It was there in a small bag when my father brought it in a small cloth bag. It was sensitive,afraid, ill when I opened the bag in the garage. Its eyes, like pearls with black spots in it, covered with grey eye lids over which green fur rested. The body malnourished, with muddy feet, an injured leg and hurt wing. There was Vishnoo, my pet. A parrot, too unique for me. A baby bird scared of new things. How ‘it’ became ‘he’ is the story only I know. My father brought him home when he found him lying on the road beneath a tree with a bleeding eye and an injured body. He tried to find the nest,but was unable to. The very first day, I still remember, he stood in the living room with shivering feet when I and my brother fed him with daal and rice. My mother gave him the guava and my father gave him apple to eat. He could hardly eat even a small amount. We fed him with our own hands. Gave him water and he returned to his senses. He stood still and gazed at us when my father named him. There was a new member of our small family. Few days of healthy diet and happy atmosphere made him able to roam in the house which was his favorite thing to do whole of its life time. Time passed. We all three grew up together. Me, my brother and Vishnoo. My brother was his favorite at home. He used to eat with us in the same plate. Whenever my mummy used to separate his plate from ours, he would again come to ours, thinking that she discriminates. The innocent soul would walk in the whole house with pride in a way which caught everyone’s attention. He walked like a deer aware of its beauty. It was kept in no cage except for the nights and the travel times. He toured cities with us in our car. No matter how far the city was from our home, we always used to travel by car for his convenience. He learnt to fly on his own, and used to prance on the grills of our house window. We called it his nest as he used to sleep there and stay there always. He always sat with us whenever we used to study and guarded us. So, mumma’ s tensions for our academics, he always reduced as when even one of us would stop and talk or do mischief, he shouted in his parrot voice with anger. At times when we were too busy to talk to him, he used to bite us on ear. All this lead us to analyze him as my grandfather. He learnt our names and many words of Hindi. And used to pronounce them with pride. He called me “tento”(He was unable to say my nick name Tanu), my brother “kiku”(unable to say Shibboo), my mom “Pinky”(Too correct to say her nick name) and my papa “kaka”(not being able to say “Papa”). Whenever my brother went to school, he used to sit on the netted gate and would call “Kiku aja”(Come back Kiku) with an emotion. When disappointed, he would say ” umm hmm ” with a tone of disappointment as lot of people do in central India. Suddenly at times, he would call “Pinky” to verify if my mother is at home or not ,as we all responded whenever he called us. When angry he used to scream and shout. He learnt the word “moti”(meaning fat) and said it whenever he was angry or didn’t like someone. He learnt to say “hat”(hindi word for go to hell/stay out of it) and said it at least ten times a day to my father. My papa used to enjoy it a lot. Seeing someone wearing socks, he used to bite him in foot. I feel that he didn’t like them. Observing us wear new clothes, he used to cheer and make sound “mittthoo mitthhoo”. Whenever a cat passed near to the netted gate on which he used to sit, he used to call “mew mew”. It felt as if he wished to make fun of cat’s inability to eat him as he was inside our house. He could make the sounds of a dog’s bark and at times he even used to say “kya kar rahe”(Hindi for “What are you doing?”) and we always responded. I remember the day he flew to a nearby enormous tree for the first time, he accidentally flew as he was trying to go with my brother to wherever he was going. We wept alot. He loved corn at that time. So, my father climbed the tree and showed him corn, and so he landed in his cage. After that he flew six times more and every time by any means, we managed him home. Sometimes it was cashew nut, which he loved, or at times we used to beat my brother in front of him (fake beating) and he used to cry in a fake way and Vishnoo came back to rescue him from our tortures. He used to make sounds of laugh whenever he was happy. He could even make sounds of coughing and sneezing and farting. And whenever my father did any one of them, he used to copy. Even at 3 a.m. He used to kiss us by touching his beak on our lips or cheek and make the kissing sound. He used to kiss us whenever he sat on our shoulder. He also used to sit on our head and bite our hair or just sit quietly and rest. He used to rest on one feet and sleep with feathers airy. He slept with standing on one leg and beak penetrated inside the airy feathers. At times when he ate too much, he used to make faces of vomiting and sometimes used to vomit even. He had a unique fascination with soft hands and feet. Whenever he saw them, he used to become taller, made its eye pupil as small as possible and would come to them in a fashionable way and kiss them.
In winters he used to sit on my palm and spread his feathers to cover it and give them heat. We used to feel that he was trying to lay eggs. And we being kids. He slept with us in afternoon in our quilts and comforters and used to make sounds of snoring while in bed. He always used to cheer us. For us, it was also a luck charm as it took wealth and excellence in our home. He was afraid of teddy bears and used to shout whenever we kept them near. Sometimes we used them to bully him. He always followed my brother wherever he went. When not in house, he used to search him in the whole house. Even in toilets and bathrooms. He was able to say “mein” (Hindi for I/me) and said it whenever he was in parts of house where the voice echoed. He would insert his face in a vessel and make sounds that echoed. He enjoyed it a lot. Whenever in trouble, he called my name. As I always used to cry whenever my brother would harass him or make him bath when he didn’t want to etc. I rescued him. If, by any chance, mom forgot to wake him up, I woke him up by removing the cloth from his cage.He used to bathe whenever he wished. He bathed like a duck playing with water. And was happiest at that time. After bathing he sat quietly for hours together meditating things. I loved him. We loved him. He loved us. He loved sweets and nuts. But unlike other parrots , he never ate chilly. He spoke. But he never spoke the words we made him learn. Words like Ram etc he never spoke. He blew whistle over my friends and others and like a racist, he shouted over dark complexion people badly. Ten years passed. The three siblings grew up. I went to college. Came home after six months. Mummy told me how much he misses me. Takes my name always. He used to wake me up daily. If at times, I was too tired, he sat beside me and just see me sleep. Like a true lover. And I woke up seeing his face, happy as never been. At times when my father and mother used to quarrel, he would shout at them or talk to none and hence we learnt his anger. One of the most unique pets in the world, was one fine morning sleeping in quilt with my brother. And suddenly my brother felt strange inactivity, which he had never felt before. Strange stillness and softer body. He arose and looked at his hands. There was Vishnoo, my bhaiyu . With unconscious body and lifeless head. As still as a snow covered tree. With one eye open and tongue out of beak, he lied still in my brother’s hand, who was his favorite. His last breath had passed. 30th December 2017, 9:15 a.m. Vishnoo, my pet is no more.