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On a train journey, I and my fellow passengers were quite on our own, ignoring what others were upto. This lasted till someone noticed that a girl sitting on the lower berth window seat was popping some food pieces into a box. To our delight, we discovered a green parrot bobbing its head. The girl said that Mitthu (the parrot) cannot do without her so she had to surreptitiously bring him along. Mitthu changed the atmosphere for the rest of the journey. Some of the passengers even helped the girl with her baggage when she alighted from the train.

There was a beautiful African Grey parrot in an apartment of our building. When I would whistle, the parrot would try and imitate. It was fun – I could spend a lot of time with me whistling different tunes and watching it imitate. In Nigeria, owning a parrot is a status symbol. 520 languages are spoken in Nigeria (and I thought it was only my country with such language diversity). Parrots that do not speak the local tongue are difficult to sell. Parrot sellers spend time teaching the birds to talk in the more popular language of a region where they sell the talkative birds. Coincidentally parrots are often found in multilingual places like Amazon and Indonesia. Here’s more about the interesting parrot talk: