Thursday, April 19, 2007

its a dogs life!

The bother I had to face while waking up today morning at 6 AM after a night’s revelry was amplified by my sisters constant nagging. I had promised her I would take her for a swim, and no, it could not wait for another minute. Un-willingly, I sat up, wincing due to a major headache. The drinking binge and improper amount of sleep was causing havoc in all my systems, while my sister’s constant haranguing was not helping in any way. Deciding that I had no way out of this particular predicament, I got off from bed and started getting ready to escort my 12 year sibling to the dolphins swimming club. I would like to advice all my male friends not to try and argue with a woman, in any shape and form, before, during and after a drinking session. We don’t stand a chance!

Sometimes, I wonder if buying a bike was a smart investment, as I have been reduced to nothing but a driver for my family! Cursing myself for the same, I tried to electric start the bike, but to no avail! Perfect start to a perfect day! I should have understood that today would be among my ‘not so good’ days by now, as it was akshay tritiya (whatever that means!), and somebody up there definitely does not like me! Whenever people are having great- auspicious days, im miserable due to some unforeseen circumstance or the other! This story has spread like wildfire, to an extent that my aunty is contemplating if I should be called for her sons wedding!

Swearing, which was met by a sharp rap on my medulla oblongata (fondly known as ‘chota dimaag’, made famous by the talented Nana Patekar!) by sister dear, I kick started the vehicle and drove off, picking up speed so as to muffle ria’s take on people who had drinks, all too regularly.

I was beginning to enjoy the drive when I suddenly realized that I needed to re- fuel and had forgotten to pick up my wallet from home. Grinning sheepishly, I asked RIA to loan me a hundred rupees, which she promptly did, while reminding me that rakhi was round the corner. I couldn’t help but notice her devilish smile in my rear view mirror while she spoke of the festival!

The club is around 7 kilometers from where I stay, and would take some time to reach with RIA on the pillion, as according to her, driving above 40 kmph is a sin. She has an opinion on most of things, especially on things which I feel she is too small to comment. That has never stopped her though, and I have to warily agree that it never will.
Cruising at 40 kmph, my mind went back to yesterday’s fun! Sigh! We had danced, hummed our favorites, and made merry! I was lost in my thoughts, when suddenly, out of nowhere, a stray pup had the urge to run across the road, much to our horror! I had no time to brake, and I ran over it, and barely managed to balance the bike! In my defense, yesterday’s alcohol had nothing to do with it, as I could not have done anything differently. I braked as soon as I could, trying to calm ria down all the while. I was silently grateful to RIA for restricting our bike speed, as had we been a tad faster, we would have ended up on the road too. I ran towards the poor dog. No blood. A silent prayer escaped my lips. I find it amazing, my sudden faith in god, and asking for his help and support. More amazing is the fact that I think of him only in trying times, ignoring him for the remainder of my life. I take credit for all my achievements, and blame him, or luck, or the exam moderator for all my failures!

While trying to assess the damage I had done, my eyes were making full use of the peripheral vision to keep a lookout for a cop, or the prospect of a crowd gathering. I was concerned about my sister, and a wee bit for myself, as I have been an eye witness to a few public displays of affection meted out on miscreants like me! I quickly analyzed that as he did not have a dog collar on, he was a stray for sure, and that explained why a circle hadn’t formed till now. I consoled RIA, and convinced her to wait at the pool, which was a stones throw away from the spot. I had to swear on many, many gods, my parents, and maybe half of the population of India that I would take care of the pup. She left morosely, and I was left there stranded with the little thing.

I won’t lie. It pained me to see the little fella in a considerable amount of pain. I inquired about a vet nearby, to which I was told that there was no one around. The only one that would be available at 6 30 in the morning was one, 5 kilometers from the spot. I convinced a rickshaw driver to drive me there, as nobody was ready to hang on to the pup, while I drove.

I had no money, so had to rush home, where I was subjected to a barrage of questions, which I had no time to answer. A puppy’s life was at stake! Vinod, the rick driver did a splendid job of mimicking Schumacher (braking late and playing dirty!) and we reached the doc in no time.
The moment I rang the bell, ria called me (she has her own cellular phone.) and I hastily told her the situation. The poor dog was breathing heavily, so I hurriedly rang the bell thrice. Dad called. I told him what had happened. These were his exact words.” Is it dead? Is ria ok? Where the hell are you?” I told him where I was, and assured him that she was ok. No injuries. Not even a scratch. Just then, I heard the door open and a very tall man, still half asleep stepped out. I could feel that his consultancy hours were to start much later, and he was not too pleased to see me. I explained to him what had happened as fast as I could, and was warmly surprised to see his sleep disappear in a flash. I could see the concern for the puppy in his eyes. The sight of the doc hurrying to save a life gladdened me.

I bid Vinod good bye, thanked him and he left. Not before warning me that the next time, it could be an infant. It sent a shiver down my spine. He had charged me only half the amount we had decided initially. People do have a heart. It was to be his good deed for the day. And taking into consideration his background and daily wages, I felt it was very decent of him.

Dr Bhakta was a vet extraordinaire, so I had heard. The genuineness in his voice was what struck me. He gave the pup an injection and started examining him. Thank god I did not have to register a police case, or fill some form! It took 15 minutes, but the examination was thorough. The pup was one lucky dog, as it had no broken bones, and no major ailments. The doc muttered something about the day being auspicious (Hmmph! all hail akshay tritiya)!

He wrote a prescription, and inquired if I would make sure the pup took them. It was a three day course, and I gulped recalling my father’s inhibitions when it came to dogs. He would keep the dog, im sure. But he would chuck me out! Observing how perplexed I was, the doc smirked and advised me to telephone the nagar palika animal department. He also told me to cut down on alcohol (my breath again!) and drive safely (sigh)! While leaving the clinic, he gave me a pill, which I presumed was for the pup. I was told it was for the splitting headache I had. I was skeptical about the pill, but courteously accepted it. No way was I going to take a headache pill given by a vet! It could have been for a horse, for all you know!

The pup stirred slowly as I came out on the road. I had switched of my phone as ria had been calling incessantly while the doctor was treating the pup. As soon as I switched it on, I got a call from ria, who was worried sick and very angry with me! I explained the scenario to her. She insisted on meeting the pup, who by now had started moving. She is not the person who takes no for an answer, so I silently hailed a rick. I was glad that the pup was safe.
So was ria. She played with it for at least an hour, and I had to get biscuits, half a liter of milk and a bottle of mineral water for “jimmy”! We then took jimmy to the animal dept, where it received a teary eyed farewell from ria, knowing full well that dad would not share our sentiment. I could feel a lump in my throat too, but I quickly dismissed it to being a result of getting a holiday mid week!

Kids form an instant bond, and so when ria said ‘ill miss him’, I believed her. Ill kinda miss him too..

Kartikeya Dwivedi


WordlyWise said...

Very touching. I like your self-depracating style. I also like the unpretentious tone. Keep it up!

Kartikeya Dwivedi. said...

thank you!

ShaK said...

Well written! I enjoyed every word of it. The pace-filled narrative kept me curious all along as to how the pup will end up being in your lives. It is a shame that it could not be a part of your life. I definitely like your down to earth and self-reflecting style that I struggle so hard to include in my work. Definitely a great asset for a wonderful writer who has a touching human tale to tell.

Well done again Kartikeya. Your style now inspires me to continue looking for the simplicity in vocabulary. Something that is quite hard to learn.

Keep writing, friend.


misti said...

plzzzzzzzzzzzzz tel me how do u manage 2 be so kind ,generous,great ,polite,funny,ur articles dont need any comments coz they jus leave people speachless.......keep writtin

Kartikeya Dwivedi. said...

awwww!!thanks a ton mishti!

:) said...

This was rather sweet. :)

antz1984 said...

brilliant article!!!

Rashmi said...

Hey Kartik,
Love your style! sure have a knack of keeping up interest in everything you pen!
....Have gone through most of your blog today itself!....Keep it up...and looking forward to more!:-)