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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Peacock Dance

The Peacock should have been the first entry in Feathered Friends, being the national bird.  Hopefully the number of pictures and the time spent on this chapter should appease this divine bird :p

Peafowl family in Moira, Goa

During my stay at beautiful Moira village in Goa, in the month of July, I had an opportunity to see this beautiful bird dancing. The peahens scavenged vegetable patch of  the neighbors for food, while the peacock merrily put up its show. Being monsoon season, peacock's plumage  was in its full splendor.  Brilliant blue green and gold colored  feathers were mesmerizing. The call of the dancing bird could be heard all over the village for hours after mid day. The peacock is more flamboyant than the peahens in its harem. A typical peafowl family has one male and 3-4 females.

It is said that the peacock "has angel's feathers, a devil's voice, and the walk of a thief." It is the vahan of Saraswati, goddess of wisdom and learning.  Peacock is also the vehicle for Kartikeya, son of Shiva and Parvati. Legends from Greek mythology, give explanations for the extravagant display feathers of the  peacock.  
Adult Peacock
A story describes how the peacock acquired the many eyes in his ornamental train. The goddess Hera had a beautiful priestess named Io. Io was greatly admired by Zeus. To protect her from Hera’s jealousy Zeus transformed Io into a heifer. Hera tricked Zeus into giving the heifer to her as a gift and set her faithful servant Argus to watch over her. Argus had numerous eyes all over his body, making him a natural choice for the assignment. Zeus sent the god Hermes to free Io from Hera’s watchman. Hermes charmed Argus to sleep until all of his eyes were closed and then killed him. To honor her faithful watchman, Hera took Argus’ eyes and placed them on the tail of the peacock.  

As I saw the bird dance, I recalled this beautiful marathi poem.

 ढगांशी वारा झुंजला रे
काळा काळा कापूस पिंजला रे
आता तुझी पाळी, वीज देते टाळी
फुलव पिसारा नाच, नाच रे मोरा ... 

झरझर धार झरली रे 
झाडांची भिजली इरली रे 
पावसात न्हाऊ, काहीतरी गाऊ 
करुन पुकारा नाच, नाच रे मोरा ...

Three types of peafowls are found in world; Indian, Green and Congo. Green peafowl is found in southeast Asia which I have photographed in Sentosa island, Singapore. Hoping to get a chance to photograph the Congo variety in African region.

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