The other day, a crow from the neighbouring apartment told me that Mumbai is all-set to get a make-over. I brushed aside his supposed tip-off. He thinks I am a journalist - so he is free to give me khabar. I was getting myself ready for work and he thought a tip-off might as well do me some good.
"That's old news," I replied, but Black Current was insistent.
"It's true. Ekdum pakki khabar hai," he asserted. I thought otherwise. Mumbai's make-over is stale bread and the BMC has been taking a refresher course in promising same old apples every monsoon. No wonder they dont't grow here.
Seeing me ignoring him, Black Current revealed, "The crows are taking over control to ensure that their promises don't fall flat."
"How is that?" I asked, unperturbed by his conviction of getting his Black Army together.
"Havnt't you heard of the next level of the RED FM campaign?" he asked.
"You're talking about the Bajaate Raho thingy?"
"Yes!" he exclaimed, flapping his wings in excitement. "We've been inducted for the execution of the campaign. Bajaate Raho now becomes Jhooth Boleh Kawwa Kaate to take care of the politicians," he whispered, emanating a devilish kaaaw at the same time.
"Oh, really? And how are you going to take care of them?"
Black Current, confident as ever and lifting a feather up near his collar said, "Everytime a politician makes a false promise, the Black Army will swoop down and make his head resemble the surface of the moon!"
"You mean," I asked, "you're going poke him with your beak?"
"Of course!!" he laughed like the devil. An entire fleet of crows did the same from the neighbouring trees. (I could hear my neighbour Divya shriek from the nearby apartment, startled by the noise.)
I shivered in fright as Blackie sharpened his beak on the window grill. "Yes!! We're going to claw him, poke him with our beaks and pluck the hair out their politicians nostrils. We're going to mow them down!" At this Blackie invoked yet another round of shrill laughter. "Aren't you going to write about the campaign?"
I considered his idea for a moment. If there was any truth to it, it would be definitely worth writing about. Black Currant's proposition looked impossible to achieve, but he was a good informer too. But how would he mobilise all his crows into an army? And how would RED FM get all the crows together for the campaign? Who would train them? Such questions lingered in my mind. Still, the experience seemed interesting. Atleast the fear of crows could initiate the politicians to action. Tehelka's campaign also used the similar tagline - Jhooth Boleh Kawaa Kaate, so this was bound to be elaborate to write about. Moved by my own vision of the story and the innovation of using wildlife for a radio station campaign, I told Black Current that I would write about it.
"You sure you going to write about it? Don't make a fake promise to me. I'll pluck the eyeballs out of you!" Blackie threatened. I considered his threat and confidently told him that I would convince my editor and write about it. Blackie also squeezed in the fact this was an exclusive and I'd get a byline for it, as well. My editor Godson Adam, in desperate search of a lead story believed my story and put it up as a lead story. Rival agencies, newspapers thought the news was hogwash. RED FM officials, while thoroughly impressed with the negative coverage basked in the glory of some unprecedented publicity. PTI quoted Maneka Gandhi saying, "Man and animal must work hand-in-hand in a similar manner. I'm really happy with the initiative. I congratulate RED FM and I wish Black Current and his army all the best. I wouldn't be surprised if crows contest elections from now on. Atleast they'll do well than these human parrots."
Three days later, the Black Army tasted blood at the CM's speech at Azad Maidan grounds, where he had called a public meeting to explain how he was trying hard to get funds from the Centre for implementing BRIMSTOWAD - the rainwater drainage project. Blackie knew he was making a false promise. He went for his kill.
A TOI headline read the next day -
Crows attack CM; try to pluck his balls but find none
Since then, Black Current has been scouting the skies with his army. The BMC has been trying hard to call truce between the black army and has also roped in a reputed production house to make an animation film on crows. Sources in the Black Army say the film will be titled, 'Black Eyed Peace' and will be the story of how an army of crows swooped down on erring politicians and created a city of truth and justice.