The boy and his Dog.
The boy has an abiding friendship with the dog. He talks to him all the while. Even when he's being bathed out on the sidewalk.
The family lives in a very small tenement close to the sidewalk. He is the younger son. There is an elder one who walks around with the elder boys of the locality trying to look important. The younger one does not have those responsibilities. He is carefree. So, he is best friend of the dog.
When he gets whacked by the mother for something, he comes out and shares with the dog. The dog isn't a pet. He's just a mongrel who the boy has given a funny name.
Don't ask how that came about. Probably the first thing he learnt at school.
That day, he was being bathed by his mother on the sidewalk with some hot water that she'd managed from somewhere as it was suddenly cold in Hyderabad. The boy kept jumping up and down as she splashed water over his naked torso. And excitedly, he kept up a running dialogue with the dog. The dog also suddenly got excited. He also started jumping up and down.
The mother, partly in jest and partly in anger, threw some water at the dog. The dog jumped up, yelped, shook itself hard, waved its tail and generally gave an expression of exultation.
The boy too got excited at the game. Suddenly, he was taking more water in his cupped palms and throwing at his Apple. Apple was responding by more shaking and tail waving.
The mother covered her face with her sister's pallu and sat giggling.
Innocent joys never cease to amaze the world.
But my eyes travelled to the overweight boy in the nearby parked car and the pet dog staring out of the car window from the back seat.
Privileged but imprisoned.
- Indraneel Majumdar
Image Courtesy: Sawitree Pamee