The morning was dewy and light soft. Walking with Shubham on a smooth pavement next to the river, the still river flowed along the left of the road. On the right continued a lane of well maintained light green grass lawns. The occasional neighbourhood found rare in India, and mostly in dreams, has posh houses lined behind the lawns. Ah, an elite artist friend lives in one of them! We think of visiting him, so we jump the bordering feet high bushes which after the communal lawns lead to the private garden of his property. A dog like creature is hiding in the small bush and growling through it. Shubham tells to watch out since he hasn't seen this kind of animal before. Soon, I am down on my knees pinning the animal by locking his teeth. I look up at Shubham and tell him to have a closer look. I convince him that the thing is neither poisonous nor a reptile, and by now the thing has understood we mean no harm. The rabbit/dog/mini-dragon mellows down, and as soon as it is released he has become playful knowing we are his new friends. The animal who was scared and hiding moments ago is fearlessly rolling, running, jumping around on the greens, looking gay and happy. Meantime, we get called for coffee by the host, and are engrossed in talking and listening about the house's architecture, especially its high span and quality wooden joist ceilings. The talks eventually end and so does the breakfast, and jumping back from the green lawns we notice the bones of the dead animal, with carcass of plain white bones scattered about. We soon notice a few lobsters hanging around about. And, this was perhaps the reason why the iguana cum dog was hiding in the first place. The caterpillar lookalike lobsters, a couple of them around, have had recently fed on our not-so-old friend. Harmless to us, and as tall as street dogs, they are gaily hopping and dancing after their happy meal. For a moment, my heart skipped a few beats as I was accidently about to step on one's feet. The two are of dynamic plastic colours like Lego toys standing in front of us like earth-digging equipment. We both hum and agree, "yeahh it is all about survival".
Next day we call on my friend again. This time his old age naukar receives us at the door and tells us in a scruffy tone that his master is not in house since he has gone out on business, and he is not sure when he will return. No cup of tea is asked.
Walking dryly with Shubham, I start thinking we humans have become like this- valuing things and having friends only for the moment. And, when the moment's gone so is the reason why we valued those things. We just look forward to a new day, new friends and new things.