As big as a rope, as small as a pore. As hard as a stick, as soft as a chick. As straight as a tower, as round as a flower. As furry as a broom, as bald as a mushroom!
The diversity of their tales is as underrated as that of the religions.
But, unity exists in the diversity (and not in the statue).
The rope, the pore. The stick, the chick. The tower, the flower. The broom, the mushroom. All these tails were united by a tale. A tale that the dogs can’t read. A tale that the dogs want us to read!
LARA is a one such tale. It doesn’t need ‘BRIAN’ in its preface or ‘DUTTA’ in its acknowledgements. Though, she is as playful as the former & as beautiful as the latter.
Lara entered my life into a box. It was a shoe-box. Within the span of a year, she would easily kick that box out of her way. Such was the pace of her growth. To your wonder, she doesn’t belong to the Labrador family which is popular for its rapid growth. Instead, Lara was a cross.
In fact, she was a holy cross that I would showcase in front of any evil, dead or alive. Because, Lara was always a deadlier evil.
For her large ears, no Prime minister could sound silent. For her sharp feet, no shoe in my house was left unsigned. For her loud roar, no bird could think of a refuge in my garden. LARA redefined the valour. She was a force. A brute force that was sharp, quick & impulsive. Here’s a testimony—
But the tale doesn’t end here.
Lara was vulnerable.
She once got tangled in one of the curtains in my drawing-room & ended up tearing it apart. And now she had to face a brutal force, my mother. Seeing a wooden stick in mom’s hand, Lara'’s tail turned as soft as a chick. Her roar turned into an apologetic whisper. With her fore legs coming together & her head bent down, she completely surrendered herself.
The stick fell of my mom’s hand. She hugged Lara, embraced her wholeheartedly. Lara was a brute force again, in the arms of the brutal force. Lara was impactful even when she was vulnerable.
Lara is a part of a larger community. A community which consists of many dogs which aren’t as privileged as Lara was. But if we miss their tales, we might lose our privilege of being humans.
Give yourself a walk around the streets & you would come across many tails. Some of them would be in a halt while the dogs are sitting aside in hunger. Some of them would be in a steady motion while the dogs are searching for food in your locality’s dustbin. For them, even a discarded piece of bread would suffice. And if it comes from you, you become the master of their fate. In turn, they treat you as their master for life!
As a kid, I was taught to put apart some portion of my meal for the cows. This wasn’t a mere act of kindness. It was a ritual.
One fine afternoon, I went outside with a couple of chapattis and searched for a cow. In no time, I saw one & stretched my hands to drop the chapattis for her to eat. Suddenly, a dog came out of nowhere. His hunger attacked at the chapattis but a swing of the cow’s horns were enough to move the dog apart. The stray dog went furious. And watching it getting better of the cow, I picked a stone & aimed at the dog. It ran away in fear & the cow happily ate the chapattis.
This ritual is prevalent in a plethora of our societies. A cow is seen as a holy animal while a stray dog is a symbol of dirt & danger. That’s the thing with a ritual. It is followed by the masses, but it’s not fair at all.
Come the next afternoon & I was ready for the redemption. I found the same dog & dropped 2 chapattis. To my surprise, the hungry & starving dog didn’t eat it at the spot. But it holded them between the jaws & ran away. I chased it & stopped at one of the corners in a neighboring ground. It dropped the chapattis off her jaws for its younger ones. It exchanged a glance with me, came running towards me & bent its head down. I cried.
At that very moment, the cow, the dog, the chapattis & myself appeared in a flashback. And I realized that on the previous afternoon, I was able to protect my ritual but for that, I stoned the humanity.
Most of us have our personal accounts of fearful & intimidating encounters with the dogs. We enter our friend’s house and the dog inside, starts makingus feel like an outsider. The resulting fear is natural & obvious. But let’s not mistake it for the terror caused by a desperate dog. Those loud barks at you are a display of the dog’s loyalty towards your friend, towards its master. That’s pretty much you expect a soldier of a country to do.
And if you can’t understand & support the soldiers, a bunch of honouring adjectives are waiting for you on the social media!
The next time you come across a dog with a steady moving tail and its eyes looking in yours, try putting your hand on its head. And there’s a guarantee for a loving response. That might not be the case with your good-morning text to your bae. But here’s a certainty. The dog will adore you. And it will stop right where you ask it to. All it wants you is to listen to its tale. A tale of its tail. And that’s the case with every tail. Because, every tail has a tale.
Every ‘dog’ has got ‘god’ in it. You just have to see it the other way, or the right way. And remember to do it before your dog leaves you for the god.