The managing committee of our building decided that we are not allowed to have plants on our windowsills anymore.

They wrote: “Plants spoil the walls.”

I wrote: “But I’ve photos of the walls. There’s no difference in the wall around the windows with plants, and the ones without. In fact, the rust from the grills, and the dripping from the air-conditioners does more damage.”

They wrote: “Some people use the plants as an excuse to throw out buckets of water outside the window, and create a nuisance for other people.”

I wrote: “if so, it doesn’t make sense to penalize everyone for something that some people are doing. Surely, it’s easy to find out who exactly is throwing buckets of water outside their windows, and why?”

They wrote: “We are spending a lot of money re-painting the walls. So please co-operate.”

Teja commented: “They are spending a lot of money, claiming that we will use the best, most expensive exterior paint. Surely that should be a guarantee that the walls won’t spoil easily.”

They wrote: “We are going to charge anyone who does not co-operate, a 1000 rupees fine every month.”

So in came the plants. We definitely mean to put them out again once the re-painting is done, but for now, they are in.

It so turns out that the plants make my living room look better.

They rein in the assorted chairs, which envious of the swing, tend to drift away.

The flowers are closer, and can be gazed at for longer.

The leaves are free of grime.

The pigeons hover around the windows uselessly. I feel pleased that they can’t shit on my plants anymore. I’m free from their unwanted gifts of strange pests, and strange seeds.

But I do miss the noisy sparrows who seemed to take a great pleasure in the ‘garden’ outside my windows, and twittered all about it, bringing in more visitors, more sparrows, a few mynahs and a few valiant butterflies who made their way up to the 13th floor, to check out what the sparrows were talking about.

The crows cawing outside seem perplexed by the empty windows, though they haven’t given up on us yet.

I’m not sure what the managing committee intends to do about the sky which is all set to throw innumerable buckets of water at our walls and windows for the next few months. Wonder how they are going to penalize the clouds for the nuisance they are bound to create.

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