Saving the head here and mending the arm there, Santosh Bakaya encounters a bunch of adventures on her morning meanderings.
As I peeped out of my bedroom window in Delhi, I saw the contours of a pallid moon caught in foggy shackles. It appeared to have a sheepish expression. The whiff of rain-drenched earth from last night’s rain entered the room through the window, reviving my comatose self, and a bird’s happy chirp also added its excitement to a foggy morning. (Or was it cloudy?)
I headed towards the balcony and the sight that met my eyes brought a smile to my lips. I was earlier told that the resident in the neighbouring house was a cat lover, but I had no idea that he loved so many cats! There were at least nine of them, lounging in different poses in his balcony — mewing and stretching and collectively greeting the new morn.
I looked up at the sky, the moon had disappeared, so had the fog, but the sun was shirking, refusing to come out of hiding.
An overweight pigeon was self-consciously walking on the parapet, trying to burn last night’s calories, I smiled a tad guiltily, remembering that I had skipped my walk. Almost.
Just as I got into my shoes, the sun also came out, diffidence in its stride and sloth in its body language. That was an indication for me to shrug off my sloth and head for my walk.
The lush greenery outside was indeed a sight for sore eyes, I was delighted by the chirps emanating from the flower pots hanging from the neighbour’s balcony. This music soothed my frayed nerves, so did the musicality of the swaying of the trees. The rain seemed to have put a new vigour in their body language.
A jaunty tune fell into my ears. It was the newspaper boy on his bicycle just behind me, trying to hurl a newspaper in the neighbour’s balcony. But, alas, it did not reach its destination, but fell on my head.
“Oh sorry, madam,” he jumped down from his bicycle, and raced towards me, apologising profusely.
“Oh, please don’t apologise. It was my fault, I happened to come in your way.”
He smiled another apology in my direction, picked up the newspaper and hurled it back in the balcony. This time it was caught by the neighbour, who had just stepped on to the balcony.
“Well caught!” The boy shouted from below and the neighbour smiled.
And the boy smiled too.
The lush greenery, the vibrant blossoms and the avian chatter has always made me delirious, and I had almost reached that happy stage, when I was attacked by a blob of phlegm which came in a perfect arc in my direction, and fell on the ground next to me.
I saw a gang of ruddy-cheeked, round-eyed rustic kids staring at me, petrified, from the bougainvillea creeper next to the neighbour’s house, waiting for my reaction. It was the tallest in the gang who was the perpetrator of this indignity.
“I am so sorry. I did not know there was anyone around.”
“But why did you spit? I have always asked you not to spit like this.” The youngest of the lot chided the older boy, who was his elder brother. The boy said nothing, but just wiped his mouth sheepishly, looking apologetically in my direction. I had no other option but to smile back, thanking my stars that I had escaped the attack.
A little distance away, two tiny tots were squabbling over the severed arm of a one eyed doll, to the barking support of a skeletal stray. The arm lay on the ground, splattered in mud. I picked up the doll, fixed the arm, when my eyes fell on the marble eye also lying on the ground. I fixed that too, handing the doll back to the toddlers. The two chortled in pure joy and their mother standing a little away, beamed, the father smiled, joining his index finger and thumb into an admiring arc. Delighted to have the eye and the arm back in their rightful places, the toddlers hopped off, arm in arm.
By now, the sun had shed its sloth and its spunky rays were cascading down like a benediction, giving the candy floss clouds a touch of silver positivity.
I headed home, humming a happy song, can you guess which one?
(Pictures: Pixabay / Illustration: Antara)
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