Why did I create a crow character to accompany my protagonist, Satyam? Because I’ve always loved crows, which are everywhere in India! And because children who feel different often attach to young, injured animals and find unconditional love.
My earliest memories of crows are full of awe, amazement and humor- I watched them as a child play, dig, caw, hop, bathe, and generally do funny things. My father, however, said his first encounter with very large and noisy groups of cawing crows in India was traumatic. Dad was probably overwhelmed after landing in 1952 Bombay- what did he get his young family into? I myself was enchanted.
Crows are very sensitive to their human environment and their physical environment. They experiment. They are able to craft tools and use them. They have close families. They have complex “language”. And they play! These animals have learned how to live with and thrive with human populations and live all over the world.
This Video illustrates the amazing cognitive and emotional intelligence of crows.
My protagonist Satyam rescues an injured baby crow, and against her mother’s wishes, raises it on their farm. She names the crow after a famous movie star and politician, MGR. Crows can live up to 20 years in a protected environment, so MGR figures in Satyam’s story even when Satyam is 23 years old. The bond is strong and MGR helps Satyam keep going.