City Life – The Paris Bound Rooster, Near Pahari Rajaan
A meat shop immortal.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Every day Muhammed Aijaz runs his knife through some 50 chickens at hisOld Delhi meat shop. But one of them refuses to die.
The pride-of-place wooden rooster, beautifully carved, adorns his busy shop near Pahari Rajaan.
“He’s a showpiece,” says Mr Aijaz, who relates that this work of pure art was given to him by a friend who found it lying around in garbage.
A day-long investigation now reveals that the rooster was meant to adorn a fine apartment in Paris. A French exchange student at Delhi University had been given the object by her philosophy professor–who knew that the student’s mother in Paris collected wooden roosters from across the world.The night before her departure from Delhi the student suddenly realized that the rooster just wouldn’t fit into her luggage. What to do?
She guiltily left it behind with an Indian friend who works as a biking guide in the Walled City. But he simply tossed it into the garbage. His neighbour discovered what had happened, retrieved the rooster, and gifted it to the friendly butcher.
And so. The rooster intended to grace a Parisian apartment instead passes his days at the shop, open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. You’ll spot the exquisitely carved creature perched atop cages packed with real chickens.
The story of a professor’s gift