Arguing over a Folktale Bird

While googling backlinks to kashmirnetwork.com, I stumbled across an online disagreement over the existence of the Tota in Kashmir . Tota in India refers to the parakeet which is also called Shoga in Kashmir.

To put the record straight, there are three species of parakeets native to Kashmir. The most common species is the Rose-ringed parakeet that breeds in Kashmir and is a year-round resident. Rose-ringed parakeets often nest in hollows in chinar trees.

The Alexandrine and Slaty-headed parakeets are relatively less common. Alexandrine parakeets [Hindi: Heeraman] are quite popular in Indian folk tales, and can be observed in Kashmir in the Zabarvan foothills. The Mughal gardens especially Nishat and Shalimar are good places to observe these birds even in winter.

Alexandrine parakeets can be distinguished from their rose-ringed cousins by their larger size and striking red shoulder patches. Flocks of slaty-headed parakeets can be observed in summer in the Royal Springs Golf Course.

I am quite amazed by the refusal of one of the participants to believe that the Tota exists in Kashmir – disregarding both its presence in folk tales [that he himself quotes !] and scientific proof [including my photographs] presented by his co-arguer.

The gentleman in question propounds the classic ostrich-defence: "I have never seen it myself, so it does not exist". Not surprisingly the argument escalated to the usual levels [Azadi, Hindu-Muslim,Islamists] and beyond [Nietzsche!]

All is forgiven, however, because the original post included this following gem:

athe travtohan janavar
athe travtohan janavar
pheri bagas te kari guftar
athe travtohan janavar
chavi yavun te vure shehjar
athe travtohan janavar
ye chu nagman hund tandar
athe travtohan janavar
janavar chu vanan zaar
athe travtohan janavar
mate haitav ami sund baar
athe travtohan janavar


Release the bird from your hands

Release the bird from your hands
It wants to fly around the garden
and speak out its heart
Release the bird from your hands
It wants to celebrate youth under shady trees
Release the bird from your hands
It is a chronicler of songs
Release the bird from your hands
It is singing a sad song
Release the bird from your hands
Don't bear the onus of his captivity
Release the bird from your hands

Bonus:
hariya thavak na kaan te lo lo
zaar mein totas van te lo lo

Here's a video of a Tota pillaging a walnut tree in my garden.