Fair for pet bird enthusiasts
Makkan Chavvady in Broadway is a marketplace where pet birds are bought and sold. The fair is confined to Sundays.
BIRDS OF a feather flock together. So goes the adage. Makkan Chavvady in Broadway is testimony to it. People interested in birds, especially pigeons, flock there, every Sunday (from 5a.m. to 11.30a.m.). Some are there to sell birds, some others to buy them; and the rest, just to take in the scene.
Makkan Chavvady may be a marketplace for bird fanciers and aviculturists on Sundays, but its essential nature is that of a chicken market. In point of fact, it is also called "Kozhi Market". Through the week, scores of chicken, cooped up in rectangular cages with iron meshes, await the butcher's knife. It is interesting that on the same street, man's cruelty to animals and his love for them should be so coalesced.
Makkan Chavvady may be meeting a sizeable portion of the city's demand for chicken meat, but it is the Sunday morning fair which truly defines its identity.
If it ever hits the spotlight, it shall be for its pet bird connection, and nothing else.
The feral pigeons sold there have strong homing instincts. Often, a seller will set them (those left after the sale) free, and the birds reach home on their own. Most of the habitué of Makkan Chavaddy are actively involved in pigeon racing and are members of clubs run for the sport.
There are also sellers who have little considerations of commerce. These are avid pigeon enthusiasts who bring up dozens of them at home. When they think the numbers have reached an unmanageable level, they bargain a few birds away.
Many of us, who have only heard of Makkan Chavvady, pigeon-hole it as an exclusive market for pigeon trading. But regulars know it as the spot for sale and purchase of a number of other birds too, and a few pet animals to boot. Parrots, love birds, cockatiels, ducks and geese are some of the avian fare. Rabbits, pedigree pups, white mice, squirrels and kitten are also on sale. Rooster-fighting is a sport under ban; but you see roosters with the belligerence of warlords being peddled here.
There are bird fanciers who throng the market just to listen to the birdsong and drink in the feathered sights. You may think that the birdsong does not quite make up for the odoriferous dust exuded by bird droppings and feathers. But the olfactory fare is no deterrent to the fervid bird enthusiast. He will keep his date with Makkan Chavvady, every Sunday.
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