Tuesday, 25 November 2014

On A Cat on Cold Tin Roof

I came across a cat in the academy today. In itself it is nothing to write about. However, it is the first time I have noticed a cat. Dogs, monkeys and langurs make up the fauna of the academy. Stray cows too. A stray cat is a strange sight and hence it merited a mention. It jumped in the cold air from the Happy Valley Hostel, sauntered across the 135 degree wide stairs and leaped on to the Unhappy Plateau Hostel roof. 

Cat on a cold tin roof.

The cat then proceeded to the Gandhi Smriti Library and pawed at books yellowed from the Hippie days, the pages brittle as the bones of the rainbow generation. The curious cat browsed through the books kept at the shelves at the end of the book racks, the books that the batch of OTs had gotten issued, read and returned. There were books on law, public administration, warfare, economics, poverty. The cat's curiosity was aroused, however, by the books at the English fiction section. Camus and Wodehouse were being read. Good for the batch, the voyeuristic cat thought, good for the batch for reading more than PowerPoint presentations of subjects, good of them for consuming more than mere slide handouts. But what is this? 'Chicken Soup for the Couple's Soul'?!

The thought of chicken soup made the cat hungry. The cat went to the A.N. Jha Plaza cafe for a cup of coffee with a dash of strawberry syrup and pretty lady OTs for company.

The cat walked in to the Sampoornanand auditorium and listened in on few lectures. Insincere sounding media men and earnest senior civil servants lectured on topics dear to their hearts. The OTs nodded in agreement or in sleep. Few OTs  spoke among themselves. Their thoughts were bubbles rising from vats of boiling tar, the thoughts were tar bubbles, ink black demons and they rose from the mouths of these OTs, floated up a little and then burst, staining the shirts and sticking to hair of fellow OTs, irritating them. The cat decided to shred the demons of distraction to shreds and scratch the presumptuous OTs, scratching away the thick blanket of arrogance with which they cloak themselves. These narcissistic fish think nothing of talking aloud in the class. They love to hear their voice and think everyone does too. 
'Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,
For he's a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.' (T.S. Eliot)
Our cat makes short work of these blow fishes, leaps across the valleys, ridge to ridge, peak to peak, in to the distant sun set, in to reluctant night, in to chalked out horizons.

The cat then woke up and found itself in the Happy Valley Ground, it appeared from a winter of discontent. It performed slick moves as an aerobics practitioner, all the while imagining the feline female forms in unitards, actresses escaped from Cats.

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