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Bird

Gurul bird had been a small bird of Khaira (grey-brownish) color. Weighed just around 100 grams of the size of a chick before the appearance of feathers on their body. I cannot find the good name of the bird. It’s just the local name I have mentioned above.

They used to be very swift and adept in camouflaging with the grasses and the paddy field. These birds would be particularly found during the paddy harvesting time . As the paddy straw had been of traditional varieties , the straw would be long and lodge down to the ground providing sufficient coverage for them to hide under. After the harvest they would be more visible due to lack of coverage. We would chase the bird when we would find one and it would be caught before it could hide, run away or fly away. They would rarely fly. They used to hide around in surrounding paddy fields, straw stacks or bushes.

Nowadays bushes have also vanished , the short paddy varieties and the agro-chemicals have put the last nails in their coffins.

My friend had been skilled to catch or hurt the birds by hitting them with hard earthen clods or sony materials found handy. These birds would be very tasty, as they would say. I never had tasted it. I had problems. I could not catch them. I could not come to terms with myself to catch or kill the birds. But as a child I would accompany my friend Panchu as we would roam about the fields every now and then, except within my study hours before noon and in the evening!

In those days the labourers used to have a unique method of capturing the birds. While harvesting paddy, they would cut down the paddy plants in a circular manner. For square/rectangular plot they would just finish harvesting keeping aside a corner of the plot to be harvested in the end. The birds would assemble in the corner where the paddy plants would be there yet to be harvested. The labourers would cover the top of the plants with their gamchha ( Bengali word for a thin towel or a piece of fine cloth used to be carried with specially during working time) to capture the escaping birds while flying.

 

 

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