Jul 15, 2013

The One Minute Rain

In the morning, I usually find some birds sitting on the small extension outside my window. They fly away the moment I touch the window pane. From my window, I see a garden below. People walk, run, practice yoga, stroll with their their pets and meditate. Behind the garden and between two tall buildings, I see hundreds of huts (a slum). Also visible is a big green mountain close to the slum. It has a temple on it's top. Every two minutes, Airplanes appear from behind the temple, in their final stage of descent towards the Mumbai airport.

On a lovely Sunday morning a few days ago, a gush of cold and moist breeze woke me up. To increase the intake, I slid my window open completely. To my surprise, I saw a pigeon sitting there who chose not to fly away. I shuffled upon some soothing songs and stood there for a few seconds.

In the garden, an uncle was practicing breathing exercises with his eyes closed. An elderly aunt's dog stared at him behind her back as she chatted up with her morning-walk buddy. She finished her chat, pulled the leash and started strolling. There were about 10 more people walking and running around, looking down all the time for some reason. Only a little girl was prepared for an unexpected shower. She carried a fancy umbrella with her as she swayed around the garden.

A few birds were flying around in the sky. As a plane appeared from behind the mountain, I observed that the sky behind it was very dark. Soon, I saw thousands of birds flying up from the slum roofs. It reminded me of the scene from the movie 300 - a storm of arrows shot by a million Persians towards 300 Spartans. "Wow!" I screamed and called my flat-mates.

It was a thunderous rain-front, pouncing menacingly towards the slum with it's downpour. As it reached the slum, big drops falling over the roof-tops produced a loud noise.

Birds have an extraordinary sensory perception. Respecting the monstrous cloud, they cleared themselves out of its way. The pigeon sitting near my window possibly had a brilliant perception too. It anticipated the onslaught much before.

Before my flat-mates could turn up, the rain-front had reached the garden. The little girl pushed the button to open her umbrella. It flipped before it could open up completely and flew away. She ran to pick it up. The elderly aunt went blank and stood where she was. The dog ran backward, pulling the leash out of her hand. It looked around for shelter while she got drenched over the next few seconds. The walkers and runners were lost in themselves anyway; they were late to react and had a similar fate. Uncle was the last one to clear the garden area.

The fast-moving clouds vanished from the crime scene within a minute, as if claiming innocence.

With no more threat around, the pigeon from my window took a stylish flight towards the garden.

"I knew it," it said to the passing cloud.

It glided down towards a boundary wall. Preparing for its landing on the drenched boundary wall, it flapped its wings swiftly to reduce its speed and extended its claws towards the wall-top.

To no one's notice and my delight, it slipped on some algae, lost balance and slid in to a little pool of water.

"Gotcha!" it heard as a reply.