As summers are catching its hues in Uttarakhand amid this lockdown, most of the environmental factors are refreshing itself, whether it is the clean flow of the Ganges, sparrows chirruping in our gardens or same old weather that has revisited in Dehra for after twenty years. One of the oddest resets of the environmental factors is the Koels in the valley and the tuned calls of ‘Kafal Pako’ birds.
It was the rarest of the rarest moments When these kafal Pako Birds are heard in the localities of the main city of Dehradun. Himalayas of Kumaon and Garhwal are most familiar as these species of bird; this species of bird is normally heard when the kafal fruit ripens in these hilly terrains. Also known as Indian Cuckoo, these species are mostly found in Nepal for a constant period of time as Nepal observes continuous fruitful time in the Pokhara region.
Initially, when I used to go for summer vacations, the kafal pako were the most common birds heard in the pine forests of Almora and Bageshwar. But never had I thought that these species deliver the message of ripe berries in the region of Himalayas. The stories of “kafal pako main ni chaakho” is most of the common known folk tales which reflects that an angry mother, scolds her girl child to such an extent that her daughter passes away, the anger was the result of the basket of Kafal fruit kept outside the house, which got rotten due to the summers in the Himalayas.
To overcome this sin of killing her daughter, the mother commits suicide, in the mythological understanding of the Himalayan region, it is said that the KAfal Pako birds are the reincarnation of these Mother- Daughters. Ansesctorial myths and stories are clever in defining each and every natural phenomenon in Himalayan regions.
But hearing these kafal pako birds in Dehradun city and its neighboring areas is the new experience, as the region is not rich enough for Kafal Fruit, but also its been a couple of decades these phenomenal birds became rare to be observed in the nearest forests also.
The following changes must be due to the lockdown amid the COVID19. Nature is replenishing to its highest, the largest ozone layer anomaly discovered in 2020 repaired itself in 20 days of the detection, hence the changes of witnessing the rare species in the region is a small step to the prosperity of nature. This break nature took is not only replenishing the flora and fauna in the region of Uttarakhand but also creating the sense in civic societies that impact the overuse of the resources have around the world.
By Nitin Chandola