Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Chaatak Bird

Water is an essential thing for all living beings. Some need it 5-6 times a day while some can manage only with a few times a year. We are familiar with camel that it can retain water for several weeks that is why it is very useful animal for desert areas because the water is scarce there.

Chaatak is a Pied Crested Cuckoo bird who is several steps ahead then camel. He is a migratory bird who appears only in rainy season. He has a shrill voice in which he pleads to the clouds to rain water to quench his thirst.He can survive even for months together without drinking water. Why? Because he is a special bird. What is that specialty? That he does not drink water found on earth. He drinks only that water which falls as rain from the sky during Swaati Nakshatra. He will never drink any ordinary water from anywhere even if his throat is cracking with thirst. Even if he is about to die of a parched throat, and around him there are seven oceans, rivers, and lakes overflowing with water still he will not touch that water. He looks only up, mouth agape, for the rain to fall when the star Swaati is in the ascendant. To the Chaatak bird all waters are mere dryness besides Swaati Nakshatra water.

The Curse of the Bullock
There is a short story related to Chaatak bird - "The Curse of the Bullock". In fact it was not so all the time with Chaatk bird that he would drink water only from sky raining in Swaati Nakshatra. Before he used to drink water ordinarily like other birds and animals, but after this curse his nature changed.

Long time ago, there lived an old woman with her daughter in a small village. While the old woman was hard working, her daughter was very lazy and selfish. They had a bullock in their house too.

“We should take proper care of our bullock.” The old woman would say.
“Hah! Animals should serve us, not that we should serve them,” the daughter would reply.

Now there was a pond, at some distance from the woman’s house. Every afternoon, the woman used to take the bullock to the pond to have a bath and to make him drink water. Meanwhile her lazy daughter would eat and sleep.

One day, the old woman fell ill, so she requested her daughter to take the bullock to the pond.
“It is very hot today, dear! The bullock must be thirsty, take him for a drink” said the old woman.
“Look! I have some sweets here. I know you love sweets, dear. Take the bullock for a drink. While he is drinking water, you can eat these sweets,” the old woman added, handing a box of sweets to her daughter.

The greedy girl agreed, but as soon as she was out of her mother’s sight, the lazy girl tied the bullock to a tree and sat down to eat the sweets. The thirsty bullocks waited for the daughter to finish eating the sweets. “I hope she eats her sweets fast. I am really thirsty,” thought the bullock.

But even after having eaten all the sweets the daughter will not take the bullock to give him a drink of water, The daughter returned home and lied to her mother that she had taken the bullock to the pond and that the bullock had drank water from the pond. The bullock was extremely angry. He cursed the daughter, “In your next birth, you may be born as a Chaatak bird, and will drink water when only it rains in Swaati Nakshatra, not from water found on the earth. As you kept me thirsty today, so you will also remain thirsty.” The curse of the bullock came true. In her next birth, the daughter was born as a Chaatak bird.

Sushma Gupta


  1. Story is interesting but the information about the CHAATAK Bird is new to me; It does not drink water from any other source except from the rain in Swati Nakshtra- Strange; next to camel which can survive for long without drinking water but not without water.

  2. Where is this bird found? Is it native of any continent?

  3. It is very common in India. I do not know about other continents. It can be searched by Pie Crested Cuckoo.