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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Friendship beyond Barriers


God loved the birds and invented trees.  Man loved the birds and invented cages.  ~Jacques Deval

 Our neighbours have two bird cages - one for budgerigars and one for rose ringed parakeet. The cages are placed in their balcony, during morning and evening hours. These birds or rather their feed attracts many visitors, like pigeons, mynas and sparrows. 
In a way, the caged birds enjoy the  company of others from Avian world during their stay in the open. All birds are at their chirpiest behaviour at these times, probably enjoying the refreshing open air and view of the blue sky, which is near yet so far.  
Early November morning brought unusual visitors to this balcony; wild rose ringed parakeets. They were perhaps summoned by the plaintive cries of the caged parakeet, who longed to be free like its wild friends. What followed was a surreptitious interaction between caged and a free bird; they exchanged food and probably news.  
The budgerigars were the perfect conspirators who kept a watch on the human activities inside the house and gave alarm calls to parakeets if anyone approached the balcony door. The wild parakeets would leave at the slightest hint of human presence, to return later when all was clear. 
The caged parakeet would become restless after its friend left, shunning food its jailers offered, pacing its cage frantically. I could watch the ongoings from our balcony, which being at a distance, did not cause any alarms to these birds. These interactions between the wild & caged world continued for few days till the winter chill forced our neighbours to keep the birds inside house for over a month.
The peak winter chill is over and caged birds are back in balcony to enjoy the warm winter sunlight . The caged rose ringed parakeet however is missing in action, and so are its visitors. Perhaps the bird was sent away, or perhaps it died of a broken heart; unable to join its friends in the free world.
Alert for any Human intrusion

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