Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Pigeon Chronicles (1)

We were at the Gateway of India on a bright sunny morning, and I knew it was going to be a good day.

Even the pigeons were having a rollicking time, what with the water and the sun, and all the attention from tourists.

I read somewhere that pigeons figure in Mughal miniatures, and Emperor Shahjahan, when he was not busy building the Taj Mahal, also had time to raise fancy pigeons.

A few years ago, the Indian press was talking about the last surviving Police Pigeon Service in India. I think it was Orissa, and they approved the closing of the service because they thought $10,000 per annum was too much to spend on 300 pigeons. A pity, don't you think?

I wonder where Bombay got its fascination for pigeons from. There seem to be kabutarkhanas everywhere. And at each kabutarkhana, there is always a chana-wala selling pigeon-feed. My childhood memories are filled with watching pigeons being fed near my school, and hearing the flutter-chutter of wings as they took flight.

- Deepa

1 comment:

melroy said...

Hi Deepa. This is a wonderful article. It brings back memories of the various kabutarkhanas we have in Mumbai.
We still have a few these days which is very fascinating.

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