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City Moment – Dyed Chicks, Okhla

The remarkable Delhi instant.

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]

One afternoon The Delhi Walla met a vendor of dyed chicks in a congested street in Okhla.

“These are not for eating,” he said. The babies were stuffed inside a wire mesh cage fitted on the rear carrier of the man’s bicycle. Squawking nosily like a bunch of unruly classroom boys, the little ones were dyed in yellow, orange, purple, pink, saffron, green and blue.

“Every morning I get the stock from Ghazipur,” said the vendor, referring to the wholesale poultry market on the city’s eastern edges.

While we talked, potential buyers stopped by to check out the chicks; each was priced at five rupees. One small boy in a green Mickey Mouse T-shirt bought three babies and got them packed in a yellow cardboard shoe box.

The vendor then pedaled away. The chicks kept chattering. They did not appear to miss their recently parted three friends.

It was a sad moment.

At least you won’t become a biryani









4 thoughts on “City Moment – Dyed Chicks, Okhla

  1. I’ve seen them, but at Gateway of India during a trip to Mumbai. Something disturbing about being colored for sale. I like their natural coat best. Warm and fuzzy feeling. Do they retain the color when they grow?

    1. Their down lasts about a month, then feathers start coming out. By two months, down is only found near the butt. I don’t know if the butt down retains the color, though! Never thought about that, and I doubt they’ll live that long.

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