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One fine early morning in summer, I went to the terrace of our house with mom. Usually I was habituated with the early risings in hostel and I can’t stay back to bed after 5 A.M., anyhow.


I found a queer thing that day. My white dove has laid two eggs. It was a special gift to me by my grand pa on my last birthday. Whenever I come to my house, a bit long time I devote for this pair. The White Dove is a small bird. It does not fly straight for long distances but rather flutters about. So, when I saw their eggs, my joys knew no bound. My mom told that the eggs will hatch 14-16 days after being laid. Since then till it hatched, one of my prime job was to see and watch to their nest in the volary.


Choco dadu and grand pa also assisted me and told me various facts about the eggs of the doves. One day, Choco Dadu told,” Today I will tell you an incident of our neighbour hood. It happened between our two friends. I want to tell you that how honesty is rewarded. “


He started,” In our vilage of Khayerpur, we had a team of five friends. We often went to the woods to hunt the flying birds But Ramen and Kushal never did so. They had an excessive love for birds. Kushal had volaries in his house. He belonged to a well to do family where he could afford to keep a large species of birds. Some were caught in the woods while others were bought too. His father bought them from the city and always encouraged him on it. On the other hand, Ramen was the son of a grocer. His father could never have dreamt to expense anything on the birds as an extra expense other than on his family members. I, many a time, roamed about in the grassy lands of our beautiful place and caught birds for him.”


Here, let me tell you all a little bit about my Choco Dadu. I had already mentioned earlier that we had never asked Choco- Dadu anything about his past. It is from ‘his’ information only that I have come to know a vivid description about his childhood and the place where he resided. He told me,” I am born and brought up in West Tripura, a place with exquisite scenic beauty, a serene place on the lap of our mother India. My father was the chief advisor of the king Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya. Tripura was originally a princely State. After the death of Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya in May 1947, a council of regency under the leadership of his widowed wife Maharani Kanchanpura Devi took over charge of administration on behalf of the minor prince Kirit Bikram Kishore Manikya. Maharani respected him as her elder brother and he continued to be the advisory. Monarchy came to its end on 9th September 1947. After that he joined the Legislative Assembly which was formed in July 1963. Our home town was rich in flora and fauna; the scenic beauty of the hilly terrains, interspersed with splash green valleys in between .I had my maternal home near Kunjaban palace, which offers a picturesque scenic beauty.” He seemed never to get tired of while speaking of his place and childhood days.

  Choco- Dadu continued, “Ramen and Kushal were two lively neighbourhood boys. Kushal possessed several beautiful birds, while Ramen had only two or three birds and these were plain and ordinary types.

One day, a couple of Kushal’s doves flew into Ramen’s aviary, and began to build a nest. The poor boy thought: "How happy I would be if they were mine! The back and the wings of the bird are bright emerald green in colour.The flight feathers and tail are blackish and the broad black and white bars show on the lower back when the bird is flying. Oh! So beautiful they are! Of all of Kushal's birds these are certainly the most beautiful."

All of a sudden he thought of keeping the birds and to say nothing. "No," he reflected, "I won't do it, because it would be a sin. I want to overcome this temptation."

He closed the aviary, took the birds and went to Kushal's place immediately. The latter was overjoyed to find his birds again, and was especially pleased that Ramen had been so honest. Kushal’s father gave his son an idea. He decided to take the first eggs the birds laid and to place them secretly in Ramen's aviary in the nest of one of his birds. The two eggs are laid in a neat cup of twigs.

When the little birds found their way out of the eggs and began to grow their first feathers, Ramen was amazed to find that they were their back and wings are bright emerald green, and flight feathers and tail are black. The head and under parts are dark vinous pink just like the couple that his friend had. He ran to him and all of us to tell us of the miracle that had happened.

Kushal smiled and told him he had changed the eggs to show his recognition for the honesty that had been shown him.” Choco dadu smiled at me, “Dear, we are bound to be honest but not rich.”