A wave of thoughts from the memory lane were coming and drenching Tommy again and again. His eyes were red, full of tears and anger was visible clear enough. He was standing on a river bank at the end of the jungle. His teacher, brother and close friend Moti used to stop him to go to that part, as a family of dangerous wolfs stay there, but today he is free from all those fear.
Today he is fearless inside and outside. He is feeling the air is free for him and he has the entire world to rule, but somehow he is extremely sad and the wish to rule the world no longer there. He is surprised to think that the desire that has driven him for last 14 months when fulfilled after so much strategy, planning, efforts has no meaning when fulfilled. He is not able to figure out what went wrong.
About 14 to 15 months back, Tommy and his 3 puppy friends in search of new, better and safe territory went into ‘Sayaji Society’. It was a deserted society with hardly few human families living. Not a lot of food but safe society to live. They quickly found Moti as a big brother who was living in the society as their friend, philosopher and guide. As they understood Moti, they fell in love with him. They never found any external threat or never had to fight for justice among themselves when Moti was around.
Tommy was very impressed with Moti. He wanted to rule the entire society like Moti does. He thought he can learn and grow to rule the society along with Moti. He was in all praises for Moti.
Gradually days passed by and all puppies grew to become adults, had their own family. They were a happy family inside and outside. Tommy grew with his skills and power. He developed his own followers and created a sub-territory of his own. He was skillful and powerful, it was accepted by Moti and rest of the society but his desire to grow was still not getting satisfied.
Despite the growth and power he was not happy. He found himself living under the shadow of Moti. The thought that people still think it’s Moti’s territory was gradually eating him from inside.
He could see what Moti is not good at and how he is strong at those areas.
He found a recent occurrence where some bad dogs from outside tried to attack Moti’s gang. Moti preferred the method of long barks than attacking them back. He found it funny and idiotic to think dogs use the method of dialog to settle the matters.
“This is not the way how you must run a gang of dogs”, he thought in his mind but nobody in this society will listen to him as they think Moti is always right. He still spoke with some of his friends but did not get enough support to challenge Moti. He went alone and challenged Moti for his wrong decision. Moti in return explained his strategy why he did like that to Tommy which was more irritating. Tommy thought it’s Moti’s arrogance to think that what he does is always right.
Days passed by and incidents kept on adding to the list where Tommy did not agree with Moti. Moti gradually brought some more societies under his domain and Tommy was impatient to rule the Sayaji society. Moti was convinced that Tommy will be able to rule Sayali society and he will anyway be there around to keep an eye on the society. The only fear Moti had is Tommy may get hurt due to his fight at first blink attitude.
Tommy was happy to get his own area but frequent intervention of Moti and at times Moti overriding his decisions were making him uncomfortable. He asked Moti to stay away from his society in a very polite way where Moti would not feel bad. Moti understood the trouble that Tommy was going through hence obliged and stayed away for 6 months.
Days passed by and one day Moti got to know that there is marriage in Sayaji society. Marriages meant a lot of food in dustbin and many outside gang of dogs trying intrude the society. Moti was extremely confident about Tommy but did not want to leave Tommy alone. He shifted his focus back to the Sayaji society and started moving around, talking to other puppies and getting more into details.
Tommy was not happy this time. He found himself losing status that he had built over past 6 months and going back to square one. He tried putting extra efforts to show the world that he is an able ruler of the society. Despite all his best efforts he found he is still living under Moti. People never taking him seriously or he thinks he can never come out of this shadow. This thought bothered his so much that he gradually developed hatred about Moti in his mind. He used different ways to tell Moti that he is not liking this fact but Moti surprisingly was rude and non-receptive this time. The reason was because Moti wanted to stay on ground no matter what till he marriage gets over. Tommy’s anger grew ferocious now and publicly started disrespecting Moti. More than Moti, rest of the gang was not happy with Tommy’s this behavior. This difference grew so strong that for almost a month Moti and Tommy did not talk to each other in a normal way.
Anger and frustration filled Tommy’s mind. Due to their differences all the dogs in the society started fighting with each other for silly reasons. Moti realized that it is going wrong, he decided to withdraw and leave the society.
One human from the society complained about the fighting dogs to municipality and their van came to catch the dogs. All the dogs were captured and kept in the van. Moti saw that and came running behind the van in desperation to help somehow. These were his children. The van was speeding but Moti did not lose hope and kept running. Tommy saw this and thought that this is the guy because of whom today we are here. He should have withdrawn long back so that we would have lived happily. Moti was quickly approaching the van when the van stooped at the signal. He quickly jumped on to the steps of the tail end of the van and barely managed to stand there. Tommy was inside the bars of the van. Wild thought came in Tommy’s mind to get rid of Moti by pushing him. He came close to Moti. Moti was struggling to stand in that small platform. Moti said, “Sorry, I feel I am cause for this” and in seconds Tommy’s mind changed thinking, this is the guy who brought me up, protected me throughout, made me what I am. How can I think this way about him. But at the same moment van took a sharp run and Moti fell down from the van and a truck ran over him.
All dogs inside the van were crying and shouting but Tommy was silent. He could not think what was right, what was wrong. He could not think whether he is happy or sad. He could not believe what happened. The van left the dogs in the riverside at the end of the forest. Rest all dogs ran away fearing the wolf would come but Tommy stood there alone. His thought to push Moti haunted him. His thought sometime blamed Moti for the entire episode and on second thought he felt that he is the cause.
– Stray Dog