Its only a moment. when too many things appear. This is what happened when i was filling up petrol at the Gas Station. Im not sure how it started but the machine where the meter was set to zero and the attendant went to the other side to fill the gas tank, the machine came alive. It didn’t seem like a machine but a living thing, which was operating as a human being with a heart, a body and doing a job to serve others. Like a tree it could not leave its place, but was functioning with love an care for all the thirsty cars which parked in front of it, to be filled. A machine with meters placed on its chest, and its stomach with holes where coloured gas pipes rested.
I was forced to look up as about 60 feet high, a light pole about hundred feet away from me became a dinner table, or a breakfast table. In this case, it was late breakfast as i was there around noon.
I turned my gaze in front of me, and the 24 hours store in front had large packets of dog and cat food stacked up on an open rack. A Cat was being pampered by the employees. The petrol, 10 litres, normal was been pumped into the stomach of the 2006 model Maruti suzuki with only 800 cc engine, enough to beat the local cycle rickshaw. I again looked up. The precise angle would be the head tilting to the right. This can be tried by keeping the head straight and counting to five seconds and turning the head right. STOP. Count to 3 seconds while moving the head up. ( HOLD). About 60 feet height, the Kite, a cousin of the Hawk was holding on to a pigeon. At this stage the three crows had not arrived. I saw the Kite bite into the neck of the pigeon. I think it was the neck or the head. Cars were flowing on the road below.
By this time, the gas attendant had locked the fuel tank and was trying to take the payment from my credit card. I said to him without stepping out of the car. ‘Dekho Baaj lunch kar raha hai kabutar ka’. I had to say baat ( hawk ) because i did not know the hindi meaning of Kite. Now he lost focus on taking the payment and started watching.
This is an intervention. An employee on salary at a petrol pump with cars waiting behind us and he is enjoying the bird hunt. I think we did this for at least two minutes or maybe more. We pretended that the card is not working. Me and him chatted how the top of the street light is now a lunch table. Now we could see something red. I think the head had been removed by now and the bird would occasionally chew inside the pigeon and eat.
2 crows had arrived. The attendants belly was not letting me see the human machine which had delivered the metro into my sexy silver grey 800. So i looked straight ahead. The cat was inside the rack and looking for something. The attendant was lost in watching the kite.
In this moment, i was back into the capitalist mode. I requested him to restart the machine to take the payment. I was getting restless because i had checked my Facebook for like status of the image i posted. I also checked my instagram account for likes. There were none! maybe because i had checked few minutes back also while waiting in the queue in the metro pump cum gas station. I looked towards the place where you get your tyres checked. It was like a video game. One car would go, another join at the back.
I said, bhaiya please dubara try kijyay! ( try the card again ). He didn’t have to as the payment got accepted. He returned the card. I looked up. The third crow was here. The Kite was getting annoyed by them. I thought about the pigeon. And…
what if, the pigeon was lucky that when the kite held it on top of the street light, it could’ve made one final attempt to escape right before the mouth of the kite, or its knife like beak tears into its neck. That when you are held, the predator is sure. And maybe gives you that moment of escape.
Then i imagined myself being eaten at such heights. It felt bad, really bad. On top of a metal surface of halogen light bulb? I mean the bird has no sense. You don’t start eating just anywhere. I thought about shade. being eaten in daylight.
Then i thought about how the Kite caught the pigeon. At this stage i was driving. I was not sitting in the gas station day dreaming, but driving and recalling the state of the bird, that after munching into the neck and the head must’ve fallen on the cars passing below or the bird knew how to just make a small hole like a heart Surgeon making a tiny hole to do an angioplasty. Here the bird was not doing operation but eating tasty uncooked, but yummy flesh. I’m not sure when death actually happens. Maybe when some vein of the neck is torn. Enough blood loss. The pigeon having low self esteem, not much interest in living life, extreme heat and I give up, attitude. Maybe the Kite waits for the pigeon to die completely.
I don’t know but it felt good to have the attendant enjoying that moment. Maybe next time I will give him sketchbook so that he could sketch everything that he sees in the day.
I made this sketch that night. I was so scared of being spotted. I was not dumb! so the smart teddy knew what lay ahead.
I wrote this article on my blog, because i have been criticised of writing about drawing only and not stories, devoid of any comment on drawing. So i did not make any comment about drawing as this is an article dealing with my moments at a petrol pump where lot of things happen simultaneously. The movie being played does not allow you to look into life as it happens at multiple stories. And it is recorded. And if i see this moment as a drawing moment in action, then it is intersection of story lines i enjoyed. That one story was folding and then i shifted. I suppose when i work on paper, it is all of this which lets me draw.