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For an avid bird watcher, a trip to Empress Market’s bird bazaar would either be delightful or saddening. Every Sunday, thousands of Karachiites from all walks of life throng the bird market to purchase these birds. From exotic birds including peacocks to the twittering sparrows that are released as ‘jaan ka sadqa’ by many, the place has something for everyone. From what may seem like a scene right out of the movie ‘Rio’, you will see bulbuls, budgies, lovebirds and peacocks, all in one place. Sadly, kept in small cages, the birds cut a sorry figure and are often infected and die a few days after a child has eagerly taken them home. – Text and photos by Sumera Adil


Comments (9) Closed

Forbidden Fruit Jul 29, 2011 05:34pm
Isn't it sad that for most "Love" means to possess! I believe that a true animal-lover would never cage a bird but let it go free!
Phillip Jul 29, 2011 07:14pm
Yours is a most perceptive observation...indeed, what is it about human nature that so many confuse the two? The qualities of the object one "loves" or seeks are instantly altered and diminished by attempting to own or possess it, whether it be an animal or human. As it is said, if you love someone or something, set it free - if it is truly yours, it will return - if it does not, it never was.
Khurram Arif Jul 29, 2011 07:57pm
bought 2 pairs for my children one bird died, after 2 days, I released the cage opening and set them free. I suggest not to buy them, if its such important keep them a few hours and set them free.
HK Jul 29, 2011 09:38pm
I agree with Forbidden Fruit, a true animal-lover or a someone with a *heart* will set them free. Also, in my studies of Islamic law, we should not keep birds caged for the harm it causes on the birds.
Nasr KiKi Jul 29, 2011 10:51pm
Alllah has provided means for every living organisms survival on this planet. To cage an animal, bird, or fish is depriving them with their living. It is not humane and so it is a sin too. We can achieve Sadqa Jariya by feeding them, protecting them, in their natural environment. I was a hobbiest of the same kind in my youger days but I learned and took this hobby off my list of other hobbies.
The Rungs of A Ladde Jul 29, 2011 11:51pm
But then being Human Beings we also treasure Beauty,thats why we keep a bird caged. We love its voice, its beauty no matter how that bird would feel. Its human ignorance once again.
Muhammad Inaam Anjum Jul 30, 2011 07:52am
government have to provide a suitable place for this business and must have to make rules for keep pets. Everyone who purchase them must have to know how to keep in home.
syed sheeraz Jul 30, 2011 08:53am
Nice collections of some very common birds. Good to see them :)
dany Jul 30, 2011 01:39pm
I agree with you guys regarding the substandard treatment that these birds receive at empress market, however, empress market is a mere channel for these birds to reach owners (most of whom really care for them). and if let free, most of these animals would not survive in the environment as karachi's. And Phillip as far as ''if you love someone or something, set it free – if it is truly yours, it will return – if it does not, it never was'' is concerned, this maxim may go for rational beings, now these birds and animals are not wise enough and obviously if let free they would never return, but they would rather be eaten by some other dominant creature above them in the food chain above them. In my opinion, these animals should be domesticated and should be taken good care of, and good care means providing them with an environment as natural as one meant for them. Of course some of them are sick and ill, it should be the owner's duty to take good care of them, perhaps take them to a good vet. However, i would strongly urge the authorities to formalize empress market, highly regulate it (in terms of both animal treatment and protected species being kept here). I dont mean to offend any one, but given the quality of discussion i had to step in. And if you do care that much about animals PLEASE STOP EATING THEM!!!!