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There were large dark clouds looming in the sky when I went up to the rooftop garden. The breeze up there was gentle and cool. It was just the sort of ambience to quietly enjoy Ruskin Bond’s writings. But the crow thought otherwise. It sat on the young potted tree and cawed loudly.

This is not the first time this solitary crow is disturbing me while reading. Yesterday, and the day before, and also before that, it came by and cawed harshly while I had my nose buried in my book. ‘Silence!’ I told the crow the first time it happened and it flew away. Pleased, I went back to my book. The same thing was repeated in subsequent days.

Today I was mighty miffed. It’s grating caw practically made me jump out of my skin while lost in the picturesque scenes woven by Bond.

‘Begone you noisy crow!‘ I cried waving my hand dramatically. ‘Why do you disturb me so?’ The crow was miffed too I guess, but flew away nonetheless. Or so I thought. After a while I closed my book to stretch my legs. Walking up the steps to the swimming pool, I stood to admire the view, and who should be sitting there on the railing? The crow. And it cawed repeatedly at me!

That set me thinking. Why me? What does it want? Does it think I have something edible with me? Sorry crow, nothing of the sort, I just have a bottle of water with me. And, mind you, that’s for me. You have the whole swimming pool to drink from. Be my guest. But the crow continued cawing.

This time I noticed it had a friend tag along, as if to plead its case. The friend-crow made some halfhearted attempts at cawing. One could see its mind was really not in it. Perhaps it was here strictly under duress. You better, I can imagine the first crow saying, its beady eyes glinting, or I am not going to budge when you next caw for help. The second crow probably sighed and said, ‘Alright, then!’ But in its heart it thought this was all a crazy idea. That lady is minding her own business, why caw at her? But whatever, gotta stand by the crow code and help a friend in need

By now, I was more curious than miffed. Hmm… But first a picture. I went closer, took a few. Caw, caw, said the crow. Mysterious, I mused. Such persistence. Was it forwarding a message or trying to insinuate something? I racked my brain.

It struck me then like a bolt of lightning from the now darkening stormy sky. I was yet to finish the story I started a while back about a crow who waylaid me while out on a walk. That’s it. That’s what the crow wants me to do! I better get down to it pronto. Maybe then it will leave me alone. 😉

©Shail Mohan 2022