Most of us love pets. Some love dogs, some have cats, some love birds, and others have hamsters. On the other hand, there are people who love pets – but from a distance. They are the loveliest creatures on this planet earth. When God thought of creating them, He filled their hearts with so much love that can hardly be depleted. Filled with so much care and faith. And I witnessed this, as I came across a special dog for a number of days. This part of my life is called as Understanding What Being Faithful Meant. And there was none other than a street dog that displayed the real meaning of it.
Travelling has become a part and parcel of my mundane life. Tiring and sapping energy. Yet the journey doesn’t make me surly. Almost every blog post is a result of these long journeys. Without which I could hardly have offered you the different stories of life. Staying in one of the secluded yet beautiful places of the city, & making the most of all the modes of transport such as buses, trains, metros, rickshaws I make it to my workplace. Reaching the workplace had never been easy for me, but I enjoyed this. I feel everyone has to experience travelling in life. Nothing you learn in school or university will prepare you for what’s to come when you’re out on your own. And trust me travelling sums it up.
This story starts and ends in a 10-yard footpath every morning between 8:55am to 9:10am at a railway station in New Bombay. The footpath artistically designed by a mason with dark red and yellow colored stones in a zigzag style created a unique pattern. The same footpath became the sleeping pods for those who aren’t lucky enough to own a shelter. Washed thoroughly to zap a thousand footprints every morning keeping it clean.
One fine day, on the same footpath, I noticed a dog – a stray dog, limping down the road to cross the street. No signs of any wound. The dog hardly had any hair on his body. He seemed to be suffering from some disease. Taking one step at a time, hardly looking around for any vehicle near him, he trudged towards the other end. I shriveled my eyes showering the feeling of mercy on him as he struggled for a step.
As I was casting my eyes on the other things, my eyes again fell on the dog. This time, I saw a girl in the mid 25s who was constantly rubbing the dog’s temple with one hand, holding his face with the other. Chanting some words she waved at him to step over. The dog without thinking for a second jumped across in 4-5 leaps and he reached to where she was waiting for him.
They again shared some words of love and care for which the dog heeded with his wiggly ears pointed straight at 90°. He nodded his head for as if he understood every single word of her. After a while, she unwrapped a packet of biscuits and placed it on the floor for him to be fed. He wagged his tail to and fro like a broomstick. Surprisingly, the dog wasn’t eating as rapaciously as any other dog would. It seemed as if all he needed was a hand to be touched, cared and cuddled which was more satisfying than his hunger. However, he ate as much as he wanted, that was not more than two biscuits. She would wait for a while till he took a bite of the biscuits, rub his temple and his neck and then bid him goodbye, exclaiming, “Kha lena ache se” (Eat as much as you can!)
After she left, the dog ate the biscuits slowly licking his mouth with his head down, displaying a feeling of having quelled his hunger. This happened every day at the illustrated time and place. Though the dog seemed weak, fragile and wretched it was the care that made him feel better. The story continued from days to months until one day.
The clock ticked 8.55am and as it did, the dog looked here and there for the girl. As if he had a mechanism within him that notified the arrival of her. He somehow knew the time and place where he used to have his food with her. That day he reached with heavy footsteps to the place where she fed him. But all he could embrace was loneliness and disappointment. I couldn’t resist his disappointment and I rushed quickly to the nearest shop, bought a Parle G and whistled at him. He looked at me once. All he did was a deaf ear to my pointers. He sat at the same place where he was fed, waiting for her.
Seeing this I went near him, tore the wrapped biscuits and placed before him. I was taken aback when he refused to eat the biscuits that I placed in front of him. He pushed the layer of biscuits with his legs. I could feel his intense emotions as it wasn’t the hunger that disconcerted him but it was the absence of love.I hardly know about the different emotions of dogs, as I don’t have a pet. However, by the way, he howled, a high pitched cry, I understood that he was missing someone. He was displaying emotions of hostility, pain which he could hardly utter with words. But I was convinced that he wanted her presence. I sat on my knees
I hardly know about the different emotions of dogs, as I don’t have a pet. However, by the way, he howled, a high pitched cry, I understood that he was missing someone. He was displaying emotions of hostility, pain, anxiety which he could hardly utter with words. But I was convinced that he wanted her presence. I sat on my knees beside him, rubbed his temple and his neck and said,
I know I’m not the person who is supposed to be feeding you, somebody else has already taken it. But I couldn’t see you go through this. If you feel like having it, you surely can have it. If you don’t I won’t force you.”
Saying this I left the place and thought of checking on him while coming from my workplace. I was bewildered when I saw that biscuits remained at the same place and so was he. His chin touching the ground, eyes barely open in search of her, lost in despair, he stilled howled in a gloomy tone as if he was singing an elegy.
The dog although being stubborn taught me to be faithful. I still travel through the same lanes where I see the dog waiting for her between 8.55am to 9.10am. I still unwrap a packet of biscuits for him. But his soul is trapped with Hachiko – the one who waited for 10 years for the return of his master at the Shibuya station.
His arrogance or stubbornness did not disappoint me, rather it moved me deeply. It infused the feeling of faith and trust for which his memory will be indelible in my life for years to come.
This part of my life is called as Understanding What Being Faithful Meant.