Thursday, May 17, 2007

Three Stupid Birds

Birds are not known for their intelligence. As a matter of fact, most of them are just plain stupid. They don't solve partial differential equations in their free time; all they do is make those irritating chirping noises. They don't ponder over the meaning on life while sailing the silken blue sky; they chase worms instead.

Three instances demonstrating the intellectual negligibility of birds are documented herewith, lest some people succumb to the temptation of conceding that birds are actually intelligent. After reading this article, the reader will never look at a bird and go "If only I could understand what that little guy is thinking!". Because that bird is probably thinking of worms to eat, little else.

Let us go back to July 2004, a time when lots of people I knew were graduating from IIT Madras. I was not, but a lot of my colleagues were. And we were sitting in that jam-packed auditorium in that miserable Chennai Heat (it was 38+ outside). And guess what was flying inside the auditorium? A bird. Damn thing was trying its best to get out. But all it would do is try to fly out, bang into a transparent window, fall down and repeat the aforementioned procedure ad nauseam. Rather than watch my friends graduate, I watched the bird confuse itself. It made me wonder: how did the damn thing ever eat? How did it grow so old?

Say whatever you might want to about the average bird, but you would never expect to see a bird make mistakes while flying. The bird might not have a philosophical understanding of Quantum Mechanics, but it surely knows where it is flying. No chance of it banging into a tree or something. No chance of it hitting a gradual cyclist, you might say. But you're wrong. A clueless crow actually banged (beak first) into yours truly - when I was biking near the hostel. I had a scratch for a couple of days on my person as evidence for the vicious attack.

This stupidity is certainly not just limited to avians in the sub-continent. The lack of intellect is universal - as evidenced by a recent incident in College Station. Here's what happened. I was walking down the street and I heard a mild "thud". I thought it was a meteor or something and was shocked for a moment. I looked around to investigate and there was a pigeon which appeared shaken. It was stumbling on the ground. What happened was that the stupid bird forgot to flap its wings and hit the ground. (It probably was thinking: "I know I'm supposed to be doing something now. What could it be?").

Of course there are stupider birds in the world. There's the sparrow which hit the fan in my bed room once, but I don't want to document it as stupid as the poor soul is no more. There's the parrot which bit me when I was two years old - but I don't want this post to look like personal vendetta, so I won't mention that either.

For once I feel thankful that I am a human and not a bird. But lots of people will contend that I am as stupid as one of the birds for writing this post. I can't say that they are entirely wrong.