On an Overcast Monday Evening

On an overcast Monday evening, the eagle perched disquieted on the corner of an edge of structural assembly hanger. Some paces away, in a miniature glen within the factory premise, a noisy horde of crows alarmingly cawed to wade off the eagle. The dense canopy of treetops where these crows now hearteningly made ruckus was a conflux of many trees streaming towards the sky and patching the steel blue with different shades of green and brown.  It had been raining intermittently for past 4 days. Little sunshine had reached the floor. Much of its quarry had kept to the bills and holes awaiting the soils to dry up.

The eagle was hungry and tired of the long wait. Wet days of past had not been suitable for flight. When the first spell of monsoon started, he was unprepared and in the open- taking the hit of heavy unrestricted rains. Itwas as unprepared as last yearand the year before that. Memory was not a gift that nature chose to grant to the eagle. The perturbed crows tried to unhinge the branches they sat on with swaying motions. The group was large enough and evening sun too low for him to penetrate the leafy fortress. Besides, the crows had inherited a sharp brain and group learning. His dexterity and hunger-fuelled will might have been a match for their brain on a clear day, but the tired and cold body was too weak on this quickly descending evening.

The previous day, being a Sunday, had brought little commotion on the streets. Usually, the eagle liked his weekends. It was a relief from sudden noises of hammer striking anvils and trucks starting. However, food was in shortage on Sunday. The humans brought food- some for him and some for his hunt. The rats and squirrels that feasted on left around food were easy prey for his sharp eyes and might of airpower. On many occasions he had tried to raise the issue of food provisioning for the weekends with the Committee of Members that presided over all factory related matters. His polite screeches in front of the HR office were wordlessly ignored. It was clear that there was a communication barrier between management and employees. With decreasing number of eagles, the workload of keeping premises pest free had increased substantially. In the heydays of hunting, he remembered plenty of eagles sharing the sky and feasting on abundant supply of rats. Competition was little and they had started forming community feelings. Culture, after all, is a product of comfort.

The new factory shops coming up around the campus had reduced forest cover. Most of snake population had been culled. Initially it had elicited an exciting response from much of eagles. The snakes were competitive in hunt for rats and outnumbered them greatly. Gestation periods and easy conditions to lay eggs on ground gave them biological superiority over the eagles. Gradually, most eagles found the pastures unreliable and unsustainable and left for better grounds. Only two of his kind remained- taking charge of northern and southern half respectively.

He had thought of moving on and a place where his work would be appreciated.  While each year the targets were revised and bottomlines cherished, little had trickled down in his bucket. These four days had reminded him of how lonely he had become with each passing season.  Tomorrow he would submit his resignation. He was thinking of moving to the suburbs. Guarding the agricultural fields was fulfilling. The diversity of role and freedom to fly high over the endless fields was exhilarating. He would redirect his life and make new companions over clearer skies.

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