Emotions are unique to humans and so is the emotion of “Love”, which is as distinctive as love is. You just cannot define love by examples, acts, words, or by reading about it. You need to feel it and it comes to you automatically. Similarly, no words are required to make the other person feel your love; you just connect with them automatically by “Love”, felt by them. This is just what happened after a devastating Tsunami hit the southern part of India during 2004. This love gave birth to the “India’s Birdman” in Chennai.
When the devastating Tsunami went back it left tales of sadness, sorrow, and pain. But it also gave birth to a lot of new things, numerous journeys and beginning of new relations; the relationship between man and nature, man to man and man and animal. What started as, just, kind gesture of feeding two tsunami- struck, hungry parakeets by Joseph Sekar has today become a way of life and a daily routine. The generosity has turned into love which is mutual.
Joseph Sekar is a humble camera repairman and lives in the fast-paced city of Chennai. He started feeding two parakeets, ten years back, and today the number has increased to 4000 parakeets. The two parakeets, fed first by Sekar, brought few more next day and the number kept on multiplying day by day. Similarly, his love for them has elevated and is evident from the fact that he spends around 40% of his earnings on feeding these 4000 parakeets twice a day. He wakes up at 4:00 a.m.in the morning to prepare the meal, by boiling 60 kgs of rice and grain. He repeats this during the evening.
He then, in a very organized manner, puts this cooked rice on fourteen wooden planks and spreads them across the roof of his camera shop. The birds start arriving at 6:00 a.m.and keep arriving till the last grain of rice is not finished. Similarly they again visit the roof at 4:00 p.m.and until 6:00 p.m. Daily expenses of Sekar, in feeding, the birds is Rs.500/-. He also takes care of sick and injured birds and frees them once they are healed. All this has given him the name – “Birdman of Chennai”. The picturesque view of Sekar feeding 4000 parakeets is a regular show in the morning since last ten years and is witnessed not only by the neighbors but also by strangers who get spellbound by this act.
Sekar, who is now 64 years old, is growing old and feels that his body supports him less these days. But his love and affection do not show any sign of such thing. The love between the birds and Sekar has graduated over the years and based on the care and trust they have on each other. When Sekar says “just like people keep parakeets in a cage, the parakeets have put him in cage”, it clearly means the never ending love between Sekar and his parakeets will never fade away.
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