On one side there is a hotel called Renaissance! (Let me not talk of irony or whatever). On other there side is the Indian Institute of Technology. On another there is a bustling road, teaming with traffic that can compete with any road for ‘The most snarl prone road in the world award’.
The bustling road opens into a residential neighbourhood which boasts of wealth (residents would file a defamation suit against me, if I hazard a guess about the quantum of wealth! For I am sure I will be off the mark by many marathon kilometers !)
Of course, the one remaining side remains what it was. Untouched. By and large.
Along the bustling road, the government and some well thinking folks have built a park and a joggers track along the banks of the lake. Complete with concrete, spaces for flower beds, children’s parks et al ! All for development you see.
It usually provide a lovely setting . A good run, looking at the hills afar, is always soothing. Blokes like me catch a run in the morning. Children soak in some shrieks of laughter in the evening. The elderly sing a few notes from memory as the moisture laden Powai air comes alive by the lake !
The lake also comes alive when its festival time. Where articles and idols that were worshipped are immersed ! Last years Ganpati Visarjan for instance, saw huge cranes help the immersion ! it’s a natural process, you see.
The IIT holds bustling thought for the future minds. In this case, there seems to have been a persistent afterthought as well !!
That’s the setting. You get the idea ! Don’t you.
Today, I run. With a lazy drizzle, muffled huffs and puffs, early morning traffic and such else for constant company! From a distance its such a pristine sight. The lake. At least one side of it. With hills and their reflection.
Today, I try and keep the buildings and their reflections away from my sight. Somehow, the hills afar seem prettier..
It is at that time I see him. Majestic and beautiful like a royal monarch inspecting his army.
I stop on my tracks. Open mouthed. Half from the run. The rest on just seeing him. I just stand and watch.
A few feet away from me. Slicing through water like knife through butter. A small crowd gathers. Mostly staring. Some incessantly chatting. A lady mutters – ‘they should do something about this’.
I notice that I am nodding my head. I notice my nodding stops and my open mouth opens further, like a crocodile would, upon hearing her next statement.
“They cant let such animals live near our homes !” she says.
She could well have been a spokesperson for the crocs ! And spoken the same lines for the crocs as well.
As I stand watching the croc glide away, a shudder goes down my spine ! I wonder what I would say, if my home was encroached on by the buffalo and the bumblebee ! (Despite my home loan)
I stand there. Seeing him glide away. Hoping he will understand the pain and sense of loss some of us share. About his loss and ours too.
He continues gliding away. Somewhere in the middle of the lake where the hotel’s ‘Renaissance’ signboard’s reflection glistens in the morning waters of the otherwise still lake, is where he pauses and disappears.
There are silent ripples. That distort the reflection of ‘The Renaissance’. Perhaps reflective of us and our renaissance !