ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Born Free, Forever Happy

The unexpected entry of a parakeet into the apartment and the lives of a family in Mumbai shows that humans and animals can live and let live.

What surprised me when I first met Mittoo, dressed in that special green plumage with a little red necktie that makes parakeets so beautiful, was that he was not in a cage but flying freely around in the apartment. I had dropped in on a neighbour to ask about some errant plumber’s whereabouts and there it was – this gorgeous bird – allowed free reign of the house, waddling around with that drunken sailor gait so typical of parakeets.

I always look away from birds in cages, but here was this avian hero flying from windowsill to windowsill, till he finally perched on the kitchen window and talked lovingly to the bai, one of those indefatigable Mumbai superwomen who flit from flat to flat, cleaning up, but only on their terms. Mittoo adored her, my neighbour told me, and spoke to her in fluent parakeet, while she went about her work with steadfast urgency.

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