“Please don’t curse me. Uncle, please forgive me. I made this mistake for the first time in my life. I will not repeat it. After taking away your pigeons I haven’t been able to study well. My mother also scolded me. I will repay your loss after I get a job… I am giving them back. I am even giving you my pigeons…”

This is a portion of the note Binu Philip found outside his house a week after he lost 10 rare pigeons costing nearly Rs 48,000. 44-year-old Binu, a manager at a showroom for tiles, collects rare species of pigeons, and his pets are priced at around Rs 1 lakh. On September 4, while Binu and family were away from their house in Venjaramoodu in Thiruvananthapuram, 10 pigeons went missing.

The theft was discovered when Binu’s friend, who was feeding the birds while Binu was away, came to the house and found the enclosure broken into and some birds missing. Binu immediately filed a complaint with the police.

On Tuesday evening, at around 7pm, some of Binu’s neighbours saw two persons on a motorcycle throw a box into Binu’s compound.

When they opened up the box, they found pigeons inside, as well as a plaintive note of apology.

“The note was written in pencil, on a ruled sheet torn from a notebook. The person who wrote it mentioned that he had visited my house once. I think it might be some school boys. The neighbours couldn’t recognise the bike riders as they had covered their faces,” says Binu.

Among the pigeons that accompanied the plaintive note, says Binu, only five were among the rare birds that he lost. “There were another four pigeons in the box. But these were regular pigeons, and were ill too. Two of them died soon after,” he says.

Even among the five rare birds that were returned, one bird’s feathers had been badly cut off.

Binu suspects that his remaining birds have been sold off, as the writer of the note offers to repay him after getting a job.

The note makes another plaintive plea for forgiveness. “I just have my mother at home. She scolded me a lot. Please forgive me I will not do it again,” says the letter.

However, Binu says that the losses to him have been too large for him to withdraw his police complaint. “The pigeons that are still missing are worth Rs 25,000,” he says.


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