The past few weekends have followed a regular rhythm. Friday evening call the real estate brokers to schedule visits for Saturday & Sunday. Then comb the hills around Coonoor in the lure of finding ‘the’ plot with the right size, view, budget, gradient, access, water, sunlight..blah blah.
In this ritual I was meeting like minded soul hoping for similar stroke of fortune. Captain Abhijit, Indian Navy, the ace naval aviator being one.
‘We will have to keep looking I guess’ was how the usual weekend hunt was summed by both of us.
‘Hey I’ll connect you with Groovy too, he has been looking for a longer time’, Abhijit recommended and shared his friend’s number.
Last Saturday began on a similar note with me this time doing a solo hunt with the brokers. By evening I saw not one but four properties with some promise, some possibilities.
Exhausted but happy I wheeled into the Birdhouse Cafe. My friend Paul was hosting a Pizza pop-up. And I didn’t want to miss it.
It was 6pm, early by most dinner standards as I walked. The Birdhouse cafe gang of Prajwal, Vidhya, Ananya besides Paul were gathered on a table when I joined them.
That’s when I noticed.
A tiny black kitten probably a few weeks old was curled up on Paul’s shoe, fast asleep.
As we chatted Paul was faced with a growing dilemma. There was an oven to be fired but being a pure hearted soul he was loath to get up and disturb the tiny feline.
‘Let me keep the baby in my lap’ I offered, bending to pick the furball ”you please fire the oven I’m starving buddy for your pizza’s ”.
Soon the Pizza’s were flowing and the Cafe was settling into a beautiful warm place. And the kitten was sleeping blissfully on my lap.
“We have been looking for a home for the kitten, why dont you take her home Abhi”,Vidhya suggested.
I instantly recoiled at the weight of responsibility. Sure I had reared cats when I was in college. But I was younger and carefree then. And wait I already I have two dogs at home, how would they take it ? A risk I explained to her.
After an hour, dinner done I felt a great reluctance in leaving the kitten behind. I had to drive back to Ooty.
That night as I tucked in the kitten kept playing in my mind. I am looking for a place to make my home in the mountains and so was the tiny one, wasn’t it ?
Next day Sunday I decided to just sleep in. I was feeling exhausted. But the kitten kept coming in my thoughts.
Well God, if you give me a sign ill take it, I comforted my restless self.
Meanwhile over phone I exchanged the Saturday report on the potential properties with Abhijit and then with Groovy.
“Can you show me these places if you are free today?” Groovy messaged.
That message shook me. Was it a message to go back and pick the little kitten a voice inside suggested.
“How about next weekend?”, I replied desperate to duck my own dilemma.
“I am moving from Coonoor to Bangalore on Tuesday”, Groovy mentioned
“Ok today evening then?”. I offered wondering where it was heading.
” Let me confirm to you, since I am getting posted out there are some dinner invitation, but ill confirm to you if its possible ‘, Groovy concluded.
Aha ! Its not happening I felt. Having grown up in a defence service household I know very well the social obligations especially when you are dining out. Your calendar is packed crazy.
The lazy Sunday continued and post lunch 3pm I was about to get into my nap. This being the highlight of my week, when I noticed a new message.
‘1620hrs, War Memorial ‘. It was Groovy.
Groovy had commanded India’s elite Surya Kiran squadron before coming to Coonoor. And I had read that Surya Kiran is considered the top 3 aerobatic team in the world – The British Red Arrows and the Canadian Snowbirds being the others.
This was probably the typical order issued by Group Captain Groovy to his fellow Airforce flyers, but to me it was a Divine Order.
My sleep had vanished. My back was light. I was jumping around the house. A cat on a hot tin roof.
“Shaina didi, please wash Chocolate’s old basket. I have to leave in 15 minutes. I am getting a kitten home’.
She just raised her eyebrows.
In a flash I was ready and in the car and then it struck me. Typical man brain which thinks very little.
I pulled the phone and sent a voice message .
“Hey Ayaan, Sim I’m getting a kitten home, more later”, I mumbled. Both of them were in transit at that moment from Delhi to Mumbai as I drove off.
At the appointed time I picked up Groovy and we headed to the potential sites. With his deeper knowledge Grovvy was giving me precise inputs for each plot.
As were looking at the last site the Sunday evening skies were fading over the green hills. A gentle breeze was flowing.
“You know”, I professed, “by calling me over today you have made a difference to my house.”.
” Really how ?”
“I dont know about the land but I’m sure I’m taking a kitten home today ” And I took him over the events of last 24 hours.
He smiled and shared how in a similar way he had got his dog over.
As I was driving back to drop Groovy I got a call. It was Sim. Apparently my voice message hadn’t transmitted clearly. Was everything ok?
Im going to get a kitten home I shared.
“Dad, how come? You didn’t ask me and will Buddy and Chocolate be ok? “, It was Ayaan with valid questions.
“Ok, let me go to the Cafe and make a video call. Then you tell me and ill go with that”.
After dropping Groovy I headed to the Birdhouse Cafe. I picked the little baby and made a video call.
It was magic.
Ayaan took one look. “Dad, take her home”. And when Sim spoke the kitten actually meowed.
And so it was. A tiny fur ball came home to be greeted by two doggies.
Well I still dont know the gender so we haven’t reached the naming bit yet. But I’m guessing that Divine Order will be passed soon too.