Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Guttur Guttur!

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Concrete jungles make for hundreds of sightings of rock-pigeons. The look in their own eyes is also pretty much stoned.  Everyone who has ever lived in an apartment block has their own set of pigeon stories to tell. Anyone who has stared into the eyes of one will swear by the utter blankness that stares back at them. That is if they are in any state to talk after the staring bout. The existence of pigeons is a complete co-incidence. There is no way they could have evolved. Placed on earth by an alien race is more like it.

Neighbours of a dear friend staying at Hasmathpet road went ahead and painted their home a brilliant purple. The colour of a bright brinjal. Next thing we know, all the pigeons of the vicinity had chosen the terrace of that house to roost day in and out. E___ and the rest of us girls who had gotten together for lunch at her place, stood in the balcony and watched the birds taking off periodically, circling about like remote-controlled toy-planes and landing back softly. What gripped those insane people to do a "mera waala purple!" with a nerolac shade card, one shall never know. What attracted those pigeons in the first place to the mothership of pigeons is another question.

Pigeons do strange things to you. They startle you the most when you least expect it. They can do brilliant things really. One of the things about city pigeons is that they are forever sighted on window sills, water tanks or ventilators or sometimes squashed behind Split AC vents and no other kind of surface. A few years back, all of aged sixteen and entirely new to birdwatching, I and my Dad were standing outside the local WWF office waiting for someone to turn up. Casually I looked up a copper-pod tree and sighted two Rock Pigeons perching on the branches. And they seemed to be completely at ease while trying to be normal birds. I stood with my mouth hung in astonishment at the sight. What was obvious seemed like a revelation at that point.  Pigeons. can.perch.on.tree-branches. too? Wow. It was a supreme Duh moment as well as one of amazingosity.

Of course they take revenge for our complete lack of appreciation for them. The other day, S___'s dad was stomping about on the kitchen floor madly and making weird noises to scare two birds that had just begun building a nest in the ventilator. Poor uncle. He slipped in the process and sprained his back and arm.

The most recent memory is that of writing our second year exams at this college.  Damned pigeons set the world record for most number of successful mating rituals in the ventilators as we slogged away in the midday heat at various governmental systems.  Stray down-feathers would float down occasionally and settle on our answer sheets as the pigeons cooed in delight. 

And they live on. All Hail.

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