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Early Friday morning
“Why are you on the roof? Get down!”
“Chidhya phir aayege lautke. The birds are building a nest outside your window.”
“Yay. They came back to say hi to me!” I exclaimed happily.
She ignores me.
“But there’s enough space for everyone. Leave them alone. Stop it! You are a big meanie.”
She still ignores me.
“They just want a place to stay!”
“What? You are going to feed them?”
I think about it for a few seconds. “I want a bird. Can I have a bird? No, wait. I want a cat.”
“You always want everything.”
I sigh. “Brown people problems.”
She doesn’t get the reference.
“You can take all the mice, rats, cockroaches you want to your own apartment.”
“Why would I do that when they are more than happy to stay here?”
She almost falls off the roof laughing then. But at least, it gets her to momentarily stop destroying the poor bird’s nest. She was talking about her animal pest problem and I was referring to her very real human pest problem.
“None of those pests want to leave my house.”
“But that’s just a poor birdie.”
“It’s not poor. Kabutars are the most nuisance birds.”
“We got two nuisance birds in our house. One hogging the TV upstairs and one hogging the TV downstairs. Why don’t you take that stick and point it at them?”
“Oh, those two aren’t kabutars. Ulong ke par nai hai. They don’t have wings. They are like penguins. Khai pee ke padha rahe hai. They just eat, sleep and lie around…”