26 November 2009

Baby's day out

My aunt (mom's sister) and her hubby have one son. He is currently away from home in Delhi for studies. Ever since he left, they have been disconsolate and eventually my uncle got a parakeet as a pet to ward off the gloom. The bird is named Tom after Tom Cruise. Its almost a year old now, they got it early this year.

Tom is like the baby of the house. He wakes up everyone in the morning with his cute chirping - he chatters nineteen to the dozen. He loves to sit on the dining table when everyone is having breakfast, lunch or dinner. He is fond of rice and actually eats from my uncle's tongue! He even calls my uncle and aunt by their names.

He is a bit wary of strangers but once you feed him, and he has had time to know you, he will condescend to acknowledge you. If you give him your palm in the shape of a perch, he will climb onto it in a dignified manner and start making his way to your shoulder. If you are a girl, he will love to play with your chain, ear-rings etc. If you are a male, he will perch himself on your shoulder and go to sleep. Btw, did I mention that he prefers males to females? Other times he loves to walk(waddle) on the floor and if he sees anyone's feet, he will climb up and again make his way to the shoulder.

Tom doesn't know how to fly much as he was caged almost since birth, though at my aunt's place, is he usually outside his cage. Yesterday morning though, after breakfast, Tom went missing. He had apparently flown out the front door from my aunt's place. My aunt-uncle were frantic with worry. They live on the top floor of their building. Since Tom can't fly well, they were anxious about his landing. Perdators such as cats were a nightmare. They searched high and low for him. They alerted neighbors in their building as well as surrounding buildings, their daily help, and anyone they met to look out for their missing parakeet.

My usually stoic uncle was actually seen to shed a few tears. Both of them had had no food since breakfast. My grandmother arrived to give them moral support. She was the one who updated me on the events of the day. By late afternoon, they had given up all hope. My uncle was so disconsolate that he called the person they had got Tom from and asked them for another bird. They were about to set out to collect the other bird, when their chowkidar shouted that he saw a different bird on the third floor of the building opposite to their flat. My uncle hurried to the spot. And sure enough, there was Tom! He was sitting forlornly most probably repenting his flight. The moment he saw my uncle, he chattered non-stop and flew to his arm. There he was perched all the time until uncle brought him home. Once back in his cage, he drank and ate from his bowls alternately while his eyes were drooping with exhaustion . The little one was on the verge of dropping from hunger, thirst and the excitement of the day.

How happy my aunt and uncle were to have him back! Their baby had had a harrowing day out and so had they. Alls well that ends well.

5 comments:

Gayatri Karthik Gayatri Sivaraman said...

The love towards the parakeet from your uncle/aunt and the parakeet's reciprocation of the same is amazing.....never had a pet myself....so these sentiments between people and birds/animals sometimes amaze me....but it is very gratifying at the same time to hear about these kind of events in today's very materialistic and purpose driven world.
Very nicely written post.....could visualize the events as they might have happened...

Random Blogger 3 (Amit Shirodkar) said...

Extremely well written!! You can almost see the events unfolding by reading your post...

Tom is an extremely sweet bird. You just get attached to him immediately. He is very affectionate and lovable.

The way animals return the love showered on them by human beings is incredible! They become a member of the household over time. That is why his disappearance led to such strong emotions - you only cry for the ones you really care about ...

Veena said...

So cute ! I was almost laughing at Tom's antics and your uncle's attachment to him :)

Swapna Kolhatkar said...

I really liked your blog on a bird ! Pets are indeed great to be around with :)

Shruti said...

Very interesting post, Neel. I did feel sad that he was brought up in captivity for so long. We as a species and our domination of other species, in an evolutionary sense, has always been something of a struggle for me. The arguments on both sides are strong. Shobha has been asking for a pet forever. I would actually like to get one but her dad has for now clamped down on the request.

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