I don’t remember any kind of birds shitting on me since childhood. But, in the past year, I have had three such experiences. This is one of the freely available experiences for which no past experience is required and no certificates need to be provided.
Early last year, I was on a weekend trip to Kabini with my husband, his sisters, and a friend. On the way, there is a place called Taraka where fish are caught and immediately fried. Although there are multiple eateries there serving only pan-fried fish, one needs to call and order early in the morning or face disappointment. And orders for pan-fried fish are taken only in kilos, not per piece. My husband always talked about this delicacy and I was waiting to try them. We ordered 5kg of pan-fried fish on the way there from Mysuru (previously known as Mysore, with some differences in the vowels usage). By noon, when our order was handed over to us wrapped in banana leaves (of course to avoid paper and plastic waste), I thought I was indeed lucky that day. We parked our car on a road less travelled, walked up to a lonely tree in the middle of someone’s farm, and sat in a circle under the tree discussing who is going to eat how many fish. Somehow, I got a place in the outer circle of the tree’s shade. Since I am a sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow eater, my husband set aside a few pieces of fried fish lest someone else finished all fries. So much love! As I was relishing the last two pieces of the fried fish, something got sprayed next to me from the top. It looked like a white powdery suspension in some sort of liquid. Trees are sometimes weird, I thought to myself, looking up. But the spraying happened again, and this time on me and the last of the fries! Then we all saw a bird perched high up on the branches of the tree under which we sat.
“Bird shitting on you is said to bring luck,” said one of my sisters-in-law.
I was grieving over my fish fries.
Towards the end of the last year, one afternoon during working hours, I was walking from one site to another. Just as I passed under a tree in front of the second site, my glasses fogged instantly. Then dripped onto my clothes. Bird shit incident number two. Do they sit there waiting, observing people, and choosing whom they should shit?
Today, there was a buffet spread for lunch at work in the garden area. There were close to a hundred people. I took portions of food on my plate and started looking for a place to sit. Still, people had not settled down and almost all spots were available. But all spots were under the trees. Reluctantly, I sat in a corner. I guess a bird also chose the same corner to finish its business. Green droppings splattered next to my plate on the table, splashing on my plate and extending to reach my clothes. I looked up. A white feathery butt was still wiggling. It was a sign for me to go into fasting mode.
I suddenly remembered my sister-in-law saying that bird shitting on you brings luck. So, as most of us would do, I “Googled” it out. I came across this website of Thayer Birding. Among other information on bird shit, they have given different interpretations based on at what time of the day a bird shat on you. When I went back in time, I realized that all three birds shat around and on me in the noon. So, I checked the interpretation accordingly. Apparently, birds serving the noon shift send wealth with their shit. If knowledge is wealth, then yes, my wealth has improved over the year. That is the only consolation. I continued reading on the same website. In one section, they have written that not all bird shit brings luck. That got me wondering and reminded me of a quote from one of the most celebrated satires, Animal Farm, by George Orwell: All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. I could hear George Orwell saying in David Attenborough’s voice: All shits are equal, but some shits are more equal than others.
Now, for the love of my life, I couldn’t identify the bird’s species from its butt. The only other thing I could do was to hope that the next bird that would shit on me should be from any of those luck-inducing species. Then I heard myself telling me: Are you shitting me?
A shit is a shit is a shit!