Monday, June 30, 2008

Wow ! She was clever!

The other day, my dear friend Lionel was asking me if I would be writing continuations of my memoirs that I have written before. I answered him that I don’t like writing episodes, especially when my memoirs are flashbacks that prime my moods to put it in print.

Lionel is a handsome Malaysian engineer who is one of the few I respect, for his commitment to humanity. He doesn’t blog, but he is one of my new readers who have showed me that his handsomeness is not limited to his face but also in his heart.

So here is something that happened sometime back on my way to a work location called Bamboo.
I have often wondered why that place got that name because I haven’t seen any Bamboo trees around there and I presume that the name must be African slang.
My errand was to update some drawings by visiting the location and to mark the modifications that have been done and add it in the task book for trainees. It was not a hurry burry job and so I started from base camp at about 9AM in my pick up truck.

Bamboo is almost 25 km away from our camp and in worst seasons the road becomes a challenge to us, until it reaches the private road to the station.
I was almost half away in the private road leading to Bamboo station, when, for a second, there was nothing visible in front of my eyes…a total blackout.

When I opened my eyes I noticed that I was slightly off the road, neverthless not out of the road totally.
It was difficult for me to believe that for the first time in my life that I dozed off for a second, while driving.

That was close!!!!! Really really close!!!
If there was a vehicle around in front, the result would have been disastrous. I know very well what to do if you happen to doze while you drive.
I remembered the words of the instructor in my defensive driving course at Shell training centre long ago.
“Stop the car and get down and relax, walk around, if you have water in your vehicle splash it on the face and at worst case, take a nap at the driving seat for 5 or 10 minutes.”

I parked the truck properly on the right side near the shade of the small tree and got out of the truck and stretched myself, took a deep breath, splashed some water and walked around looking at the flock of white cranes that crowded around a nearby pool.

A few of them strolled away from the group but a bunch nearer to me, were watching me with their curious eyes.

I got in my car again and decided to take a small break by adjusting the alarm in cell phone for 5 minutes. I rolled down the window, adjusted the seat for a comfortable position and closed my eyes. Ten seconds might have passed as I heard the knock from some where.

Tuck! Tuck! Tuck! Tuck! Tuck!

I opened my eyes and looked at the windows…nothing!
Looked at my rear view mirror…nothing!
I straightened my seat and looked around…nothing!

I thought that may be it was just my senses playing with me. My cell phone will go in about another 5 minutes.
I closed my eyes again.

Tuck! Tuck Tuck Tuck
I got out of the truck…not a soul around the car. I walked around the truck.

The area was empty except a lone white bird standing underneath the truck pecking at insects from the mud. It didn’t even look at me.
A little away north was an oil well with its pumping accessories but no one was seen except those few pure white feathered birds.

Rinnnng… Riiiing…

The cell phone alarm went on in my pocket, freighting me; making me jump.
I cancelled the alarm and went in the pick up, opened the glove compartment, looking for a magazine.
Instead of magazine I found some left over of roasted sun flower seeds I brought from Khartoum. While Leaning back on the seat properly, I fingered the first striped black and white seeds from the small paper bag as I heard the unmistakable sound of knocks again; this time feeble but sharper.

I looked in the rear mirror and side mirror ….nothing there.
Turned my neck a 180 degrees and couldn’t find any a trace of any creature. All quite round me and the truck.
Tuck tuck….the knocking again!!!
I got out and did the same procedure…no body except the small pure white egret pecking at insects.
I looked at it with suspicion and it looked back at me with its small innocent eyes.
It is weird that no one was around yet somebody was knocking!

I got inside the car again and the knocking appeared from backside.
This time I waited for the next knock, looking at the side mirror and then I saw a flashy white movement through my side mirror.

It was the Egret knocking on the metallic bumper and the same time looking at the door and it waited for me to open the door to go underneath the car like an innocent baby.

I saw the mischievous bird moving in calmly under the car as I opened the door.

OMG! I couldn’t hide my laugh!
My laugh probably looked alarming to her, as it flew a few yards and sat staring curiously at me. (I don’t know if it is he or she but as it is so cute and me being male, I for the convenience will call it her)
I took out the packet of sunflower seeds and threw at it. Though freighted first, she came and pecked ate it, swallowing it one by one.

Now it was my turn to take a pic of this girlie!

I took out my camera and was ready in minutes. At the sight of the camera she got wise and went underneath the truck.
The moment I put my camera down on the seat, she came out to watch my moments.

Now I know it was playing with me
I took the camera out one more time, to make sure about her sequence. Yes, she jumped under the safety of the truck.
Now I know I need to take a pic of this naughty friend, no matter what!

I entered the car with the camera and I looked through the right side mirror, the little rascal was peeking out from the safety, with just its head out.

I kept quite and continued watching her through the clean mirror with out getting out. she slowly came out tiptoeing, all the while keeping her eyes on my driving side door.
I waited and watched. Now she seemed disappointed at my loss of interest and moved near the bumper and pecked it vigorously, and immediately jumped under the car again.
I didn’t move as I wanted her in my camera. I took my grey working gloves and slid it on my right hand.

Looking at the mirror I slid my camera out through the window with my right hand and positioned it towards the back of the car, my eyes focusing on the viewfinder through a reflection from the mirror. I adjusted the distance and exposure to make sure I get her clear without giving her a chance to see my hand. All done under 30 seconds, with just a hand and a finger resting on trigger and my gloves worked as a camouflage to fool her.

Now I saw her head coming out with caution.
A full minute she waited with just her yellow beak visible to me, looking intently at my door.
Seeing no moment, she came out fully away from the truck, with her neck leaning high to watch me in case I get out.

I pressed the trigger and got my first pic.
I thought she was going to will fly off; unsure … instead she moved further expecting me to come out any moment and I clicked again a second time.

I have her second pic here.

This time she heard the sound and in a second she was flying away from me and joined the group, far away near the pool.

I was sorry when she flew away.
She wanted to be friendly with me and I feel that I took advantage of her for a few pictures???

I think I am to blame!!!

BTW: I am taking a short break for 4 weeks. I may read you all, but I may not comment in your blogs, unless I have a post for you.
Who knows, I may post too !!!
Bye ! Bye !


Janice Thomson said...

There's no music Jac.
I LOVE this story and you are the perfect person for this to happen to. What a smart bird! Gorgeous pictures too my friend.
Enjoy your time away...

Jac said...

Thank you janice for the feed back. I am trying another one now.

I will have to wait now for some one to let me know. LOL

Thank you for the comment.

Priya said...

That was a nice writeup Jac and enjoyed reading. Smart bird with you. Way to go;)

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

great writing and a nice photo - you do it all! :)

Srijith Unni said...

Well you better come back soon, jac, because these natural encounters of yours are so amazing to read. and what`s more we actually get to see them too. :)

P.S :I can hear the music playing..:)

Have Fun, take Care and God Bless!
With Best Regards,

meetu said...

jac ...she was flirting wih you ....poor jac cd not read her mind .heartbroken she flew off huh!btw where are you going to fly off jus like the lil birdie for four long weeks?song is nice.

ani said...

nice music as always :)

hehe and must say that was a really smart bird :) hehe nicely teasing and playing with you and get herself clicked away to gloryy :)

so taking your vacation is it??

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

That was a lovely anecdote!

Thank God the dozing off did not lead to any harmful consequences.

The birdie's antics were so cute :)

Have a good break!Take care.

Jac said...

If they are becoming smarter than human then I want to be one of them.

Yes I know, it is way to go !!


Jac said...

I am trying !!

Jac said...

Thanks for the credits.

Hope to comeback soon.

Jac said...

Flirting with a 77 year old man ??? Then she must be crazy !!

Yet to decide about the whole 4 weeks, but will be in Dubai as pivotel point.


Jac said...

It was not easy to lure her in the frame with one hand, rock steady !!

yes I am for four weeks as usual :) six times a year.

Where are you to ?

Jac said...

Thank for the visit and the concern.

Seeya after 4 weeks.

ani said...

i am not that lucky yet.. so am staying put for now..

Jac said...

Thought I saw in your post, somethinng about you going for holidays. Sorry.

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I came over tonoght and heard the music -- I love this!! I've never heard this song like this -- much better. :)

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

(By the way, who is it singing this and what is it's title??)

Anali said...

Love the picture and story! Have a nice break cuz! ;)

ani said...

jac.. that was me making a list of what i should do when i get a break.. so its cool..

so were are u heading off to?

adi said...

that was beautiful and innocent like the egret herself :)
what i liked best was ur explanation for calling her a female
absolutely lovable post
thanks a ton for sharing it with us
and keep delhidreaming

VIDYA said...

heya this incident happened today morning, as i was watching out of my window in the bus, a raven flew into a tea shop (which for some strange reason was empty- there was no one not even the shop guy) and the next second it flew out of the shop with a uzhunu vada in its mouth. really couldnt help smiling at the way it did this, intelligent creatures they are! :)

happy travel !

Walker said...

That was a funny story. Even the wild animals have a sense of humor I guess lol

Midsummerprism said...

I was once bitten by something that looked like that..

I would have been frightened..

Mahi said...

hey, tht was funny!

Jac said...

Delighted to know that you like this song.
The artist who sang "Angel" is Shaggy who is actually a Jamaican.

You will know better if you follow the links.

Jac said...

Not yet decided, but now in Dubai with my travel agent.

Jac said...

Happy to see you after a long gap !!

Yes, the reason "SHE" is phsychological as you know.LOL

A pleasure to know that you liked it.

Thanks to you too.
You two keep dreaming plz !

Jac said...

The name "uzunnu vada" made my mouth watery.
Aha ! so you have something of the same sort happening there ?

Why don't you write about it in the blog twinkle ?


Jac said...


I have no doubt about it buddy.

Take care, happy weekend.

Jac said...

Bitten ?
Bitten by an egret ???
They are normally harmless and stay far away, watching us.

Might be a case of a self defense.

Did you diturb their mating ? LOL

Thanks for the visit prism.

Jac said...

Sure, it was.

Are you home in kerala ?
Does that mean that you will blog from there ?

Sreejith Kumar said...

Here after a long time Jac! Hope you are having a good time...

Gazza said...

What a minx that bird was...funny though,i'm off on holiday my self to Turkey,have a good 1 Jac

MoodsAndColors said...

Hi Jac
Whenever I visit you, you are about to take a break...:(
The post was so lovely...and I wonder at your passion and spirit.

foam said...

this is just one of the most delightful stories i've read in a while..
and i love the music too ..
thanks for dropping by my blog again after such a long absence..
and it looks like you're taking a break again .. hope it's a good one!

magiceye said...

that was a beautiful narration of a lovely moment in life!

Anonymous said...

Hi ,

I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be wow.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘A window to my soul’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)


Sapna Anu B.George said...

Great picture.........

Margie said...

Oh, that was wonderful, Jac!
I so enjoyed it all!
Great picture too.
Thank you and hope you are having a good break!
Take care.


Margie said...

Oh, I forgot to mention....I love the music!


Dotm said...

Smart bird. Wish the woodpecker that saw his reflection in the window in the top of my brother`s large barn was that smart. A couple years ago it kept pecking at the window glass ( trying to get to the woodpecker he saw with his reflection we figured) until it ended up breaking the glass. No more reflection, so no more pecking to get in.
Glad you finally found the cause of the knocking. I read this way back when you wrote it, but couldn`t post a comment. Walker suggested i try out firefox and so far ir is better.

Mriganayanii said...

Hi Jac!
It's been a while, hasn't it? I have a story for you. Well it's not a story really because it's true. But come and check it out at my blog!
Anyway, glad to see you're still having your nature adventures!
Hope you are well.

Srijith Unni said...

You've been tagged, Jac..! ;)

Lorna said...

enjoy your holiday.

Sayani said...

who says human are born clever?
thats the clever and wisdom of nature....
gr8 one

Nea said...

Hello Jac, I have to do the same thing when I get sleepy when I am driving, I have to pull over and take a little nap. Only problem everytime I do, I always am then wide awake, haha

Your little friend was making sure that you didn't get any sleep....haha

Have a nice break....see you when you return....

Jac, I never use the yahoo email account, if you want to write me use the comcast account okay.....that one I read every day.....

Sam!! said...

Great piece of writing dear..n beautiful pic you shared..

Hope to see you back soon.

Have a great time :))

Take care

Kai C. said...

how are you?
cute post!

jac said...

Sorry for not writing individual replies to your nice comments.

Thank you every one, for visiting and reading me.

I will be sure to read you soon.

Anonymous said...

ലോകമെമ്പാടുമുള്ള 1000കണക്കിന്‌ മലയാളീകളെ കണ്ടെടുക്കുക

നിങ്ങള്‍ ആഗ്രഹിക്കുന്നുവെങ്കില്‍ നമുക്ക് ഒന്നായി ചേര്‍ന്ന് ഒറ്റ സമൂഹമായി ഒരു കുടക്കീഴില്‍ അണിചേര്‍ന്നിടാം. നിങ്ങളുടെ ചിന്തകളും വികാരങ്ങളും പരസ്പരം പങ്കു വയ്ക്കാന്‍ ആഗ്രഹിക്കുന്നുവോ ? ദയവായി ഇവിടെ ക്ലിക് ചെയ്യുക

ഇതിന്‌ ഒപ്പമായി മലയാളീകളുടെ കൂട്ടായ്മയും ഇവിടെ വീക്ഷിക്കാം

Anonymous said...

i just came across your blog and happened to read the story......the way you write ia amazing.... really appreciate that.....hope to read more as am still going thru ur blog....
keep it up jac
god bless

den den