I had just finished packing my suitcase. I was going to visit Grandpa and Grandma in Jhansi during my summer break.“Ria , now go to sleep. We have to get up early” said mamma.I was going along with my Mom for a month’s stay at my granny’s place. I was so excited.
Next day we boarded the train early morning at 6:00 a.m.After 6 hours of train journey we reached our destination. Grandpa had come to receive us.
“How are you my little girl?” asked Grandpa“I am not little Grandpa, I am eight years old”.
“Ok, my big girl Granny is waiting eagerly for both of you and has prepared delicious food. We also have a surprise for you.”
“Oh,please tell me Grandpa” I requested.“Ria be patient, let Grandpa drive the car peacefully” yelled Mamma.
Within few minutes we were at home. I rushed inside the house and hugged Granny.“Where is my surprise Granny ?” I enquired.
“Ria first wash your hands, have some snacks and relax for a while. Don’t be so impatient. ” said Mom.
“Divya, Ria is a child after all let me show her the surprise that I have bought for her” muttered Grandpa.
Granny took me to the courtyard.Oh! To my surprise it was a talking parrot in a beautiful cage. My joy knew no bounds. I was super excited.“How to call him?” I asked anxiously.
“Sweety,call him Mithoo” answered Granny.
“Oh! he is lovely, displays a rich green colour with curved beak, has sharp claws and has a rose-ring around his neck” I exclaimed. To my surprise he was trying to imitate my voice. He whistled on seeing me.“What does he eat?” I asked.
“ Dear, he loves eating seed, nuts, fruits like Guava, green chilli, roasted Bengal gram(chana), all types of pulses with rice, strangely enough but he is very fond of daal-chawal” said Granny.
“How old is he?” I asked.“ I think 7-8 years old. This is what the bird-seller told us.”
I was so delighted that now I have a companion to play with and surely I will be enjoying my stay here. It was my routine now to say Good-morning and Ram-Ram to Mithoo and feed him. To my surprise, he had learnt to say my name. Parrots are so intelligent. When the doorbell use to ring, Mithoo used to make a screeching noise and say “ Kaun aaya” , who is there?”He was my best friend now. He use to flap his wings to call me, I could hardly ignore him. Often after having his food he used to take a nap. I have also seen him enjoying the swing which was there in his cage.
One day I was sitting in the garden and saw birds chirping and flying from one tree to another. I became sad and I asked Grandpa, “ Why this poor creature is in the cage, isn’t it cruel to keep him in the captivity?”
On listening this Grandpa said “ I agree Ria, if you wish we will free him.”
Granny shouted “ Oh…no no don’t even try this, it will cost him his life, he doesn’t know how to fly, his feathers have no strength he will fall and some cat will eat him. Don’t do anything forcibly.”
“Dear stay calm, we will try patiently. Don’t worry.” assured Grandpa
Next day when I woke up I was keen to try taking out Mithoo from his cage. With the permission of Grandpa I kept his cage open and placed his favourite daal chawal outside the cage. After some time Mithoo came out had his food and went back into his cage. It was an excellent start. Daily I use to do the same. I think Mithoo felt safe and trusted us that we won’t harm him therefore he easily used to come out finish his food and then went back into his cage.
Soon my vacations were coming to an end. After two days we had to leave.Next day, when I woke up in the morning and as usual went to say ‘Good Morning’ to Mithoo I saw him lying down in the cage. I screamed…..Maaaaa……Grandpaaaaa…..Grannyyyyyy……and I started crying.”Somebody wake my precious Mithoo please… I pleaded”.
Mamma hugged me. We all were in tears. Was he sick or no more…we all were perplexed.Grandpa said “My sweetheart don’t get baffled, he will be fine.”
Grandpa very gently took Mithoo out from the cage. Kept him in his arms.Oh, my god we couldn’t see his heart-beating. Grandpa whispered to mom that should he bury him, for that he will have to wrap him in a piece of cloth, put him in a box and dig a hole in the garden and place him there.Granny with heavy heart told Grandpa to hold on. She went quickly and brought some gangajal ( water of holy Ganga) sprinkled it on Mithoo’s face and then started chanting hanuman chalisa – a devotional hymn.
After she had finished we saw Mithoo opening his eyes slowly. I was overwhelmed and started dancing. Was it a miracle? Granny cried out in joy “ See my god saved him.”We were all smiles. There was no limit of our happiness. We placed Mithoo back in the cage. Gave him water and food to drink. He seemed fine and healthy now. I got a sigh of relief .
I am twenty years now. During my visits to my grandparents place I use to spend a lot of time with my beautiful Mithoo. My beloved Mithoo passed away five years back. My birdy must be in heaven now. Grandpa buried him in the garden and planted a guava tree there. The plant has grown well and bloomed, reflecting the beauty of my gorgeous Mithoo. Parrots often chirp on that tree, birds make nest on it. Mithoo will always be cherished in our hearts.
Every bird and pet are members of family and I believe they deserve all respect and love. Never simply throw a dead bird or animal in a dustbin or in any other disrespectful way. They feel exactly as we do.