The High Life… and its connoisseurs

There are many who claim to be ardent fans and followers of the high life. However, enjoying every fine detail of it 365 days of the year is not a luxury all can afford. For the rich, be it the “khandani rich” or the bourgeois, the extravagant lifestyle is a daily feature — for those less fortunate, a rarity.

In this ever-so-busy city we live in, where there is often no time for office-goers to have breakfast before leaving for work, there’s always a fine dining experience meticulously planned to spice up the weekend. The big lavish dinners have become a source of entertainment and relaxation; a break from the mundane hard tasks of life.

Just as the people of the city have decided to allow themselves to be wined and dined every now and then, so have the city’s birds decided to folllow suit. One of  the most popular species, the not-so-goodlooking crow, has transformed its lifestyle from one of a scavenger to that of a “laadla beta” whose rich daddy will provide for his high lifestyle.

The city’s crows have decided it is now better to sit at people’s windows and caw for gourmet food rather than scour through trash cans and garbage trucks for their sustenance. Although the stealing and scavenging traits of the crow are still often seen, you now are also able to see the refined side of them — a side which comes to a restaurant (your apartment window), orders its food and will eat only the best. I have such a regular visitor at my kitchen window who eats only the buttered portion of the bread and returns the dry part to me. If the gourmet food is not upto standard, he makes his unhappiness known by complaining in a loud “caw”!

Leaving the aerial view and coming back to the ground, we can see this same new behaviour in the city’s stray dogs. The pariah dog got its name for good reason; they became a breed which noone wanted and noone cared for. They had to search for food and water and find ways and means of keeping clean and tick-free.

The “pariah” today is a very different breed… they bow at your feet to welcome you, they wag their tail furiously to make friends with you, and rub up against you for a little bit of fuss and affection. Once they’ve buttered you up, they expect you to woo them with a tempting meal. The stray dogs in my locality wait for the lady who feeds them twice or thrice a day and for any other delicious unexpected treats that might come their way. Other dogs of the city pick and choose what they eat off a plate of food served e.g. eating only the “vada” of Mumbai’s famous “vadapav” or only the cream of an Oreo biscuit. A fatted, well-cared-for lot these pariahs have become.

As technology and the human race have progressed, we have gone from cavemen hunting deer to suave beings, elegantly dressed, to be seated at a fine dining restaurant and served food that looks scrumptious and beautiful. But its not just the human race that has changed: even the animals have progressed with us trying to lead that high life which so many of us are raving enthusiasts of and are always striving hard to enjoy.

In this fast-paced, hard life we lead, is slogging to achieve that ever-elusive extravagant lifestyle the only way to relax? Or can we take joys from the simpler things, like a crow following in your footsteps and the beauty of nature’s progess walking arm-in-arm with that of the human race?

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