In this mail era of “forwards” and photoshop-fixes, once in a rare while, one comes across some simple and interesting real-stuff that happened to real-people you know…

Like this one…

Ranga, my friend who is a pilot, sent this mail today…



This morning our watchman came running asking for my Santro Car keys saying ” there is a Kottaan under your car wheels “. Later on I came to know that Kottaan in Tamil means Owl. I went down to inspect and I was surprised to see a white bodied owl with brown and fawn coloured wings perched on top of rear wheel of the car and the bay above it.

On research I found out that it was a Barn owl . I called the forest department to take over the bird, but no one turned up.

I believe it is a bad omen to have an owl resting even in your back yard, let alone staying in the house premises. An owl hoot in a house sounds death knell for one of its occupants! So petrified residents of the flats shooed the poor bird out of the compound & tied one of its legs to a rope.

I could not see the plight of the bird…set it free in the bushes off Adyar river…near Gandhinagar.

Arrey Owley….as a Hyderabadi would say!


PS. My daughter wanted to adopt it saying Chow chweat… and named it ‘Hedwig’ after the Harry Potter famed owl.






My response to Ranga:

Arrey ulloo-key-pattey,

This is beautiful!

Owl in Indian tradition btw is a good omen! It is the vehicle of Mahalakshmi – and so dear Ranga, you are going to get a whole lot of money! Owl is also a symbol of wisdom – and so your corner teeth are going to come out after all!

And not least, owl is a good night flier. And so maybe it is giving you a challenge! Or giving you an offer – “Come join me! And become a ‘fly by night’ operator!



One Response to “Owl!”

  1. L Srini Says:

    I’ve also heard that a kOTTAn screech or hoot is considered inauspicious.

    It seems the kOTTAn’s lodge quite a bit in crevices of wells, old buildings etc. When people draw water from wells in the middle of the night, it kinda disturbs the resident kOTTAn couple’s quality time. The male kOTTAn falls in the well and dies, and the female takes off. So they say if the kOTTAn’s moonlight shadow falls on you, you’re marked. Actually they say it in much more graphic detail which can rightfully be taken as a script for a late night horror show 😦

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