Puchchu and Kalu

Meera caressed the golden fur of Puchchu. She purred and stretched her legs and closed her eyes. Cosy comfort of blanket closed her eyes.  Meera was sure she would deliver kittens in this month any time.

          One day Puchchu was following Meera where ever she went. She mewed a bit more. Her eyes were pool of pain. Meera knew the time has come for her kittens. She put old bed sheets in her bed, poured some milk in her bowl. Meera was awake, waited late in the night, lest she should deliver kittens. But as she was unable to wake up more she slept. Next morning when she got up, she checked Puchchu first. There were two small round balls of golden fur were lying in her bed. After two hours, two more joined. This time one was black and one was dark brown with white patches on her neck. Meera’s face lit up with joy.  Oh, this black one is on his father. Many times, she had noticed a black big fat tomcat mewing a lot in the vicinity.”

          Puchchu began nurturing her kittens. After sometime they began tumbling out of the small hut shaped wooden house of Puchchu. Puchchu kept changing their playground. Sometimes she kept them behind the sofa in the lounge. Next they spread themselves under the dining table or in the backyard under the shade of bogunbila shrub.

          One day, Lakshmi, the maid forgot to close the door of glass house, where the wooden house of Puchchu was kept in a corner. Suddenly in the mid of night Meera got up. She heard some barks of a dog, and Puchchu’s loud mews. It is Kalu again. This dog is a nuisance. He sneaked in the dark and damage cushions or break pots. Kalu was big enough to jump over the boundary wall of the backyard.

          Meera put on her slippers and rushed to glass house. Puchchu and her kittens were nowhere. Where are they? Back door was open.

          Meera peeped through the glass.  As she was about to call Puchchu, she stopped. A big black dog was barking in the direction of bogunvila.  Puchchu appeared larger, double of her size. Her fur spiked. Her claws extended. Ears flattened. She was in a position to pounce on the dog. Suddenly she arched her back turned sideways and hissed, mewing very loud and baring her teeth she pounced on Kalu. She gave a powerful slap to his face with her forepaws.  Kalu never anticipated her attack. Kalu was like a ruffian of a gully. He came to bully the cat and harm her little kittens. But he did not know Puchchu was no more a meek slender small cat to get scared of him. Puchchu was the mother who could have killed him or be killed by him. But she would have never allowed him to come closer to her kittens. Don’t dare eye my kittens, either push off or face my wrath.

          Kalu retraced, as he reached the garden door, leapt across it and ran away. Puchcu chased him till the gate and when she found no visible sign of Kalu’s presence nearby, she turned back to find Meera standing there. She began to mew softly.  Meera was amazed. She picked her up in her arms, cuddled her, and then left her. Meera waited till she was inside with her little ones, safely nestled in her house.

          Moral of the story is that mother instinct is a guiding principle in life whether it is a human or birds or animals.


Little guests

Endearing tales of hope and love

Professor Ram went on a tour for a week. By mistake, he left the window of his study room opened. A glass full of water was placed on the table. It was a hot and dry summer day. A sparrow entered the room through the open window. It looked at the glass of water.  Extremely cautious, the sparrow looked here and there and all around, crossed the window sill and perched on the table. When she found no one around, she satiated her thirst from the glass of water.

          Next day, realising that the place was peaceful and live-able, she took one step forward.  She thought the ceiling fan was the safest place for nest. She made a comfortable nest inside the fan by skillfully arranging the tiny pieces of dried grass. Within a couple of days, her home was ready. Then, it began nestling her three eggs.

          After few days, Ram returned from the tour.  As he opened the door of his study room, he noticed some pieces of dried grass scattered on his table, chair and floor. He brushed the chair and cleaned the floor. As he was about to put on the fan, he looked up and exclaimed-. Oh! There is a nest. He dropped the idea of using fan. Unmindful of hot and sultry weather, he began working without fan…

          He heard faint twitter behind the window that he had closed to prevent the entry of dust and hot air from outside…  He opened the window ; a sparrow flew inside and went straight to its nest. It protested by twittering aloud. A stranger trespassed into the small territory of Prof. Ram but at the same time he understood the dire need of the poor sparrow. He kept two bowls – one filled with water, other with grains at the window sill for his tiny guest. The sparrow first jumped around, sipped a few drops of water and then picked up some grains. Since then, Prof Ram kept the window opened to allow free access to the sparrow. As the time passed, the fear and suspicion of sparrow disappeared and Prof Ram and sparrow became friends.

          Prof Ram worked on his table daily and sparrow flew in and out fearlessly to its nest. Ram used to keep a wet towel to wipe his sweating face and arms, but never put on the fan. After sometime, three soft twitters joined their mother’s voice.

          One day, sparrow and her three kids were sitting on the table near the window. Room was filled with their twittering. As Prof. Ram entered the room, they made loud sounds, jumped here and there and then flew into the open sky…

          Prof. smiled. He knew that they had gone to find their own world and will never return. He sighed; I will miss my little companions. He put on the fan, and lost himself in his world of books.


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Dr. Santosh Singh secured her triple Masters in Sociology, English and Education from Lucknow University and Agra University respectively. She holds a doctorate in Sociology from Rajasthan University. She was also awarded post-doctoral fellowship by ICSSR, New Delhi. After a stint of teaching in BDKM Post-Graduate College, Agra, she was given a prestigious assignment of imparting training in secretarial work to the future bureaucrats of Namibia, under the aegis of Internal Security Academy, Mount Abu, Rajasthan. She has been associated with Institute of Social Sciences (ISS) New Delhi since 1996.

Her published works are: – ‘Passion for Flames’; ‘Learning Societies – Shifting Patterns’; ‘Combatant Women’; ‘Violence Against Rural Women’; ‘Women Empowerment and Civil society’ in The Indian Women’s Journey- the last Five Decades.

She has contributed a number of research articles and stories to national journals, magazines and newspapers. She is focusing on women empowerment, water and sanitation, conflict and gendered violence, panchayati raj and civil society. Currently she is senior fellow of Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi. She can be reached at