Santosh Bakaya stumbles on a quick dose of wisdom from a votary of desi eggs.
Enjoy Morning Meanderings Season 2 with your hot cuppa and cookies. ☕🍪😊
The sky was once again overcast with sinister looking clouds, every now and then giving vent to loud guffaws of mirth, trying to drown the banter of the avian community. But the birds had minds and hearts of their own, no cloudy guffaws could restrain their cheerful chatter. They continued to chirp and twitter, in their happy space. It had been raining continually for the past week and under the wet ministrations of rains, the wild flowers had broken out in a riot of jubilant hues – white, purple, yellow, red violet.
The menfolk were greeting the new morn with all varieties of gossip and tidbits. I was happy to see all of them masked.
Womenfolk headed towards the cows loitering around, holding leftover rotis in their hands. But the bovine community, engrossed in de-weeding the vacant plot in our vicinity, did not give them even a withering glance. Their palette seemed to have fallen in love with the taste of the wild flowers – so they continued gobbling them one by one. With a profusion of colours snuggly lining their stomachs, they walked on towards the greenery in the next plot. The women continued to make all sorts of weird sounds to invite them to partake of yesterday night’s leftovers, but believing in the dictum, ‘unborn tomorrow and dead yesterday, why fret about them if today be sweet?’ the bovine beauties continued to enjoy the wild repast offered to them in the present. So, with a sort of bovine gluttony I had never seen in the neighbourhood cows before, they munched on the wild flowers, to the accompaniment of the happily warbling birds. The present appeared very sweet to them.
A grandmother sat in her lawn happily crocheting, while two three and four year olds frolicked around her, the younger one trying to jump on to her. Putting aside her crocheting, she scooped him up in her arms. At this early morning injustice, the elder one gave vent to a humongous bawl, and hurled himself at his unjust grandmother, mouthing some childish gibberish. The scene warmed me, and of course after a very long time, the crisp freshness of the nippy morning was balm for my tired mind.
I was amused to see a particular scene, which again brought a huge smile to my face. One unmasked fellow, was trying to talk to a neighbour who happened to be barricaded behind a double mask, and was stealthily moving further from him as he came closer, in a bid to cover up the six feet of social distance with big strides.
“This corona is nothing. It is just pneumonia,” the unmasked one was saying with a confident gleam in his eyes, a gleam so big that it threatened to jump out of the sockets.
Before the other one could think of means of escape from the erupting gleam, he went full throttle, “When my three kids would have pneumonia, I would apply the whites of eggs on their chests, but mind you, eggs of desi murgi (Indian breed hens), and by the next morning they would be hopping around the verandah. What a hype the world has created over mere pneumonia. I tell you, desi eggs are the cure for everything,” he said, yawning a prodigious yawn and patting his table-top paunch. I noticed that he was mid talk when the masked man furtively hopped away to a safer distance, casting covert glances behind his back. The unmasked one, momentarily feeling cheated by this great escape, now started looking around frantically for more receptacles to absorb his nuggets of wisdom.
Was that an evil glint in his eye? Had he sighted his next victim? I could feel him moving in my direction, looking contemptuously at my mask. A quick hand darted to my mask in a protective gesture and I dashed in the direction of my home, but not before a very sweet voice fell into my ears.
“Uncle, Aapney mask kyun nahi pehna hai?” (Why are you not wearing a mask?)
It was the eight year old son of his neighbour cycling away towards his home on a brand new bicycle. I could imagine a naughty smile hidden behind his double mask.
“Is this the way to speak to your uncle?” The unmasked man ran after him full blast, hissing and cursing under his breath and then the poor man tumbled over a boulder!
With a cry of anguish he bent down to clutch his ankle, and hobbled towards a tree next to the wall fronting our house. Then a catastrophe hit him. A crow perched on the tree disgorged droppings on his bald pate, some of which cascaded towards his lips. What followed was a barrage of invectives I had never heard before.
Highly alarmed, I dashed into my house and peeped through the window. He was still sitting under the neem tree, thumping angry fists in the direction of every bird that fell in his line of vision. As I settled down on the settee with a hot cup of tea, and once again peeped through the window, I found him sheepishly pulling out a mask from his pocket and putting it on. By this time the young cyclist was back.
“Arrey wah uncle! Were you carrying the mask in your pocket all the time?” he quipped, quite enjoying the discomfiture of one who had just been washed in crow droppings. I wondered if the crow had dropped an egg on his head, he would have probably thanked the desi kauwa for its generosity.
Through my window I could not see whether there was a sheepish smile or a scowl under the man’s mask but I could imagine his solicitous wife plying him with a plate full of desi eggs, the moment he reached home. Or applying a paste of desi eggs on his mouth. But on that furiously red hot face, the egg would probably become an omelet right there!
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