Even before you can ask “kyun”, pat comes the answer to “poochho kyun?”. The Superwoman, a squirrel on steroids, is more practical and grounded than many so-called intelligent people.
Morning Meanderings is a musings column by Dr Santosh Bakaya. Enjoy her jottings with a hot cup of tea. 🙂
I peeped out of the window as I could hear a tiny bird stirring outside. It was only 6. 30 AM, and a crescent moon still clung to the sky, with a couple of stars for company. Soon more birds woke up and started trilling. This was the cue for me to head for my walk. The labourers were up and about, and one group was building a fire, setting up a pyramid of wood and discarded newspapers.
The young couple, was also there, but the toddler was still sleeping, I guessed. They smiled expansively in my direction. I smiled back; the crescent moon, one sliver of a smile, soon evanesced.
Soon the entire neighbourhood was astir.
Someone had complained to the municipality, and their garbage collecting van had finally come.
There was Kanchan coming towards me with a huge smile.
“Madam, these new people have no manners, poocho kyun?”[Ask me why].
She said pointing towards the trees.
It was indeed weird that all the vacant plots had become huge dumping grounds. Some occupants who had just shifted to the newly constructed apartments, had no qualms about hurling their plastic bags of garbage down from the third floor, and in their descent, some plastic bags had got entangled in the trees in a colourful chaos and the tress appeared almost Daliesque.
“Yes, it is so weird,” I said, looking at the morose looking trees, which seemed to be listening to the eerie music that the polythene bags, surrealistically caught in the trees, were making, in sync with the chirping of birds .
“Madam inko itni bhi akal nahi hai? (Don’t they have even a little intelligence?) In our village, people have dug a trench and we dump all our garbage in the trench, and sometimes we make a bonfire of it. Our village is very clean, there is not one polythene bag around. It is so dangerous for the cows, why don’t these people realize it?” she said, deftly dodging a blob of tobacco spittle which a morning walker had aimed at the ground.
There is no dearth of weirdness around; just the other day, my act of tending to a battered kite, was no less weird. Similarly, for some, splashing the roads with blobs of spittle could be quite rejuvenating and edifying, I thought, trying to keep pace with Kanchan, who had suddenly morphed into a squirrel on steroids.
“My brothers-in-law are vagabonds, Madam. They do nothing but play cards the whole day long under the Peepal tree in front of our house, and drink tea, which they take on credit from the tea-seller under another Peepal tree. My mother-in-law is keen to get them married. But, tell me Madam, which fathers will want their daughters to get married to them? Poocho kyun?”
“Why not? They look quite handsome!” I remarked, looking at a dog which stood royally on a hillock of concrete, looking around with the air of a newly coronated king.
“Kya hansum, madam! You have seen my husband, haven’t you? He is the most handsome of the lot.” She said, with a bright smile. “He works a lot. And they…! Just waste their time under the Peepal tree!”
“Handsome is that handsome does!”
Before she could hurl some more questions and some more ‘poochon kyun?’ and ‘poocho kaisey?’ at me, I scurried towards home, waving out to her.
“Madam, Ek ghantey tak aati hoon,” (I’ll come in an hour) she shouted at my back. Her sprint from one house to another had begun.
More to read in Morning Meanderings
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