Why I would rather not be a Lion?
I grew up in Chennai watching Tamil movies, where most Heroes compare themselves to Lion. Some of the absurd scenes include, Vijayakanth’s introduction where he suddenly turns into a lion and then back to him again, RajiniKanth’s factually incorrect statement about lion’s hunting behavior and Suriya’s extremely emotional dialogue again about comparing himself to a lion on hunt.
For the uninitiated, Lion is one of the laziest creatures and spends most of its day sleeping. The hunting is done by the pride, which is a group of Lioness that is attached to the Lion. When caught in a difficult situation during the hunt, each one is left to fend for themselves. The prey is eaten by the lion, cubs and the lioness in that order. If you are unwilling to check out Nat Geo on this, may be you can check with Kamal Haasan in PKS 🙂
So ofcourse I don’t want to be either a Lion or a Lioness!!
The Ubiquitous humble Crow:
I grew up in Chennai where Pigeons were a rare phenomenon seen only in certain high rise buildings. So I was fascinated with them when I had moved to Mumbai, until they covered our car and all the dry clothes and the washing machines with their shit. My attention went back to the ubiquitous Crow’s that had got little of my attention until then. The bird that is dark faced and bodied in a fair complexion crazy world (atleast in India), no special talents of singing like cuckoo or dance like peacock, can’t talk like parrots, featureless and pretty unattractive at the first glance.
I live near a creek often visited by the white and black Cranes and even Flamingoes, and the crow often photobombed as an uninvited guest into many of our photos and we always waited for it to pass or shooed it/them away. But something about the crow caught my attention and later my fascination. I have considered many different species of crow family and found them very interesting.
Crow, the Intelligent Student:
I found that a number of these crows fly with other birds like pigeons, cranes and even Eagles. They kind of follow them around and try to imitate their actions. I was most impressed by its ability to learn, when I saw a crow (or it could have been a Raven) fly at above 12500 ft near an Eagle in exactly the same pattern. This crow had learnt through imitation how the Eagle uses the wind to its advantage, change directions and fly for long without flapping the wing even once. There was simply no ostensible difference between the flying of the two birds.
So what did I learn from the Crowgle? (Crow+Eagle.My invention..Don’t look it up)
You could have been born with limited abilities or knowledge. But what is possible for someone else is possible for you, if you put the right amount of effort and learn from those who already know. Like Ekalavya who learnt the art of Archery from only Drona’s statue inspite of having been discriminated and refused by the teacher he adored, this crow too although an unwelcome student followed the Eagle to learn from it and mastered the skill. It figured out that if it was possible for the Eagle, it too being a Bird should be able to do it.
Crows can do many weird stuff like solve puzzles, talk and be trained to do many such things. Their is a Siddhar or saint in Tamil called Kaga Bujandar, a saint who took the form a crow and preached his teaching !! It doesn’t sound too far from truth based on what I see Joe do here !
Crow, the indiscriminate saint:
Crow is one of the most non fussy living thing which indiscriminately eats grains, freshly cooked food, left overs and dead animals/insects etc. The nondiscrimination almost to the level of a saint, who understands food is to feed the body (and in our case Mind too, as it exists).
In different times of our life, we have different life choices that are available to us, be it your choice of life partner or business partner, specialization in college, study or work, business or employment, self- Funding or venture capital. While it is in our capacity to strive for the best, the results are not in our control. True happiness comes from making the best out of what is available rather than longing for what is not, just the way a crow makes the best out of what is made available to it.
Crow, the Experimenter:
A Scientist conducts experiments and keeps adjusting the inputs and process until he/she achieves desired output. A Crow is pretty excellent at this. Most of us probably grew up with Kindergarten story of how a thirsty crow managed to drink water from a Pot and also some modern versions of it. This is no figment of imagination, a crow learns quickly what works and what does not to get to the desired results which has been studied widely by the scientists.
Ever wondered why it was Kalia, the crow which was the most intelligent in the jungle from Tinkle Digest.
Check out this Crow solving a complex Eight Piece Puzzle and use the tools to get its way around to Food.
We too like the crow can take failure as a feedback and improve upon the process to achieve the desired result.
Crow, the Family Man:
Crow’s mating and family behavior is very fascinating and pretty rare in the bird species. Crow’s mate much after their full maturity and mate for life. They wait for the perfect partner who they then spend the rest of their life with. The male and female crows share the responsibilities of building a nest and rearing the family. The older crow siblings often stay back to help the parents in guarding the nests and to tender to the young ones. The younger male crows often build nests nearby and continue to share a bond with parents and siblings throughout the lifetime. What a contrast this is to, for example a Tiger, who is almost always a single mother and the young ones migrate far away to build their own families.
The exemplary love, family values and sharing of home responsibilities is definitely something we can take a leaf out of crow’s life.
The Generous Crow:
Building a nest and raising a family is a big responsibility be it for a Crow or a Human. But this huge responsibility is not just sought out but even most coveted by us. We can see this in the growth of InVitro Fertilisation Clinics, Surrogacy etc, to hold a young one of our own blood. Even today adoption is considered a taboo by many Indian Families.
A crow on the other hand often lets an Asian Koel lay an egg in its Nest and tenders to the young one until its young one is old enough to Fly. A Singapore ornithologist picked up an young Asian Koel on one it’s initial failed attempts at flying, and was surrounded and cooed away by the rest of the crows till he released the young one. Such is their amazing love for a young one of another kind which was left their by its parasite parents.
Crows share a special bond with people who feed them or rescue them. They have been reported to return to them to say hello and even give gifts.
In life how many talented people have we dismissed for their not so pleasing first looks like how the Harvard president dismissed the Stanford’s?
Or If you feel discriminated by your height, weight, color, race or looks, take inspiration from the humble crow, who has through sheer hard work done amazing things. You don’t have to have been born an Eagle to fly high, your wings have the power if you think they do…
Fly high..the world is waiting for you !!