Eight-year-old Shraddha, a class three student of Vruksha Montessori, loves birds and animals.
Last year, during the pandemic lockdown season, she was keen on having a dog or a Persian cat as a pet at home in Abiramapuram but her parents found there were far too many issues to have one of these in the multi storied Mahalakshmi Apartments on Sundararajan Street where they reside.
They then explored the possibility of rearing fish but found that its life was too short. They then came upon the idea of a parrot. They went all the way to Kolathur to buy a Cocktail Parrot. They liked him but within a fortnight found that there was not a fit. He belonged to the wild kind – he would not become friendly too easily and so they handed him back.
They then went to Vadapalani to look for the ‘tamed’ variety, and to their delight found the Conure variety and presented to the little girl a Pineappale Conure as a birthday gift. Very soon, they found that he was alone and so they went in for a companion for him and added a Green Chick Conure.
Shraddha’s mother, Aparna Bhupendhar is a home maker and now spends a lot of time with the two parrots. She says that the two are very affectionate and have made a big difference in the life of her daughter especially during the lockdown phase when she has not been able to go to school.
“We presented the two parrots as a birthday gift to Shraddha last year. While Honey the male has become very close to me, Bunny and Shraddha are together all the time. The two parrots have provided great companionship to our daughter.”
Aparna says that the closeness with the two parrots has reached unbelievable levels in recent months “ If we do not wake up at 6am, Honey serves as the alarm bell and calls us out with his squeaky voice. They love their baths and their presence in the bathtub has become a daily ritual.”
Wherever Aparna goes, Honey and Bunny accompany her sitting on each shoulder or sometimes even on her head. The two are with her in the kitchen, the balcony and on the terrace.
She says that they have all the characteristics of human beings “If I handle them a bit rough or shout at them or when they find that the three of us are ready to go outside, instantly they become saddened and go into a corner of a room. I have to cajole them back into a happy mood by talking to them in a cheerful and loving tone.”
While Honey and Bunny pick apples from her hand to eat, their favourite is the red guava. Their other favourites are the Sundal varieties.
What has surprised Aparna about these birds is that the two parrots seem to understand human conversations. “They respond to our talks and provide instant reactions.”
- Story and photos by S. Prabhu
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