Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Pigeonholed existence

If you come to my complex and look skywards, you are most likely to spot me screaming profanities from my balcony.  Before you open your mouth in shock, I suggest you quickly close it before a messy missile lands on your well moisturized face.  In case you are wondering about the origin of the missile, let me assure you that it’s completely vegetarian and fresh from the bottom of a pigeon ass.  

Seven years back when we had shifted to Gurgaon to our own apartment, I was more than happy to have escaped the simian population that had infested our pucca Punjabi calonee in Delhi.  It was impossible to come out in the patio without having to encounter their monkeying ways – baby monkeys swinging delightedly from the washstand, their parents unwinding on a nearby ledge and picking lice off each other.   I also had the pleasure of hearing my maid scream in falsetto, only to see an alarmed looking baby monkey sitting on my daughter’s sleeping back.  Once when a bunch of them invited themselves for an impromptu feast from our refrigerator, my MIL promptly locked herself in the kitchen before pushing our cook out with a timely warning...Indar, Bandar andar.   He realized much to his relief that it was not him she was referring to.  

Gurgaon with its open spaces and greens was an antithesis.  We were now staying in a high rise complex.  The views from our seventh floor condo were stunning, the rain never looked better.  Having a cup of tea in our balcony to the sounds of birds and wind chimes, the soft breeze caressing our face was sheer bliss. 

The monkeys preferred to stay back in Delhi and I could finally sigh in relief.  And not just relieved but also jumping with joy at the sight of the exotic birds I could spot from my veranda.  Yes, the millennium city is a haunt for exotic birds.  From parakeets to Asian Koels, to Bulbuls to storks, you can spot them all. 

sarahchalek.com

The bird community must have sensed the warm, welcoming vibes emanating from the Ray household. Soon our AC compressors became the favoured hangout zone for pigeons.  We saw quite a few love stories unfold in our balcony.  Singles ready to mingle meet, settle, passionate coupling ensues and baby pigeons make an appearance.   My daughter even played Mother Teresa to an injured baby pigeon. She named it Cheep (from the baby sounds it made) nursed it for days and grew hopelessly attached to it.  When it died she was inconsolable.


Our reputation had now grown in leaps and bounds.  The news of our compassion soon spread like wild fire.  We now had pigeons flocking on all our balconies, on the floor, on the wash stand, even on the bathroom ledge. Dumb, desperate creatures that they are, they even try nesting on our kitchen balcony floor laying down a bed of borrowed broomsticks.  

The husband in an attempt to scare them off often splashes huge quantities of water at them, inadvertently giving them a much needed bath.  In fact the other day he just said f... off and they actually beat a hasty retreat.  Wow! We have managed an incredible feat: our pigeons can now actually comprehend English!  Unfortunately they keep coming back for more lessons.       

And where there are pigeons there is pigeon shit, loads and loads of it - on the compressors, balcony railings, wash stands, even my hapless plants are not spared.  By the end of the day, my verandas look like a warzone.  Of course I am upset, all these years and I have not been able to potty train these birds.  Believe me, I’ve tried it all – from screaming profanities (yep, the same ones you heard from the ground floor) to urging them to hold their shit.   If you don’t even have the decency to clean up your mess, learn to wear diapers you shit heads!  

We now have a love-hate relationship with the pigeon population – they love us, we hate them.  The birds share such comfortable vibes with us that they often saunter into our living room for their morning walk and poop on our carpet.   The daring ones love playing hide and seek and lunge towards me from behind the curtains.   If you find me dead, clutching my heart, you know who to blame. 
  
All these years of shifting houses, each one has left an indelible impression with it’s beautiful memories and unique traumas.  From musk rats, to snails crawling on the driveway, to cacophonous crows, to scary termites – I have braved them all.   It’s time I reconciled myself to the fact that there’s no escaping them.  And what if I am reborn as a pigeon in my next birth as some sort of divine retribution!  Imagine not being able to poop in peace and braving abuses hurled at me by some demented woman!   Scary thought, no? 

I better start earning some brownie points and call for a truce.  I think I’ll go outside right now, shimmy Shammi Kapoor style and sing Aajaa ajaa main hoon pyaar teraaa.....

Do you think the trauma will be enough to knock them dead?



84 comments:

  1. I second you with the monkey thingy. They often try to break into cars to view rear mirror. Gupta uncles car felt the rage. Thankfully we cover ours.
    And, think of pigeons as your post readers; fans, you'll feel much great, I hope.

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  2. I can't believe this shit! :D

    This was really really funny - definitely sharing on the interwebs.

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  3. LMAO....welcome to the "Pigeon Harassment" club my dear...its the same scenario no matter which part of the country you stay...its high time someone launches an "Anti-pigeon" agenda and SOON :-P

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  4. hehehehe... join the club :) :)..and if u ever have a way with them.. kindly share it please..i will be indebted throughout my life :D :D :D

    and about the trauma thing.. don't even try it.. i am sure they will come back for more :) :)

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  5. LOL!!! Still laughing;)May be your Shimmy Kapoor style dance and song could ward them off...lest the Blue Cross have you arrested! Every one of us has to encounter all these, i was living with roaches almost 4 years:P Whatever Hit or Shit you try, they come back for more:(((

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  6. Smelly gifts from feathered friends LOL. These pigeons should be given some SEZ or something.. they stay at others homes, they sound Weird, and is of no use to humankind ;-)

    I remember they used to fly around in our school building, stayed there, and shat on all the stone-seats in the campus. And once on my toes narrowly missing my nose. A mutual dislike started since then, hehe.

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  7. tee hee. you are funny lady.its time we all agree that gurgaon is a SHITHOLE.and yes condolences on the death of your daughters pet :P

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  8. LOL at your pigeon trouble. Here we have peacocks, house sparrows and eagles in abundance.
    A baby monkey on Tee's back, really? Must have been a sight. So now we know about the monkey business in Rajinder Nagar. Heard, they were using Langurs to scare away the smaller simians. The langurs are civil servants recruited by the Indian Government.
    By the by, I once saw a Nat Geo documentary that showed that pigeons prefer lower and lower middle class establshments....so what was that line about "Maximum city"? :P *runs away*

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  9. Purba you have written my story!! The pigeons- I have experienced everything you have written.. When we moved into our apartment I thought I got rid of cats ( I dont like them much and my neighbors had many!!)and I got this whole bunch of pigeons shitting around in the flower bed, drying area, making love and laying eggs in the corners and bathroom windows! They have spoilt my plants too..
    Someone told me to tie flashy papers (those gift wrap ones).. It avoids them.. Try them ..It proved helpful..
    You must not allow pigeons to mess around in the house.. Their shit and feathers are carriers of many diseases!! I didn't know that earlier :P

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  10. You are talking about pigeons, whose sole profession in the world is to eat and shit. there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, except put up a bird cage around your balcony to keep them out and you in :) LOL imagining you doing all the things you have listed in the post.

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  11. Lol...Agree with Zephyr...covering the balcony is the best but it is not allowed by builders lest the aesthetics get distorted.
    Pigeon shit is a big nuisance...
    Heard that South City II is struggling with monkey menace...There is one rabid fellow who relishes biting women only...
    Compared to monkeys, pigeons are a shade better...they dont bite.

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  12. Wowow Hilarious Purba!! Your blogs lift my spirits no matter how high they are :)

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  13. With so much familiarity now you can train a couple of them as couriers while indulging in games of hide n seek with them!

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  14. Haha....poor you!! By the way, you could have rather tried tying blank chits to their necks and sing "Kabooter ja ja ja" :D

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  15. My sympathies!I rat and pigeon-proofed my house long back with strong nets.I took this decision after my kids got two cats home to tackle the mess and the stylish,well fed ,bored fat cats thought it was below their dignity to attack rats and pigeons.I was handling bird droppings,rat excreta and cat litter through the day at one point in time:/ To answer your next obvious question- there is plenty of fresh air coming in through these steel nets with a neat frame:)

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  16. Hilarious :D I can't stop laughing.Such a mood lift on a boring Sunday :)

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  17. just loved your post, its hilarious...:-)))

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  18. Just yesterday our plumber discovered a dead pigeon in one of the pipes..yuck!..

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  19. Purba, you have done it again. Made me smile after a really bad afternoon. Pigeon's are a part of our lives as nothing else. The stink, the noise, the dirt. But I really like your idea. I think a few might go heavenwards before they adapt & enjoy the show.

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  20. So they love u and have made ur home their home:)

    Quite a headache but any day better than monkeys. I guess you just have to get used to these love birds. doesn't seem a way out :)

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  21. Prateek...So you think they can read and appreciate humour?

    Kartikay...Thank you jee

    AM...Puhleez lets start one ASAP!

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  22. SuKupedia...All my balconies have an inhouse stick and I try to look as menacing as possible. It doesn't work!

    Nivedita...I am more worried about my family members, wouldn't want to traumatize them for life :)

    Ambika..I wish I could fly high as a kite and kill them all!

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  23. maniac.hunter...Haww! I quite like Gurgaon.

    Snow...Can I borrow an eagle from your upper class calonee?

    maithili...Oh no, thanks to their friendly overtures I have to keep my windows and doors closed.

    And will try using gift wraps to scare them off.

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  24. Zephyr...We are not permitted to make our balconies look like a bird cage :p

    Yea.. I look quite a sight~

    Alka...Really! that's so scary. Agreed pigeons are just dumb but far from scary.

    Blabbermouth...So glad :))

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  25. Rahul..DHL move over here comes Purba Ray with her pigeons.

    Prosenjeet...No, but I might try a Janis Joplin on them.

    Sharmila...We are not allowed to put up grills lest it mars the builder's aesthetics :)

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  26. Pooja...Hehehe..

    Bhavana...Thank you :)

    Ana-treek....How on earth did it get inside a drain pipe??

    Rituparna...Looking forward to the recipe for pigeon soup on your blog :D

    Abha...Nopes...I am looking for an airgun.

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  27. Hilarious!! I think you ought to thank your pigeons for inspiring such a wonderful post:)

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  28. these monkeys are in Gurgaon as well...one of them took my fav juice from our refrigerator....and those pigeons...tell me about it :)

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  29. Absolutely. I hear a lot from them. Use Google translator and the appreciations gets decipher.

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  30. LOL... hilarious post, you have a way with words. I can't help but burst out laughing at the mere thought of you shaking and shimmying like Shammi Kapoor! :-D

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  31. Whattay a timely post, I say!

    A 'couple' of the same kind has been pestering me for a couple of months now, and I've been planning to write a post on it too. I'm just biding time to see who wins, though. :-D

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  32. Neelam...I can see one looking intently at me from outside the window.

    Sub...Ishh! and they are a scary lot.

    Prateek...Hahaha

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  33. Dark Knight...*Looks crestfallen* I am not that bad a dancer!

    Vijitha...These birds are bizzare, imagine attacking your own babies!

    Ayyangar Sir...A colossal problem.

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  34. You sound and look too stable for me to imagine you screaming abuses at pigeons:D

    Making mundane things sound like they're the best thing since The Beatles has always been your forte.

    Semian population?! Shammi style pigeon wooing? Of course I LOL-ed:P

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  35. OMG ! I thought it was an observation- now I know its your experience :)))

    But on the brighter side, you have given them the media publicity they deserve. They would be thankful to you for that.

    Also, in case if the electronic systems round the world break down ( electromagnetic explosion ), you now have a way to send mails...even spam mails :))))

    PS- Delhi has monkeys ? You are not talking about the Kaala Bandar are you ? :D :D

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  36. Haha my neighbors paid 2000 Rs to get two pigeons in their house. You have them for free. :D What my neighbors would do to live where you live :D. Oh here is a idea - you can sell those pigeons to animal lovers like my neighbors for a lot smaller price :D You will go down in history as the first people who made a fortune by getting rid of the house pest :D Then again it will require expertise as a bird catcher instead of a bird chaser ;)

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  37. Priyanka...Nopes, but I do run around with a menacing expression. You want a demo?

    sritatsat...Using pigeons to send spam will a fun way to take revenge on pesky tele marketeers who insist on selling me flats in Sector56778 in Noida :D

    The Narcissist....I could always hire you - take 2 get fifteen free, just like the Koutons ad!

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  38. Haha I think my neighbor girl will do a much better job and with the offer you make, she will be in front of your house in mins :D

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  39. Monkeys are a big menace where we live here. They have singlehandedly ruined our efforts of planting any veggies. These destructive folks just break stuff including branches and leaves. My hubby has got some crackers to scare them off. Luckily, no pigeons here because they can get to be quite a nuisance. But, we have some stray dogs that we are not allowed to do anything about. The BBMP van picked them up for sterilization and dropped them back right here. Looks like it did not work because there is a huge litter of some stray puppies recently. These strays are the biggest threats to us and especially to kids :(.

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  40. Purba,

    You have way to make imagination run wild. While reading first few lines I was wondering which "monkeys" were you referring to in PUCCA PUNJABI Colony till you clarified. Then I could imagine relief on Indar's face that he is not the target. Please stop blaming these harmless creatures. They would come to one who has such loving nature, isn't it? OK, jokes apart, try keeping a cat or place a bogey man in each balcony but do shift position off & on to deceive these poor souls.

    Take care

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  41. hahah no monkey business where we live

    yes, pigeons are in plenty but perch themselves on the overhead tanks or parapets. no nuisance at all

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  42. Its safer here in uk then.. come over to here :)

    Bikram's

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  43. I'd say make the best out of it. It's supposed to be a sign of good luck if pigeons choose your home I've heard. They don't just choose any random house.

    Make the best of it, invest in a few paintball guns....

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  44. Maybe you should have a cat or a dog..to scare away the pigeons..off course...then you would have to potty train then....

    now..that shouldn't be too difficult? :P

    In worst case, we will have another post coming! :D

    A hilarious read..this one! :)

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  45. ROFLMAO! They poop on your carpet? that's gotta be bad. In our city, let alone pigeons we don't even find sparrows now-a-days. But I remember a lot of pigeons used to frequent our parapet when I was a kid. Wonder where all of them disappeared to. I guess Delhi is an environmentally friendly city... :P

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  46. Burhan...:)

    The Narcissist...I am desperate enough to air lift her :D

    Rachna...I can complete relate to your woes. And residents make it worse by feeding these monkeys.
    For the stray dog menace we have Menaka Gandhi to thank!

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  47. Jack Sir...Hahaha...I will reserve another post for "those" monkeys!
    And thanks to this one I have got plenty of interesting suggestions.

    Sujatha...Ahh I so envy you!

    Bikram...HA! sure thing.

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  48. Ujjwal...LOL...And who will clean up that MESS??

    Kunal...If I have a cat and a dog to take care of the annoying pigeons, I"ll be too busy taking care of them and my posts will become history !!!

    Samadrita...Yes...once :) And in Delhi I just saw crows, Gurgaon is far more hospitable to birds.

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  49. my house has a ladybug attack. for real. everywhere i look i have ladybugs. disgusting. we have to get our house sprayed soon if they dont go away.

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  50. Try appealing to their roman-chick side by singing "Kabootar jaa jaa jaa, kabootar jaa jaa!"

    The shock might be a little more in this case :P

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  51. whoaaa...only you could write something this funny on pigeons...aren't they going to be more puffed and smug post this!

    from the monkey tricks to the love stories unfolding, the love hate relationship to your rebirth as a pigeon...and my god, for a second i thought when hubby said fuck off to the birds they would start the sex!:-)

    you are soooooooooo pleasantly amusing:-)

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  52. Came here from Suruchi - Why havent I come here before? Anyway the pigeon bit - so true. I just hate them you know. Its like they have inbuilt loose motion or something. Even my Mom had a tough time shooing them as there was a popular superstition that if pigeons comes and settles down near your bedroom balcony or sunshade, then its an ill omen or someone in the family would fall seriously ill etc. And my Mom believes anything which is told to her. So she spent months shooing them in such a way that they never came back..!

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  53. PS: Giggled all through this post while at office and now some people are looking sympathetically at me.

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  54. :( I love pigeons :( I used to feed rice to pigeons every morning in the balcony, back in Bangalore....and loved photographing them. My maid obviously had hard time cleaning the shite.

    One thing I noted, in London, Pigeons walk...they rarely fly and when you shoo them....they silently jump...hop...and carry on walking...

    At least, our Indian birds are learning English :D

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  55. Why dont you get a few massive bamboo windchimes or even make you own and scare them away. I do live in a big city and can relate to the problem. The one that used to reside on my balcony use to crap everywhere and feathers and noise and yes there was a time my hubby shot water pellets at them! very bad! they were nesting though! you cannot shoot at baby animals, yes even pigeons!

    I got 3 massive bamboo windchime and lots of streamers, windsocks and other stuff and put it up, it has to be said they don't come round here anymore! however we have stopped talking to several neighbours but I am ok with that!

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  56. LOL it seems u r totaly frustrated...put up a net kind of thing over the grill...it really works... I wonder wat dey eat that they shit so much all around :P :D

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  57. I have the same problem with pigeons but to a far lesser extent. But still I can understand ur feelings on the matter.actually pest control ppl count them as pests.

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  58. But I think this post is offensive to pigeons. Kapil Sibal, where art thou? :D

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  59. Hahaha. That was a bellyful. I've had a lifetime relationship with them. They romance each other in complete bliss, all the while ignoring what their back end is up to. Don't blame your hubby for asking them to "kindly leave."

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  60. Life Unordinary...Oh dear! Houses with a patch of green have their own set of problems.

    Aman...I might be inspired to write a chick-lit :D

    Suruchi...Believe me they are..now I have not two but four of them shitting away to glory!!!!!

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  61. Anitha...Desperately diarrheal LOL
    And why were you getting sympathetic looks? Is giggling considered a crime in your office?

    A big thanks to Suruchi, she's a sweetheart :)

    Chintan...I do remember the pigeons at Trafalgar Square - they were a well behaved lot.

    Englisss speaking kabootars only on the Ray balcony :D

    Anne...I have got such wonderful suggestions courtesy this post.
    Moral of the story - cribbing online helps.

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  62. Chitz...So I heard from one of my friends...Will get a bird net ASAP.

    vaibhavghevde ...Unfortunately they cannot be sprayed dead.

    BJP...Hahahahaha

    Kay Em...Yep.. their behinds need urgent protection :)

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  63. cannot be sprayed dead and they are not.the pest control people put spikes where these pests mostly come to rest.if u have a balcony then its a problem,but as far as AC compressor, and other such places are concerned spikes could be useful.

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  64. Sometimes in life you've got to be the pigeon......and sometimes the statue...

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  65. Ha Ha Ha Ha!!! Looks like it comes from a helpless head.. I can totally understand.. From monkeys to stray dogs and a variety of birds we have it all here in Gandhinagar.. Our easiest and most adorable guardian is our Dog!!
    Try it!! Since your daughter is good at playing the Mother Teresa role, she will happily own the dog!

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  66. vaibhavghevde...Thanks for the info, will inquire.

    Gyanban...Beautifully put.

    Ruchi...Yep...she has been begging for a pet for a long time.

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  67. wow feathered friends with stinky gifts huh....but we cant go with rifles tap tap tap...i do have love birds at home caged! for the only reason i cant get them diapers if they are let free in the house

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  68. totally totally understand...pigeons are our companions too in the current house..in fact their fav hangout plc is our bedroom window still..and they insist on doing their gupshup 'read gutargu' either late nights or early mornings..and there have been many times when we have shouted ' shut up' to them....our neighbours must definitely think we are nuts to shout at such odd hours....

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.com/

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  69. Its either the shit of pigeon or the shit of people around..its shit anyway :D

    nice post!

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  70. Hahahahahaha! I am completely with you Purba on this...avoiding pigeons is impossible to escape in an Indian city, so is coexisting with them!

    I detest them from the bottom of my heart, unlike some friends who are elated when they see a pigeon egg on their balcony. I usually pray for a crow to come over and eat some half-developed baby! I sound devilish, do I?

    p.s. I really the picture you have used...they look so innocent and 'pretty' :)

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  71. Looks like the pigeons have you in a hole. Why don't you try and salvage something out the mess(literally)? Bird poop would make an admirable missile to hurl at Rahul G on his next Gurgaon visit

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  72. Sush...Yep..they are a messy lot.

    shooting star...LOL..their gutargu gives me a headache!

    A grain of sand...Philosophical :)

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  73. Daanish ..:)

    Siddhartha..They are a dumb-ass lot. I often fantasize about wringing their necks. *Evil grin*

    doctoratlarge..I could also export pigeon poop. I have heard that in Morocco, they use it to soften leather before dyeing it :)

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  74. Loll funny post but totally understand your pain. The society I live in has quite a similar situation. However, in the case of my house, the pigeons prefer our rooms more than balconies. Every other day, I have to thwart them away from the top of the cupboard in my room. One day I caught one, so that kept them away for a couple of days, maybe u can try that..its fun, u can pet them and set them free, and they get scared also due to this! :)

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  75. ".Indar, Bandar andar." hehehhee..Bechara Indar...

    I had pigeons on my balcony.Initially I found it really cute and close to the nature till it became a "shitty problem"...

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  76. oh that was so much fun! :) ofcourse my commiserations are with you on being under the tyrannic rule of the pigeons! It must be infuriating, not being able to do anything, the messing up part. But as ud said, their immense love must ve taken over so much so that youre gonna miss them, if and when they re gone! :)

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  77. Thinker....Those idiots know the way in but not the way out!

    Blue Lotus...They are really weird, with Papa pigeons trying to kill their babies.

    Vaidegi...Please, please do you have a magic wand that can make them disappear for ever?

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  78. haha, loved your post.hilarious!

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  79. Very Funny. Loved the way you express.

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  80. I never have problems with pigeons in our balcony because it is my cats territory. I'm thankful to my cat coz she is potty trained and killed all the mice in the house.

    Free ArticlesFree Classified SiteFree Business Listing

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  81. شركة رش مبيدات بالرياض من اهم الشركات التى تقوم باعمال الرش والقضاء علي جميع انواع الحشرات والافات سواء الزاحفه او الحشرات الطائرة المتواجده فى المكان فاذا كنت تفكر فى شراء انواع المبيدات التى لا تؤدى الى النتائج المرغوب فيها وتسعى الى تحقيق افضل النتائج فى القضاء على اى نوع من انواع الحشرات المتواجده فى المكان فلا تتردد فى التعاون والتواصل مع شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض على الفور للقيام بهذه الخدمة

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