Wednesday, 25 November 2009

I see you

I watch from the balcony, the workers screaming at each other, a load of cement passing from one hand to the next. I watch that one robin sit on that one branch of an almost naked tree that stands in the middle of the road on the divider. I tilt my head to listen to the sound of the next squirrel running up the wall with a tuft of dog hair in its mouth, probably to cozy up his bed on this cold winter day.

My life is one of a dog. Nature’s almost given up on the beauty she once possessed, so I make do with all the tiny little tid bits she has left for all of us to savour one last time. I am four and a half years old now, and I have finally started communicating with the humans I stay with. But they coochie coo me and more than often fail to understand that all I want is to share the happiness I feel in the world. They cry, they scream, they lose their temper over a car cleaner not doing their jobs well enough. But I see the young 5 year old boy down the street playing with a piece of stone and using it like a bomb and screaming, “I am Kasab”. What was the term that’s become so popular these days? Oh yes, “slumdog millionaire”. I have a feeling this little child will grow up to be one for sure, probably not by virtue of being a contest winner, but surely as a politician of the country. Ah yes, my human owners. I often see the unhappiness in their eyes. A boyfriend’s not talking, the daughter’s being rude, the husband is not the greatest conversationist, yet I stay by their side, knowing that the next time one of them turns hysterical because of another petty reason, I can calm them down.

A year back, terrorists took siege of the best hotels in Bombay (and yes, I will use Bombay and not Mumbai). I heard about a dog being shot at the CST and it being rescued and now being well taken care of. Since years and years, terrorists have taken siege of the environment. But the dogs, cats, and minks being shot are seldom rescued. We’re shot each day as the temperatures rise, as the SO2 in the air rises, as the smog in the winter mornings blur my vision and sense of smell. But I’m a part of the terrorist world too. I feed on Pedigree, a branded food for dogs, when I should be perhaps eating what has naturally been provided by Mother Nature. But what has been provided by Mother Nature? Hasn’t this been the question we’ve not answered yet? We’ve had many answers, but each answer has been the selfish claim of one man or one nation to ensure that the gifts are his.

The world realizes today it’s a huge mistake to turn a deaf ear to all of this. But realization and words are as good as the promises the tom cat in my alley contesting the alley election makes (which are sometimes better than the human politicians I must say). I will probably live for another 6 years, or maybe 7, or maybe 8 years more. But, I do know that the day I can see the horizon, the stars, the moon, the crickets, the bats, the owls, the mice, the sparrows, the kingfishers clearly, without anything blocking my vision or smell or hearing power, I’ll die a peaceful dog.