Sunday, July 18, 2010


I am hooked on rains. So I shall muse about the same for a while. But this is in a different note.

Mr. Snow Boot (my pet) has an odd guest every year. In fact we have kind of come to look forward to this annual invasion now. It’s a tiny, fragile looking miniature crane like bird with an orange beak and thin, slender orange legs, a white body and tail striped with black plumes. She has an unmelodious squeak and makes quite a ruckus as she plonks down at our gate. Boots, however “busy” he may be, comes running out to welcome her. He squats on haunches and has a peculiar expression on his face as if gazing upon the ninth wonder of the world. His ears are cocked up and a slight frown creases his forehead. He keeps on following the bird’s movements with an intent expression and ears picked up listening with great concentration to whatever she squeals about. The bird stalks and hovers around our gate giving vent to a cacophony of shrill notes intercepted by Boot’s low, soft woofs which take on varied shades of a growl, grunt, grumble, query, moan, amazement so on and so forth, not particularly in that order though.. For onlookers, it will seem as though both of them are having an intimate exchange. This goes on for half to an hour or so till the strange bird takes to the sky strengthening our belief that she comes only to meet our Mr. Boots and none else. I often try to make out with amused wonder what the “conversation” must be centering around. Most probably something like this?

The Bird: Hi Snow! How is life? I have brought a message from the clouds.

Snow: I am fine. Clouds? You said clouds? What are these clouds?

The Bird: You don’t know the cottony, fluffy, snowy clouds floating by the sunny, smiling sky?

Snow: Of course I know those white fragments of downy pillows. But they are far away

man! You cannot even lay your head on them and have a happy snooze.

The Bird: So what? See I am light, I can fly past the sun, touch the stars and kiss the


Snow: Kiss the moon and touch the stars? Haa! What rubbish! They are too far. You cannot reach them. I know that. They said that on the TV too. I heard between my evening naps. These guys were talking about that too.

The Bird: You can, if you want to. But Snow you are stuck to the ground. You don’t have wings. You can’t even fly!

Snow: Wings? What wings? I have my tail and four strong paws.

The Bird: But still you are chained. See you have a shackle around your neck too.

Snow (loftily): Chain? Collar it is and expensive too.

The Bird: Tell me Snow, are you happy here?

Snow: Of course yes. These guys are good to me (then gritting his teeth) except that little wench, Kitty, with the wicked green eyes that prowls in during night and purrs with unfeigned disdain. Otherwise I am okay. These guys take good care of me. They give me sumptuous lunch and dinner and a special bed to sleep too. Sometimes I slip under the blanket (with a wink) in wintry nights and cuddle up to her. She pampers me the most. The fat one. Once in a while, when I do something right, she rewards me with a biscuit or two. Oh yes, they love me all right.

The Bird: Still Snow, you don’t enjoy freedom as I do. I fly past the green meadows in my own whim and fancy, play with the shadows and rest on thick foliages and have a chat with the bumble bee and the blushing blooms when I wish to.

Snow: (with awe): Bumble bee you said. Is there more to life than luscious bones and freshly baked bread?

The Bird: (irritated): Oh Snow! You are such a caged soul. You cannot think beyond biological satisfaction and material delights. Look at your plight! You were born free but chained for life.

Snow: (a little put down): Haa! I suppose you are right. (Then with a philosophical sniff) Each to his world, pal (sigh). Now I can smell the crunchy beads of Pedigree. Let me go and have a munch. You keep coming friend whenever you make a visit to our land and tell me about the cottony clouds and the bumbling bee (smacking his lips).

I am no bird watcher. Therefore, I cannot identify her by name. But I call her the rain bird because soon after she visits, it invariably rains.

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