Perched in the high end of the tree, the bird looked out. His eyes were fixed on the faraway ship. The waves pushed them forward, the great aluminum body tumbled gently in the waters.
“Hooray” cried one of the passengers.
“We have found the island” said the other, eyeing the piece of greenery with scrutiny.
“But I can’t see them” cried the little boy.
“It will suffice to get rid of sea sickness,” the captain said.
“How long will it take us to reach our home” asked one of the crewmen.
“soon enough,” replied the Captain.
“This place look green, just green” said Kichank.
“That’s what all islands look like” answered Shankar.
“I can feel the fresh air of the island,” said the little boy. “How long have we been in the sea papa?” he asked.
“month and a half, today is Tuesday in the second week of may.” the man with the cap said. He was just then climbing down from the main mast.
“No wonder why the sun shines so hideously”
“I am longing to see mama” said the boy.
“the baby wants its mother” joked the tall fat man.
“this big man will ask for his mamma today, I bet you” The captain said, chuckling.
“Hurry now, everyone get the tents ready. We will make a campfire and enjoy the night in bliss” said the captain. Vigorous preparations were made for the feast. The little boy sat on the stone inside the clearing, his cheeks rested on his hands.
Something pecked at his ear. He screamed shrilly. A twitter, a chirp confirmed him that it was a bird.
“Birdy, I hope you are bird. But please keep distance from me. I don’t want something to peck my blind eyes” he said in shooing motion.
The bird sat at the top of his head.
“Now you are making me angry” he cried. “Already I have wasted my fruitful time in this sea journey, I just wish to be back at my home. I just want to play till my heels break” he said.
The bird didn’t seem to listen to him, it moved towards his lap.
“Oh dear, I have nothing to give you. If you want something, I may get you some beans from the pantry” he said.
He tried touching the bird but nah, it didn’t let a finger on him.
“Stupid bird” he muttered. “Stay here, I will get you food” he said. The bird followed him.
“I know you are coming right behind me, I just don’t get why. Probably you are as bored as I am that you have no option. I wish I could help my friends making the tent and dinner but they don’t trust me well.” The bird landed on his shoulders.
“Are you interested?” he asked.
“Well, let me tell you about myself and the crew. Before that, we need to feed our empty stomachs. By the way, you have wings why don’t you go far for food?” he asked.
“That’s the thing about Humans, we come far away and you don’t” He answered for himself.
“I think this where all the supplies is kept. We have all types of food, from canned meat to vegetables to packaged meals. It’s kind of a luxury when you stock the food to the brim” he said.
“Here take the bread and some beans” he said.
“they feed me well, they even give me wine but the thing is I just can’t be without my mother. She was the only one who cared for me all these years. I didn’t know I would miss her so much” he said.
“Papa says that we will go home in a month but I don’t believe in it, I think something else is going to happen but I don’t know” he said.
The bird chirped in return.
“Come here, Heerat. Hold this thing and do not give it to anyone other than me” said Kichank.
“But what is this thing, Uncle. It feels like a ball” he said.
“Yes, it is a ball but a very important one” he said..
“Alright, I will keep it” he said nonchalantly. “But why do I feel my hands itch” he asked.
“It ought to, It hurts the hands which hold it” he said.
“Then why did you give it to me…OOh it is really itchy.” he said, rubbing his hands against his coarse tooth.
“I had to do it” he said.
“Everyone move, Let’s go” he said.
“Papa, papa where are you? I am afraid” he cried. His cries were unheard and ignored.
“What is happening? What is happening?” he sobbed through his gritted tooth.
“I will tell to my mother, I will tell everything if you don’t take me” he threatened.
The sun wane into the moon, sometimes it felt as if those were one same thing who are trying to cheat the underlying organism.
The tears stopped but his mind still fixed on to the things which they last said. Something pecked at him. The bird was still there.
“Glad that you didn’t ditch me too” he said. the bird poured water from a small cup into his hand. He felt his hands cooling to the touch.
“I am sorry for myself, I am sorry that I was blind and now I can never find a way for myself” he said. He tried getting up, his foot stuck against something. The bird sharply pecked at his pinkie foot finger. He jerked his leg upwards, loosening from the resin.
He walked towards the tent, hoping someone would be there.
There was food, all the food left behind for him. He felt a bit happy, his father had not forgot him totally.
He ate the biscuits, stuffing pieces after pieces into his tiny mouth. He threw some crumbles for the bird but it wasn’t interested in eating crumbs. It was rummaging through the stuffs for its own accord.
“I don’t think it is good for me to cry so long. Let us have a feast since they have gone, we can always enjoy without people. What they do is cause heart wreck and I don’t care even for a single one. Let me live as long as I am destined and die in this very island. Perhaps it wouldn’t be as boring as it could have been as you are here.” he said, swallowing the whole piece of cured meat. The bird tugged the meat which was overflowing from his mouth.
“You are such a naughty bird, take” he said.
“I am not naughty” the bird said, strange to him.
“Wait, wait could you talk?” he asked.
“Yes,” it said.
“But why hadn’t you talked to me before” he asked, astonished.
“Because I didn’t want to and you didn’t let me” he said.
“What’s your name” he asked.
“Tinku” he said.
“Funny name” said Heerat.
“Not as funny as you and your crew mates”
“Where am I ?” he asked.
“In the Islands of ‘dead and disease’” he said.
“What?” he asked.
“Yes, anyone who comes into the sea dies soon” he said.
“Can you help me go back home,” he asked.
“Sorry, I don’t work on that basis. My job is to keep a keen eye on those who are sent here for death” the bird answered nonchalantly.
“What will you do to me” he asked.
“Make sure you die in the most softest and lightest way” he answered.
“But, But I thought you were my friend” the boy said, kind of not believing what he hears.
“I am sure it is not you who is speaking, there must be someone here. Are you Kichak? Michak? Micheal? Saroj? Febi?” he cried.
“I am none of them and yes I am your friend, a death friend.” he answered.
“Sorry, did my dad hire you” he asked.
“Well, it is a unwritten agreement. Anyone dropped here is for us to take, so we take them and give them a good afterlife” the bird said.
“And what do you mean by a good afterlife?” he asked, perplexed.
“Well, for some living is a pain. This is because they are deprived of something or the other in their life and that gives them a chronic mental disease. For them, this is the place. They will find happiness, in spite of their sickness. Nay, they are not even reminded of it” the bird said.
“But one has to die for it?” he asked.
“What is the possibility of a person attaining happiness when he is dead. Death does not bring happiness or solutions to their problem, it just ends them” he said.
“Finally, someone understands” the bird nodded its head, unclasping his claws from his shoulder.