Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Ruling the roost!

It’s all fowl play on Nehru Road as a henpecked temple cock stops terrorising local residents after they find him a mate — but he still can’t resist the occasional tipple  

This isn’t quite a ‘fowl’ story, since it seems to have a happy ending. A rooster, who had been throwing his weight around near the Sant Gadge Maharaj Math on Nehru Road has now become quite popular with local residents as something of a local pet. Having started out terrorising the people around with a rather aggressive demeanour after he was abandoned there, he soon lost that fighting edge and endeared himself to local residents — as soon as his fighting energies were channelled elsewhere. 

When the cock first came to the area around six months ago, his presence brought fear into the hearts of some concerned parents, since they allege that he used to charge at their kids while they were playing. To deflect his attention away from frolicking children, some local youths brought in a fighter hen to mate with the rooster — after which they say the chasing and aggression magically stopped.

The feathered couple stay, supported by local residents, in a coop near the area’s temple and mostly live off devotees’ offerings

Popatrao Gaikwad, a fan of the bird, said the rooster stays around the 90-year-old Munjoba Temple, which was intially located off the road. “Now the temple has come onto the road and the two birds keep circulating around it, relishing offerings devotees leave there. The rooster is so famous that he literally keeps small kids and new people under check,” he said. 

Kanhaya Naidu, a local resident, said that the rooster was first abandoned in the area after it was brought there by an unnamed devotee to be slaughtered at the altar — but he was persuaded not to do so. “The bird was lean back then, but has now become nice and beefy. Earlier, the rooster was chased around by cats and dogs. Now, he throws his weight around strangers and is loved by all here. Some local drinkers even drop a little liquor into his food bowl, which he happily laps up,” he said. 

Mandal workers have built a small coop near the temple where the feathered couple live together, under the watchful eyes of local residents.

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