Puducherry

An unusual man-bird bond in Puducherry

Sharing and caring: Selvaraj feeding the crow that has been his meal-time companion for four years and counting.

Sharing and caring: Selvaraj feeding the crow that has been his meal-time companion for four years and counting.   | Photo Credit: S.S. KUMAR

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A cycle rickshaw puller finds joy and satisfaction in sharing his food with a crow

Selvaraj, a cycle rickshaw puller, and a crow have been hitting it off over a meal on Rue Francois Martin, in the Boulevard area of the city, nearly every day for four years now.

Every morning, as soon as the rickshaw puller settles down in the parking lot and unwraps his breakfast or lunch, the bird flies down from its nest to sit on the frame of the rickshaw.

The crow perches lightly on his knee and peers expectantly for its share.

Stocking up a mouthful of morsels, the bird flies off to its nest to feed its young, and returns for its fill only after that primary parental duty is done.

In case the crow is late, Mr. Selvaraj, who takes tourists on sightseeing trips for a living, makes it a point to keep aside some food. If he fails to notice the bird, he says, it gently tugs at his shirt tails to attract attention.

“The fellow seems to relish non-vegetarian food,” Mr. Selvaraj says laughingly.

While crow feeding is quite common, even ceremonial, in Hindu faith, people of the Union Territory are struck by the regular interaction between the man and the bird at close quarters.

“I don’t know how to explain it...perhaps it is divine grace. All I can say is that there is such joy and satisfaction in feeding him,” Mr. Selvaraj says.

He reckons the crow might be the same bird he rescued when it was injured a few years ago. He fed it water and kept it in a safe place, away from cats or dogs.

He couldn’t find the bird the following day. He feared it may have fallen prey, and forgot about it as he went about his life.

“A few days later, a crow came and perched on the frame of the rickshaw. When I offered water in a bottle cap, it drank from it. Then I began to give it bits of food. It struck me later that this could be the same crow I had rescued,” he says.

It has since become an established routine for the two to share food and water over breakfast and lunch — rainy days being the rare exception.

This unusual man-bird relationship, that has sustained for over four years, has become a part of the lore in the French Quarter of the city.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 9:33:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/an-unusual-man-bird-bond-in-puducherry/article30110603.ece

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