A joyous evening... the playground is ablaze with lights and live with anticipation... children running around, parents scattered around ground, some sitting talking amongst themselves, some wondering around looking for a seat, some running around looking for the frolicking children... all eagerly waiting for the curtain to raise...all of a sudden there is a loud bang, followed by another. Spectacular firework brightens the midnight sky, loud chorus of voices start shouting "Happy New Year" to each other...children running, grown-ups rejoicing.
I sit amidst all the happy chaos, looking at and worried about the strays around the playground. They look utterly perplexed, scared and extremely stressed. We all are sitting in the common playground, which is temporarily converted into a concert hall with a stage and some chairs for seating, along with speakers to facilitate broadcasting of music and anchoring. The atmosphere is one of joy and frivolity...festive. But while all of us are gearing up to welcome the new year with colors, lights and dance...no one seems to have taken into consideration the gang of adoptive stray dogs of the housing complex. There are some 6-7 strays that have taken up residence in the communal areas and are fed by the collective dog lovers of the colony. There are two dogs which are adopted by the security guards of the society. Though of Indian origin, these are better in terms of lodging and food...since they share both with the security guards. One amongst these all, is a new mother with a litter of 4 cute fur-balls.
While the members of housing society are rejoicing at clock ticking 12 and bringing in a new year...these mute spectators are confused, and scared of happenings. They don't understand why their usual living space is all of a sudden ablaze with flood lights, why are all people gathered there and are making so much noise...and worst of all, why are there fireworks going on?
I have normal eyesight, and hearing ability...but the fireworks and speakers were causing ME trouble... imagine all those canines who have much more enhanced hearing abilities...just imagine how much trouble the noise had caused?? Strange, isn't it? I never thought about them before... But ever since Pluto entered in my life... my perspective about life has changed. I tend to think and look to normal day-to-day things with new eyes. Many might call it a rose tinted sight, but whatever may the name...it is true that the view is changed. The sensibility has changed. The heart is easily touched, and colored. Most often than not, it is saddening to know that those of us, who claim to be sensitive and humane, can so easily become rough, insensitive and simply cruel? For cruelty is sometimes easily achieved through inaction and avoidance.
Don't believe me? Imagine this... you are waiting for transport...public bus, or local train or someone to pick up by car...any form and any norm. As you stand by the side of the road, you suddenly are aware of a pair of eyes watching you, 2 pair of legs walking towards you...accompanied by a wag of a tail. It’s a stray dog. Muddy, filthy and even sickly looking may be...walking towards you, circling you, trying to reach out to you with front paw... how many of us will squat to his level and pat his head? Or may be offer something to eat? Or share some water with the creature? Filthy, you say? Maggot ridden, may be? Then how about this? ... You are walking down to supermarket. In hurry to grab some things before heading home to prepare dinner. It’s already late and you are in a hurry. While you are waiting for the signal to turn green for you to cross the road, you hear commotion and clatter of some children. You turn around to see a gang of young boys throwing stones and shouting at a stray dog. The dog already hurt from the stones, bleeding, running away, and yelping in pain. Just as you turn around to take in the scene, one of the boys jumps up on the dog, grabbing it by its hind leg. The pup screams in fear and pain, the rest of the boys start pitching mud, dirt and stones at the dangled dog. AND the signal finally turns to green for you to cross the road.
What do you do? Walk up to the boys, shout at them for being silly and ask them to let the dog go…tend to the hurting pup, missing your signal??? OR just Turn around and cross the road, letting the kids mind their own business... I bet most of us will choose the second option.
As if our dinner is more important than the pups life...