Aditya flung the Nintendo across the room , wailed and waited for his mother's reaction.
The cry sliced the walls, spilled on to the verandah, rolled down the lawn and bounced right up to the trembling wooden gate. The menagerie of dogs at the gate cocked their ears worriedly and whined.
What a masterpiece it was ! Already Mom's urgent footsteps and anxious face told him he was on the right track.
He most certainly did not want to be dragged to a nature walk on the very Sunday morning when the Grand two hour show of Terminators season 2 was to be aired ! Not to forget that he had stayed up late last night to watch Delhi team win the IPL league match. Only silly birds and moms got up at 7 am- on a holiday .
Adi knew that Moms were often unreasonable about waking up and walking or both. But he knew how to handle that. A little distraction ,some shock techniques and you could easily make them drop their crazy proposals.
However, today ,the problem was not her : it was her visiting younger brother who was a footloose photographer and had landed up in Delhi after 10 years of roaming obscure places on the globe .This strange,bald, bearded, smiling mamajee of his- came in ,picked up the nintendo , and happily chucked it in the dustbin, disregarding the horrified look on Adi's face .
Aditya you are a smart young boy : Nintendos deserve to be destroyed : lets get going son : I've got an orange backpack for you and a lovely notebook too , to scribble your thoughts.
Aditya felt panicky . Dad ,his permanent ally in TV watching and staying in bed till late was also out of town : who would help him out of this jam ?
Mamajee can we do a deal ?If I do not go today, you can take me out for nature walk for double the time tomorrow ?I haveto-haveto watch Terminators today .
To his delight, mamajee nodded readily :poor man had no idea that Dad will be in tomorrow and then nothing could come between them and the teevee .
Whatever you say young man :BUT FIRST:you haveto-haveto give me a 200 words on Season Two Terminator :
WHAT ?? Now ? Adi HATED writing even more than he hated reading .I don't - I cant do write ups :
Then you have to come son :that is my side of the deal !
And that was how a very sullen Adi got dragged to the Yamuna Biodiversity Park and did Nature Walk : whatever that meant:
Poor him : walking along the dirty mud path with straw fields on one side and a thin streak of river on the other. Buffaloes sitting in filth and mud.He refused to look at anything .Till suddenly something darted across the path .He jumped and shrieked :Ewwww : mamjee there is some strange animal here .A mongoose : mamajee smiled .Maybe he is chasing a snake ! You better look around sharp and keep close. Tell me if you see anything .
Aditya was wondering what was there to be seen in this place when overhead a swarm of expanding -contracting ; chittering- quivering birds glided and settled down on a bare branched tree.
He was transfixed : what noise they made ! They sang and squeaked and their calls grew frenzied. An angry crow flew in and scolded them and they went quiet for a moment. The image of Mrs Battu - the junior school principal flashed across Adi's mind and he smiled.
A moment latter their song resumed at the same mad -glad ,breakneck- boisterous pace.
Mama jee they are having a party ! Is it Jazz or Rave ?
Mamajee laughed : these guys are Rosy Pastors - on their way back to Europe. They come to feast and fatten up in India before they breed .They relish the fat green semal pods , figs and mulberries just like you love potato chips and kurkure .And as they feast, they love to sing and scold.A shikra glided in - on one of the branches and the whole swarm lifted in synchronized flight as one being; settling now on the red berried tree : the Ficus - as mamajee informed him.
Mamajee handed him the binoculars and Adi *Actually* saw a black and white pastor plucking a goolar berry ,holding it in his beak and gobbling it ! His friend ;came and pecked at him angrily for having eaten it (just like Aurav his BFF ! snatching his Lays ! :))
This is soo Perfect! Adi thought. This is Discovery channel live !
As he warmed up, mamajee took him right up to the sandy banks to wade into moss green waters and let the weeds touch his ankles .
He forgot about the time of his TV show or when it ended .He was so enthralled by the yellow throated sunbirds building their raggedy nests while dancing and singing .And the shrieking lapwings who were taking a walk among the reeds with their scrawny offspring in tow.
They laughed at the innumerable and unremarkable yellow beaked babbling satbhai busy washing themselves in the dust.They were not glitzy but they had enough attitude and belligerence to hold your attention !
And there were hordes of shellducks and combducks on water .Blue Jays and kingfishers ! And everyone was busy feeding, flying, squawking and squabbling.
Seeing them eating , he felt very hungry and hot.And there was not even an icecream wallah here. Mamajee hailed a boatman and they took a thrilling fifteen minute ride to the fields across the river where melons and cucumbers could be had right off the branches (or creepers) .He had never seen a melon field before ! And had never tasted such refreshing sweetness before!
As he asked the farm hand to slice up more for him , the old man smiled indulgently and said :puttar ,*geeliyan ret te meeethe khet *
"Son, wet sands mean sweet fields". Adi nodded sagely and repeated the words to himself.
The old farm-hand Nawabdin sat them on a charpoy and asked Adi if he would like to have tea or lassi. Adi felt very grown up and asked for tea : and he got it : sweet and strong .They chatted :the old man talked of the river of his youth which was three times wide and did not smell of pesticides.And how all the sands were full of nesting birds and there were no Housing Societies or landfills. How in his opinion the mangoes had lost their sweetness even as they grew big sizewise. He introduced them to his two buffaloes : Bhainsi and Budhia and his cantankerous hens who rushed at them, full of offended clucks.This is because they have laid eggs - Nawab whispered to Adi. Softly , he guided them towards the barn - where the secret stash of hen eggs was visible concealed in straw tokris .
Adi was thrilled to bits. Nawab gifted Adi two eggs and a shock of sleek russet- red feathers from the country hens.
They bought a lot of melons cucumbers and fresh vegetables to make mom smile.Adi was about to stuff his orange backpack with the veggies when he saw a barebacked boy his age staring.I also go to school , he said proudly : third class .Adi smiled .The boy shyly gave him some lovely pearly shells collected from the river. Adi gave him his bayblade that he always carried in his pocket and his new scribble pad .
They said goodbyes and got on the boat for their journey back.
This post is for the Indiblogger Nature's Friends Contest.