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Cuckoo In The Nest - LBC Post

As usual, I can hardly believe it's time for another LBC post.  Fridays have a habit of coming around rather quickly

The cuckoo in the nest is an anomaly of nature.  The cuckoo is a lazy bird who has no intention of doing what someone else can do.  The wicked bird lays its egg - a rather large and obvious one - in the nest of some caring parent birds.  When the chicks hatch out, the baby cuckoo is a large, hungry, greedy bird who gobbles up food as fast as the parent birds can bring it.  The other baby birds don't get a look in.  One by one, the little monster ejects the chicks of the parent birds one by one.  For some strange reason the parents just don't notice.  They keep feeding the intruder's greed.  Then one day, the cuckoo chick flies away to lay its eggs somewhere.  The nest full of chicks is now empty, the chicks all dead.

I know a family with a somewhat similar situation.  There was a father here in Lucknow with three sons.  He had several daughters too, but all were married and living far away in distant cities.  They had been pretty well provided for at the time of marriage and it wasn't thought that they would need anything else from their parents as long as they lived.  This is very often the way in India.

The father had acquired a plot to build a nice large house in a good housing estate.  The plot was very expensive and he reckoned that after his death, the house could easily be divided between his three sons. They could all have a reasonably sized flat or apartment in the building.  

The eldest son asked to build an entire floor on the roof of the bungalow and his wish was granted. As he was living at a distant place, he planned to retire to his flat with his family in due course. The two remaining sons, would, the father decided, divide the downstairs floor between them.  As the second son was living with his wife and children in the front of the house, the father decided to grant him that.  As the third son was living with his family in the back of the house, that side was granted to him.

The second son's wife was worried.  At the present time, in the absence of the elder brother's family, she and her husband and children were using the upstairs rooms.  However, whenever the first son visited with his wife, the wife insisted on reminding everyone that these were her rooms.  She was always planning to come back 'next year' to settle and kept on telling everyone to remove their belongings before she came again.

Moreover, the second son's wife was concerned because their portion of the house had merely two rooms with no building space.  As she and her husband had a son and a daughter, she needed at least three rooms.  She had every right to be concerned.  She asked her husband what he thought and he said they'd probably buy a house of their own one day.

The third son and his spouse, as they had two children of the same sex, only needed two rooms.  His side of the house, however, had three rooms and there was building space for a fourth.  So the second son's wife had a lot of concerned conversations with her father- in -law.  The FIL, being a helpful person, assured the daughter-in-law that the adjoining lobby between the two portions were also hers.  The DIL asked the FIL that if the third son and partner could build themselves a another room, surely they would then be in possession of four rooms. So the second DIL asked the FIL if, when the third son built a fourth room, could one of those four rooms then be released to her family, so that both couples would have three rooms each. The FIL assured her that it was a possibility, but that planning permission had not yet been granted for the new room.  Let the permission come, he advised, so that the next step may be considered.  So the second son's wife waited patiently.

The years went by.  The old man died.  The third son, by some stroke of fortune, came into some money and built his fourth room.  Throughout the years, as his financial position had been weaker than that of his elder brothers, he had been spared paying lots of expenses.  But now he was a rich man.  When he built his fourth room, did he release one for his unfortunate brother, who had but two?  No, he did not.

The second son's wife was really concerned now. She and her husband had suffered from several financial setbacks down the years and it now looked like they would be unable to purchase their own house, as they had wished to.   It seems that the old man had not fulfilled his promise to speak for her family's need.  Moreover, there were more children now.  She asked her husband and his elder brother to speak out.  They both felt the injustice of the situation, but out of sibling loyalty, refused to say a word about or to their younger brother.  They have always been in the habit of protecting him and they weren't about to stop any time soon.

The last I heard,  youngest brother and his wife have gone on with their building, even encroaching into the space of their other two brothers. Apparently, they wish to build bedrooms for when they are visited by both their sons, who no longer live in the house. They never discuss their plans with the other family members.  They simply take the permission of the mother of the family, the old man's wife.  She's an octagenarian, barely in touch with reality.  In fact the eldest brother is the official family head, but they never call him to discuss their plans.  So they boldly go on with their aggressive behaviour.  They lock their rooms when they go out and dislike anyone else stepping into their rooms.  Yet they walk in and out of other people's rooms as if they own the house.  When it was politely pointed out to them that other people deserved privacy too, they snorted and carried on doing exactly what they were doing.

The second son and his wife have no choice now but to utilize the upstairs rooms build by the absent elder brother. The second son's wife knows that there will probably be a discussion and confrontation when the elder brother and his wife come back to claim their rooms.  She now has no choice but to try to retain at least one of the elder brother's bedrooms and as he has three bedrooms, he probably wouldn't miss one.  She's not looking forward to it, but it has to be done.

The third son and his wife are like cuckoos in the nest.  Oh, unlike real cuckoos they actually belong to the family.  But by taking advantage of the generosity of others, they've  grown bigger and stronger and are now taking advantage of the quietness of others to treat the house of which they are part owners, as if it was, in fact, their own.

I don't yet know the end of the story will be, but like the second son's wife, I'm waiting patiently. 

Image:  Plaintive Cuckoo by panuaruangjan.  Courtesy of


  1. Sounds like a nest full of cuckoos to me -

  2. I would not want to live in that household. Imagine a husband who puts his siblings before his wife and children - he does not deserve a wife.

  3. There is no cuckkoo anywhere there that I can see. It would appear to me that the place is full of vultures with no chicks anywhere.

  4. Shackman, Grannymar, Rummuser, thank you for bearing with me and reading this extremely dull post. Not up to my usual standard at all, is it? Don't worry, will be back on form soon.

  5. It is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the excellent work.
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