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Sunday, September 8, 2013

the sounds of green parrots at Royapettah, yes middle of Chennai

Bharathi Salai, earlier known as ‘Pycrofts road’ wounds its way from Marina ground [Kannagi Statue / Presidency college] till Royapettah Tower clock – or more famously the EA Mall now….. the mall built on 10 acre site is a landmark – a place frequented by youngsters now…

More than a decade ago, it was a place better remembered for the greenery of trees providing shelter to so many birds and providing clean air to the residents of Chennai.  Today, Royapettah around EA which is a cluster of small lanes, brims with traffic as the arterial Mount Road became oneway from Wellingdon plaza point due to Metro rail work…. With so many vehicles – it is one of the peak traffic areas, largely polluted…. In a city where slowly you are not able to see the common sparrow ~ one cannot hope to see many birds – there is not much of nesting space nor is availability of food. You find pigeons in temples [there are many on the walls of Sri Parthasarathi Swami temple] – I had posted on pigeons of marina earlier….

Parrots, also known as psittacines are birds of the roughly 372 species in 86 genera that make up the order Psittaciformes. Though we may never understand those differences, for sure, we get attracted by that great green parrot with red beaks. Characteristic features of parrots include a strong curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed feet.  Parrots are among the most intelligent birds, and the ability of some species to imitate human voices enhances their popularity as pets.  When was the last time you saw a free parrot in close quarters………. This morning I saw hundreds of them….. before that of a man who I met this morning [following a beautiful video posted on vikadan ‘s website]

Mr C Sekar could pass off as another next-door neighbour…. A search on web indicated his exploits as a photographer – a camera repairer – there was this impressive article in The Hindu a few years ago on his collection of about 4,500 cameras -  in different shapes, sizes, colours and brands.  That article in the Hindu stated : If a picture's worth a thousand words, C. Sekar's got a few million potential epics at his home in Triplicane. At his home, all  available space above, below, beside, adjacent to and within everything has been taken over by cameras — of every shape, size, colour and nationality. The human occupants, under serious threat of expatriation, have retreated unprotestingly into the regions of the house. There's a 160-year-old camera, half-the-size of the room. There are wooden cameras the size of suitcases. There's a German camera with 100 feet of film, which once took photographs of Mahatma Gandhi.  Now this is no post on Sekar’s possession of cameras, nor of his diploma in Electonics………….. he told that many camera enthusiasts come searching for him and he readily helps them all……….
the man's cameras .. Hindu photo

Royapettah is a crowded area and Pycrofts road nearer EA bursts in traffic.  On this part of the road, there are so many shops dealing with mattresses, pillows and other accessories that mankind requires for peaceful sleep in the stressful world… there are vehicles of every kind as men and machines jostle for space… in the mornings and in the evenings, one must lift their head – to see the ‘natural stress buster’………… the most beautiful green parrots lining up.

This morning it was a bit cloudy ~ and even birds do not venture out much – enjoying their Sunday as well ! – as I stood listening to Sekar,  it was a wonder to see a dozen parrots on the overhead wires – before your wonder dried – the 20s became 40s and suddenly there were countless flying over.

He took me up nearer the open terrace with a stern instruction – not to get close or become too visible – for parrots are shy and wary of humans – so many would have taunted them, throwing stones and … trying to capture. It was indeed a great sight to behold – green parrots in hundreds teaming up – chirping merrifully, eating the rice kept readily on the terrace.  Sekar informed that he spends close to 8 kgs of rice everyday as may be thousand + parrots come daily in morning and evening. He perhaps never goes on tour or away from home, lest his pets suffer – heard that his family will take care when he is away… he stands politely guarding them from the disturbances of common folks – a job that keeps him busy for close to 4 hours every day…..

In the city life, everyone is busy and people often do not find time to talk to their family, leave alone talking and doing something to their neighbours and amongst us Sekars do exist…

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

8th Sept. 2013.


  1. Oh so many, I love them.. Shoba

  2. great to see in a city.. Ambreesh

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  4. know what..i have talked with Sekar many a times on phone for my camera and lens cleaning guidance. never ever knew that i was actually talking with THE man who is taking care of parrots in he area...! man nostalgic...! my friends in photography would be shocked to read this article :):):). PS: Sekar is well known guy in area of photography equipment services and guidance.

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