While walking down a street behind the Patiala bus-stand, a few months back, I witnessed something disturbing. Something you hear everyday, talk about in essays, read in news-papers, but never do we do anything about it. I came across a pet-store. A cage, housing love birds. Ironical. Isn’t it? Caging love?! Is that even remotely possible!

On inquiring about those birds, I came to know that these are some of the most special birds of Australia, specially imported for people to raise as pets. A single cage housed, or imprisoned if might say, 25 pairs of the most beautiful love-birds of Australia. Green, white, pink and yellow; a mix of all the shades of the rainbow, locked inside a single cage, given grain to eat, but no freedom to express what they are ambassadors of…. LOVE!

The shop owner told me that each pair of these birds costs Rs. 350. He tried to convince me a lot to buy one of those, was even ready to give be a free cage for the birds and was so sure that during an average life span of these birds, which is 10 years, they’ll reproduce and I’m sure to get all my money back within 2 years’ time by selling its off-springs. Another cage, kept just behind this one housed rabbits. Three little black and white rabbits were eating carrots in the cage and when i took out my phone to click some photographs of the docile creatures, another of their salesman came forward and started convincing me to buy a pair of rabbits. Lucky as I was that day, there was a ‘special offer’ on the rabbits and a pair of bunnies which usually costed 600-700 bucks, I was being offered to take them for just 400 Rupees.

Chicken were even cheaper at Rs 150 a pair. Again the same promises of selling its eggs again the money back scheme and again, it pained me, because they were the littlest of the lot. If all this was not enough, then to add to my turmoil another person from the same shop came running in with a blue and white pigeon in his hand. He went straight in and put the bird in another big cage that had as many as 20 pigeons of many different colors and species. I could not muster the courage to ask him any further questions, but this whole incident left me with a very important question that still remains unanswered. If at all we pet animals and birds, then why don’t we show them love..!!

It maybe true that after adopting a pet, an ‘owner’ takes good care of it. Some people even treat their pets as a family member, as their own child as they may say, but the question looms, why cage them. Why do the pet shops show no mercy? Why is it that these birds and animals are not kept in an environment, a habitat where they are meant to be? Why cages? If fish are domesticated in aquariums, why not a kinder way for other critters? Why are rabbits being caged and sold and not raised in a garden where they can be themselves? Why are the love-birds caged and not set free in a nursery? We always have better options to adopt pets…. But our only problem… We look for easier options… Not better… Lets take out some time guys… Sit and think… Maybe one of us can answer the questions I wasn’t able to.

Here are some pics I clicked!

Delhi Boy’s reply to a letter from a Madrasan

This is in response to the letter by a Madrasan, dated September 10, 2011. Please go through the following link for better understanding of the post.

Dear Madrasan,

Sat-sri-akal from Delhi! Apologies first of all for calling you with that name. You left me with no better choice since that was how you signed off. Anyway to begin with, I read your letter and was pleased at how your sense of humor has improved. It was the most Racist, inferiority-complex driven and frustrated-with-not-being-able-to-adjust-with-life kind of letter that I read. I must appreciate the time and effort you might have put in to meet 2% of the people in Delhi and stereo-typing the rest of the city on its basis. I was thunderstruck to have come-across how shamelessly you rave about Delhiites disliking you for your color when you fail, at the same time, to notice that despite that, Delhi boys approach you at your friends’ parties and try using the same pick-up lines that they generally use. Yes, SUVs and nightclubs. Yes, we never think of you as SOUTH INDIANS and treat you the same way as we treat SOUTH DELHIITES.

I’m sorry if I and my fellow Delhiites or Punjabis dress in a way that is more sophisticated, presentable, and acceptable than the way our male counterparts dress in lungis and white shirts, stained and odoured with rasam and lemon rice trickling down in fine rivulets, alongside the beads of sweat on your forearms and finding their way to your shirts as you completely ignore the invention of a spoon, the word that usually S stands for in every pre-kindergarten book. I’m not sure if I should go any further talking about the man-boobs that 90% of South Indian men have which I’m sure are no match to the unshapely leading ladies in your films. Which reminds me of us having better things to do in life than block road traffic and climb buildings to bathe a certain Rajnikant with milk at the release of his films. Nothing against your kind of cinema, but pls ask you film-makers too take a lesson from Newton and learn a thing or two about Gravitation, which they tend to ignore while choreographing action scenes. And what did you talk about women empowerment? We come from a land that has produced a former woman IPS officer, a woman Prime-Minister who grew up and lived all her life in Delhi, a CM who has been re-elected for a third consecutive term, and I’m sure after flaunting your education and potential to crack the IITs you must know that its the “people of Delhi” who vote for the Assembly elections. I’m not sure if you have ever come across a real Punjabi woman who had the heart to kiss a Bhagat Singh goodbye to serve his country at the prime of his youth rathar than asking him to go to England and pursue ‘higher studies.’ I don’t need to tell you, presuming you read the news-paper regularly now that you mentioned education as important, that how many Punjabis actually join the armed forces and lay their lives to make you feel safer. Yes, making missiles in a lab might take your kind of a brain, but firing them and facing them, takes our kind of balls.

Since you requested, I won’t mention anything about how are taxes are used by Amma in buying those 10000 sarees and 750 pairs of shoes that she owns. Maybe Bhangra and Gurdas Mann don’t interest you, because you don’t care about any other form of art than that you know or perhaps just due to not being able to understand them, but I do appreciate a Bharatnayam performance as much as a Gidda or and MS Subbulaxmi composition, as much as a ghazal. If there were to be such discriminatory letter contests, then I’d also like to read a letter from a Northie working in an Infosys or a TCS placed in your part of the country and his pains when he is discriminated against; when your people pretend not to know any Hindi or English and don’t even give road directions. But what am I saying, your own letter shows how much you hate ‘all’ of us on account of meeting ‘some’ of us. Maybe you have mastered the art of cracking IITs but atleast we don’t, unlike some of your Southern states (now that you are representing all of south India), fight over water from rivers or demand a separate country of ours. We are proud to be Indians, mind it!

Since you also mentioned something about ‘sambhar chawaling our way into your life’, let me clear it for you, thanks for the offer, but NO, Thank You! I don’t want to bring a marriage proposal to your house which is turned down cuz I don’t have enough coconut trees in my backyard or my purity of ‘religion’ is not proved in a secular country, despite the fact that I’m clearly in love with your daughter and capable enough to take care of her. Yeah, that’s a different issue that your daughter is no Sri Devi and even my distant neighbor from across the park is more beautiful than Sri Devi, but still.

For someone who has problem with someone saying “peerents” instead of “parents”, I would humbly request you to look in the mirror and spell ‘p-a-r-e-n-t-s’ and try (just try, because I know you’ll miserably fail it) not saying “pee-yay-waar-yen-tee-yes.” And also while naming your kids next time, remember that you are giving him a name and not his whole CV and family background information; let it be a name only and not a paragraph in itself.

With a lot of love, a formal hug and a flying kiss (I’d rather have tandoori chicken),

Yours Truly,

A Delhi Boy