This man who lies
On the staircase,
covered, half dead, half alive,
A victim of years
Neglect and addiction to drugs,
Temporarily unburdened of pain,
Why is he here?
Why isn’t he where he ought to be,
With his family,
On a bed, under a roof ?
I asked myself these questions today,
As if I, a helpless
victim of circumstances herself,
Had the answers to them,
Or the power to change things.
20 August 2016
Unlike so many other stray dogs, he has a roof over his head…
In 1969, a Bollywood film ‘Shatranj’ with Waheeda Rahman as the heroine was released. It went on to become a hit film. It had a dance sequence performed by Waheeda Rahman based on the song ‘Jangal me mor nacha kisne dekha.’ Literally, this line means “A peacock danced in the jungle; who has seen it?” When you see this video on Youtube, you would find yourself mesmerized by the beauty, grace, and elegance of Waheeda Rahman dancing exactly like a peacock in gay abandon…
That was 1969. In 2015, one can spot peahens and peacocks very easily in Vikaspuri, New Delhi, living out their lives in public just like other common birds, pigeons, bulbuls, and mynahs, and this includes singing and dancing in the rain as well!
Before you jump to conclusions, let me clarify that Vikaspuri is not a forest area. It is, in fact, just any other residential colony of Delhi with independent houses and apartments. But yes, it has been very lucky, ecologically speaking, and now it has a couple of tall trees and a few green parks developed by the government. These trees now provide homes to the various birds we manage to see everyday hopping around on our terraces, balconies, and verandahs.
The sight of these gorgeous birds walking on the roofs on their tiptoes, balancing themselves and stopping themselves from tripping, just like ballerinas, fills me with a strange kind of thrill. It gives me butterflies in my stomach. But this feeling soon gives way to one of sadness, dejection, and humiliation.
A peacock is, after all, our national bird and deserves a certain amount of dignity. It really shouldn’t be seen traipsing around on terraces of city dwellers, drinking water from their overhead tanks, and eating bajra and corn seeds doled out by kind-hearted people.
The forests are all gone and these birds have nowhere to go. They struggle like refugees for survival, just like everybody else….
See the pics below and you will understand what I mean…
Poised like a ballerina…
Now it’s the ladies’ turn…
Beating a retreat…
See how she flies…
Here is a video of a peahen in motion…Just click on the link below.
Dancing peacock with a peahen as audience (a bit disinterested…)
Here is a video of a dancing peacock. It was made today, 16 May 2015.