Thursday, July 23, 2009
Humming birds in my balcony
A pair of humming birds have been regular visitors to that strip of balcony for which we paid some neat amount(according to the civic rules the builder should not charge anything for this, so technically this belongs to the whole world! There is some nonsensical rule about balconies in Mumbai absolutely outdated about which, come to think of it, I will blog sometime this week:)
Earlier, parrots used to land here, gloriously screeching, brilliant and spanking green, a colour so brightly fresh that I always felt that they had just hatched out of eggs (that is dumb, since they were fully grown with gloriously long tails that dangled tantalisingly over my window sill) but they so looked green and fresh, untainted by this dirty, smoggy city.
But that was when we were new to this place which was rather empty, with buildings yet happening, the Dream Park had not dented the Thakur village's image,transforming it into encroachers' den (food stalls, the messiest encroachers). The parrots do not visit us anymore. Other urban dwellers do -- crows which are being fed by a stubborn old man in the opposite flat (though I have not seen him for some time now, is he dead?) and which drop some weird things on my balcony since there is a fish market in the direction they fly:) The fellow who lives below my flat is constantly seeking to fight with me... I wonder if he thinks I drop half-eated, raw chicken legs deliberately on his balcony?!! He does not know I am vegetarian.
I used to think pigeons are villains -- oh, these kabootharkhanas and their trusts mint a lot of money, did you know, in this city?? Which may explain why they keep sprouting about all over the city, messing it up so enormously despite some civic law that warns of a heft fine if you are found feeding such creatures in public places.. Abnd they are the ones who pluck out my flowering plants right out of the pot, nest on my cactus, shit on my drying clothes, and even, amazingly shit through mesh... I tell u, they fly and aim deliberately so the goo lands on my freshly cleaned window pane. Who said they are dumb?
Since pigeons are around, their enemies hawks /eagles also lurk. I have seen some heart-stoppingly large ones preening on the building opposite. But they are a common sight in this urban jungle. I remember while a wide-eyed feature writer with the Sunday Times, I had heralded the arrival of the Lemon yellow butterflies with a feature. I also wrote on these animals in the urban jungle -- cranes preening over their nests along railway tracks... All my articles, filed and bound neatly, got burnt in the fire at my home.. Time to put away some things....
Frank Moraes, the ad guru, once wrote a nice letter with a few lines, complimenting me on my choice of topics... Later when I met him, on some other assignment he, on a alcoholic high, did not remember the compliment at all..Which just goes to prove the transience of all things:)