- He took him!
- Did he hurt him?
- Where he is taking him?
- What’s wrong with this guy? Does he hate them?
- Call the police!
- No, we’ll deal with him!
I was standing in the middle of steadily growing mob. Sweat was slowly drenching shirt on my back, but I kept my face calm not moving and waiting for a chance to explain myself, to make them listen. Angry faces all around me.
Place of action, Fordsburg – Johannesburg, predominantly Muslim part of town.
Date of action – end of November just before Kurban Bayrami, one of the holiest days in Muslim religion. People in holyday mood and me, in a role of intruder.
I was on the wrong place in wrong time, or maybe just opposite.
It started just seconds ago when I was walking towards my parked car going out of my client offices. I saw young pigeon on the side of the street. Eyes closed, feather ruffed bloody diarrhea spots under the tail. I was carrying computer box and other things, so it took me some time to place everything on the ground and take him in my hands to examine. He didn’t struggle, quite weak and ill. While I was checking him, shouting started and in no time I was surrounded.
Finally after what it seemed ages to me someone said – I know him he does Rashid’s computers. Why did you caught this pigeon?
Yes, I answered and Naala’s and Bismilaah’s too, and I have pigeons and this one is sick and if I don’t take him and give him medicine, he will die. Look how sick he is.
You could physically feel pressure relief. Anger disappearing from their faces, replaced by curiosity.
- Can you help him?
- What is the problem?
- Is there a hope?
Please, I said, can you find me a cardboard box or something to put him in?
Next moment someone brought box from the nearest shop and I was escorted to my car by group of maybe 40~50 people. Street was completely blocked for other traffic and I just speeded towards the highway.
While on my way home, for some reason it kept coming to my mind Lindy’s storry “He hates pijjies” and words of a song “I wish you were here” – Pink Floyd
So, so you think you can tell Heaven from devil,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have you found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.
P.S. Despite my efforts to save his life, little pigeon died next morning.