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|What Happened to Dhani (standard:non fiction, 2384 words)|
|Author: Juggernaut||Added: Dec 03 2013||Views/Reads: 2713/891||Story 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. Tweet
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