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Delhiwale: A cat day afternoon

Nigar Azim, a writer, wants to seize the moment and pen her thoughts. But, it seems, her cats have some other plan.

delhi Updated: Jul 18, 2017 13:32 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Delhiwale,Nigar Azim
Nigar Azim shares her apartment in south Delhi’s Batla House with these seven cats. Three of her five sons also live with her.(Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

The help hasn’t returned from her long holiday. The dining table is piled up with books and papers. The house is a mess. Nigar Azim, however, refuses to be apologetic.

“If I spend my time keeping the place in order, when will I read and write?” she asks.

The short-story writer is pouring bottled milk into a bowl. This is time for Prince, Sarah, Zara, Sheru, Sweety, Soni and Moni’s midday meal. Ms Azim shares her apartment in south Delhi’s Batla House with these seven cats. Three of her five sons also live with her.

The author’s large family hangs out in the big dining room during the waking hours. This is the center of her world. One wall is lined with hundreds of Urdu books. The other end has a TV. The dining table is the most sacrosanct: Here Ms Azim reads and writes. This is also the room where she hosts mehfils for fellow writers and poets.

These days Ms Azim is writing two books simultaneously.

Putting the milk bowl on the floor beside a magazine, she sits at the table with a sheet of paper, a pen and an Urdu dictionary. No sooner has she scrawled a few words than Prince and Sweety climb on the table and start mewing.

Ms Azim gets up with a sigh, keeps the bowl on the table and sits down to write again. Zara and Soni also jump on the table. One cat drifts towards the milk, the other towards the dictionary. The writer bravely tries not to let herself be distracted. She appears to be thinking hard. Suddenly, she erupts into laughter. “I’m feeling conscious…as if the cats are watching me.”

The cats soon slink away to different corners of the room, leaving Ms Azim to her writing. But the moment is gone. “Now it’s my turn to bother them,” she says, as she gets up.

First Published: Jul 18, 2017 12:54 IST