A crowing rooster sends Santosh Bakaya down memory lane, recalling the morning wake up calls and cock-a-doodle-doos from back home in Kashmir to present home in Jaipur.
Enjoy Morning Meanderings with a hot cup of tea or coffee and some cookies to munch on the food for thought. 😊
It was too early when I headed out for my morning walk, but the crickets appeared to be very talkative, and an owl hooted from some hidden corner. I suddenly remembered that owlet I had seen many months back and had even written about it in my morning meanderings. Was it the same one, now an adult?
I also remembered the French woman, Corinne Fesseau, I had read about a couple of days back, on Thursday, September 4, who had just won a case for the crowing rights for her rooster – Maurice, the most famous rooster in France. A retired couple had filed a case against the rooster, alleging that his crowing disturbed their peace and quiet.
“He can keep on crowing in his backyard in the rural habitat. He was just being himself, nature’s sounds have to be accepted,” had been the judge’s verdict after a long-drawn out fight.
I recalled a very interesting incident from my childhood. When my parents had shifted from Kashmir to Jaipur, my granny had been devastated, missing all the familiar sounds and scenes of home. One day, when the neighbourhood rooster had given vent to a loud cock-a-doodle-doo, she had almost jumped from her chair, and broken into joyous laughter.
“If there are roosters in Jaipur, Jaipur cannot be too different from Kashmir.” This lusty cock-a-doodle-doo had proved to be the beginning of her acclimatization process.
Roosters from many books (The Rooster who would not be Quiet, The Rooster who Refused to Crow, The Rooster who Lost his Crow] started crowing in my mind and I remembered the rooster who lost his crows, when a bee flew right into him, and robbed him of his cock-a-doodle-doos. He looked for them frantically in the shed, in the pond, in the cornfield, but could not find them. Well, if a rooster loses its voice, it can be quite unnerving for him, I thought.
As I completed my rounds, I suddenly shivered, what if someone were to deprive me (an incorrigible chatterbox!) of my power of speech – I would indeed be devastated. What if the freedom of speech were snatched from me?
I was reminded of that famous George Washington quote, ‘if freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
The sun was rising in the east, and in the sunlight, I had a clear vision of myself, being lead to the slaughterhouse, my voice muzzled, my opinions throttled.
Cock- a doodle-doo, crowed a rooster from somewhere, making me smile with relief. Everything seemed to be fine with the world.
May we all crow away at the wrongs, the ills, the unfairness, the injustice rampant in this world. May no one snatch our crows from us, with this earnest thought in my mind and heart, I headed home, my speech still intact.
“Madam, rukna, ek baat batani hai, ab mai chup nahi rahoongi, bahut ho gaya …meri saas ….” (Please wait, madam, I cannot keep quiet now. Enough is enough, you know, my mother- in law……)
Yes, you guessed it right, the voice belonged to Kanchan, and her power of speech was also intact, and she was brimming over with more stories of her mother-in-law.
“Tum bolo, lekin jhoot nahi….theek hai?” (Speak, but don’t lie, okay?) I managed to say.
“You know, my mother, back in the village used to sing a song, Murgey Ney jhoot bola, murgey ki ….kuch kuch hogayi…” (The rooster crowed, and hence was in a soup) she chirped.
“Kuch kuch nahi…choon choon…….”
“Kuch to hui hogi, jhoot jo bola….tab kauvey bhi nahi hotey hongey …shayyad …” (Something must have definitely happened to the rooster, because it lied. Those days maybe crows were not around to peck them). The last line, was of course an allusion to the song Jhoot boley kawwa katey from the blockbuster, Bobby.
Well, afraid she would again hurl the word ‘obsession’ at me, I hastened home, the irrepressible Kanchan in tow, fuming at the unjust behavior of her mother-in-law in particular and the world in general. The whole episode reminded me of a fun parody of a superhit song I had heard long ago, “Main murgi tere aangan ki.” The sudden unrelated flashback made me giggle to myself. 🙂
Murge ne jhooth bola (Manmauji, 1962) Madan Mohan / Rajinder Krishan / Kamal Barot
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