they’re not even “Vulnerable” in the IUCN list. Even our lives don’t matter! But that’s never it, is it? That hardly is a reason not to feel compassion or empathy. But again should I act on that compassion or empathy and do things that might or might not work out in the long run? What if they had survived and then flown away successfully? Would that have made it the right decision? Maybe the birds had a better chance with the remaining parent. Doing something because that makes you feel good is hardly reason to do something when at the end it wasn’t right. That’s just hubris. But again, where do you draw the line? What constitutes compassion and when does it become hubris and doing something not entirely right just because you can sleep better at night? It can’t be only about intentions, right?!


I couldn’t come back home to the construction noise that has extended into Sunday also. Plus I really wanted some time alone. I went down to the lake. There are a bunch of Baya Weaver nests, that hang down from trees. I sat by the path watching them. After a few minutes they got used to my presence and went by their lives as usual.


A few Purple sunbirds also dropped by and with some Prinias and wagtails joined in the symphony.

I came home and the noise of construction work took over.


6 thoughts on “The end of the Bulbul story

  1. very sad kano.. 😦 … but you know, the chances of the cat finding the chicks would have been higher.. what if you had waited for its parent to come, and in the meanwhile the cat found them.. you would then not sit and say nature’s course.. an attempt to save them was all you could do then, alwa ?

  2. Very sad ending.. ;-( But you did all you can do.. and more than that.. by visiting them as well.. Thanks Vaidya for sharing this with us.. Unfortunately we don’t know what is right for somebody when we try to help.
    There is some selfishness in us to help others.. the selfishness is we “derive” happiness and in other cases “PLEASE” others; maintain relationship etc., You are a good man without expecting anything back.. Be Happy.. thats all matter. 😉

  3. I thought the same when G kept falling sick. I thought that if she was an abandoned kitten, her mother (nature) knew that she was not the fittest and therefore left her. Who was I to meddle in that decision? Twice I thought I was going to lose her and there was just one thing I told myself through all the pain and confusion- let go. If she has to go just let her go. It helped. I love her with every passing day! So, yeah, you did what was ‘right’ at that moment, now you have to let go.

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