Popo was our parrot. He was a baby in a small little cage when we purchased him. With his round fluffy body, he could barely walk – hardly aware of his reality. We brought him up on the choicest of fruits and chillies. We used to whistle in front of him and teach words to him.

As he grew up, we shifted him into a larger cage, so that he had more space to move about. He was a fast learner and soon started whistling at girls passing in front of our house (we never taught him that). We loved this bird very much and sometimes used to allow him out of the cage in the living room. We kept the door and windows closed so that he does not fly away. His cute parrot-walk on the sofa – a kind of a curious drunken joker-like walk – was always a sight to watch. He used to get a chance to fly around the room for sometime.

But then he started to get restless within the cage and would always look for opportunities to get out. He tried his best to cut through the bars, damaging his beak in the process. He started biting some of us who were offering him food.

One day he escaped.

We were very sad to see the empty cage but were pleasantly delighted to see him back the next day sitting on top of the cage. We put him back in the cage and treated him with delicious food.

Very soon he started to become restless again. Just a few days later, he got another opportunity to fly off, as the cage door was not shut properly. But this time, a passing cat pounced on him and he became the cat’s lunch!

Makes me wonder whether I am in a cage too?
Have I also been given the choicest of food?
I also want to be free.
But do I have the skills to survive in the wild?

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