Animals and Humans

16 May

As I was figuring my morning and its routine out, I came across a sure shot dog lady today. She had more than seven bowls with her as she went about feeding the strays in our area, talking to them like I’ve found myself talking to them as well. At first I felt a little possessive because she was approaching my beautiful Susie and my Potato, but it seemed like the two weren’t new to this sort of kindness. Being as social as I am, it took her first move to finally break the ice and go beyond sneaky glances I was throwing her way to see just who she was and what she was up to. And that was all it took to give my Monday the start it needed.

She seemed chatty and gave me more information than my presumed poker face betrayed questions and queries about. Apparently Susie is Laila and Potato John is Babloo (I will call him the sweet things I call him because fortunately, he doesn’t really respond to the fright that is Babloo; which is a very common name in this side of the country). I remember PJ very vividly when I came to live in this house for the very first time. My premises (as I’ve mentioned in my previous posts) seemed oddly familiar to him as if they belonged to him in some sort of way. The first time I saw him, he had taken the liberty to enter my open gate and stand right at my ajar door without letting himself past it – we were moving luggage into the house – and it caught me by surprise, in a happy way of course. He has taken his time to be friendly and to allow me to get close to him, and naturally, his behaviour has a valid reason.

Dog lady, whose name is A, told me that he has a history with my current house as the past tenants used to feed him and shelter him…they were the ones who named him Babloo and took care of him…he even had a mattress for himself during our brutal winters. It was something I had considered and on confirming my thoughts, I couldn’t help but feel my heart get heavy…for only an animal knows what it is to be left behind and keep waiting in the hope that you will come back for it one day. So PJ sits here and it’s a story I’m happy to continue for as long as I can…to be able to return that sense of familiarity again to him, even though I can never be the people whom he grew up with.

My house caretaker hates him. What I imagined to be a smooth journey – because how hard is it to love a dog and have it love you back without much trouble? – is far from one. I guess every road has its share of sometimes necessary but sometimes completely unnecessary barriers as well. The gate is left slightly open so that PJ can come and sit on the cooler marble surface on my porch; something I consider more a duty and less of a service to as many living beings whom we believe need us during these scorching hot months. But every single time this caretaker has had the chance, he ensured PJ was out of the gate and not without a mean lesson punishment, especially since we humans consider it our prime right to teach other living beings through cruel, unnecessary methods. He has been swept on, thrown mud on, beaten, thrown water on, coaxed to the point of forcibly picking his paw up only to be snarled at (thank God) among many other taunts the housekeeper deemed fit to throw PJ’s way.

Today I lost my housekeeper’s help as I fired him for ill-treating PJ. While I am short of help and with no certain guarantee that PJ will stay by my side or give this wretched man the treatment he deserves, my heart feels a happy, content thump. It’s one thing to ill treat an animal who isn’t in your way and generally keeps to himself, and it’s another thing to act like a complete a-hole with me on this front. While I am not anti-human, it is getting clearer and clearer that loving and helping animals comes from the smallest of human minorities. I’m a believer in good doing and karma, but nothing can take away or undo the apathy we bestowed and continue to do so with the world’s living beings. I’ve no idea how we assumed we had complete ownership over a place that belongs to so many more than just us. However, till the Universe takes its time to give human beings what they deserve, it’s a lone battle for the very few who care to look beyond themselves. I only saw it from a distance all this while, but today confirms just how alone you are if you love animals and trees in a world which no longer has any space for them. I am disappointed but it had to come my way, I guess.

However, what is extremely heartening and joyous to see is that there is so much to learn and give back as you find people who share the same love as you do. Even if it begins with meeting one single person, i.e. A, or being introduced to an entire pack of happy, vaccinated and healthy girls who live in and around my street, you don’t really feel alone any more. The journey, for me, has just begun. And I have one a-wipe less and his bullshit to tolerate or deal with. It’s been an eventful and learning-filled Monday, indeed.

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