Is this a Pathway to Evolution?

When we talk about birds, we generally consider pigeons to be the least clever ones, simply because they tend to make their nests in unprotected open areas, for instance, under air conditioning outlets. These birds aren’t much of a hassle for us as we can immediately shoo them away with just a wave of our hand.

However, an event that occurred a couple of days ago left me in a fix.

I noticed a pigeon perched up above the grills of my room. Its black beady eyes were staring blankly right through me. There were no emotions, no feelings, just a very blank stare. Suddenly, the urge of shooing it away coursed through me, and I lazily flung my arms toward it, assuming it would probably fly off at just a tiny movement of my hand.

But for a change, its stance seemed unchanged.

The fact that it barely reacted to my movement did not sit well with me, and I stood up while moving my hands with greater force in its direction. To my utter surprise, it didn’t even flinch or flutter its wings.

After a couple of continued attempts of trying to make it go away, and making sure to not make any kind of skin contact with it, due to the scare of the ongoing bird flu, I finally decided to just shut the window and ignore its presence. I soon realised that ignoring it was harder now.

The act of making the pigeon fly away daily was so insignificant, as though we were used to that unsaid power position. This sudden turn of events left me quite unsettled. Its black eyes didn’t appear like the blank, reflecting ones anymore. Instead, they looked like minute black holes, as though carefully analysing me and taking in all the information of the limitations of my induced threats, implying strong defiance to my usual power.

The sudden shift of my perception left me quite creeped out.

Were they undergoing some form of evolution that we weren’t aware of?
Was this evolution making them immune to the fear we, as humans, induce within them?

This entire fiasco also highlighted that we as humans encounter such people in our lives that cannot directly harm us but take the path of inducing fear, by assuming their power upon us. Fear is capable of making people blind to reality, and we act like those frightened pigeons that fly away to protect themselves, even at the slightest nudge.

And the exception of the lot is the one who stands up against this force, to test the limits of the harm that can be caused. However, it is important to realise that we cannot stand up against everyone, as we may not realise when bravery might transform into stupidity. It is important to realise who we’re standing up against and to classify them as dangerous or not.

Like apart from the lesson I extracted from this unusual circumstance, I don’t expect that extraordinary bird to realise the limitation of me not being able to touch it. But if this small defiance is an actual step to bird evolution, I’ll be damned to know more!

~Vidhita Jagwani (FE Comps), Karen Castelino (SE IT)