Life in a Metropolis

 Update for week ended 6 July 2012

The Krishnans wanted their child to grow up close to nature. Both of them were working in a metropolis and travelled from one part of a concrete jungle to another, encountering wild and tame animals of a different type during their travails and travels. While they toiled like the hardworking mules of the Himalayas, their bosses at offices always growled like a fierce bulldog. During their office commute on the local trains, they felt like the packed sardines that their neighbor Valsamma sometimes bought in cans; whilst the men in the compartment adjacent to the Ladies coach would behave like mad monkeys trying to peer through the mesh window that “separated” the ladies from the general coach. Their maid was feline looking, and a stickler to her routine that at times, Mrs Krishnan likened her to the leopard that never changes its spots! So Mr krishnan started scouting out for jobs away from the metropolis to get some peace and tranquility, but unfortunately could not get a job that would have paid as much as his current one. And then they chanced upon an ad in the papers of some housing project in the green lung of the city bordering the Milk Colony on one side, the National Park on the other and a stone’s throw away from fresh water lakes (and not ponds mind you … some of these lakes also provided drinking water to the citizens of the metropolis). So they went to see the houses and were surprised not only by the environment it was set in, but also the price they would have to shell out. Mrs Krishnan could not take her eyes off the row-houses near the hillside and she already started dreaming of the wonderful forest birds that would sing their shrill cries at dawn, while she sipped her cup of strong “degree coffee” on the lawns, and how in the evening, she would have to keep her gate closed, lest the spotted deer came to chomp at her dahlia and zinnia flowerbeds. Their minds were made up and they booked the house. In three months, the Krishnans had moved in with their 6 month old Annapurna. And for Mrs Krishnan, much of her dream was enacted within couple of days of moving in. the parakeets created a pandemonium at dawn, and the starlings imitated them at times. Once she also heard the long “piyooo” sound of the peacock or peahen, and she got to tending to her little garden to attract more of the fauna. And time passed, and like they sometimes say, flew at times. And little Annapurna grew in to a precocious three year old, who would start going to school after the summers. She had the luxuries many children in the metropolis rarely enjoy – a little garden to play around in, or ride her tricycle, or swing on the garden swing. It was Saturday and a hot one at that. The monsoon season had begun, but the rains played truant and so Annapurna played in the garden by herself, rode the tricycle and when she felt thirsty, went back  into the house for a drink. She then walked to the French Window overlooking the garden and sipped slowly at her colourful glass of water. She looked out and was surprised to see an animal that she had never seen before in real life, only in books. It was like a big cat, except slightly yellow with large dark spots all over its body. It was ambling along the verandah overlooking the garden and sniffing about the tricycle. Annapurna called out to her mother and pointed to the leopard outside the window. Mrs Krishnan froze when she saw the big cat, but her sense of adventure overtook her fear, as she reached out to her wardrobe to fetch the camera. And despite the poor light at dusk, she clicked away at the animal that did not pay any attention to its window spies. It just ambled along and then leaped up onto the creeper covered wall separating her house with the next one and after a while, jumped down and out of sight. Mrs Krishnan called all her neighbours on the phone and warned them about the prowler amidst them.

The D Boyz sometimes complain that their life is like a wildlife show. Their D Street is like some zoo a times. When the moods are low, everyone on the street looks like a towering bear. And sometimes the cheery mood attracts the horned bulls. There are always rumour mongers creating pandemonium on the street like the parakeets at Mrs Krishnan’s garden. The D Boyz, most of whom hail from Gujarat, as times wonder why they left their homes to work here like donkeys…. So they go about their work in search of peace and tranquility within the urban jungle. So when the bearded and turbaned old man in Delhi asks people to get into their animal spirits, the D Boyz cheer that and jump up with joy – taking their favourite SENSEX up. And when Spanish Bulls are stopped in their tracks by Matadors, they go running to hibernate like the bears. But what they never expect is a real animal in their midst, least of all a carnivore with sharp claws and canines. The news from the Tigrish Central Banker of the slowdown in growth – stirred up so much fear amongst the foreign D Boyz, they behaved like they had seen a real tiger in their midst!! And with the seesawing Rupee, the SENSEX also see-sawed its way this week to end at 17521…

The neighbours were shocked to hear what Mrs Krishnan told them. They got their children in, locked all the doors and called the Forest Department officials. But all of them also ran to their respective French Windows to get a glimpse of their uninvited guest!

Have a nice weekend and please be safe. For citizens of the Metropolis shared with the spotted leopard, it is likely to be a dry weekend, although for the rest of the peninsula – it will be wet. Delhiites must be looking forward their showers to cool off after the harsh summer. And thank you all for your inquiries and requests to restart the blogs. I do hope you will share your feedback.


One thought on “Life in a Metropolis

  1. “I had witnessed a Croc intrusion at the IIT Mumbai complex in 2003. It had come out of the lane to lay eggs. Amazing 10-12 foot long one hiding in the bushes. The authorities pushed her back on to the dry bed of the lake.”

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