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What Happened to Dhani (standard:non fiction, 2384 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: Dec 03 2013Views/Reads: 2713/891Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A short story on Juggernaut's pet parrot Dhani

Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

decades after his death.   The baby Krishna idol was now over 70 years 

old was still in good condition from careful preservation. 

In the top section of the show-case has other collection's, 

some curious pieces. The prominent was a replica of a fort carved in 

intricate details on white cork then encased in glass for protection. 

Two colorful Japanese Geisha dolls a medical student from Malaysia gave 

as gift to Juggernaut's family. A peacock with its feathers spread out 

carved in detail on ivory. Small sandalwood carvings of Hindu deities. 

The most important was a model airplane Juggernaut's brother Srinivas 

spent weeks to assemble from several pieces. It was a gift from 

Juggernaut's uncle brought from America in early 60's.  The model 

airplane was hooked with a plastic string from the top of the case at 

dead center.  From a distance, the airplane looked as if it was in 

midst of a flight in the air. 

Dhani grew in size slowly developing thick characteristic 

green soft feathers and attractive red beak.  During the night, Dhani 

rested in the nest and at day break it climbed out walking sideways on 

the rim of the nest, round and round as if looking for a right spot to 

relax.  The glass show-case was at the corner of large living room on 

the 1st floor. The living room was 50 feet long and 40 feet wide looked 

like as a museum with many exhibits. It was also the reading room for 

Juggernaut and his brother and sister to study and do home work. Next 

to the show case was a large window with four sections, each with a 

separate small wooden solid door. When widow doors were open, vertical 

steel grill prevent large birds like crows flying into the room though 

small sparrows flew in and out in a hurry. A sparrow family even built 

a small nest in the corner on the room ceiling. As Dhani grew, 

Juggernaut trimmed the tip of the wings to prevent Dhani flying away 

from the opened windows.  Dhani sometimes land on the window sill 

walking up and down using its claws on the window's s steel grill.  It 

made all kinds of calls, short and long shrieks and sometimes whistled. 

Often, pedestrians on the street below stopped to look at Dhani walking 

up and down quickly on the window grill sometimes swing around like in 

pole dancing. Every time, Juggernaut entered the room, Dhani would fly 

to land on his shoulder to start a conversation in slow whistles. 

Dhani took short flights inside the room landing on furniture pieces, 

but its favorite landing spot was on top of Garrard record player. 

The Garrard record player was an automatic 78 RPM record 

changer. It plays several records in sequence when stacked on a central 

spindle. The black shiny single-sided 7-inch records were heavy and 

breakable. The records have a smell of mild phenyl odor, a detergent to 

clean drains particularly when just removed from the storage shelves at 

the bottom of the unit. Juggernaut's father got custom made a large 

teakwood 3 feet high rectangle box to accommodate side by side the 

Garrard record player and a HMV radio with 4 bands, 3 short waves and 1 

Medium wave.  In the front of the unit was two speakers covered with 

fancy looking fabric. A lid with two brass hinges open or close the 

unit to keep the turn-table and the radio from collecting dust. When 

closed, the unit has a look of a large stylish teakwood rectangle box 

with front speakers.  The bottom section has three deep shelves to 

store the thick heavy 78 RPM records.  During night time when their 

parents were at sleep, Juggernaut with his brother used to listen to 

radio stations from far away countries like America, Australia, Japan, 

South Africa and South America. The unfamiliar music played on the 

stations was sounded funny at that time.  Some South African and 

Pakistan radio stations played old Indian vintage music. The music from 

Japan or China sounded sad as if the singers were crying in harmony. 

Radio Ceylon was the most popular station on shortwave to hear popular 

Indian music. Dhani for some reason preferred to land on the record 

player unit, perhaps to watch its own image on the polished wooden 

music box. 

Among the pet dogs, three German Shepherds, one Cocker Spaniel 

and two Dachshunds, one or two would escape now and then from backyard 

to come upstairs. Dhani stayed safe from the dogs at its nest 7 feet 

above on top of the glass show-case. The dogs just sat at the foot of 

the armoire licking their lips staring at Dhani. The backyard was part 

tropical garden and part petting zoo. Trees like Coconut, Neem, Soap 

Nut, sour Gooseberry, yellow Nerium, Plumeria and colorful bushes of 

crotons and Hibiscus of various colors provided shade to the pet 

animals and birds. While the dogs roamed freely, large birds like black 

and white Turkeys, spotted Guinea fowls and Peacocks were confined to a 

large chicken-fenced shed with corrugated metal roof.  Several dozen 

pigeons of different colors were sheltered well above the ground in 

wooden multiple pigeon hole cages. Several terrestrial tortoises, some 

big and others small with colorful designs on their shell domes roamed 

slowly around the yard looking for leaves, flowers and twigs dropped 

from the trees.  Dhani could never be safe in the backyard outside a 

cage. The only risk to Dhani in the living room was from the ceiling 

fan in motion, from the most part, it flew well below the spinning fan 

blades. Only once it was caught in the slow moving fan blades that 

ruffled its feathers but no damage to the wings. 

Juggernaut's life was surrounded with Dhani when he was at 

home in the living room. If he were to be reading, playing or listening 

to radio, Dhani was by his side either at his feet or on his shoulder. 

Sometimes, Dhani would bit him delicately in a playful mood. If Dhani 

were to lose grip while dancing on the window grill, it could fall on 

to the stairway outside or worst on the tiled kitchen roof. It could 

fly a short distance but could land on a busy street with heavy vehicle 

and foot traffic to its own peril. 

The entire huge backyard can be seen from the two large 

windows on west side of the room.  Once in a while Dhani would hang 

around on one of the window metal grill making funny calling calls as 

if it was provoking the dogs downstairs in the yard, in response the 

dogs would bark as if challenging Dhani to fly down to settle score. On 

the top of the window, two heavy wild bison horns curved in uniform 

fashion were mounted, looking at the size of the horns; the bison was a 

large beast to carry such a heavy set of horns.  Also on the walls 

around the room were large sea turtle shells polished to show its 

natural contours with streaks of tan, black and green colors blended as 

if they followed a particular pattern. House guests spent lot of time 

walking slowly around the room as if they were visiting a small public 

museum although it was a private collection in a large living room. 

When Juggernaut returned from the school in the evenings, it 

was his routine to run upstairs to pickup Dhani with his fingers from 

its place either on a furniture piece, window sill or from its nest. 

One evening, as usual he ran up to the living room to be with Dhani, 

but Dhani was nowhere to find; Juggernaut started calling out loud 

Dhani repeatedly looking behind every piece of furniture and display 

around the room. Dhani was nowhere to find. In panic, he ran outside to 

the stairs to look around on the kitchen roof and walked fast to the 

top of the stairs to look over the street below, the traffic was 

normal and no sign people watching an unusual event like a parrot lying 

on the street or worse a dead parrot. He quickly ran to the backyard 

suspecting that may be Dhani slipped to the backyard from the window on 

west side. Dhani not often hangout on west side window grill for some 

reason perhaps was afraid of dogs roaming freely in the backyard. 

Juggernaut looked suspiciously at each dog and tried to open their 

mouth to see if there was a sign of parrot remains like pieces of 

feather, but all the dogs appeared to be lazy and relaxed. He 

feverishly walked up and down in the yard looking at the bushes and 

trees calling for Dhani, no signs of Dhani anywhere. He ran back to 

talk to his mother and brother, they were not even aware Dhani was 

missing. Juggernaut was distraught over the sudden disappearance of 

Dhani; he was not sure whether Dhani was stolen if it took a flight on 

to the street or worse eaten in full by one of the dogs always 

salivating at Dhani.  Juggernaut considered Dhani a close friend and 

companion; every evening when he returned from the school he always 

looked forward to spend time with Dhani. Now Dhani gone, he felt lost, 

he missed Dhani every evening when he returned from the school. Either 

Juggernaut's parents or his brother appeared to miss Dhani. 

Every evening, Juggernaut made a routine to walk around every 

section of the backyard to see if he could find any remains of Dhani, 

somehow he believed that one of the dogs got Dhani. For a big dog like 

German shepherd or even for a small Dachshund it take no time to kill 

and eat small Dhani instantly. Unless somebody hears distress calls, 

there was no chance for Dhani to get away from a dog's mouth.   Almost 

a year went by with no sign of Dhani remains to be found in the 

backyard.  Sometimes, Juggernaut dreamt of Dhani back in its nest on 

the show-case making funny calls. 

It was almost a year since Dhani disappeared for good leaving 

Juggernaut in sorrow and never a day passed Juggernaut not thinking 

about Dhani.  During one of his walks in the back yard near the 

rainwater drain, he suddenly found a small red object hidden under dry 

leaves, with his foot he cleared the area to find a bird's beak in 

faded red. He picked it up to look at close, it was a parrot's beak, 

and no doubt it was Dhani's beak. He held the beak carefully with both 

hands as if he was holding something precious.  The rainwater flow 

carried the beak to the lower end of the yard around the drain pipe. 

His fear that one of the dogs mauled Dhani was proved to be true.  He 

felt sad for Dhani to die a painful death in a dog's mouth.  He ran to 

announced it to his parents and brother as a big event, only to be 

ignored. Juggernaut somehow felt some comfort to find what happened to 

Dhani and a closure to his grief on the sudden disappearance of Dhani. 

Juggernaut still reminiscence his close friendship with Dhani, 

decades after its sudden disappearance and death. 

“Dad, what is your password to watch movies on your account on 

the internet?” asked Sam, Juggernaut's daughter. 

“Type DHANI, all in capitals,” Juggernaut spelled slowly. 

“That sounds funny.” 

“It was the name of my pet parrot I lost decades ago under 

tragic circumstances.” When Juggernaut selected Dhani as password to 

open the account, the bar showing the level of security was very strong 

for the password DHANI, just like his love towards Dhani. 

“Knowing about you, I am sure you are going to write a story 

on Dhani,” she asked looking at a script on the computer screen. 

“You bet as we speak” Juggernaut was already working on it. 

“I know it,” she said giving a smile. 


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