Thursday, October 29, 2009

a new city..more writing

it is funny, how in a short span of time, many told me to start writing again. I don't know; just didn't feel like it all these days. I wouldn't call it a writer's block. There are a lot of things I can think of that I want to write; it is just that I don't feel like it.

Well, today is a new day. A new experience has begun. A different land, new faces and organised business. London!

People here are so wound up in their own lives. They are always heading somewhere and that too at an enormous speed. Eating while they walk. Talking while they walk. Even reading while they walk. Thank god, for pedestrians having a first right of way, in this country.



The squirrels here are BIG and FRIENDLY. Yes! this definitely might sound like an enticing sight. I see a lot of these squirrels in the park near my home. To begin with I was quite taken aback by their size. The only memories I have a squirrels - "kharutai" - are chasing them around the lawn in Delhi when I was a few years old. My mother would take me to watch birds and squirrels in this park. Allow us to be within a distance of few metres and the squirrels would scamper up the nearest tree trunk. They were small and you could tell there is squirrel on the tree when you trace its shape along the trunk in the dull glow of the setting sun.

But here, in Russels Square, the squirrels wait for you. They pose for your cameras and you must return the favour by giving them a treat. Recently a friedly narrated to me, what she termed as, "the MOST BIZARRE EXPERIENCE". She was in San Diego/Francisco, when in the midst of "being lost" in the "sudden thick fog" that settles in that city, very often (apparently) she came across some squirrels worth being photographed. But the interaction didn't end with the photo and it was taken forth for a few miles thereafter by the squirrels who decided to chase her for the distance. She actually had to run, while these 'large squirrels' leapt in the air, covering several footsteps at a time, after her. AND now, she says "Squirrels scare me". Tell an Indian kid that and they will laugh at you. Who cold imagine those cute cuddly creature turning into rascals.

But somebody else gave me a very pleasing theory about this. Like the squirrels the pigeons in London are also quite big and unmoved by human presence in close vicinity. They hardly perch and in case you decide to walk through a flock of their group, they just move aside, without the slightest flutter, giving you way. Now my friend says that this is a good example of how the feathered and four- legged ones in this country are not fearful of humans. They trust humans and this trust has obviously been established over years of humans not having caused harm to them. An interesting theory, I would say. But more like an equilibrium, before it is the turn of the four- legged to take us over.