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Ratan Kaul is the author of WINGS OF FREEDOM, a historical romance novel set in early twentieth-century British India.

You’ve heard of novels on the British Raj like E.M.Forster’s A Passage to India, Paul Scott’s The Jewel in the Crown and M.M.Kaye’s The Far Pavilions. Now, here’s a novel by an Indian author woven in the fabric of Indian freedom movement, with an Indian’s point of view and depicting the flavor of Indian culture and traditions as they existed a hundred years ago....coinciding with the centenary--1911 to 2011-- celebrations of Delhi as the capital of India.

By: Ratan Kaul

At dawn when I open my doors, windows
I am greeted by my regular companions
Flocks of tiny, playful and lively sparrows
with spirited mynas, bulbuls, and pigeons,

Who come gliding from their night shelters
in the Kachnar, Champa, Harsingar, Neem
And Gulmohar trees, shrubs and creepers
adjoining and touching balcony of my room

They come looking for their daily feeds
with friendly tapping on my window sills
For jowar, bajra, corn and other seeds
even rice, wheat puffs, nuts and biscuits

Squirrels watchfully spy the bird rations
and it is a sight to see how they pick the nut
Clasp and gnaw on it with swift actions
hiding in the small openings in the parapet

Bird experts say sparrows are getting extinct
and no longer dwell in concrete jungles
But I am blessed with the idyllic mornings
with my little friends providing jingles

The sweet sound of sparrows chirping
their calls of mobbing, duets and mating
Make my idyllic and cheerful morning
as my mind is enchanted in their playing

But it is now time to bid adieu to my lovable pals
For getting prepared for my share of earthly tasks
And face the day’s targets, meetings and mobile calls
With the polluted air, din of horns and traffic jams


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