TO DO or Not To Do | Shreya Parashar

Sometimes the best you this TO DO is survive. 

TO DO or not to do…

Shreya Parashar

Sanctuary of Lost Souls Award

Like everyday, I am flying and brooding; I get profound when I fly. I am TO DO, not to be done, it’s my name. I am an ordinary pigeon with various shades of grey. Honestly speaking, I am an outcast for I showed my aversion to eating food that humans throw at us. First they lay the trap and when we pick on easy meal, they shoo us away. So, I rebelled.

Looks like I got carried away…

This place seems abandoned with jaded workshop sheds, barbed boundaries and no humans! Oh, is that a sparrow, are their kinds still around?

“Hello there…long time no see!”

< muffled grunts and pants >

I glide closer to show my disapproval when he starts a free fall. I dive down to save him in the nick of time. It’s a she; no black ring around her neck. She is still giddy but smiles.

“I am Ray…”

“….of hope?” I quip.

“TO DO.” We shake feathers.

“I shouldn’t be out, will you drop me off at home,” she asks. I oblige and fly along. She enters one of the many workshops that I had spotted earlier. I am stunned as I witness the biggest mass nesting that I have ever seen. The entire workshop is converted into hundreds of nests, rows after rows, neatly stacked from one pipe to another.  Hay, grass, plastic- a lot of it, cloth, even cigarette butts- the nicotine keeps the ticks in check. I whistle, almost.

It looks like a war- ridden zone with scores of sparrows- limping, trying to fly, others just chirping, anger mixed with hunger. Ray tells me that her species is the most affected by mobile phone base stations as the radiations not just harm the ones around but their next generation as well. She points towards the baby sparrows; they don’t look good. Next, I spot few healthy sparrows teaching the weaklings to fly.

Hop— N— Glide.

“I learn in this team,” Ray says. I had already noticed her clipped wing outdoors.

“We have a purpose here- to survive the ill- effects of technology. Together.”

“Can I join you?”

Ray smiles and turns towards a room.


I see pigeons, crows, swallows, swifts and even a cuckoo, all focused. I am welcomed amongst volunteers who want to give a helping wing to sparrows, to bring back their normal lives.

“We can help them fly, build nests for the sick, hunt for food, signal danger (human and cat)”, says the trainer, an old sparrow. She thanks us for joining and announces lunch break. A miniature human comes out of the clock as it strikes two.



I laugh till I cry.