I was recently invited for a dinner by a proud owner of a farmhouse located in the outskirts of the city. As it had been a sweltering day, I had my reservations about travelling and ending up getting stuck in a traffic jam that Ahmedabad conjures up instantly after even five minute of passing showers, but I decided to take the risk for one absolutely idiosyncratic reason and that is, I really miss the dance of princes and princesses that first rains once brought to our homes!
When I reached the sprawling farm, the hostess was kind enough to take me around so that I can appreciate the finer nuances of the landscape that she was really proud of.
As she was really and sincerely interested in “nature” and always wanted to have a place full of “greenery”, she had hired a famous landscape architect who had worked on “her ideas” and put together what she thought was her contribution to helping the planet that is currently revenged by humans cutting trees.
I must admit that it was a landscape pleasing to the eye, as there was a large party lawn surrounded by varieties of palms and flowering shrubs and then some trees on the periphery.
In short, like most landscapes put together by landscape architects, it looked like a UNO meeting hall for plant kingdom where representatives from distant places had gathered to find a way of coexisting.
As I believe that everything is nature, I hold no grudge against people who have their own idea of what is green. So, I profusely appreciated the landscape, and yet, as rain clouds gathered above, there was a cynical me concealing a secret laugh, as I knew that regardless of it being a forced amalgamation of a hundred different ecosystems, it was unlikely to keep my princes and princesses at bay.
Just as I had hoped, it started raining and dinner had to be moved to the beautiful veranda. For me, the stage was getting set for what I eagerly awaited, as all we now needed were lights to be switched on for the dance to begin.
While I was smirking in anticipation to see the responses of the urbane and uninitiated to the drama about to unfold, the halogens got switched on and the great moment that I hoped for arrived.
To my utter surprise, nothing happened. I waited and waited thinking that the first rains of last week may have organised the first show and hence they may not have been able to quickly assemble prince and princesses for the dance, and hence they will take some time getting dressed. But after half an hour of deafening silence filled only with human noises, I had to concede that I was utterly wrong.
It was clear that it was a night of the many that we now have where neither the orchestra or the dancing princes and princesses appear. As I strained my ears, I could hear a violinist or two chirping a tragic note, but it was clear that curtains were down for the one of the greatest shows on earth.
When I asked my hostess about it, she was happy to inform me that once a lot of “fuda” (moths!) used to come but they have hired a German pest control agency since three years so they can now enjoy their dinner in peace.
As I was the only one bereaved by loss of mating dance of termite princes and princesses that rains bring, I didn’t feel like point out that if they are gone, it won’t take long before our turn would come to exit this wonderful planet called Earth.