Have a heart, walk your dog…

Today as I was getting ready to work I saw this boy outside, walking around with a dog leash in his hand. As I moved closer to the window I noticed he had brought the dog out for a walk. It was a good looking beige Labrador (let us call him Rex) and he was happily wagging his tail and sniffing around. The boy wanted Rex to enter a building and so signaled for Rex. Oblivious to the world around, Rex was happy to sniff around a car. Seeing that the disobeyed him, he took the leash and started to scare the dog and hit him with it. Rex did not lose his temper and continued to enjoy his little time outside by ignoring and moving away from the boy. Seeing this, the boy got further agitated and started to hit the dog more forcefully. By this time they had moved to the corner and were out of my sight. But in a few seconds I heard a rather nasty barking and I could only infer what would have happened.

 

Sometimes I wonder why people adopt a dog. I don’t know whether ‘adopt’ is the right word. It’s more like “keep” a dog as if it is a memento or collectible. Just because it is an animal and cannot communicate effectively like you and I do, we as human (the superior beings!) tend to neglect and abuse them. Having a dog (or any pet for that matter) is like having a child. It is a big responsibility. And they are animals, which mean they like to have a lot of space and like to play around and get their physical exercise. This in turn means that they have to be taken out for a walk. By that I don’t mean pulling them by the leash and walk for ten minutes and bring them back home. I mean take them to a park or a bigger space where they can freely roam about and run around and play for at least 30 minutes a day. This could be “your” stress buster and work out session as well. If you don’t have time for that, you don’t deserve to keep a pet.    

 

There is so much of manhandling and harassment of dogs and pets that I feel doubtful about the nurturing nature of humans. Some people have this habit of dressing up dogs!!! Just because your life is dictated by the fashion police don’t drag the poor dog into the whole charade!!! Worse still I have heard of people making a dog drink beer or other alcoholic substances or blow smoke on its face and see the reaction. And I’ve heard them comment “oh come on! Let the dog enjoy a little bit as well.” If your body can react to some (lets say X) quantity of alcohol, imagine how small a quantity would be required for a dog to experience it. Also, dogs live on instincts of survival and procreation. For them, such risk-seeking and adrenaline pumping behavior are considered as a threat to their existence. It is like someone pouring a scoop of harpic (or any detergent) in your mouth and watching how you react to it.

 

People seem to use dogs and pets as a means of expressing their status, power, authority and perverted sense of style. Loyal as they are, the poor dogs learn to live with these atrocities and still wag their tails. May be one day there will be a K-9 mutiny against the human beings and perhaps then we would learn to act in a more “humane” (isn’t that ironic) manner.

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Published in: on June 26, 2008 at 9:26 AM  Leave a Comment  

Slush and lots of spit!!!

Mumbai today witnessed its first proper monsoon shower (first thing in the morning). With it my nightmare became a reality. It is not the rains I detest, it’s the post- rain slush…. And for some strange reason, people tend to salivate more during the monsoons!!! If Pavlov was alive, I’m sure he would’ve loved to research this phenomenon. They salivate so much that the system (I mean our body here) is unable to contain the liquid thus has this urgent need to expel the fluid. Hence, this biological need propels the person to unconsciously involve in a rather reflexive behavior which we have termed as spitting. Since it is so strangely connected with the monsoon rains, this behavior becomes more like a compulsion when the human being comes in contact with the rain water.     

 

It is worse for those who don’t suffer from this condition because they for one thing, cannot join in the fun. They are left out of the fraternity with very little social support. And there is only so much spit one can evade while walking among the freshly formed slush and the unconscious-biological-reflex!!! No matter how much sense of humor or sarcasm you possess, at that very moment when you see the man walking in front of you pull out the phlegm from his lungs and gets ready to spit (did I mention that it is an unconscious biological behavior???), you are made to feel helpless and naked. Not just to feel naked but further as if the fraternity expects you to roll on the preparation laid out on the slush as a punishment for being free of that condition.

 

And then there are the auto rickshaw drivers- the spit factories of the nation! Once I sat in a rickshaw to travel a distance of say 7-8 kilometers. Within the period of 25 minutes, he spat out (God knows what) 30 times!!! (The jobless and observant person I am, I was determined to count the number of times this involuntary behavior occurred).That is more than once a minute…. He was a man of small stature; my guess is that he had shrunk himself by constantly spitting. He must be in the chronic stages of the condition. So what does he do when he is sleeping at night? Well you are not free from it even when you are asleep- because you see it’s a biological and an unconscious behavior. So he tends to spit in his sleep, which because of gravity tends to land right back on his face. The last I heard he almost drowned in his spit and died! But thank fully his wife woke up and alerted him before any damage was done.

 

One more place I should not forget to mention- the TRAIN STATIONS. Oh, those magical places which transport you to any place you want to reach at a much faster pace than any other mode of transportation! Alas! Even such revered spaces are not spared. When you stand at the ticket counter and God forbid you are cursed to stand in the last counter, you better mind your things. Keep your dupatta in place, your bags from swaying and your hands from moving sideways (even if you’re going to slip and fall). We have spit stains as big as termite mounts on all the four corners!!! Our BMC has built neatly tiled ticket counters at train stations but they are all painted red with pan stains. My composure fails me here and I am either moved to tears or to barf.

 

I have never travelled outside of India to infer whether this condition is specific to India or is a Universal phenomenon. Since they do not appear in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders or in the list of bodily illness put forth by the Western world of medicine and psychology which is followed by the entire world with utmost reverence, perhaps it is quite unique to our Indian subcontinent. However, now that our population is growing exponentially and we are spreading our wings to find newer pastures, it is time that the world of medicine and psychology look into this unconscious- biological- reflex behavior before we paint other towns and top the slush with a glazed coating during the rainy season. After all, we don’t want the whole world playing hopscotch in the rains.

 

PS: I am, just like everyone else, a normal selfish human being. Though I might not personally stand up and fight for a spit free world, I wish someday I could walk on a spit-free kerb (even during the monsoons). Though it’s a distant dream and I might never really see it happen in my life time, I look at the bright side of this misery that I get to be a kid even as an adult and play hopscotch on my way to work! And it has its health benefits too; you need to keep your eye sight sharp if you have to escape the spit topping. I’m signing off now, have to get back home (sigh…). 

 

Published in: on June 25, 2008 at 10:41 AM  Comments (5)  

Hoping for a gender-sensitive & a sensible Ghajini

She is a happy-go-lucky kinda girl who believes in doing what she feels right. One day she runs into trouble as she rescues a group of children from the mean and vicious villian. That brings lot of trouble home- literally. The villian’s hitmen enter her home and wait for her to kill her. She enters her house (now everything becomes slow motion!!!) and in a few minutes finds there are people in her house who’re trying to kill her. She runs and hides inside the smallest room in her house while the hitmen search for her frantically. At this moment, her lover- the hero!!! is at the door ringing the bell. Knowing that she must be at home but not answering her door, he calls her on the cellphone. The bad men are searching for her and the phone starts ringing, giving away her hide- out! She does not know what to do, she holds her hand bag tight wishing that the phone would stop ringing … Alas! it does not work. Unfortunatly, she was caught and killed 😦

Going by the tamil version of the movie Ghajini, we can logically conclude that women (at least in Tamil nadu) are not at all techno-savvy. But more important, they lack survival skills and tend to be killed due to inefficient management or ignorance of use of telecom products!!!

On a more serious note, the movie has depicted women to be impulsive on one end and illogical and tactless on the other. It is appalling to see that a man with anterograde amnesia could save the day and destroy evil while sensible educated women (and that too hundreds of them) are depicted as “dumb.” This can be seen in the movie where a hand full of bad guys rape a girl in the hostel and hundreds of girls just stand around and cry. Nobody had the sense to just cal 100!!! This is the lousiest depiction ever. I hope the Bolloywood version would be a little sensible and gender sensitive. I must confess I am a little doubtful after watching movies like Hey Baby wherein a mother leaves her child in the hands of random men who are known to be casanovas!!! I’m pinning my hopes on Amir Khan’s eye for details and sensitivity in approach.

Anyways, all we can do is to wait and watch the movie and keep up the hope till then.

Until next time….

Published in: on June 23, 2008 at 9:03 AM  Comments (2)