Friday, February 9, 2007

My 16th encounter with the peacock

Sitting on the porch
Watching the rains
Along with spiders, snails and grasshoppers

I said:
This is the devil's own rain
That's what it is
The peacock replied
Yes, it would have been simpler
If the rain poured from the soil
Instead of the clouds

Meaning what?, I asked

He said
If it rained from the ground beneath our feet
It will serve its purpose
Of wetting the planet
Ok, I said
He said, and we could get on with our lives

Yes, for what can one do outside in this everlasting rain
The feet get dirty

The spiders, snails and grasshoppers
Nodded in agreement

It was raining
I expected the peacock to dance
Feathers and train
All five feet of it

Instead he whistled a Mohammed Rafi song
He heard on All India Radio

He winked at me
As if to suggest, you're so full of stereo-types

I think the relentless rain had seeped into my car
I was testing
Its carburetter
Its internal combustion engine

Unknown to me
The peacock slipped into the back-seat
He commented, it's a great pity
What, I asked?
The upholstery is alright
But after 100 years of development

They still haven't been able to design a comfortable automobile
For a peacock

Saying so, he dictated three post-cards
One to Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler
Then to Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir
And finally, Edouard Delamare-Deboutteville

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