Sunday, March 16, 2014

It’s A Dog’s Life After All!

What were these people up to? What is this place? My heart is racing so much. Why are there so many people standing around? Why do they all look so unhappy? I smell blood and something else, what’s that smell? It’s so terrible! These thoughts raced across my mind as I stood nervously waiting my turn at a local government dispensary. My past flashing before my anxious mind.
I am Laali. I was born in a middle-class urban neighborhood. 

My life has been so uneventful that there is nothing of significance to recall except of course the entry of the Sharma house-hold. But they too left as suddenly as they had entered my life, leaving no earth-shattering memory to go back to (They had spoken about their transfer in hushed tones thinking I was out of ear shot. They discussed taking me along, but the burden of hiring extra help, needing the extra space made them change their minds in the end.)

And then there is the new occupants at House number 4, the lady of the house is nice, always polite, always smiling sweetly, offering a drink or a snack or just some kind words whenever I dropped by. I refer to her as Madame, because she never introduced herself to me.

Today Madame is my guardian and the only person I know out here. It was frightening standing here in a queue not knowing what was to happen next. Being so far away from familiar sights and smells and among complete strangers.

I love familiarity. Knowing what was going to happen every single day of my life is so reassuring. I hate surprises- But most of all I love my freedom. Freedom to go wherever I please, take a nap whenever I fancy, sulk without having to explain to anyone why I was in a bad mood, play with the kids at the park, hang around with the other ladies and sometimes we have a howl of a time playing imaginary games! What fun life was!

All until now. A young doctor was looking me up. Telling me to open my mouth, peering down between my legs (how humiliating) “All’s well” he said and wrote down something, looking very knowledgeable. Then a sharp prick on my back and it was all over.

The doctor was telling Madame, “It’s done, you can take her home now.” To this Madame replied “No no, you don’t understand, Laali doesn’t live with me. She is not my pet. She lives on the streets of my colony. I got her over to vaccinate her, since she is always around children. But we are thinking of adopting her. By the way, Can you tell me how old is she?” The doctor looked into his writing pad and replied “About 3 years old Ma’am”.

Boy! Was I glad to be back on the streets? I raced off as fast as I could, not looking back once to see what Madame was telling the driver. The wind on my face, it felt so lovely! Jumping over the fence was the best thing life could offer- after a juicy bone of course. Wait till my pals hear my story. Three years old, are you kidding me, I am 8 years old! These humans are so stupid! Wait, let’s sniff out that corner bin for the latest throws. Give up all this to be a house pet of Madame? Not in this life-time.

And off went Laali trotting down the familiar street looking for her doggie buddies.
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