OLD BIRD MAN
These images were made at one of the busiest Saturday market in December 2001 in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan. It was a chance encounter while out making pics at the market and meeting up with some old friends. My mother had spoken about this gentleman and his birds on numerous occasions, she's even bought a couple of singing ketitirs from him in the past.

This occasion was a significant one to me purely for the fact that it's about an oldman, adamant about pursuing a dying tradition that I have always been fascinated with but have never entertained.The fact that I myself almost have not met him had I not decided to hang around the market that Saturday was also significant to me. What chance might there be for my son to discover this once favorite past time?
 
 
 
  
 
The oldman breeds and trains about 5000 ketitirs (doves) singing birds at his home, they cost between a few dollars to a few thousands each depending on bloodlines. Those from famous prize winning parentage can fetch upwards of ten thousand each ... prized possession to those who seriously indulge in this past time. He's been at it since as long as he can remember ... now with grown up children he finds all the more reason to continue with this passion. His market days are normally filled up by chance meeting like this or running up and down the state entertaining his clients and friends and showing off his latest prize.

We parted company after a couple of hours and a few rolls of Neopan ... he did try to convince me of the joy of keeping birds at the same time trying to sell me a pair of singing ketitirs and a MYR$500 beautifully handmade birdcage that comes with it. Had it not been for the trip back to the Netherlands, I would have accepted his invitation to visit his home to meet his other prized songsters. Having heard the songs from my mom's $2.50/pair ketitirs on the porch ... I can't truly imagine how his $15,000 birds must've sound like ... pretty close to heavenly no doubt ... why else would anybody do this for a lifetime.
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