Sunday, March 31, 2013

Pati, Patni Aur Woh

I had finished my breakfast and was lying half asleep on the cot next to the window with the news paper hanging from my hands. I felt weight on my stomach and opening my eyes I found my wife and son bending over me in their attempt to get closer to the window. I tried to lift my head but it was pushed down firmly and my wife put a finger on her lips. I am always accused of not talking to her much and this was a welcome development. I put my head back on the pillow. After a few moments the weight lifted and I was allowed to rise. Looking out of the window I saw this female Koel feeding on what looked like some flowers on the tree next to our house.  My son wanted to get a photograph and did not want my head in the frame. He did get a good one.

 The Koel remained there eating for quite some time and then flew away. I went down to have a closer look at the dish which it had relished so much. It was eating these berry like things which looked like flowers (to my eyes - without my glasses) when viewed from my window. 

 I was in the same place (this time awake and actually reading the news paper) at the same time today when I heard some commotion near the tree. Looking out I found that the lady koel was there again accompanied by a male.  ‘Pati’ and ‘Patni’ (husband and wife) had arrived together for breakfast. I have no idea what they were arguing about. Possibly about selecting a place to sit for breakfast. We always do when we enter a hotel. No wonder there was commotion! The wife’s shrill, sharp and staccato voice was quite a contrast to her partner’s famous melodious call. But he was not in a singing mood then and was quiet. I wondered whether she always spoke like that or adopted the voice only when she was talking to her husband! ( Dr Salim Ali says that she is always like that - kik,kik,kik,kik,kik as he puts it ) By the time I got the camera they had stopped speaking to each other and were on different branches facing different directions. Breakfast outing was not going very well.

 The next moment I saw an outsider arriving there to complicate matters. The Large Green Barbet had joined the Koel couple. ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’!. The wife was looking curiously at this intruder and obviously did not like her presence. Quite natural. Which ‘patni’ would like the presence of a slimmer and more colourful ‘Woh’ (she) around when things are not going too well between the couple?

 Having decided to get away from this unwanted intruder and deal with her husband in private, the Koel abandoned breakfast, pulled her husband and flew away. The intruder attempted to concentrate on the breakfast

After a few seconds she lost interest in eating, turned around and sat looking in the direction in which the Koel couple had flown, probably contemplating on her next move.

 And having concluded that intruding in others affairs definitely tastes better than breakfast  she took off in pursuit of the pair.

I sat looking at the empty branch for a while and since there was nothing better to look at there other than my neighbour’s  new Maruti Swift which only brought about twinges of envy, I left the place too. However, I will keep the tree under watch and get back if there is any more interesting activity.

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