9

Peacock in the City

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We are here in South Mumbai to meet Dinesh Mora, star of the hot Indian reality show, Real Peacocks of Mumbai. We arrive at a very exclusive gated community, protected by two Bengal tigers. The one at the driver’s side seems surprised to see a mongoose at the wheel. When he checks his guest list, he starts to chuckle, “Going to Mora’s, I see.”

We find a cul-de-sac of incredibly refined neutral-hued homes. Except the one painted bright pink. We get out, look around and see several limos with their macaque drivers waiting. The closest one is glaring at us. He comes over and asks if we’re friends of Mora. We explain about the interview.

 

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The macaque grimaces. “I should have known. Since he’s moved in, it’s been a circus around here. I don’t know why they let him in. Everyone else here is high-level government; leopards mainly with a few lions. He’s a bird! Parties all the time. And look at that paint! Some royal bird of the gods!”

Andi, the photographer and I nod politely and walk to the door. It opens as we approach. It is Anika, Dinesh’s personal assistant. “Hurry up! Dinesh has been waiting for you!”

 

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We walk into a large open room where a large handsome peacock is having some sort of oil massaged into his chest feathers. “Hello there! I’m running behind. We’ll only have time for a couple of pictures before we go. Remember: left side or full-face only. No close-ups of the tail.” Andi grins at me and takes a few shots.

Dinesh dashes out and gets on a vintage Royal Enfield motorcycle. He wants several pictures on it. “Girls love guys on bikes.” Andi poses him several ways before he roars off. Anika stays to do some work.

 

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By the time we get to the studio, a stylist is trying to undo the wind damage to Dinesh’s tail feathers. “Be careful! You know I have the best-looking feathers here. Damage them and I’ll make sure you never work again!” She calmly continues her work.

“You! Picture girl! Come over here. I want some close-ups.” Andi glares at me and walks over.

 

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I ask him how he likes living in Mumbai after spending the rest of his life in the north. “Well, I do miss Mum and my sisters. I’m trying to talk them into coming down here. I have plenty of room. The house is too big for me alone and I certainly am not ready to settle down yet.” He winks at me.

What does he think of the neighborhood? “Truthfully, I wish I’d done a little more research. I wanted someplace quiet so I could relax, but I might as well be living in a cemetery. Apparently none of them have friends. I can’t help that I eat outside and they have servants to prepare their meals. Besides, I keep thinking one of them is going to eat me.”

 

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He’s called to the set. It’s a pretty typical scene from what I’ve heard. The four guys go to a bar, meet some girls they know. They all get a table. A couple of beautiful peahens walk by. Two of the guys get up to talk to them. Their girls get upset and go up to the peahens. Feathers fly. The guys go home, have a drink and talk about girls.

Dinesh goes back to make-up. He wants more oil on his feathers. “You would not believe how those lights can dry you out.”

 

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A couple of female fans some back. One of them coos, “We’d love to rub oil into you.” Andi almost gags. Dinesh smiles and points at the bottles. The girls get to work.

“mmmm” Dinesh looks at us. “Get a couple more pictures, and I think we’re done. Try to avoid their faces. I don’t want any jealous ladies out there.” He thinks for a minute. “And don’t forget. I have final approval on all copy and pictures.”

We leave without telling him that he never got around to asking for a contract.

 

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Riki T Tavi, Asia Correspondent

(all pictures courtesty of Google Images)

5

Lions and Tigers and Bears (and Kittens)

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The lionesses planned a big night out

That the male lions weren’t happy about.

The cubs whined and cried

Til Mom’s nerves were fried

And so she went out and let them all pout.

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Tony and Tom Tiger ran away

Into the forest so they could play.

Their mother called out,

And they had no doubt

They needed to get home without delay.

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Polar, Kodiak, Panda, Brown, Black

Which bear thinks I’d be a tasty snack?

“Ugh,” says Brown Bear.

What have you there?

Tuna? Now that will cause a snack attack!

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She was a small, adorable ball of fur,

Who had the sweetest, most endearing purr.

But at time for bed,

She laid on my head.

And until breakfast time, she wouldn’t stir.

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Why are kittens made so darn incredibly cute?

Soft fur, little meows, lots of cuddles to boot.

With energy to spare,

And the down time quite rare,

You forgive the disgusting dead mouse in your boot.

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(pictures from Google images)

0

Animal Crackers

A jilted, angry young man named Brian

Searched afar for a world-famous lion.

He hoped the hungry beast

On his girlfriend would feast.

“He’s really tasty,” slurped the young scion.

 

A lovesick beaver built a great dam

To win the heart of his true love Pam.

Dad wasn’t impressed.

“Get rid of that pest.”

So the beaver, with Pam, had to scram.

 

Watching a cat sleep in a sunbeam,

Who can doubt that she really does dream?

She’s ruling the world,

Or on a lap curled.

Or nibbling a mouse dipped in some cream.

 

A big announcement was due at the zoo.

The exact details no one really knew.

The secret was kept

From all by the vet.

Of the birth of the first caribou-gnu.

          (perfect couple)

 

Bison and buffalo, what do you think?

He asked his friend as they went for a drink.

She said we can’t mate

When I asked for a date.

It’s not like I’m an Australian skink!

        (imperfect couple)

 

You don’t look like a great ape to me.

Why, you can’t even swing from a tree!

You can blame my school

They thought it quite cruel.

We might damage a branch, don’t you see?

(all images courtesy of Google Images)