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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Learning Societies, Combatant Women and Violence Against Rural Women publishing rights with RBSA Publishers
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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