What a sight it was around 8.20 am on a cool, bright, April morning. Having dropped Ankoor for his last University paper, I was driving into the clean, green and absolutely eco-friendly JNU campus in a slow, steady but careful motion. I was pleasantly taken aback when I got a glimpse of a male peacock meticulously spreading its unique tail in near perfect unison. Though being barely fifteen feet away from the road, he was completely engrossed in what is universally prevalent, the practice of attracting and cajoling a person or animal from an opposite sex. While doing so, he was totally oblivious to the fact that there were onlookers if not the spectators in the close vicinity, taking full advantage of the serene and dust free atmosphere of the sprawling campus. Today being a Saturday, I was, perhaps, impelled to enjoy every bit of it.
2. I did not have enough of peacock gazing that somebody created a momentary disturbance by driving his automobile ( with his sweet heart in toe) somewhat recklessly at a very close range. The peacock, on the contrary, being unmindful of what was going on, commenced his dance in an extremely attractive and rhythmic manner, so much so, that another car passed by, followed by a man on a bicycle but four of his female companions appeared stuck and totally glued to the dance performance. I wish I had a camera or a handy cam to shoot, record and preserve this unusual happening for posterity. After a while, a few females depart and others join the ‘event’. Nonetheless, the solo performer appears firm and fearless. He keeps on spreading his gorgeous tail in an area of at least six to seven feet, thus drawing also the attention of some lovely, colourful, rarely seen birds. A time comes when he is all alone but does not mind. Nor he seems in a hurry to wind up his charming activity. In no time, another she peacock comes from the side of Arawali Guest House and begins admiring the rare spectrum. A cyclist with his innocent looking wife seated in front passes by. He does not bother to even turn his head. Perhaps for them it may be a daily affair. It is not so for me. After all, I was privileged to witness it after a gap of good twenty six years.
3. Precisely after ten minutes or so, I get an indication as if everything is over. But the indomitable and determined male peacock does it again to enthrall not only me but also a fellow motorcyclist, a young curious couple and an elderly man walking towards the Parthasarthy Rocks. His blue, light blue, green, grey, peach, and black colours simply mesmerize all of us. This was something to be felt, that too, rather deeply and sincerely. A few routine words cannot possibly describe the soothing feelings some of us came across at this point of time.
4. A handicapped man passes by. A truck full of construction material comes and goes. An old couple comes, stares and departs but the peacock continues with his ‘show’. Upon seeing a few eye catching birds from a different species, the peacock drops his fan-like tail all of a sudden, to resume his dance again & again. By now, he looks quite professional. I watch the whole thing by presumably ignoring many key and crucial appointments for the day ahead. Latter, could, perhaps be postponed or cancelled but not this rare view, so to say.
5. The number of people and vehicles, however, register a rise with the rising Sun but the conglomeration of peacocks simply relishes indulging in and enjoying its favorite activity, normally witnessed during the thick of Monsoon. They simply appear unfamiliar with the expressions, such as, pause, intermission or abatement. Anything accomplished with profound devotion and noble intentions is always welcome, I utter to myself.
6. The Male peacock dances once again in full glory, possibly for the fifth time, thus providing me a free, unforgettable and fabulous bout of entertainment. I was not only on the seventh heaven. I was simply carried away. Perhaps, I felt privileged having received entry into a different world. While an attractive teen aged girl passes by, the male peacock speaks very fondly without realizing that he is being observed and watched without any break for more than half an hour. They say “all good things come to an end”. I suppose, this extraordinary happening was no exception.
7. While my watch shows 9 am, the sweat appears on my forehead. Ultimately, it intrudes into my eye lids. The male peacock, in the meanwhile, performs its ‘disappearance’ act. When it was in the process of following his ‘girlfriends’ deep into the lush green forest surrounding the imposing JNU Central Library, probably to get more eternal bliss, I am left with no option but to ignite the engine of my car to rejoin my life partner to struggle past another day. I do not forget to wipe my specs to ensure a clearer vision. While I gradually accelerate and begin to zoom off on the empty campus road near the Kaveri Hostel, I am greeted with the familiar sound of another male peacock possibly attempting to attract a separate bunch of his opposite sex. But I succeed in resisting the temptation to look back. I wish and desire them to relax and indulge into merry making by drifting away from the maddening crowd of the selfish human beings. Don’t the latter regularly succeed in encroaching upon the age-old and undisputed habitat of the former? I ask myself while gaining entry into my residence, located in the midst of a non-descript concrete jungle.