Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kalaiah's animal friend : A Squirrel

A day without watching the squirrels is incomplete for the 75-year-old T. Kalaiah — a unique animal lover and a retired draughtsman of PWD Department, who has been visiting the Kukkarahalli Lake regularly for a daily walk, for the past six years.
Initially, when Kalaiah began his walk, he first came across a puppy. Within a few days, he became quite friendly with the little dog and named it Ramu. For Kalaiah, it became a daily routine to carry biscuits while coming to walk and feed Ramu without fail. After spending a few minutes with Ramu he used to continue his walk.
Even the dog too was very friendly with Kalaiah. When Kalaiah whistled, the dog used to rush towards him, wherever it was. Unfortunately, Kalaiah and Ramu’s friendship came to an end when suddenly Ramu disappeared and after a week Kalaiah came to know the dog was no more.
Upset over this, Kalaiah sat on the lakeside bench. That is when he came across his new friend in the form of a 'Squirrel'. He offered the biscuits he had brought for Ramu to the squirrel. In the beginning, the squirrel was scared to take the biscuits, but gradually over the days, their friendship grew stronger and stronger.
Now, the squirrel has developed a good bond with Kalaiah. As soon as Kalaiah reaches the spot where they meet regularly, he makes a hissing sound to announce his arrival. Reacting to the sound, the squirrel comes to him and sits on his thigh. Everyday Kalaiah spends more than 20 minutes with the bushy-tailed rodent. Kalaiah says animals feel comfortable with humans only when we shower love on them.
"In the Initial stage there was only one squirrel, but now there are two. I will not enter the lake without a biscuit packet. For the past one week I was not in city and I missed them very much," says Kalaiah.
"Each squirrel eats just two bites of biscuit and takes at least fifteen minutes to consume it. I have also introduced these squirrels to my grand children. Animals are more friendly than human beings. If we get attached to them, they show more affection than our own children," he observes.
If one visits Kukkarahalli lake at 7.45 am, right at the entrance near the boating spot, one can see Kalaiah’s love and affection towards these squirrels. Don't miss !
[Thursday 4th June 2009]

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