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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Parrot Saga - The End by Subha


Our pet parrot Sankaran despite living with me for 28 years,neither spoke intelligent words nor allowed anyone to touch him. But he was quite friendly and used to take food from our hands. I was so used to his voice I could easily make out what he wanted. It was like an infant whose mother could recognise its needs. I could understand what he was saying or feeling any time of the day. His happiness at talking with other birds and parrots who came and perched on the wire mesh in the work area was phenomenal, and he would flatly refuse even his favourite food if it was handed out to him when he conversed with them. He created such a racket. Our entire house would reverberate with his voice!

He was never sick, not even a single time during his lifetime and only four months ago did he show signs of ageing with a blister near his eye. Even then he was happy, angry and friendly as usual and did not show any signs of pain. He used to jump around seeing me. "Ki ki ki.." was his greeting the moment I entered my kitchen. I must give him a piece of coconut soon after I broke one. He loved Mysore pak, cake, mango and apples, hated rice, just like my younger daughter. He survived mostly on paddy, payaru (beans) and oranges which my husband used to give him every day

October 3, 2015 was like any other day. But not for him. He was fine till noon, eating his regular food, and walking back and forth on his wooden perch.
Around 2:30 pm, my maid saw him sitting on the lower perch, something that he never did for long intervals, coming down only to drink water. I could see him breathe with difficulty. I gave a piece of banana and pleaded with him to eat. He ate a tiny piece and looked at me sadly and intensely. Then  he climbed slowly to his usual perch on the high bar. By then it was 3:30 pm . I mixed some honey and water and gave it to him in a 'karandi ' (long spoon) . He hesitated a bit, and then drank most of it.

I checked him again around 5:30 p m when he was sitting and watching outside. I went for my evening walk and returned within 15 minutes as my mind was troubled. I spent sometime folding my clothes and then went to see him. To my shock, he was lying on the floor of the cage with his head in the upright position. He must have come down to the lower perch to lie on the floor of the cage. He must have left this world around 6 p m.

I was totally perturbed.

His earlier last look haunted me, as though he was trying to tell me " Thank you for everything, I am going to leave you today... "  I cried..... I later informed my daughters and the maid servants who took care of him during my absence.

It was a long night, raining cats and dogs throughout. I was waking up every hour. Next morning, on 4th October 2015, with a heavy heart I buried him in our yard and bade him farewell.

REST IN PEACE, MY DARLING!

Your bird friends, other parrots, my children and grandchildren will miss you too.

Note (Sujatha): 28 human years translate to about 112 parakeet years. So he was a truly old soul!