15 Jun 2005

The Rain

Wasn’t the usual steel-blue dawn in Pantone #290. It was grey and overcast, more like a drop of Parker Quink Royal Blue in five drops of Nestles pasteurized ready to drink.

And here was this puny transparent spider, goose-stepping across page #37 of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Dada salaam!). Its sticky safety-line a silky curve fluttering in the breeze of the ceiling fan. Right there, in front of my nose. i rivalled Garfield, the Great Spider Hunter, as i boosted Mistah Spyder on a trajectory landing him on the glowing bulb of the reading lamp. Death comes easy to a spider before its time. Man is the true tyrant. But, if Pat can riddle bucks, i’m a lesser sinner frying an arachnidian commando. But oh, i can not boast any life-threatening ailments, not as yet !

Remembered a recent BBC-TV documentary on everyday life in landmine-infested Cambodia. Men savouring a local delicacy at the roadside food stall, the juicy abdomens and crunchy legs of stir-fried black spiders - “pluck out the fangs while eating, they can hurt the tongue”.

And subsequent recurrent feelings of the crawlies creeping up my leg, as i lay in a stupor in the summer heat. In Cambodia you can dip your hand in the small paper sack, to pick and choose the wriggling crawlies that you want fried. You have hands, but you often have one or both legs missing. i must have arachnophobia.

Somewhere near a kingfisher trilled, voicing its agitation. Indicas throbbed by in top-gear on the road below, while a kite patrolled the sky above shrilly calling its mate. Stroking my chin i felt the roughness of my fingertips. i remembered reading somewhere that Snow White had been legally proclaimed unblemished. Did he use peroxide ?

A sparrow skipped along the television cables strung five-stories high across the road. A couple of bee-eaters swooped down gracefully and glided back in a loop, to perch on cables further in the distance, now barely visible against the brightening sky. A remarkable stunt on a tightrope strung even higher up, across the roofs of tall apartment towers. Twittering amongst themselves in excitement all the while.

The road was moist and darkened, the air cool and heavy. The overwhelming aroma, of the first rainfall on a land scorched by the summer sun. The throaty gurgles of a pigeon serenading his love on a window-sill, accentuated by the steady whine of an auto-rickshaw engine hitting the high forties in the scant early morning traffic.

This wasn’t the beginning of another ordinary day, this was the monsoon hitting Pune.


YardBoy said...

Writing of Sleeping Beauty, you should read the A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice) trilogy ;^)

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