Friday, April 3, 2009

Pigeons, a sort of menace?

When I came to Mumbai I used to think pigeons were very romantic -- which just goes to show that we can be made to believe anything. I even attempted to keep a birth bath at my old home, which fortunately, never worked well enough to attract any pigeons. Now, at my new balcony, I find pigeons, in the manner of all things that are regarded as dumb and therefore harmless, create a lot of damage. Last week, a lush plant of mine, which was beginning to drape long and beautifully, was viciously ripped from the pot. By pigeons. I fail to see any agenda to that --not even the oxytocin-induced nesting one -- in that gesture. The entire plant seemed to have been snipped by a neat, but vicious pair of scissors. This has been a constant from our pigeon neighbours who seem to think they own my house.

I won't get into other naughty things they do -- but apparently there is a law, a civic law, which forbids u from feeding pigeons in public places. Or other creatures.. Rs 500. Yet, when I do the yoga class at Carter Road I have had to go up politely and dissuade an old gentleman who insists on feeding crows just where we are doing yoga. I cannot see anything peaceful in his behavior -- though apparently the urge to feed creatures comes from something sattvic. I had requested him to move ahead, if he wishes to feed and avoid the spot where we are doing our yoga -- he has a choice of moving elsewhere, we don't. His insistence, for several days, indicates the sort of mulish stubbornness some of us enjoy displaying when we perceive something as our birth right -- esp if it also bears a hint of pious sanction...There is another gent opposite our flat who also feeds crows everyday at the same time. I recall, back home in Chennai, when we were supposed to feed the crow, it was a handful from the food you were eating -- to be left where one lone crow could eat it... Not thousands that swoop menacingly all over you...

The week before, another `peace-loving' pigeon-feeder put a full bag of grains on the exact spot where we do yoga... Something not so-sattvic about that sort of petulant behavior. So, we had no choice but to go over to the platform to do yoga -- and the entire hour we had a horde of deprived Indian men, seated around the steps circling that platform, trying to ogle into the girls' yoga pants.. As an instructor that had me so-fuming..

Any case, this is Mumbai and people make their own rules here......

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