Founder of Camera House C. Sekar is mostly known for his one-of-a-kind collection of cameras. He owns about 4,500 different kinds of cameras in his Pycrofts Road home, which he had hoped to convert to a museum to help the future generations understand the evolution of capturing photographs. However, not many know that this man feeds thousands of parakeets twice every day on the terrace of his rented house in the heart of the city.
It all started 25 years ago — crows, squirrels and other animals were fed by him every day. However, his guests changed and two of the cutest parakeets visited him after the tsunami that hit the state. He fed the parakeets, and as the days passed, he amassed flying friends numbering in the thousands. He wakes up at 4.30 am to get the food ready for the parakeets who come knocking on his door at 6 am for their morning meal. “It takes about 60 kg of rice every day to feed all the parakeets that land on the terrace. Once in a while, like a special treat, I give them American sweet corn, which they seem to love. I wish I could give them more such treats but my modest earning won’t support the expense,” explains Sekar.
Depending on the weather the parakeets stay anywhere between an hour to three, in the vicinity of his home. The number of parakeets that visit him increases in the monsoons.
“Parakeets love getting drenched in drizzles as they peck at their food. In fact the maximum number of parakeets, upto 4000, visit during the monsoon because of this reason. I also make sure that the parakeets are not disturbed during this period because some of them fly for about an hour to come to my home,” he says.
He added, “There have been times when parakeets have almost fainted on the terrace during summers because of the extreme weather. Many don't understand how delicate these creatures are. I add glucose to nurse the parakeets back to good health so that they can fly back.” Getting back to cameras, we asked him what he hopes to do with his huge collection? He replied, “I have always dreamt of opening a museum to showcase these beautiful cameras. The reason I am still living in a rented space is because most of my earning have been invested for my passion towards the camera. Some of the cameras that I have can be auctioned for great prices in America, however, I want them to be in our country and I want them to be of use to the future generations. Even if someone were to buy the cameras and invest in the museum, I would happily oblige. Now, I want to buy the place I am living in to make this a permanent spot for parakeets to come as they please and feed.”
Sekar believes that his life is not about indulging in materialistic needs and wants. “I do not want to be one among the crowd. I want my life to have a purpose, which would help people and animals live a happy life. Feeding the parakeets and helping students who study visual communication with their projects for free is something small that I can afford to do. If a small step like this can be taken by all of us to help educate children and other social causes, our country will prosper,” said Sekar on a concluding note....