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January 2005
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Miscellany

The 'Tail' of a Rooster and a Goat
By Roger Harrison & Habib Shaikh
Usfan: Jeddah
Only six months old and already hen-pecked, K2 a pure white goat with a tan blaze on his forehead, gleefully capers around a small farmyard with his great friend a two month old rooster, Shera.
Shera alternates between playing hard to get by hiding under scattered tables and boxes and launching noisy guerrilla attacks on K2, darting out with a staccato clucking, administering a perfectly positioned passing peck as he heads for new cover.


K2’s contribution to the game is looking under, over, and around each object, piece of junk, placed in the compound for their entertainment, in search of Shera. Sometimes he overturns the object to see if Shera is hiding inside.


When Shera tires of the game he climbs on K2’s back. With his light weight, the goat either cannot - or pretends he cannot - feel his presence there and continues searching for him. After a while the chicken jumps down, much to the joy of the goat, but respecting Shera’s unwillingness to continue playing, stays away.


At one point, Rahat Ali Khan, who is in charge of the chicken farm, took the chicken out of the goat’s sight. The worry on K2’s face was immediately apparent. He searched the farmyard, bleating anxiously and running from corner to corner looking for Shera.


Neither was Shera comfortable, pacing worriedly about and constantly clucking.


When reunited, a kind of peace dawned on their faces - their eyes telling it all. In celebration, they again played hide and seek for a little while.


Bravery is only feather deep. At the first hint of danger from a third party, often a marauding farmyard cat out for a takeaway chicken dinner, Shera darts under K2’s body and uses his companion’s legs for cover. They move away in lockstep from the threat, K2 instinctively lowering his head as a challenge. It was how their relationship started.


As Rahat and his wife Kaikashan Khanum, who have lived in the Kingdom for 30 years and on the Munifa Farm for 10, said the two struck up their relationship a month ago. They were shifting the 3,000 chickens to bigger housing when Shera broke away from the group and flew off to a neem tree overlooking the wall surrounding their house at the entrance to the farm. Shera spent the night there and the next morning flew into the compound.


For a few days, the animal and the bird stayed away from each other. One day two cats surrounded the chicken and as they were approaching for the “kill,” the goat came to the rescue. He took the chicken under his legs, and protection, and “dared” the cats to approach. To this day, whenever they approach, K2 is always alert and fends them off.


Alternatively he flutters up on to his companion’s shoulders and jeers at the intruder with a raspy squawk.



Shera, younger and far smaller, runs the relationship. K2 is allowed to eat first, but when disturbed by his little chum, makes way for his splendidly coloured friend.


As Maghreb approaches and the sun sets, the two have a final scamper in the yard and then Shera struts proprietorially off to select the sleeping quarters for the pair. After much un-lion-like “tut-tutting” and imperious turning over of unconsidered trifles, the young rooster settles on a spot and calls K2 to heel. Dutifully, the goat trots over, settles down and the rooster clambers into position onto his self-propelled goatskin bed.


“When he senses some danger, Shera sleeps between the goat’s legs,” explained Kaikashan. “We are very worried. What will happen if one of them dies? They have become inseparable. You have seen how they ‘cry’ and long for each other when separated even for a short while,” said Rahat.
He confided that they were rearing the goat for sacrifice during Eid Al-Adha. “Now that is out of the question,” both Rahat and Kaikashan said.


Kaikashan said that K2 and Shera have adjusted to each other so well that they have even begun to like each other’s food. Earlier, the goat never ate “roti” (Indian bread), but now he relishes it; the chicken occasionally eats grass.


She said that she has seen so many times that when grains fall outside the plate or when the vessel is empty, the chicken digs up food from the ground and pushes it toward the goat. “They eat from the same plate and drink water from the same bowl,” she added.


“The friendship seems to be based on love and respect,” she said.


(Courtesy: Arab News)
A School of Thought
The magnificent new structure of the New Generation School may be made of bricks and stones, but the foundation has been based on hard work of committed individuals for whom the bright future of students has been far more important than their own troubles and trials.


Late Mrs.Abbasia Begum Mecci, a legend of her time was the founder of New Generation School, which advances the pioneering vision of her ideas. Besides being an active social worker and an efficient member of the Legislative Council, she was a great Educationist. She was the chairperson of the Al-Ameen Educational Society. She was married in a well-known and educated family to an IAS officer, Late Mr.Sirajuddin Mecci who was the Labour Commissioner (Son of Late Mr.Zaheeruddin Mecci who was the Inspector General of Police).


Her mission to start a school could not be fulfilled due to her untimely death. Her two daughters, Mrs.Bargees Khalaque and Mrs. Kauser Sayeed decided to fulfill her dream. They worked with their husbands Mr.S.A.Khalaque and Mr.Sayeed Munaver and established the New Generation Education Society.


These four were given timely guidance by the president of the society Mr.Aftab Ahmed Mecci and by the Chairman, Dr.Mir Yousuf Ali. Mr.Aftab Ahmed Mecci, apart from being a good educationist is also a great thinker and achieved fame in every sphere. Dr.Mir Yousuf Ali has attained heights in terms of eminence, popularity and perfection in the medical field.


The family sacrificed their own comforts of living in a big house and converted a part of their house into the first building of New Generation School. The school was started with strength of 25 students in L.K.G and every year one standard was increased. Mrs. Kauser Sayeed, Principal, forayed into the path of education. From the time she set up the New Generation School in 1982, the advancement of education has been its primary beneficiary. Mr. Sayeed Munaver, Secretary, faced many trials during the making of this building. Junaid Munaver the first child to get admitted to New Generation School was educated in New Generation School and as son of the Principal and Founder Secretary; his attention was drawn to assist his parents as an administrator for the New Generation Group of Institution. The high school sections were introduced in the year 1993, which was affiliated to Karnataka Board. Headmistress N.J.Madam is a strict disciplinarian and a source of inspiration for all the young staff with her meticulous work.


The New Generation School movement, which was started in 1992, organizes various cultural programmes including sports and adds a secular touch to every event.


The construction of the main building went in full swing and in 2002 a portion of the building was ready for occupation. June 2004 saw another landmark materializing. The New Generation School has turned into a major landmark with its beautiful architectural building, which has just come up.
The team at New Generation School believes that education does not comprise just classroom teaching, but preparing the students to turn into good human beings and citizens of the country. This magnificent new structure of the school may be made of bricks and stones, but the foundation has been based on devotion, affection, hard work of a team of committed individuals for whom the bright future of students is far more important than their own troubles and trials.


Drop in for an informal chat with the New Generation team at No. 34, Kanakapurra Road, Basavanagudi, Bangalore - 560 004. Ph.: 26578786, 26578699. E-mail : ngsce@vsnl.com.