The Case The Curious Chicken-Part IV

The Case The Curious Chicken-Part IV

I have penned three parts of this curious story and I feel it is now time to introduce some poetry into this tale so that my friends out there,continue to feel as curious as my curious chicken and maintain their interest in the twist in the tail or tale !
I told the chicken to please wait until I finish the story. As it was quite tired of running around and crossing roads with me running after it to know why it was doing so,it felt happy to find some time for a well deserved rest !
Long long ago,in my childhood I had heard a story from my Dad.It was in Punjabi and was told in a hilarious coloquial Punjabi way,during a family get-to-gether probably in some marriage function when marriages were celebrated for full 4-5 days with the extended families present en masse and evenings were devoted to singing,dancing and story-telling etc.
I am translating it from memory but the fun will be lost to some extent,since the original Punjabi flavour ( we call it “tadka” ) will be missing ! I hope you will relish it !
The story goes like this :
In a small farmhouse somewhere in Punjab ( consider any town–Ludhiana,Phagwara,Jallandhar,Amritsar etc) there lived a farmer called Banta.He lived alone with his wife Banti, whom he loved very much.They had a chicken, whom they both also loved very much.By the way, Punjabis call a male chicken as “Kukkad” and a female one as “Kukkadi”!

“I love this chicken,” said Banta to Banti one day.
“Yes, I love her too,” said Banti.”She’s a nice chicken.”
“I’m going to write a poem on her”, said Banta.
“I’m not sure people would love poems on chickens,” Banti said, but his mind was already made up. Banta slogged on his poem for about two hours, since he had never tried writing a poem ever before.He didn’t know how bad his poem was. It went somewhat like this :

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
You’re a great “kukkadi” (chicken) ,
Cock-a-doodle-doo. ( ” Kukkkadoo-kkaaddd-oooon ” )

Banta thought it was damn good,and he wrote it out in his best handwriting on a piece of paper and brought it to the kukkadi early the next morning, and set it down in front of her so she could read it.

The poor kukkadi looked at the poem with one eye, then the other. Then she hopped on the paper and scratched it with her talons, until it was nothing but shreds. Poor Banta frowned and walked away silently.He felt downhearted, but he was a person who never gave up easily.
Banta again said to his wife, “I love this kukkadi.”
“Yes, I love her too,” said Banti. “She’s a nice chicken.”
“By God, I’m going to write a poem for her” said Banta.
“But you did that already, and the blessed chicken scratched it all up” said Banti.
“That means my poem wasn’t good enough. I’ll write a better one this time” said Banta.
“I am still not sure people should write love poems for chickens,” she warned, but Banta’s mind was already made up.
He worked on his new poem for four hours. He had only written one poem before, so he didn’t know how stupid this one was. It went something like this :

Dearest kukkaddi,my lovely bird,
Love is not too strong a word
For the way I feel for you,
And hope you feel it for me too.
I love you more than I can say,
And even more each passing day.

Banta wrote it out neatly as before,brought it to the chicken the next morning and set it down before her,anxiously waiting for some signs of approval.

The chicken stared at the poem for a second. Then she pecked at it and pecked again and again, poking holes in the paper until every word was obliterated. Banta grimaced and walked away, choking back a sob.But Banta did not admit defeat so readily.
He said to his wife once again, “I love this chicken.”
“Yes, I love her too,” said Banti. “She’s a nice kukkaddi.
“I am going to write a love poem for her”,said Banta.
“But you did that twice already, and she tore ’em both up” said Banti.
“That just means the two earlier poems  weren’t good enough. I’ll write a better poem this time.”
“I’m pretty sure people shouldn’t write love poems for chickens,”Banti scolded, but Banta’s mind was already made up.

Mr.Banta worked hard on this third poem for three full days. He had only written two poems before, so he didn’t know how good this third one was.
It was, as a matter of fact, the greatest love poem ever written by anyone in the whole history of poetry in Punjab. It went something like this:

As grains in the cornfield, for thee have I shucked,
Words of love do I offer, you of praise and renown,
Winged yet earthbound, as seraphs cast down,
To thee have I whispered, to me hast thou clucked.
Pulchritudinous poultry, from beak to thy legs,
To gaze at thy galliform soul is to sing
Of the unbested arm and the untested wing;
I toast thy fowl beauty as I toast thy fresh eggs.
Say not love is folly ‘twixt chickens and men;
For hath not my heart forged a bond with thy breast?
Yea, a thick bond, which thickens, like mud in a nest,
And quickens my pulse for thou pullet, thou hen.
O kukkaddi, surpassing the swallow or dove,
As thou swallow my corn, spurn not my love.

Banta finished writing it just as the sun came up on the fifth day. He brought it to the chicken, and bowed low as he placed the parchment before her.

The chicken looked at the poem for almost a minute. Then she clucked musically, and the Banta’s heart filled with joy.

Then she turned around, and pooped right onto the sonnet. She defecated again, and again, until every word was smothered in chicken droppings. Mr.Banta stumbled back to the house.He could barely see, for there were tears in his eyes.

That night,Banta said to his wife, “I love this chicken.”
“Mmm, so do I,”agreed Banti. “May I have the other legpiece please?”
We all had laughed heartily at this sudden end of the story !! 
Ending the story, my Dad had said : Is there a moral ? Yes.there is a moral.Yesterday, I caught my son and daughter mistreating their books, throwing them against the wall and at each other.So I took away their books for a day as punishment. I usually read a storybook to them every night at bedtime, but last night I couldn’t, so I made up this kukkadi’s story to tell them instead.
The moral I intended to pass on to them was, when someone who loves you gives you something, you should treat it with respect, lest you hurt the feelings of your loved ones.
I am not sure whether the moral penetrated into their chicken heads or not ! Unfortunately,my children liked the story so much, they don’t want their books back yet.
“What am I to do now”,exclaimed my Dad !
Dear Readers,can you help me out,please …..!!
The curious chicken who had waited in the wings to listen to this strange poetical story of someone from her family tree,clucked with delight but it was hoping that its fate not would not be the same as the one which landed on the dining table of Mr Banta and Mrs.Banti.So,it started running again and tried crossing another road with me pursuing her like a man possessed. What happened next ? Wait for the next part please ! Cluck ! Cluck! Cluck !


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29 Responses to The Case The Curious Chicken-Part IV

  1. atreya sarma says:

    Dear Brocaji, Banta made a few mistakes while pitching the woo with the chicken, it so appears. Instead of penning the gallivanting sonnet in English (or even Punjabi), he should have done it in the Gallic tongue for this galliform species. Though Banta’s was the greatest ever love poem in the whole history of poetry in Punjab, still it couldn’t click to draw dame luck and the chicken’s cluck, so Banta remained luckless and clueless. A Punjabi should never write poetry, least of all love poetry, but straightaway get down to lovemaking without wasting words or syllables. [Now linguistically speaking, your Kukkad/kukkadi is Kukkuta in Sanskrit and Kodi (in Telugu), Kodi Punju (for the cock) and Kodi Petta (for hen). Kudos for your ever-enlarging chickenosaurus!

    U Atreya Sarma, Lincoln, NE, USA
    Dec 24, 2009


    Dear Atreyaji thanks a lot for reacting to my latest post Part IV on my chicken’s curious journey ! Delighted to read what linguist touches you gave to your views.Like they say Rose is a rose is a rose, I ‘ll add : A chicken is a chicken a chicken-call it a kukkad or a kukkadi or what ever other name you wish. Hope you will continue to follow that chicken till eternity with me !

    J S Broca
    new delhi
    25th Dec 09

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  4. t s chandra mouli says:

    Jatinder ji, Whether kukkad ho ya kukkadi, tadka mein kuch pharakh hota hai? Garma garam story on chill winter night made all the difference. May you be gifted with karod kukkad or kukkadi to keep the narration going.The more the merrier. Merry Christmas!

    T S Chandra Mouli, Hyderabad
    Dec 25, 2009

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    I read a few topics. I respect your work and added blog to favorites.

  6. j s broca says:

    Dear Chandra Mouli ji thanks a lot for your scintillating feedback.Such feedback encourages the poster to move ahead in the chain of thought he is pursuing.I hope to continue the chickens journey by penning some more thoughts of various persons.Wait for the next post probably in first week of new year !

    j s broca
    new delhi
    27th dec 09

  7. j s broca says:

    Dear Ashfaq ji thanks for your viewpoint. The chicken’s journey across the road was chronicled by airing the views of other known,well known,not so well known people all over the world.I wished to add my view by taking a slighly different approach to the question.So since this forum is more devoted to poetry,I added some poetry to make it a little interesting from the usual routine.I also discussed the topic with some of my MBA students who all thoroughly enjoyed airing their views on the reasons why the chicken crossed the road.Yes every one has his own opinion and I respect yours.I hope to post the next part soon by trudging along a slightly different path,which I hope will interest you.
    j s broca
    new delhi
    27th dec 09

  8. Md Ashfaq says:

    Dear Broca Ji,
    Excuse me, but I have been following the development of your story since its inception on the Muse; but now I find it a kind of dragged. I mean, it is just my honest opinion. God bless you.

    Muhammad Ashfaq, Islamabad
    Dec 27, 2009

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  24. nilouffer says:

    Jatinder ji,

    Chalo since you have created a tadka by including Punjabi poetry into chicken world,
    let me try putting a parsi punch with a (worse than punjabi) poetry
    Kash mein Kukkad Hota
    Tujhe meri apni Kukadi banata
    Tujhe bahut sara pyaar karta
    Aur roj ek shayari likhta, (teri apni language mein)
    So you don’t peck and poop and destroy
    Meri dil se nikli baat…..

    Please continue your chicken feed…
    we shall be pleased to peck at it….

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