Delhiwale: The bird who sees tomorrow
Raja, the parrot, is four years old and his human companion claims he learnt the art of fortune-telling in Ujjain.Updated: Jul 17, 2017 11:02 IST
He is a wanderer. The day before yesterday, he was in Dilli Gate. Yesterday, he was walking along the lanes of Sadar Bazaar. This humid afternoon, he is in Laxmi Nagar in east Delhi. We meet him near a gurudwara. His name is Raja, or the king.
We call out, “Hello Raja,” but he responds with impolite silence.
Raja may be unwilling to open up but he is a special parakeet who makes his living by telling people their future. His companion — a man in a white kurta pajama — informs us that the four-year-old Raja learned the art of fortune telling at a school in Ujjain, a temple town in Madhya Pradesh.
Raja does not contradict the tall claim.
The companion lays out 12 astrology card on a table and Raja gingerly picks up one from his red beak. Since Raja appears to be illiterate, his partner instead reads out our future from the chosen card. (It’s bad news — we have a health crisis coming up if we are not careful.)
Raja has now lost interest in the proceedings. He is nibbling on a tomato. The companion is visibly proud of Raja’s dietary habits — he eats two whole rotis daily, and can finish off a dozen almonds at a time.
The companion confesses that he is very attached to Raja. Yet, we are not envious of Raja. After all, who can enjoy living in a cage?