Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Black and white balance....

My blogger and FB friend Ganesh Balaraman , posted some great pictures from a trip to Mahablipuram, near Chennai (southern part of India). Besides the sea, and the sunsets and the sculptures , he has posted an amazing picture of a guinea fowl, that was possibly taking the air, somewhere in the grounds of his hotel.

With this amazing plumage,  these folks are often taken for granted on farms.  They move around eating up insects and even seeds of weeds. Once in a while, like any humans, they do get attracted to things like tomatoes growing on trees etc. The eggs they lay are a bit smaller than the eggs laid by the standard hen, and like any typical mother,  the guinea-hen always knows when someone other than she and her mate have touched the eggs. They are subject to being chased by dogs etc, and are blamed for the terrible sound the produce as they communicate their feelings.  Somewhere in between a chicken and a turkey in importance,  some unscrupulous folks pass them off as chicken meat in restaurants.

But they are old style simple folks. So much so, that they are a monogamous breed, and they actually mourn the demise of a spouse.

(photo by Ganesh Balaraman)
They are criticised,
Their call-noise abhorred,
as they strut around
the farm,
picking and devouring
insects and weed-seeds
straying into the tomatoes too.

A middle class ethic.

An acceptance of color,
equal amounts
of white and dark,
no hankering
Fair and Lovely,

and Glowing Complexions,
as the white pearls shine
on the black feathers.

An acceptance of Fate,
and Karma,
as some of them
land up as some one's
pseudo-chicken meal
in a fancy hotel in Mahabalipuram...

The male's voice is a shriek
as he walks away
with a strut
and an arched back
blooming in importance.

The SAHM female,
pleads with a call
resounding as
"Come Back, Come Back".....

And unlike the
modern biped
who unheeding and careless,

plays the field,
this male returns back
to live again
with his lady wife,
to grow 

to mourn each other
in their old age.

the Guinea fowl,
unlike the humans,
are monogamous folks....


  1. Beautiful and reminiscent of Ted Hughes. It never occured to me they could be such humble souls, loyal to their partner.

    1. Thank you. Do have a look at http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/Guineas/GuinHeadleySept03.html

  2. Now, I love this animal, Ugich! The last line made me to!

    Seeing the picture just like that and seeing through your words, makes a huge difference, Ugich! Thank you!

    1. Sandhya, Thank you. Do have a look at the link I have given above. Very very interesting ....