I was in the sixth grade and we lived in Mumbai. Our apartment was close to the sea, amidst an ever noisy localty. We lived on the topmost floor of the building and our balcony overlooked the sea, the railway station, salt pans, markets and a few settlements. Dad would always scatter pieces of ‘Parle-G’ buiscuit in the balcony and birds would come and eat them. There would be parrots, sparrows, crows and mynahs. I would always get excited as I heard the chirps of parrots and would run upstairs to the balcony and watch from the corner. Feeding birds had been a tradition at my house since many years.
One fine afternoon as I came from school and was taking a nap I remember I heard a different sound but I knew it was a parrot. I guessed mum and dad had forgotten to give them food and so they were trying to remind us that they were hungry. I opened the door to the blacony and started breaking biscuits when a small parrot, dark green in color with red marks on his wings, a deep red beak and was very fluffy flew and sat on the slab. He was so hungry that even before I walked inside he rushed towards me and started having the biscuits.
I love all forms of animals and birds and so I was very excited to see this parrot being so fearless. I slowly tried to sit next to it as it ate. Other birds would fly off even if they noticed slight movement inside the house through the net but this brave one sat there and continued eating. Maybe he was very hungry.
He was a baby bird and I felt as if he was someone’s pet and had managed to fly away. I don’t know how but I fell in love with this bird from that day itself. I sat there looking at him, he ate and flew away. I just hoped he would come back.
Next morning, I slept till late, I missed the bird feeding time and I asked mum whether my birdie came, he did come. I was sad I missed him but that evening he came again. This day I tried feeding him biscuits by holding them in front of his beak. He would take it with his feet and hold it and nibble it. But I kept feeling that the biscuits were hard for him.
That eveninng I bought guavas and chillies for him and kept it for him and the other parrots in the morning. He did not touch any of those so I gave him biscuits and he was happy and nibbling again.
Eventually I started crushing the biscuit in my hand and forwarding my hand to my birdie, he would eat from my hand and his beak would feel ticklish every time he pcked at the biscuits. I was the only person he liked 😛 as he would fly away if anyone came close to him. When he would eat he would let me touch his head and run my finger on his feathers. He loved me as much as I loved him.
Everyday he would come in the morning and evening at fixed times and would make a very different sound and I would know he is here. When I would tell my friends and relatives about birdie everyone would ask me to cage him by trick but I would feel hurt when they would say that. I could never trick birdie to trap him. He belonged to the sky, to the nature and to the tree and I could not take any of that away from him.
However, this lasted for a very short time as my family and I had to visit myy aunt for a few days and when we came back birdie was gone. He never came back. Maybe he was too tired of waiting, maybe he thought we left. I hadn’t even named birdie by the time he left and then I could never name him again
I have two pets now. Both of them are very dear to me but birdie was my first pet and he has always been my favorite and will always be.