Tending to creatures that can't fend for themselves

Animal lovers family

Eagles gather around the mechanic shop near Nampally hospital every day around 5 pm. Two young men climb onto the shop’s tin roof with two plastic carry bags filled with pieces of meat.

They begin throwing the meat into open air, while the eagles catch their meal in midair like trained acrobats. A few eagles also come down to sit by the owner of the shop, S Trimurthy Pillai, for pat or a sip of water from a plastic tumbler.

Trimurthy has been doing this ever since his father S Subba Rao Pillai, a mechanic, took him to the shop to teach him a few lessons in automobile maintenance.

“Our shop was close to the meat market and I saw large number of birds, particularly eagles, driven away by the shop owners. I started feeding them and I found eagles friendly and lovable,” Pillai said. Pillai said that though many of his friends and relatives had advised him not to feed the birds as eagles bring bad luck, he trashed their advice.

“I trashed their advice as the eagle is the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. By the blessing of the birds, today I have seven grand children and they are all happy,” said a contended Pillai.

Pillai (68) who is suffering from arthritis, now heads to the shop every afternoon and feeds his eagles with the help of his two sons Praveen and Babu Pillai. Recently, he nursed an injured eagle at his home, which resembles a small zoo, a few yards from the shop.

“We give the injured eagles shelter, glucose water and tiny, tender pieces of meat so that they can recover fast,” says Pillai’s wife, Meena Pillai, who takes care of the injured stray dogs, rabbits, cows and simians that Pillai brings home.

Quite often the fully recovered eagles return home for a sip of water and lots of affection.
Pillai also travels long distances to feed animals. Every Sunday, he takes 20 kilograms of boiled chickpeas and peanuts to feed the monkeys on the Hyderabad-Narsapur road.

The road passes through a thick forest filled with hungry simians. He parks his Omni van by the roadside and feeds the monkeys like small children.

“I spend Rs 200 every day for the eagles and other animals that can’t fend for themselves in this busy metro city,” says Pillai who is a staunch follower of Puttaparthi Sai Baba.

 Pillai’s sons are ready to continue the good work of their father and politely refuse any financial help offered by onlookers who gather near their mechanic shop to witness the highly the exhilarating mode of  feeding eagles.

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