Monthly Archives: July 2004

The Local Zoo

Step out and there’s a bird with a sharp trill, long orange beak, white breast, black body and longer legs than many birds. (Some ornithologist, please tell me which bird this is). The bird seems happy trilling around in the cool shade that trees provide on a hot sweaty summer afternoon and is busy swooping on small unsuspecting insects. Following its flight, I come across a not so pretty sight. A pig soaking in a water drain in all its oinking glory. But it seems to be deriving pleasure for sure. A little further away are two ducks standing in the hot sun (not in shade) in the middle of the road. The road is pretty battered up due to the construction going on, on the side. I notice the ducks standing in a miniscule puddle of water (some water stored up in a teeny weeny bump in the road). They also seem to be enjoying themselves. Even though they are standing in the direct sun, the heat is not getting to them. One of them is in fact *sleeping* with its neck somehow turned in the completely opposite direction, into its mass of white feathers and the head buried in them! Amazing sight. I forget that I am supposed to be driving. You, dear reader must be wondering where this local zoo is.. It’s right outside my office! (where else can you find pigs but in Haryana). And this is but a sample. While crossing roads, I have come across several other animals from this local zoo – donkeys for one, braying away to glory. Herd after herd of sheep for another. It’s a sight I have seen only in hill stations. Sheep and shepherd together with a lot of bleating going on! The only hilly part in the terrain are the crude speed breakers on the road.

But lately a new animal has joined this local zoo. It has been seen roaming around quite freely in the plush office buildings in the otherwise villagey gurgaon. It’s called the Software Engineer.

It’s been long since I:

1. Wrote on paper with a pen, instead of typing on a keyboard, cellphone et al. Especially in hindi. I was quite stumped (for words or rather characters literally) when i recently tried writing in hindi! (quite a disturbing reality)

2. Rode a bicycle. An actual one. Not an exercycle. I really want to ride one again.. but Delhi doesnt allow me the same for various reasons. I havent done this since first year of college.

3. Went for a picnic. A proper lunch basket picnic. I think it was last in my teenage (I was in class X) that i had one like that!

4. Roughed up a guy. It’s been a year. The first time and the last time (so far). I still cant get over the fact that I actually did it! He was one of those road side eve teasers who got a shock that someone actually retaliated. And he was alone, I guess that’s what gave me the guts.

5. Touched my guitar or my flute :-(. Am slowly but surely taking out time for these activities.

6. Did some calligraphy. Last time was in college.

7. Sang while taking a shower. Or even took the transistor in for listening to some music while bathing. :-P. It’s a great combi. One should try it. ‘Bathroom bliss’ makes for a nice post.

8. Got my hair chopped short. Last time I did that was in class 12th. Before that I did it in class 7th. Both times, the saloon female asked me at least 5-6 times if I was sure. The time I was in 7th, my mom kept the tresses with her, thinking they could used for an artificial plait or bun. The hair colour didnt match 😛 :-).

9. Wore a Sari. The last time I wore it was on some family wedding. Am not very comfy with saris yet. For some reason, ppl expect a female who gets married to suddenly transform herself and start wearing saris instead of western or even indian suits. Mera number tab aayega.

10. Visited my college in Pune. I want to and I dont want to. I want to because I miss it and I know it’s a nostalgic trip down memory lane. I dont want to because I know it would have changed altogether. It would actually disillusion me and all the nice memories that I have abt the place would go in the trash bin.

11. Got into a swimming pool. It’s been *really* long. River, Ocean yes. But swimming pool, no. I was in class 6th, when I last made my attempt at swimming. Could never learn it. Inspite of the fact that I went river rafting last year to overcome my fear of water.

12. Got a leech latch on to me. (that was a tongue twister). It’s been almost 14 yrs now. I was in Siliguri (west bengal). That place is infested with leeches, snakes, frogs and all kind of creepy things you would rather stay away from. Add stepped on elephant shit to this.

13. Played Tambola! Used to get to play it often in my childhood and surprisingly I used to be lucky too.

14. Went to a ball. Last was in Pune – The NDA ball. It was a blind date. We made quite a funny combination (looks wise) and we were ribbed about it for long.

15. Close-danced on a slow number. For that matter I cant seem to remember when I did that last.. did I even do it.. mebbe with my soft pillow :P.

16. Did Origami. Gosh! I have forgotten all the small little things I used to make. Even a boat that every school kid knows how to make when the rains come. I used to make real good paper frogs that actually used to hop when you press their rear 😉

17. Witnessed a thief getting caught red handed. A pretty shaking-you-through-and-through situation when one starts imagining the consequences. Happened in Secunderabad when we were staying in a small room in the officers’ mess. It was the middle of the night and we were obv sleeping. That guy was an amateur, and somehow my dad realised that there was someone in the room. Suddenly when he was about to pick up some stuff, my dad caught him red handed. Phew.. one scary experience and I dont want it repeating again. or rather theft repeating again.

18. Made two plaits. I stopped making them after I chopped my hair in class 12th. But I guess I’ll do that someday for the school girlish fun.

19. Visited a church/synagogue. Went to a church with a friend when I was in college. Visited a synagogue during a south india vacation. I think it was in Cochin.

20. Have been jotting down this stuff. Better get back to other things :-P.