Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Dog in the Night-time

Last night, the wind was not very active, and for one reason or another, I knew that something was not exactly as it should be at the basketball court. There was something going on there. The area is actually very difficult to see. Usually, it passes off, in the morning, as a makeshift place for people to meet. The dhaba nearby preempts hangers-on. The Science block makes hanging-on permissible. There are other things that come up – cavil, and college gripes and tribulations. The usual diatribe, as canvassing, during student elections. Then, of course, there is the inescapable college date.

These things keep the court occupied. The ‘court’ actually reminds me of bigger things, too. It reminds me of the Inns of Court – the Inner Temple, in such a big warren of buildings, where mounds of paper stay on as many years go by, making no one the better for anything; just insurmountable mounds of paper that live on. The Temple Church nearby that is never open. The timings are never correct and the caretakers are so willful. But the ‘court’ here, where such things do not count, makes an ideal place for evening strolls.

Last night, a dog was lying there. The dog was in terrible pain. Its legs were misshapen and it kept removing almost non-existent fur from his body. He looked terribly weak. He was writhing in a pained way, and the way it cavorted limply, because he couldn’t walk...

At night, when you return from places, like Kamala Nagar, you come in walking urgently. The lights go off at ten o’ clock and the doors shut subsequently. You need to be inside and you need to sign into a register. This is about adherence and following rules.

Sometimes, you see and hear some animals around the blocks. The squirrels can’t be seen in the nighttime but you can hear them. They squirrel around, perambulating trees, till the morning. The monkeys border the fences, but at night, they hardly monkey anymore. The birds riotously awaken to new life in the morning. At night, they sleep. At night, the only sounds of life are caterwauling sounds that somewhat die out sometime past midnight.

The dogs slink around the roads. When you see them, you feel bad. You have a bed and a room that await you. You have the keys and you keep it possessively.

The dog at the court lay there as a mound of scraggly skin, waiting patiently for posthumous notice. That night, when the wind wasn’t active, I noticed. He was asleep but he kept moving. His eyes were shut. They kept opening because the skin didn’t hold fully. His lids looked heavy with pain. Many hours later, a security guard with a long pole in his hand walked by. The pole was a metallic one and had a loop at one end. He kept the contraption safely ahead of him. The dog, of course, with its pallid eyes, could not see. The man moved behind it and stayed there for a quiet while. Then, he put the loop around the dog’s neck. He fastened the loop tightly. The man moved desperately. He knew the dog would suddenly whelp and writhe. But the dog didn’t whelp. It was already dead. All I heard were sibilant whispers from the block nearby.


Anushka said...

Heart wrenching....Cannot put it any more mildly..

completebhejafry said...

holy fuck...thats damn good stuff! dude, u the same arjun? remember anees, ur pen friend? in bangalore? if u r the same, drop me a mail, at u r the same!