A new chapter in human-canine relationship

Ajaz A Baba
Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 16 2017 11:22PM | Updated Date: Dec 16 2017 11:22PM

“But you used to have rather violent views regarding dogs!” I said to my friend. He had been holding a discourse on the canine-kind for nearly an hour and if one went by what he was saying it sounded like he was lobbying for them.

“Ah sometimes something happens which really changes your perspective. What you call a turning point in life,” he said shaking his head, “Just wait till I tell you about it. I am sure I will convert you to my point of view. Some months back I was sitting in Pratap Park. As usual there was a hartal and as I had walked a couple of miles I felt very tired.  It was hot too so I went into the park and sat in the shade of a tree. Lal Chowk was quiet because of the hartal and the heat soon lulled me to sleep. I must have been sleeping for some time and I was probably in that transitional state between sleep and wakefulness where reality and dreams sometimes merge. It was in this state that I had this dream or that’s what it appeared like to me. I dreamt that my mother was caressing my head... you see when I was young that’s how my mother would wake me up in the mornings.” He paused and sighed as he remembered his dead mother.

“Those days you must have had a full head of hair!” I quipped to break the sombre reverie that he had fallen in. I might as well mention here that currently this friend of mine sports only a couple or so of wispy hairs on his shiny head.

He broke into a grin, “My hairstyle was just like Dilip Kumar’s. In fact my mother used to tell me that I look exactly like Dilip Kumar!” 

“Of course seen through a mother’s eyes...” I murmured politely.

“Well as I was telling you I was sleeping in the park and dreaming that my mother (may the Almighty grant her a permanent citizenship in Jannah!) was caressing my head. I woke up and yet the caresses continued and being in that twilight zone between consciousness and sleep I murmured happily enjoying the loving touch. But then after a while I woke up fully and as I opened my eyes I was startled to find that it was actually a dog that was licking my bald pate!”

“My God!” I was shocked but then as my mind conjured up the vision of the dog licking my friend’s bald pate I could barely restrain my laughter which I immediately converted into an especially violent bout of coughing.

“You really should take something for your cough or you might cough out your lungs someday,” my friend said pointedly.

“I am sorry. You are right I need to see a doctor for my cough.” Having gained a modicum of control over my laughter I asked him, “Weren’t you afraid? I mean a dog licking your head...?”

“I was! Terrified! I froze as I realised what was happening! And then...”

“What happened then?”

“The dog stopped its ministrations and looked at me and our eyes met,” he said and then turning towards me he asked, “Have you ever looked deep into a dog’s eyes?”

“No! Thank heavens! That would be too close for comfort,” I said and I meant it too for the proximity that this eventuality suggested would only come to pass if a dog were contemplating me for a snack.

“Well you cannot understand it then. As my eyes met this dog’s I saw that they were all liquid emotion, so full of love and compassion. By God! I was reminded of my mother!”

“In that case it must have been a bitch not a dog.” I couldn’t resist a dig. 

He scowled and said, “Now I did not concentrate on the creature’s sex! In any case that is irrelevant. What matters is that this interaction changed my perception about dogs. I concluded that the poor creatures are victims of a colossal misunderstanding.”

“Oh!” I said, “And Do you have any suggestions as to how to clear this misunderstanding?”

“Of course! I have given it a serious thought and I have reached the conclusion that the way to clear this misunderstanding between humans and dogs is to hold an unconditional dialogue with the canine-kind.”

“God! Surely you are not suggesting talking to dogs! How is that possible?”

“It is!” he said with a smug smile, “In fact I have already given it a try!”

“Don’t tell me! How?! When?!” I was intrigued.

“Well some days back I happened to be at my relatives place for a night over. I couldn’t sleep and was tossing in my bed when this dog barked a couple of times right outside the window of my room. This gave me an idea. I got up from my bed and standing near the open window I started barking in earnest. The dog barked back and we continued to bark at each other. Other dogs in the vicinity joined in and gradually even distant barking could be heard. What a night it was! I am sure not a single dog slept that night so absorbed did they get in this dialogue!”

“Dogologue is more like it! I am sure the residents of the area must have had something to say on the issue in the morning. What was the reaction of your…er…host?”

“Well I found his behaviour towards me…er… uncivil to say the least. But then there are always people who oppose dialogue! Not that I am letting that bother me. I am going to put forth a proposal to the highest offices of the land that we need to hold this dialogue.”

“Good! Maybe they appoint you as an interlocutor considering that you have already built a rapport with the canines,” I said.

He shrugged his shoulders and tried his best to look modest.

(Truth is mostly unpalatable…but truth cannot be ignored! Here we serve the truth, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of sauce (iness!). You can record your burps, belches and indigestion, if any, at



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