The still chill morning air of Mahabaleshwar was inviting. Inviting enough for me to ensure i won a battle with slumber and was out on the road that you see here. Of course with the camera slung across the shoulder and wife in tow !
We marvel at the birds chirping. In the silence of the morning, many new sounds come alive. Like a distant rustle of the undergrowth. The swoosh of the shaking tree, long after a bird left its perch. A dog urinates in a distance with gay abandon.
Today, there is just nobody on this road. Just me. My wife. My camera. And a great passion to soak up that morning spirit and perhaps capture as many images as the camera would allow and perhaps have simple conversation.
We walk. And walk. And walk. I notice we talk less.
I spot a bird sitting right up on a tree. In complete serenity and comfort. I take aim. A few snaps later, i zoom in. Suddenly his head pops up. He looks in all directions and with a great hurry flies off. I wonder why. The camera was silent. So was my I. So was the misssus. Then ?
We continue our walk. I see a unique flower in royal splendour. I try hard to get all of it on the camera. With a focussed mind, arched back, squinted eyes and a mild tremble in the hand.
And then I begin to hear movement. Some rumble. At that moment, up ahead where the road curves, i spot two men jog towards us. I shake my head. ‘Ah. The fitness types.’ I think.
And return to look at the flower by the road, through the lens of the Canon.We hear a dog bark. A loud bark. The beauty of the flower overrides the ferocity of the bark. I continue staying where i was.
Click. Click. Click. As though moving an inch here or there would cause the flower to wilt !
And then i hear engines. A distinct slow yet steady engine. Engines. I look up from the flower, wincing at the noise. I notice that the stick in my craw, happen to be the two gentlemen who are jogging towards me, followed by two monstrous Land Cruisers at a steady trot.
With a sardonic wince at the interruption to a quiet morning, i go back to the beloved yellow flower. Only to be disturbed by louder barks. Boww Boww Boww ! The barks go.
Now i am alarmed. I look away from the flower. And then at the two men running towards us. Followed by those oversized white vehicles on this http://www.eta-i.org/valium.html narrow road. I still am looking for those dogs.
At that instant, one of the two men, a big burly fellow, shouts. ‘Boww’. ‘Oww’. ‘Boww’ ! I am now really alarmed. I pay real atttention to the two men now.
The one running ahead is in a red tracksuit. Goggles. et al. The big burly fellow is in a safari suit. At that instant something strikes my infantile mind. I look at the chap in the red track suit with a lot more intent to identify.
Anil Ambani !
Ah. I think. In a few seconds, he passes us by in brisk pace. Followed by the big burly gent in a safari suit, shouting like a dog. At 6.15 in the morning.
And then, the first big car passes us. And then, the next one does. A few pairs of eyes look at us from within. An egregious air permeates what was pristine, just a few minutes before.
With a vengeance i return to my beloved yellow flower. My mind still with Anil Ambani and his safari clad mimicry artist. “Who does he think he is ? The world is not his. Where is equality ? ” and such other sundry questions race to the forefront.
And then i look in his direction. By now, I can only see the backs of those big cars. And think of his life. How must it be to have a truck load of guns following you when you go for a morning walk, i think.
I pity the man. Not that he has asked for any. And not that he will have any value for it. But this is what i feel. I wince through the lens. The yellow flower is shaping up well.
And then i think, ‘what does he have that i dont?’
Well other than, those mimicry artists, huge cars, billions and a mention every other day in every other news paper worth its name, nothing much. Ofcourse, thats not including a fueding brother and a saddened mother!
Click. Click. I get the yellow flower. It looks pretty good.
I wonder if i would like to trade places with this gent.
Not that his place is on offer. Neither is mine! I vehemently shake my head. Of course not. “mera pass ‘peace of mind hai’ ! ( I have peace of mind) !
Anil Ambani and his entourage must be far away. I dont hear them. And where the road takes another curve, there is a new flower i spot. With a dew drop tethered to it by sheer magic. My sentient camera readies.
I am glad i saw him. For suddenly, i seem to relish the dew drop more.