Monday, September 20, 2010

Echoing his thoughts

Disclaimer: Except for Echo, all events and people mentioned in this post are imaginary. This is just a thought on what the pets really feel about their owners.

I was brought to this place about a month ago. When I came here, I saw two people in the house (I hadn’t realized that it was to become MY house) – a girl and a guy. They kept saying, “So cute. Looks like he is hungry.” Which I was. And gave me a bowl full of milk. I was hungry. I drank it all up. Oh by the way, I forgot to mention, I am a dog. I am now 10 weeks old – so technically, I am a pup. I was 4 weeks old when I came here.

They named me Echo. For almost the first one week there, they kept shouting ‘Echo, Echo, Echo’ whenever they fed me. Boy, human beings ARE a crazy lot. I understood by the end of the second day that my name was ‘Echo’. I wanted to tell them, “Ok, I get it. My name is Echo. I know I should look at you when you say ‘Echo’. Now stop the bullshit.” But these stupid human beings don’t understand my language. I also came to know that the girl’s name was ‘Di’ and the guy’s name was ‘Da’. At least that’s how they called each other.

Another thing I learnt very soon is that girls are crazy about pups like me. Whenever I wanted something (anything) all I had to do was remain silent, tilt my head a little bit and look into Di’s eyes. And she would go, “Oh, my poor baby. You’re probably hungry. Wait.” And off she would go into the room where my food and treats are kept and bring me a treat. But I had to endure all her kisses and hugs before she goes off to get my treat. Even if you are a very very good-looking guy and have a lot of girlfriends, you have absolutely NO idea how tight a girl could hug you. Ask me. I almost had a fracture once. I thought I gave too cute a look to Di. Sigh. Another trouble I have with Di is she keeps interrupting my play time with all her cuddling. She wants to cuddle me whenever she is at home. And she keeps forgetting my name. She says, “I love you, baby doll.” Hello, wasn’t my name supposed to be ‘Echo’?

I have learnt so many things from Di. Like, whenever she says, “Good boy, Echo. Good boy.” And she puts her lips to the space between my eyes; it means that I will get a treat soon if I wag my tail a wee bit. Whenever she comes with two bags in her hand, it means she is going to cuddle me and say, “Bye” and she will be back after my sleep time and play time and another sleep time. I miss her sometimes during my play time. In fact, I miss her hands – they are so damn yummy. Ok, that did not come out well. It just irritates me when she wants to cuddle me when I am playing or sleeping.

Da is from a different league, I could totally say. He thinks he is a commander. He is always the one giving me the orders. Just because he is a human being and is taller than me, he thinks he can boss me around. He has no idea that when I grow older, I will be stronger (oh yes, I heard this from a small black box in the house), and I will be big enough to push you down and bite you into pieces. Oh man, I am supposed to be a dog in a few months. I am a pup now, remember? I am supposed to be loyal to my master. And Da is one hard task-master. The freakin’ idiot takes my food bowl in his hands and makes me obey to his ‘Wait’ command when I am so hungry I could eat him up. Di isn’t that bad. All she needs is that cute look. It is amazing how stupid a person can be given she falls for it every single time.

Once in every 5 or so days they take me to another guy’s house or have other guys over at my home. Oh yes, by now it has become MY home, alright. And they bring big big bottles with them and some nice smelling food. Somebody has to teach them some manners about sharing their food with others. They never give me one piece of what they eat. I don’t understand why none of my cute looks worked with Di when it came to her own food.

And it gets crazier as they finish drinking from the bottles. They take me and squeeze me in the name of hugging (Di’s hugs are so much better compared to this agony). Then they take my front legs in their hands and make me walk with only my hind legs. What the hell!!! Isn’t the Animal Rights Commission listening? And that is not all. It only gets worse from there. Too much of sound emanates from the above mentioned small black box and they all start moving around in the name of dance. They mess the place around so much that they lose all rights to yell at me when I pee or poop anywhere in the house. I am only a little pup. They are all such grown-up adults and they behave much much worse than me. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Such is life!

This happened at Coimbatore Railway Station. I was waiting for my train back to Bangalore. I was about lunch time. I was carrying a heavy bag and had just put it down on a bench on the platform. There was this little girl (of about 10-12 years of age), her head shaved, thin, with dark lips and sharp eyes. She had with her a box of railways’ food (which most of us despise because it is utterly tasteless).

She asked me, “Akka, where will the train go?”

I asked, “The train that is going to come on this platform?”


“It goes to Bangalore.”

She asked, “Akka, will there be buses from there to Ranipettai?”

“Ranipettai? Why? Do you have to go there?”

She nodded, “Hmmm.”

“I am not sure if there are buses to Ranipettai from Bangalore. But there are buses from Chennai.”

“Chennai? Will the train go to Chennai?”

“The train that is going to come doesn’t go to Chennai. It goes to Bangalore. There will be some other train in some other platform that will go to Chennai. Ask somebody which platform and get into that train.”

She thought of something and nodded and said, “Ok.”

There was something about her that made her look very vulnerable. It was probably her dress – it was a very old, dirty, cotton dress. Or probably because she was bare-footed; I felt very bad for her.

I added, “If you get into the train to Chennai, get down at Katpadi Junction and go to Vellore bus stand. You will get buses towards Ranipettai from there.” I had known this information because I had been in that route a couple of times while visiting a friend’s house in Andhra border. Otherwise I wouldn’t even have known that a place called Ranipettai even existed.

She was trying to grasp the words. “Katpadi? How far is Katpadi from here?”

“6 hours in the train that goes towards Chennai.”

“How will I know when Katpadi has come?”

It was then that I realized that the poor girl might not know to read boards. I told her, “Ask somebody to tell you when you reach Katpadi.”

“Will it be night when I reach there?”

“It will be around 7:30 in the evening when you reach there. Then go to Vellore bus stand and get a bus, ok?”

She nodded, but didn’t speak anything. I wanted to know what was wrong with her. Why was she alone in a railway station when she doesn’t know anything? Where were her parents? Has she run away from her home? I couldn’t stand it.

I asked her, “Who is there at Ranipettai?”

“My mother and my one big sister and small brother. My father passed away, no?”

“Ohhh, then how did you come to Coimbatore?”

“My mother didn’t have any money. She sent me with my uncle to work here. He was a very bad man. I came out of his house without his knowledge. I want to go back to my mom.”

And then she showed her feet – there was burn marks on both her soles. I wondered how she managed to go through such torture at such a young age and what an impression the world has left on her fragile mind.

And then she said she was hungry. I asked her to eat the box of food that she had by her side.

She said, “This is for my mom. She wouldn’t have eaten anything too. I am taking it for her.”

It killed me. She herself hadn’t eaten anything since morning (and it was already almost 1pm) and she was taking food for her mom whom she will meet very late that night (if she manages to go all the way without any further obstacles).

I told her, “The food will get spoilt by the time you go home. So don’t let it go waste. You eat it. You can buy something for your mom later.”

“But I have only 10 rupees.”

I was shocked. She didn’t have a train ticket, she has to take the bus from Vellore to Ranipettai after that and she had only 10 rupees and a packet of food in her hands. I didn’t know what to do.

At that time, the lady who was cleaning the platform came up to me and said, “This girl has been here since morning. I feel so bad for her.”

I told her, “Please tell her when the train towards Chennai will come. But she doesn’t have any money with her. How will she go?”

She said, “She is a small kid. She can travel without a ticket and even if someone asks, she can say she has come out of her house and they will understand. They won’t harm her. There is a train to Chennai at 2:20pm. I will put her in that train.”

My train was just pulling into the station. I knew it will stop at the station for 5-7mins. I had to find my compartment and board into it. I had 5mins to do that. I started walking towards the place where my compartment was most-likely to be when the train stops. But my mind was with that little girl – that helpless, powerless kid who has seen and been through what she was not supposed to at that tender age. I realized I wouldn’t have any peace of mind if I left her there, knowing I could have helped her.

I could not go back and wait for the Chennai train to come or go and buy a ticket for her – I cannot miss my train to go to Bangalore. My train had already come to a stop and I had to walk a little further to my compartment. I turned back and walked in the opposite direction towards the girl. I took out a few bucks from my purse and gave it to her and asked her to keep it for her ticket expenses and asked to get some more food for her.

Those few bucks will probably remain the best-spent money of my month. I felt a lot lighter. It was as if that one paper was weighing my bag down and now that I had given it to her, it felt lighter and easier to carry. This is not exaggerated one bit.

I am still worried about her and now, at work, I am thinking if she would have indeed reached her home safely, met her mom and I hope she is not sent to such filthy uncles in the future.