A STAR IS BORN by Anuradha Dasi

Kirtan, New Vrindaban's newest baby peacock

When WTRF came to do an interview for a piece about New Vrindaban on channel 7’s “Discover West Virginia” program, I had no idea this would be Kirtan the baby peacock’s debut into stardom.  After all, it was meant to be a general documentary, and at the end of the interview, I had just casually mentioned Kirtan’s story…

It all started one day when we were sitting at home chanting japa, and we heard a strange banging, or rather scratching, at the front door. We tried to ignore it, hoping whatever it was would go away, but it didn’t. Finally, overcome by its sheer determination and my own curiosity, I opened the door. To my great surprise, a white peahen was standing there looking at me imploringly and then motioning her head towards a single large egg in the middle of my doormat.

This wasn’t my first experience with peacock eggs. Twice before, we had tried to incubate eggs that were found on our porch, but after weeks in the incubator, all they did was rot. I wasn’t looking forward to that again.  But my husband was hopeful, and he took up the task himself. He set the incubator at a slightly higher temperature and humidity this time, and instead of turning the egg just twice a day, he turned it three or four times.