baggout Blogging Contest

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Feline kindness

Feline kindness

My young friends, by this time you must have become familiar to  Pinky and her myriad adventures with Tukai, a friend, Babloo , her little cousin brother and Bhulo, the famous pet dog.  To day I would rather tell you specifically about the adventure of her pet Bhulo, and not of his master.

It is necessary that I give you a background on Bhulo. Exactly a year and half ago, Pinky found a squeaky and shivering little puppy at their garden gate, in the wee hours of a winter morning. The poor puppy, it seemed, was left there by some cold and unkind soul all by itself, alone, hungry, shivering and scared. It was a cute little puppy with soft brown hair all over the body with only a patch of white on its forehead and ears, with black marble like eyes and a pink nose. Pinky picked it up in her two soft palms and cradled it to her warm and kind bosom. It was love at first sight on both  sides. The puppy was given both a name Bhulo and a home, was taken well by the members of the family and was added as one of them. But Bhulo took to Pinky as its master and would always follow her, wherever she went. Bhulo was a spoilt and naughty puppy and often got scolded for mischief. Bhulo seemed to like it that way and did not try to mend its ways.

Pinky and her family lived on the outskirts of the city of Kolkata, at fringes of the city to be exact. The lane on which their two stories house with a small garden stood, was named Duttapara . It was an old locality , the families were known to each other as the children grew up together more as a joint family. Most of the families lived there by generations together and though they were not poor,  some of them were quite well off, but there was a very strong and healthy fellow feeling amongst them. They celebrated Eid, Christmas or the Pujas as if , all belonged to the same religion, same conviction, same faith. On one side of Pinky's house lived Tukai with her family and on the other side there was a posh big bungalow, the occupants being rather snob putting- their- nose- in the air- type. The family comprising of  the father, mother and a twelve year old son, moved in the locality about six months back. Others in the homely and friendly neighbourhood , after one or two efforts, stopped trying to be intimate and kept their distance, much to the relief of the Roys, as they were called. Mr and Mrs Roy were seldom seen in the open except getting in or out of their car. They had a son about twelve years old, who was not allowed to mix with the middleclass children in the locality, who attended a Public Boarding School some where which the people of the locality were not aware of. Nobody even knew what was the name of the boy and he was avoided by all and sundry, during the long holidays, that he used to spend alone in their huge and well decorated bungalow. The children of the neighbourhood, including Pinky, Tukai and Bablu also kept a safe distance, afraid of offending the ultra rich..

It was a warm June afternoon, the schools were closed for summer vacation and Pinky, Tukai were playing Chinese Checker. Pinky was way ahead ahead of Tukai, with four of her red pieces already in the opposite triangle. Bablu, who was watching with eager eyes, cheered her every move. Bhulo was sleeping curled up on the divan. Tukai was getting irritated, as she was sure to loose the game and suddenly  said “I am not going to play, Bablu is disturbing me ; he his your brother and cheering you only and distracting me. It is not fair” Pinky realized it was true and scolded Bablu mildly. Keep quiet bhai, you are hurting Tukaididi , and why don't you play with Bhulo instead. But where was Bhulo? They all realized that the culprit was away, to one of   its naughty adventures. Bablu was sent to find out what the dog was upto and Pinky and Tukai again concentrated on their game. A few minutes later Bablu came dashing in, he was flustered and panting, white in the face and could only utter come come save Bhulo. Pinky, Tukai and Bablu went running outside, Bablu led them to the back side of their building just outside the kitchen window their stood Bhulo and Tommy. Now you must be asking, who is this Tommy.? So let me give a short introduction of this one eyed fellow. Tommy was the villain and the hero of the neighbourhood cats and dogs. It was a mean and cruel tom cat, viscous and ferocious , clearing away all its rivals from his hunt for food. In the beginning it had to fight a lot to establish its supremacy and in the process lost one of its eyes but it was successful in cowering down all the rising rebellious tom cats before him. The lady cats looked up to him as a hero and gave it a lot of adoring and respectful look and ofcourse the tom cats hated him.

Bhulo in his own, was an extremely friendly dog and all loved him for this and he had an easy access to every house in the neighborhood excepting the Roys, next door. But he was extremely jealous of his territory and would not allow any sort of intrusion in the form of  birds or animals. He would bark away the crows that would like to sit and create nonsense on the bushes in the garden. He would bark and chase away any cat, that would dare to enter any part of the house. Tommy was so long watching Bhulo with his mean eye and contemplating an attack. That day Tommy entered their kitchen through the back window and was just landed down with a big piece of cooked fish in his open mouth, when Bhulo confronted him. Bhulo was angry and barked at Tommy in a bid to chase him away. A livid Tommy, visibly angry and disturbed turned to face Bhulo. when the three musketeers  reached the spot they found, Bhulo was crouching embarrassingly scared, with his ears and tail down and Tommy was standing with his back raised like an arrow, with hairs standing erect and fangs and nails out , slapping and scratching Bhulo with a paw. Pinky picked Bhulo up and Tukai gave a good hard kick to Tommy and three of them trouped back silently into the safety of their room. Once inside Pinky let Bhulo down on the floor and all three of them glared at him and cried in unison. .”Shame on you Bhulo”. Bhulo crawled under the divan and refused to come out even in the meal time. It was about six months back.

It was now December and schools are closed for Christmas. On a cold December afternoon Pinky and Tukai were playing Snakes and Ladders, with Bablu, as usual, watching with interest and Bhulo curled up on the divan basking under the sun rays coming through the window. Suddenly the three children realized that Bhulo was not in the room. Sensing trouble the three rushed out of the room and searched the garden, but to their dismay Bhulo was nowhere in the house or around it . Three of them ran to every house in the neighbourhood, knocking them out of their afternoon siesta and asked about Bhulo. Every one expressed shock and a good many of them advised to keep Bhulo under chain. Some one said he had seen a corporation pick up van clearing the street of stray dogs. As they never put collar on Bhulo, their heart sank and ran back home to the elders. Monima went to the nearby Corporation office and asked for the address of the dog squad , but came back disappointed, as Bhulo was not to be found there either. That  evening gloom descended on Pinky’s house, every body came asking for news of Bhulo, Pinky and Bablu refused to take dinner, and went to bed crying and their hearts broken.

Unknown to them Bhulo was chained and gagged by the big fat bully son of the Roy’s. The Roys had a pussycat and it had given birth to three cute kittens recently. Bhulo was not at all friendly with pussycat and always went after her whenever he found the opportunity, much to the ire of the big fat bully son of the Roy’s. Now though Bhulo was not friendly with the pussycat, having a kind heart, the dog became friendly with the kittens and would often play with them, unnoticed by the two families. The mother cat, sensing affection in her foe, allowed him to play with her little ones. Today also when every body was busy playing and watching snakes and ladders, Bhulo”s sharp ears could catch the playful noises made the kittens on the other side of the building. He came out and sniffed and stood watching affectionately his tail wagging, the kittens playing with a ball of yellow wool. The big fat bully son of the Roys noticed him from his bedroom window and quietly came out with a biscuit laced with sedative. Unsuspecting Bhulo took it gratefully and soon fainted on the ground. Roy’s son put a collar on him  and dragged him to the back of  their  garden. He taped his mount with a big piece of cloth and chained him to a tree and came back to his room satisfied. That day went by with poor Bhulo shivering and hungry and scared, suffering silently, as his senses came back. The three children, their family and everybody in the neighbourhood were extremely unhappy and prayed for the safety of good old Bhulo. Next morning when the three kittens were playing outside, they chanced back to the garden and found Bhulo lying silently. They were too young too understand why Bhulo was silent and lying down. So they came near and started to paw him to wake him up. They looked at his eyes and found drops of water falling. Some how or other these tiny creatures realized their dear friend was in trouble and suffering. They crawled up one by one and tried to tear the cloth that tied their friend’s mouth. Their soft noises attracted pussycat to the scene and she joined in their Endeavour to free their friend It was a heavy task for so tiny kittens and their mother, but God must have helped them in their effort and soon Bhulo was able to bark, and he let out a deep distress call, howling with all his might. His howling came as music to the neighbourhood, the tree children, their family members and all present in the neighbourhood came running and found a heavenly picture. Bhulo was chained to a tree and the three small kittens caressing him lovingly with their mother standing in guard.

Pinky rushed towards Bhulo and loosened the chain giving some relief. The crowd howled together for the culprit. Mr and Mrs Roy came out and was surprised to find a huge crowed in side their compound and  called for the darwan. The gatekeeper who was aghast to find out the dirty work of the big fat bully son of his master had let the people come inside and he narrated the incident to them. The parents now felt ashamed too and called out to their son – “Rohan, immediately come outside”. The bad boy was hiding inside but had to come out hanging his head in fear.

Pinky’s Didu was the first to speak  “look here boy, you are a human being, but you acted like a mean and cruel beast and put this poor dog to so much torture for your vain pleasure. And these little kittens and their mother are considered as God’s lesser creation; still they have a much larger heart than you. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

Monima said “ How could you be so mean, being such a young child”.

The neighbours said “ you should be punished for what you have done”

When Mr Roy started to scold his son, the Tukai’s uncle  stopped him and told him that

“ Look here Mr Roy, as parents it is your duty to rare your son as a good citizen, a kind and noble hearted person”. You two are always busy with your work and socialization and do not even spend a day with your only son. You do not how he spends his time all by himself during the holidays and  do not even allow your only son to be friendly with any child of the neighbourhood. What do you think your son would do the whole day after school and on holidays, naturally he would do all sorts of mischief as he feels lonely and left out. Our children did not even know what your son’s name is until now  and they call him in unflattering names. You should teach him what is wrong and what is right. If you let him keep a cat, teach him how to take care of animals, tell him that it is essential to be kind to animals.” For everybody knew that even the pussycat stayed in their compound, the boy, instead of being kind to her, always played dirty tricks on her.

When everybody was talking, personnel from the local PS arrived and charged the Roy’s for cruelty to animals, which is  punishable by law. The Roys apologized profusely and promised to keep an eye on his son’s movements and also that no such incident would happen in future. The policeman called Rohan out and said if he made thirty sit ups holding his ears before everybody, he would let him go this time only; otherwise he would take him to the local police station. Rohan was really scared and Rohan came down timidly, held his ears and made thirty sit-ups to everybody’s satisfaction.

From that day on Rohan also became a member of the gang of three, as they were affectionately called  and that day was always celebrated as a day of Feline Kindness and all cats and dogs of the locality were treated to a grand feast of milk, fish, biscuits .

No comments: