Sorry Baba Masakali.....

by - August 09, 2009

I have been wanting to share this incident the day it happened. But I have been too lazy to sit down and write.
In my previous post I had written about using a private parking lot for my weekly running. It wasn't just me who used the empty space. There was this old Arab guy of African origin who came there every morning when I was walking/running. What he does is, he brings a packet of rice and throws it on the ground and waits. In matter of minutes, hoards of pigeon come sweeping down and start pecking on them. I was really amazed! There were at least a hundred of them. It was as though they appeared out of thin air. While walking/running I kept looking at those pigeons and in a matter of minutes (again) they finished each and every grain! The flew away with a very heavy breakfast indeed.
This episode continued for a few days and as always I marvelled at the old man's effort who, by then, I had named Baba Masakali. I even thought of taking a picture using my cell and sending an article to a local newspaper. Well, I didn't know that his attitude towards me was about to change.
One morning, as usual I was walking, while waiting for the pigeons, baba masakali came to me and said something in Arabic. I couldn't understand what he was saying, but from his actions I felt that he was asking me NOT TO WALK there as I was scaring the pigeons away. I didn't say anything to him thinking maybe I was wrong and he was telling me something else. In a minute pigeons came by and I felt at peace seeing them having their breakfast without any fuss. However, when I reached near them, to my dismay, they flew away!!! All of them! And I heard baba screaming something in Arabic. I didn't turn back and look. I just kept walking.
I wondered why were the pigeons reacting differently this time when I have been using that parking lot since few days and they didn't seem to have a problem in the beginning. Then I saw baba speaking to one of the Indian passerby and pointing at me. I felt so embarrassed, but I still kept doing what I had to do (run/walk). I think baba was asking the Indian guy to tell me in Hindi so that I understood. But the Indian guy just shrugged and left without saying anything.
Thanks to me, the pigeons didn't come back again and most of the grains were left uneaten and wasted. But, am sorry baba masakali, I can't do anything about it. I am struggling with my running and its not something I am ready to do in front of people, not yet at least. Until then I will have to use the parking lot for my exercise regime and that too at the same time.
According to my workout schedule, I was supposed to walk the next day. So I just took a peak at the parking lot to see whether he and his pigeons were there. He was there waiting for them. I didn't disturb them this time and I walked a different route.
But am sorry, I have to go back there tomorrow morning. I will try to wake up earlier so that I am done by the time your pigeons are out ......

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