A Raven perches in the balcony of laira’s room.
‘Soosh..soosh, fly away’ laira’s mother Mrs Nelumboo makes an annoying noise clapping both her hands to scare the bird. ‘kaw kaw’,it makes an angry sound, hovering above her head making 2-3 circles before it leaves.
‘Why are you making so much noise early in the morning mom?’ laira asks, waking up lazily, covering her ears with the pillows.
‘Nothing dear. Just that bird. Been seeing it, perched on this balcony for quite a few days now. So, I was trying to drive it off’.
‘Why? It’s just a bird. Must have a nest near mom.‘ Laira questions,yawning, pulling up her hair to make a messy bun.
‘True. But not just any bird laira. It’s a crow. You know, how i feel about crows..’ Her mother answers in a concerned tone, handing her a mug of hot chocolate drink.
‘They bring ominous news. Beside, they live in flocks. It’s rather unusual to be seeing one out of it’s roost at this season. And nesting here, that also alone.’
‘Seriously’ laira throws her mother a disbelieving look.
‘Why are we having a talk about some bird early in this morning? So what if it is a crow? Don’t be so superstitious Mom. They are birds. They have wings, they can fly and be anywhere they want to be at’
‘Beside i don’t suppose English crows bring ominous news ’. She giggles.
‘I suppose’ her mother smiles too. ‘May be i am overthinking..’
‘But from where i come, crows were called the messengers of death and bad news. I grew up believing the tales your grand mother told me about them. So don’t blame an old school for believing in stuffs she was taught to believe in’.
‘Nope. I don’t blame you. I blame grand-ma, for all her scary stories.’ laira responds instant, remembering that, she had to be in good terms with her mom today no matter what.
‘Dosen’t matter what she says, my answer has to be yes..Make her happy and you will get to be happy when you step outside of this suffocating apartment’ she adds in to her mental note.
‘Thank you’ Mrs Nelumboo pats her head with delight.
While laira sips in her hot chocolate drink eagerly, Mrs Nelumboo watches her daughter eat a proper food after long time. Quite relieved to see her appetite back to normal after back and forth periods of ill helath, she questions.
‘ I am concerned about you laira. Are you okay? You seem so tired and drained of energy all the time nowdays. Is it about the gap year dear?’
‘No Mom’ laira replies, still busy, slurping on her drink and taking a large bite of her morning sandwich, simultaneously.
‘If it is dear,then i don’t want you to worry. I promise you, it’s just this year. Next year, we will have enough saving for you to start on your university. Your Dad and i have talked about it’. Her mother adds again
‘I promise it’s not that’ Laira reassures her, this time more clearer. ‘ I ‘m actually glad i am taking a gap year.That way, I will have enough time to think which sub i want to pursue with’
‘Then what is it? There is definately something wrong with you nowdays’
‘I don’t know. But.. I feel all right. I just had a bad flu. Nothing to be worried about’.
‘All right. If that’s what you say’ Mrs Nelumboo finally gives in.
‘Oh that reminds me. Your friend Keisha called in last night. I didn’t want to wake you up, so i told her i will make sure you call her back after you are up. Your cellphone is in the drawer. Check there if she left you any messages.’