Seen Sunbathing

Last Updated on 23 February 2024

The two of us settled into our seats at a HDB mamak-style Indian eatery, and were working through our respective hearty plates of kothu prata, a novel format (to me) of finely chopped prata I learnt recently from an Indian colleague (delight).

It was noon, lunchtime, and the sun beat fiercely on a little plaza a few paces from where we sat. A handful of ragged rock doves stood about the plaza, not seeming to mind the sun, but apparently lethargic from the merciless noon heat and not moving about too much. We typically pay these pigeons little mind, common and unkempt as they are, but one or two of them seem to have fainted and fallen over, splayed dramatically on the sunlit plaza one wing outstretched. We are quite used to bowling-pin shape of standing pigeons, but these fallen ones had the shape of upturned saucers. Some of the other pigeons would waddle over and make to peck at the unusual feathered shapes, but that would make them spring up and move away, never managing to take flight for the oppressive heat, only to fall over a few pigeon steps away, seemingly flattened by the glare of the noon sun.

“I think they’re sunbathing,” we conceded. I continued to work through my kothu prata pile. She, typically faster, had finished hers, and took advantage of a good seating angle to ogle at the sunbathers.