Tuesday, October 03, 2006

An unlikely Intruder

পুরনো পোস্ট। হুট করে প্যাঁচাটার কথা মনে পড়লো। ভাবলাম পোস্ট করি। হালকা এডিট করেছি।

The war of Kurukshetra is over. The Pandavas are victorious over the Kouravas, who condescended to concede, accepting the fact that almost all great warriors of both sides have fallen.

A team of three Kouravas, Ashwatthama, Kripacharya and Kritavarma are returning home. Dusk crawled over the earth, the other two fell asleep under a tree, but the slow fire of vengeance kept young Ashwatthama’s mind burning and eyes awake. He lost his father, the legendary Dronacharya, who was brutally slaughtered by Dhrishtadyumna while meditating.

Suddenly an Owl flew in into the scene, sat on that tree, and started feasting on the sleeping crows, which are quite unable to see or fight back in the dark. A ruthless stratagem flashed in Ashwatthama's mind, yes, that’s the right way to serve those bloody Pandavas, he would go and slay them in their deep sleep.

And that’s what happened later in Mahabharata, the rest of the Pandava-Kshatrias were slaughtered by this trio, while they were sleeping, unarmed and unwilling to fight back. All because of a pesky Owl.

And after some thousands of years a descendant of that Owl certainly met its nemesis in my living compound.

A regimented attack of more than 200 crows forced Bhutum, the Owl of our story, to crash-land in my garage. Bhutum is an adolescent, around 11 inches tall, still to grow another foot to reach adulthood, was clearly unable to defend itself, and being terribly wounded in wings and legs, it gave up and got itself under the safe custody of Shah Alam, our caretaker. He’s the one who shooed the crows away, but kept Bhutum in a cage on bread and water.

I was informed in the afternoon, there’s a refugee situation, and molestation was highly probable. The living complex were burgeoning with children, residents and visitors, each caparisoned with the right weapon, either a stick or a cosh, none less antagonistic than the mighty soldiers of Zingis Khan, and various “scientific” experiments were being proposed to be conducted on Bhutum. Let’s give it a good shake, let’s tie a collar on its neck, let’s put a cat inside the cage and see who wins … so on.

I snatched the cage away from those little scientists, and took it up on the roof. Bhutum was really shocked, and it was the daylight that froze him even more. The cage was not so roomy for him, and not all owls can sit upward on a flat surface, as they’re more used to perch on a branch, grabbing it with their curved toes. Bhutum just sat in a corner, totally helpless and tired, perhaps also famished. I took some pictures of that poor creature, and a sudden cry of a crow flying nearby scared him to a full stretch of wings, allowing me a good shot.

I contacted Ms Parveen Ahmed, one of my clubmates of Explorers’ Club of Bangladesh, who also happens to be a member of the Bird Club. She suggested a diet and medication, and some stationing directives. I was a bit afraid of taking the bird out and put a bandage on its feet, because the first time I tried it, it jolted like a cobra. So all I could do was to keep it in a safe place, protected from cold wind, bright light and noise, and serve some raw sliced beef.

I had to patrol the roof throughout the evening, as Bhutum proved to become a tourist attraction, people from all around gave it a visit with their torch an children, both being very disturbing to the patient, since the strong urge of childish science never ceased to exhibit itself. So I had to give some boring lectures to shoo the adults away, and used more effective tricks for their children, like asking them to spell “endangered species” and all that.

Mr. Mohit from Bird Club promised me to take Bhutum to even safer custody of Mr. Enam ul Huq, the renowned Birder, and he showed up next morning. Bhutum didn’t touch any food we gave it, and it looked even more exhausted, so our parting was rather dull. Later that day, Ms Ahmed informed me that it’s eating boiled eggs, and has been properly dressed and medicated, thanks to Mr. Huq.

Thursday, December 9, 2004.

1 comment:

রয়েসয়েব্লগে মন্তব্য রেখে যাবার জন্যে ধন্যবাদ। আপনার মন্তব্য মডারেশন প্রক্রিয়ার ভেতর দিয়ে যাবে। এর পীড়া আপনার সাথে আমিও ভাগ করে নিলাম।