I saw a crow yesterday and got reminded of something we used to do while at school. Well, I can't say I saw a cow, they are so abundant that seeing them is expected. I observed a crow yesterday after a long time. When I spot a crow, the first thing I observe is the neck of a crow. How the habit started is an interesting story.
Every afternoon, a school going kids crowd would wait for buses at a designated stop. The area had 3-4 schools in its vicinity and they all had the same closing time. So the time between 3:30 - 4:00 every noon is when school kids crowd at the bus stop. Few would wait for the buses, few others would play at a big ground adjacent to the bus stop that belong to Indian Air Force. The area was an air force area with parks and grounds.
Just on the other side, was a railway line running parallel, few metros ahead was a overhead bridge across the line. One could get a good view of a bus on the bridge as and when they came. I am talking about mid when Bangalore was still a laid back city with no rush and madness. It would easily be a 15 minute interval between each bus coming in; and the 3:30-4:00 was a peak period with relatively more buses to cater to the school traffic. The bridge being good 1 km away; gave enough time for us to stop the games, pick our bags and make a mad rush to the road.
Now, every evening between 3:30 to 4:00, a mail van would pass by. Now we girls had an interesting belief which somehow worked. I don't know how and where this belief originated. It goes thus. The moment you see a mail van, you are supposed to hold on to one button on your shirt and observe a single black crow. Yeah, all crows all black but there are few ones which are blacky-black. What it means that most crows have a grayish-black neck. And there are few whose necks are also black. So you had to hold on to the single button on your clothes until you a single black crow flying by; and strictly a single black crow only, not in groups.
If you manage this trick successfully, you are sure to have a delicious treat waiting for you back at home. Now it is obvious for moms to prepare and serve biscuits, cakes and other such snacks to feed tired and hungry children after a day at school. Few days, the snacks would not be interesting, some other days there were worth waiting for. On days of the red mail van and the single black crow, the treats would definitely be delicious. This further strengthened our belief and each day; we would wait for the mail van and then search desperately to spot a single black crow.
You may ask, what if your dress didn't have buttons? That was not a problem. The rule allowed us to hold onto a button on your friend's dress; so we would move like a conjoined twins.
I don't think kids these days are aware of such innocent games.