Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My ninth encounter with the peacock

We watched the water buffalo
Pull a simple plow through the fields
You know, the peacock said
I'm lucky
If I had been slightly less pretty
I would have been doing that work, now

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My eighth encounter with the peacock

They were draining the water
From the rice paddies
Flooded by rain
In the irrigation season
The aroma of brown hull filled the air
Waah, I said
What, said the peacock

That's when I realised he suffered from Anmosia

You see, he told me,
I was sleeping
Fell off the tree
Bumped my head on the ground
The diagnosis: temporary loss of smell

Monday, January 29, 2007

My seventh encounter with the peacock

The peacock sniffles
In my khadi kerchief
He blows his nose in it
Still no effect
He wheezes
I've muscle cramps here
Nausea between my ears

I offer him Corex syrup
He is addicted
Suffers from withdrawal symptoms

I enrol him into a local Alcohol Anonymous group
Detox sessions, twice a week
As a syrupy Corex addict
He loves the Benadryl-wallahs (too impaired)
Hates the Phensedyl-wallahs (too diarrhoeaic)

What about your eosinophilia, I ask?
Uncured, he replies irritably
Has two more tea-spoons
Smacks his lips
Tastes so yum

My sixth encounter with the peacock

I was plucking wild grass
What you doing?, the peacock
Hopped beside me and asked
Cutting dandelions and weeds with this sickle
They tend to grow
Growing is not good?
Yes, look at this crabgrass, for instance, it tends to overtake everything and cover the path
At night it is cumbersome to walk
Which means it needs constant trimming
That's what I am doing

You need a mower, instead of the sickle, he said
Ok, I said
Measure the pH level of the soil
Ok, I said
Your grass is 18.67% wild. That is a good ratio
Ok, I said
The protein and nitrogen content is healthy
Ok, I said
Now sit down, have a tumbler of cool chaas

I did
Wiping the sweat off my body with a handwoven towel
I understood why
Peacocks don't sweat

Sunday, January 28, 2007

My fifth encounter with the peacock

We were watching some roadway maintenance
Up ahead
The peacock did, prrrp
Was that you, I asked?
Yes, he said
First time I heard a peacock flatulate

He did a prrrp, again

My fourth encounter with the peacock

I'm tired
He says, I'm tireder
Saying so we share our tiredness
In sullen silence
Staring at the Sahyadri

I stretch my legs, twitch my back, massage my forehead
Whistle Mozart (badly)
He de-feathers himself
Manicures his beak
Pulls out a joint
We smoke it, one puff after the other
Watching the Swargavahini river twist
this way, that way
Quite randomly

This is life, we tell each other
And light one more joint

Saturday, January 27, 2007

My third encounter with the peacock

I was lying on my back
Reading a paper by Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig
The peacock asked me, what are you doing?
Me, reading about quark models

What is reading? he asked.
I said, well ...
What is that?
Those are the names of the two physicists who wrote this paper
What is a name?
I said, well ...

What names would you give to a worm
That spends its time below the earth's surface
Which is now wriggling in my stomach?
I said, well ...

The peacock told me,
I've swallowed 9 million worms so far
We need to name them all
I said, ok
As you said, the first step to take when you find something new is to name them
I said, ok

Saying so, we started to name
The stones and pebbles
Under our feet

Friday, January 26, 2007

My second encounter with the peacock

The peacock saw me slice a papaya
Why eat that, he asked
I'm not very picky about food
Neither am I. My ancestors were scavengers
Mine were Brahmins
What is this Brahmin?
Never mind
Alright, he said

There was silence
I thought, he was hurt
You want a pizza?
With some tomato sauce and yogurt?
No, he replied

He mooched a small snake
That crossed our path
I was excited: Is that a poisonous or a non poisonous snake?
He looked up
It's a reptile

The snake slithered and escaped
Through his beak
Leaving the peacock
With two small insects
For lunch

I told him
You can't go on like this
You should try the free home delivery
From the local take-away

He studied the menu
Then asked, what is this tofu?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My first encounter with the peacock

The peacock
He came

Knocked at the window
I was gazing out of

Asked me what I am seeing
I said, a talking peacock
The peacock smiled, and asked for herbal beedies
I don't have a pack, here
My wife has it
She has gone to the movies
The displeased peacock
Stamped the ground

Don't be angry
I have some potato salad in the fridge

He said, ok

I whistled a song

In the orange of the sky
He ate my dinner