Last week, the great Maradona signalled to his countless fans across the world that he, too, was mortal. But he left behind memories of his rousing deeds, which will live on in archives in words and pictures for generations to open and ponder.

He was on my mind the other day when I was doing my morning walk, until the moment when I came upon the crow on the corner of 1st Main and 5th Cross. The bird lay legs-up before the mansion there, built in the fashion of a Rajasthani haveli.

The carcass shone in the light of the electric lamp above. Another crow cawed weakly in the dark, somewhere in the many branches overhead. The bereaved mate? Crows are hard to trap, so expertly they evade danger — I've been told that by many. This one must have lost its wits for one moment, and its life in the next, when it alighted on an electric wire.

I am surprised I haven't forgotten the black, unfortunate avian.

After the morning walk, it is my practice to do the pranayama, followed by meditation, into which a yowling cat has been getting in the last couple of days. It sounds so much like a human child, bringing on a disquiet as I labour to focus on my breathing. I know this cat, mostly I see it low in the trees, and on top of parked cars, and asleep among the wheels.

"How terrible it sounds!" I shouted down from upstairs to my wife.

"She's in heat," she said,  looking up from reading her email, I think. The tone in her answer suggested that.

"Oh," I said. "So frank she is."

I suppose I deserve the silence that came up. The cat only wishes to perpetuate her species, immortalise it — wants this planet to ever have a cat on it. Shame on me, who took a low, temporal view of her higher purpose.


Image: boggy22