It was a cock. We liked to call him by name ‘Taliban’. He dreamt a lot to reign like a powerful king. Taliban was not at all like the bird of poet Sukanta which preferred delicious food dishes. However, his ultimate fortune was like the famous cock of Sukanta. In terms of life-span of a fowl Taliban survived for quite a long period, and perhaps he could have lived long if he did not possess the Taliban mentality.
It’s all commenced with my posting at Udaipur as Additional Superintendent of Police. I started poultry with Taliban and four layers. The hens were white, white leg-horn. Perhaps they reared the genes of West. But Taliban was having black and other multiple colored feathers upon white shade which to my assessment represented the characteristics of Iranian and ancient Babylon.
Taliban was like a lord in my quarters. He attained an enormous size within a short period. He kept his four wives under strict control. At times, my son and other children also could not escape from the reign of Taliban. It’s like the Lord Buddha who could not escape from the Taliban in Afghanistan. He would give a chase to our children the moment they came out of the room to the court-yard. All the time a war-like situation prevailed. But surprisingly he did never enter into the room. Children used to play either under the escort of security personnel or after keeping Taliban locked. One night Taliban gave a brave fight against a cobra to save his wives from the attack of the snake.
After about three and half years I got transferred to Agartala from Udaipur. I carried Taliban and his family to Agartala. They were kept in my father-in-law’s house under the supervision of my mother-in-law.
The subsequent development was very sad. In the changed circumstances it became increasingly difficult for Taliban to protect his wives from the onslaught of jackals with two legs. Taliban also became more ferocious. Like Tagore’s Kabuliwala Taliban also caused blood-shed. It was a human victim and not a beast like dog or cat. He pecked just above the eyes of a child resulting profuse bleeding. Love and affection are critical commodities. I had to overcome those traits to send Taliban to the butcher. It cost ten rupees to get the dressed meat without the knowledge of my son. I could not be lion-hearted like the father of Mini in Tagore’s story Kabuliwala. My son believed that Taliban had been lost. We know he had become dearer to Almighty.