The Dog

18 Nov

I don’t have a dog now.. never will.. thats not because I don’t like dogs.

“Dad can I have a dog?” used to be my perennial question to my dad.

“We already have you” used to be the answer.

So I decided to take things into my own hand and started scouting for a puppy.. after many days of asking.. Jayarama who used to live down the street said he knew somebody who knew somebody whose dog was expecting a litter. I had to pay Jayarama one rupee for his efforts.

Life went on, I forgot about this “request” and continued with my quest for a dog…

One day out of the blue, Jayarama appears at my school during lunchtime. “I have the dog” he says excitedly.. “I left it in your backyard as no one was home”.

I was ecstatic.. my own dog. I promised to pay Jayarama later – he wasn’t happy with that but one rupee was was a lot of money and I didn’t carry money around in 6th grade.

I forgot about lunch, ran back to class, took my bag, told my teacher I wasn’t feeling well and headed home.. a five minute walk. I opened the gate and rushed to the backyard and there it was a nice plump puppy, golden brown, a pitch black nose and eyes to match. He had arrived…a little wag of the tail showed he liked me as well.

I spent the entire afternoon in the sun playing with the little bugger observing how disciplined he was even at that young age (he went in the bushes).. I asked the granny in my neighbors house for some milk which he lapped up in minutes, I then fed him part of my lunch (he only liked the curd rice).

“We cant keep a dog” said mom when she came back from college.. “and why are you back home so early?”… I completely avoided the second question and focussed on begging.. “Please.. please… I’ll see to it that he does not become a bother…”. Finally the decision was left to my dad and we waited for him to come back from the office.

In the meantime the time spent in the sun was taking its toll on me.. the fever that I had lied about in school really came upon me.

“NO..NO WAY..” said dad… in the meantime mom had warmed up to the guy.. “Its ok…lets see”…so grumbling the puppy was allowed to stay for the time being.

I named him Raja. Liked it better than Tommie, Jimmy and the common dog names.

At this point I would like to bring in another character in this episode. A neighbor Dr. R.S commonly known among the neighborhood guys as “Gulle Nari” (the pimpled fox).

He called himself a Doctor but we never saw any patients (come out of his house/clinic that is)… he spent all his time trying to prevent us kids from playing on the road. Once, he’d even dumped glass on our “Cricket pitch” on the road to prevent us from playing (we swept it back in front of his house).

Anyway as it got darker the puppy started yelping and screaming.. no amount of consolation was enough.. as soon as the lights went off, he’d go again. In desperation I opened the back door so he could get out to the backyard. The front gate was bolted so I presumed he’d be safe.

Raja never returned from his pee break.

We looked around and searched. The gate was bolted and there wasnt enough space for him to get through. It was a mystery. Everyone went to sleep heavy hearted.

The next day one of my friends said he saw “Gulle Nari” walking down the road with a small puppy. When I confronted him, he said that he had found a puppy on the road and had taken it to the end of the street and let him go. The b***ard had no regrets. He had probably been disturbed by the yelping and had then seen the puppy being let out..so he’d snuck into our compound and lifted the dog and carried him away.

I dont know what happened to the little guy. I hope he ended up in a good place. I searched for weeks so did my friends across several neighborhoods, but could not trace him.

Never had a pup or a pet after that. Separation isn’t easy…oh ya and I still had to pay Jayarama the money 😦

As for “Gulle Nari” payback would come…more on that later…

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12 Responses to “The Dog”

  1. Rajaram November 18, 2008 at 6:46 am #

    Vijay,

    I have a dog ( golden retriever of 6 months) and know how it feels of seperation…I also can understand why that gulle nari ( cunning fox)was without patients !!

    Cheers

  2. Ram November 18, 2008 at 8:35 am #

    puppy went missing – thats no good!
    nammaneli local breeds thandidhvi, and we enjoyed playing with dogs so much. nan pet animal.

  3. Veena November 18, 2008 at 4:48 pm #

    I guess most of us would be able relate to this topic.
    When we were small, we used to go hunt for these puppies in all the cross roads and I wonder who taught us this logic of verifying if the doggy was a “jaathi naayi”. We had to just lift the puppy pulling both his ears up and if the puppy didn’t cry(had a more tolerance capability?) then it was not a ‘kantri naayi’

    same with GuLLe nari uncle type of people. He reminds me about our neighbour ‘brahmin taata(everybody referred him that way)’ who disallowed any of us to play on the roads (infront of our house) and many a times he even scolded his grand parents for playing with us..

    What ever it was, childhood was fun but we always wanted to grow up faster…

  4. My3 November 18, 2008 at 6:14 pm #

    Sniff Sniff Sniff 😦 😦 😦
    You brought back lovely memories of our white little rabbit with cherry red eyes. We still have the carpet that he chewed up. I don’t have any pets now as I travel to India during summer for quite a long time. It would be very unfair to the dog to leave him alone.

    But my older son takes care of the neighbor’s cats and they love him to pieces!!

  5. some body November 19, 2008 at 1:34 am #

    veena:

    “We had to just lift the puppy pulling both his ears up and if the puppy didn’t cry(had a more tolerance capability?) then it was not a ‘kantri naayi’”

    maybe my ajji taught you guys! she actually did it to our very own ‘raja’ (as opposed to vijay’s raja).

    – s.b.

  6. Nikhil November 19, 2008 at 7:11 am #

    Gulle Nari is a bastard! Thoo! What a loser! Set his frikkin house on fire! This is like the South Indian variation of 101 Dalmatians! 😀

  7. xylene November 20, 2008 at 5:44 am #

    Oh, such characters exist in every neighborhood.
    Cant wait to read the chapter ‘pay back time!!!’

  8. allhail November 21, 2008 at 2:08 am #

    It happened to me too. Found a pup wandering on the road , and attempted a vague rescue . Spent an hour settling in the restless guy. But I wasnt allowed to bring the pup inside the house. Despite makeshift bed of cardboard box , he disappeared. THe gates had bars wide enough for a puppy to slip through. Searched , but never found him. I think he was looking for his mother .Didnt ‘connect ‘ enough to mourn like I would today. Always wondered what happened .

    Redemption happened in the guise of three snow white tiny pups that were being whizzed over by autos near my house . I rescued them and found them homes a few weeks later. Or did it ?

    My mind is sometimes filled with potential abandonments , and I so dislike people who are happy to let go their pups, because its too much trouble. THrough many puppy adoptathons we did at Krupa, I recall a few too many . But like Vijay says, thats another story. And I hope pimple faced freak got his come uppance , Vijay.

    Standing by .

  9. Vijay November 21, 2008 at 6:44 am #

    @Rajaram 🙂
    @Ram: Now only play with other peoples dogs.. like Allhail’s pet CJ
    @Veena: True
    @My3: So thats why now only one pet animal for me.. my 15 year old..
    @SB: aaah the “Jaathi” and “Kantri” test.. how can I forget?
    @Nikhil: I do know where he lives now 😉
    @xylene: boy was it payback…
    @allhail: Good that despite all these setbacks you still went ahead with other pets

  10. Arjun November 21, 2008 at 10:13 am #

    Yeah..!! It hurts i know……

    When is the revenge action on ‘Gulle Mari’…sry.. ‘Gulle Nari’ ??
    Do write a post.. 😉

    Cheers..!!
    Arjun

  11. Vijay November 21, 2008 at 10:30 am #

    @Arjun: Gulle Nari got his just deserts… will definitely write a post..

  12. neela November 22, 2008 at 4:12 pm #

    Oh ! it is the same scene here at home…separation pangs ..
    my son is missing ‘his’ pigeon which flew the nest.

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