Thursday, July 9, 2009

Concrete Jungle & the Wild Cat

Part I

The land gave her a desolate picture; trees that were full of colorful birds were lying in a heap at the side of the land mass running exactly parallel to her favorite stream. Even the stream was empty of fish now for the constant dumping of garbage from the neighboring areas, as well as the junk off the nearby garage. Floating rubbish and debris gave out a horrid stench of dying fish mixed with motor oil and decayed vegetation. This is the story of a wild cat, which somehow got close to humans and started mingling with them because she found it a good escape from her loneliness. And lonely she was having lived in a jungle full of animals suddenly being wiped out to make room for some high-rise apartments.

Although in the early stages of adjustment to the concrete jungle the wild cat several times thought of just going out there on the highway and standing in front of a twenty six wheeler caterpillar, she was somehow able to resist the temptation. Or perhaps she had faith in her destiny to find something worthwhile to do. Nonetheless she survived the cutting of the jungle and destruction of her habitat.

Soon roaming about in this new jungle of Grey and black with some shiny stars that appeared to be very gigantic, close and within reach, compared to the ones she saw from within the branches of the luscious green leaves, she made some friends. A few ducks and swans in the city park lake, several crows nesting in the sidewalk trees; once she also spotted a black dotted koel dallying near the crows nest and she knew it is about to destroy the poor crows eggs and lay hers there instead, were a few friends to mention apart from those walking on two legs.

The wild-cat was never short of food especially when near the park as kids and their parents once they got used to her started bringing tit bits for her to devour. Many were daily visitors living in nearby buildings and some were far farers coming once and never seen again.

The old woman and man were one of the few who frequented the park on a daily basis and were also her self appointed daily food providers. She soon got attached to them and looked forward to their presence. They never came separate and often the old lady would be in a depressing mood she noticed. Bit by bit she got to know that they are mates and unlike her species they usually stay with the same mate throughout their life. This fascinated her a lot as she was more used to knowing and having several potential mates at a time. She also wondered about their off-springs, if like hers they left as soon as they were able to fend for themselves or they still lived on them.

This world was very fascinating, she got intrigued and wanted to learn more but how was the question. She soon found out about the teacher who could help her understand these two legged creatures language. Nobody really knew where to find the teacher, only it was considered common knowledge there is one. The wild cat after getting disappointing news from all quarters finally one night went to the owl living in the tallest Neem tree and asked him if he could guide her to the famed teacher. The wise owl looked at her with glittering eyes and asked in a grumpy tone:

Owl: Why are you interested in the teacher?

Wild Cat: I want to learn the language spoken by the creature walking on two legs.

She excitedly informed the owl. He looked at her with disdain and yawned.

Owl: And what good pray would come of that? My dear trust me, when I say no good has come off anybody who has dared to meddle with these lousy creatures, willingly or unwillingly. Rather most have come to grief even with the best of intentions at heart, and you seem to be a green-horn for this city still.

But the cat innocent about the ways of this new jungle insisted on getting the address of the teacher. Looking at her pleading eyes and enthusiasm the owl told her that she is talking to the teacher and he will help her in learning the new language.

Owl: But make one thing clear my dear, you are not under any circumstances to use this knowledge outside the park and I want it upon your honor that you won’t.

Wild Cat: Oh great teacher! Fear not, I shall not use it anywhere but the park and you can take my word upon my honor.

Thus satisfied the timings and days for the classes were discussed and it was decided that every night when the park was empty and there wasn’t much noise they would start. The first week she found it extremely difficult to even comprehend the differences in language but after that she learnt the ropes pretty fast and within a month was able to understand what her new friends spoke about.

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