It was a summer night. There were no good food in our hostel kitchen and I had got the Monthly Money order that my father used to send for my expenses. We friends decided, better to go out and have dinner in the nearby dhaba. I was sure, I will have to pay for all because I had several dinners and had not paid saying that I have not received money yet. This time when postman came, all my friends were there. So there is no way I can bluff them. The only problem was, if I pay for all then there will be no money left for rest of the month but I was used to it. Spending entire money on the first day of getting it and living rest of the month like a beggar has become like a habit. You will not believe this habit continued several years after getting job too.
That was not the age to think, rather to act, so we all started. This dhaba is just beside a busy national highway, on the roadside. It is like an open sky restaurant and you get all the tasty dishes over there. We all ordered our dinner and sat on the rope cots while were kept outside. There is lots of fun eating under open sky. We all ordered our food and started talking. One puppy came and sat next to my cot. As if he wanted to join in this conversation. One of my friend got up to answer nature’s call, while going he kicked the puppy. It fell on a far away place. I was very angry at his act and I questioned him but did not get any response except a smile. It disturbed me but after sometime again I focused on our conversation. After sometime that puppy again came and sat at the exact same location. Our dinner had come by then. While eating I threw one piece to it and it happily ate all and looked at me for the second piece. His was moving his tail very fast to show his excitement. I gave another piece. Then one of my friend said, you have lots of money with you. Isn’t it? Eat your dinner. Anyway these dhaba people will give all waste food to these dogs only. I acknowledged and continued eating. I was watching the puppy in between. It waited for my third piece for a long time when he did not get, it went near the kitchen. One wish arose in my heart that some day I will feed this dog one full plate of food and will make him sit on this cot. I thought may be the next time I get money order, I will quietly come here alone.
Months passed and I did not get that opportunity but the wish was still alive. Time came for me to say good-bye to college. I still did not get that opportunity. It is not because of money, the main reason is, I was feeling shy when anybody else is there. I did not want anybody to see this and laugh at me doing this unusual act. But every time I was going to that Dhaba, I used to play with that dog and give few pieces of roti or other food. I did not get an opportunity to go to that Dhaba alone ever. I left college and went home. I thought, Anyway, I will come to collect my final certificate and then I will collect my caution money as well. At that time I will make that happen.
Time came to collect the certificate and caution money. My friends called me and asked me to join them in college trip to collect the final certificate and caution money. I politely said no to them. They tried to convince me by saying how much fun we can have together but I gave some excuses to them just to ensure I go alone. Many of them were upset with me because of this because that was the last occasion to visit college together. But having dinner with that dog was my only motive at that point. I knew that I will never get that opportunity ever. I went to the college when none of my other friends would be there. I had borrowed some extra money from my father as my plan was to take the dog back to my home. As buses or any other public transport will not allow me to carry the dog, I will take him by hiring a taxi. Reached college, collected certificate, caution money and then I left college as early as possible so that I can fulfill my wish. I went there to the Dhaba and took a corner cot so that nobody can see me. I spotted that dog roaming around. That dog recognized me and came near me to play. Then suddenly a group of dogs were fighting at the other end of the road and hearing their barks my dog also ran to the order side of the road to join the gang.
I order two plates and waited for the order to be delivered at my cot. Then the dhaba boy served the food and asked where is the other person. I did not respond to him. Then I saw one of my college mate approaching dhaba. I ran to the back side of the dhaba so that he can not see me. I secretly called the dhaba boy to keep the plates inside and not to bring them till I give him signal. He was surprised at my funny acts but he did as I said. Luckily my college mate left dhaba early. I came out of my hiding and sat on the cot and signaled the dhaba boy. He again brought the plates to the cot. Then I was looking for that dog. I spotted him at the other side of the road. I called him by making a sound which he recognizes. He looked at me and started running towards me. Seeing him coming towards me, I served some food in his plate.
Suddenly I heard a loud noise and I looked up, I saw one truck which was coming at great speed has hit him while he was crossing the road. I ran to the spot and found he was dying. His skull was broken and blood everywhere on the road. I was approaching towards the ailing body then one person suddenly dragged me to the side of the road as another truck was coming with great speed and honking badly. That truck went over the dying body once again to ensure he is fully dead..
I was not sure what to do and how to react. I dragged the dead body to one corner of the road and sat there for sometime. I was not sure what to do. Then the Dhaba boy called me as the food served was cold. He asked me if I want him to heat the food. I came back and paid the money for the ordered food and went back home.
It is not mine or dogs bad luck. It is not the running truck that killed him and my wish, It is the delay in acting which killed him. Every social issue is like this. You thinking about it and finding the ideal opportunity to come near you so that you will participate and act, will one day bring you to one stage where you will be helpless.
I have heard that in Tretayug, Raavan was the only person who was capable of making stairs to heaven but he delayed that noble act because his took Sita haran and fighting Ram as his priority. So he could never accomplish that noble deed. We are no less in this matter.
Note: One of my friend had written a similar story in my college magazine. This blog is inspired by that story
– Stray Dog