Gracie’s Funeral: Dec. 19th
Gracie, my female parrot, died today. The last time I had a parrot die on me was when I was nine years old. I think I cried an entire day, much to the dismay of my parents. Gracie hasn’t been doing well — she was always fluffed up in the morning, and lately she has become neurotic and has taken to plucking out feathers in her back. Sue answered the door today and Jude was holding Gracie in his hand, like the dead parrot schtick out of Monthy Python. "Dead, madam". Sue knew how upset I would be, so she asked, how they (the Hindu) treat a dead pet. I suspect that she expected some ritual with regards to transmigration like cremation. "Rubbish bin, madam". At her insistence they wrapped Gracie in a banana leaf, sprinkled flowers and incense on her, and gave her a proper send-off to her next life.
Sue bought a spring-wound alarm clock to make sure that I get to the airport on time. It’s one of those big clunky things out of an old cartoon, that has a bell at the top, and a lever that shakes the clock and vibrates it off the bedstand. This version is made locally by a Bangalore company. When you set the alarm at 5 A.M. it goes off at 6 A.M. If you set it at 6 A.M. it doesn’t go off at all. At 7 A.M it goes off at 7:30. When you wind it up, it stops ticking.