By Ranjit Kulkarni

A few minutes earlier I saw the two of them on the branch of the tree. Right there in front of my balcony. Murmurs. Cooing. One of them nuzzling the other. Some silence. Some song. Singing in the soft drizzle? A swishing of the neckless head to clear the waters after it stopped. More murmurs. More cooing. Birds have a life. So I thought.

Then I went inside to get my cup. Hot coffee for the nice weather. Got back to my balcony.

A silent drink in the balcony. Interrupted by an intruder. A fight. A ferocious one. Some desperate twitches. Screeching squeals. Clashing of beaks. Fluttering of legs and wings. Noise in the silence. 

It took only two minutes. Or three. My coffee cup was only half empty. Or was it half full? Silence again among the flutters.

Then a fall from the branch. There was a soft thud on the ground. It was the colourful one. The male, I thought. I had no way to be sure. The sobbing female left alone, I thought. But only for a moment.

After that moment, there were no more murmurs. No more cooing. No sobbing. Only an uncomfortable silence. And the pitter patter of a soft drizzle on my balcony window sill.

I could not finish my half full cup. A feather floated from the branch of the tree. It made a soft landing in my balcony. Proof that the intruder, a falcon, or a hawk, was flying high. I looked up. Saw the mourning female lovebird in its firm clasp. 

An afternoon rendezvous gone wrong.

Ranjit Kulkarni is a writer of short stories, articles, and novels. His work has appeared in Literary Yard, Indian Periodical, Academy of the Heart and Mind, Potato Soup Journal, Setu Journal, CC&D Scars, Ariel Chart, Active Muse, Anti-Heroin Chic, Grey Thoughts, Kathmandu Tribune, Café Lit, Muse India, Misery Tourism, Scarlet Leaf Review and Writer’s Egg Magazine. More details about his work can be accessed at He lives in Bangalore, India 

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