I am an Indian stray dog. At the end of that sentence, I still wonder why anybody would be interested in my story or my plight; nevertheless, I will go on like I generally do with my life. I scavenge my way around for a meal & look for a quiet corner to rest my scrawny body. It’s a dog’s life.
Sometimes, I wonder regarding the usage of the word dog in so many phrases, a dog’s life, the underdog not to mention the innumerable movies where my existence is used & abused in their titles & dialogues. If you ask me, it particularly sounds even worse when used in the vernacular language.
But Really, How much of a difference does my existence make in an average Indian human’s life? Yes, I admit, I meet some humans who seem more friendly & compassionate than the regular foul-mouthed stone-pelting Indian, but again that gets me back to another dog saying “Every dog has his day” and I don’t see many of those days.
It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us. Only us.~Rorschach, Watchmen
I am a nameless stray, born in murky gutters to sniveling bitches.
My very existence is testimony to Darwin’s theory of survival. I pushed & shoved my siblings to just grab a mouthful of that satiating warm milk which was just the beginning of a little more than pushing & shoving just to fill my ever-hungry, rumbling stomach.
No prizes for guessing where my siblings are; one lay decaying, crushed under the unforgiving wheels of a garbage truck before the same wrinkle faced garbage collector scooped the dead mass & dumped it in the same truck. The other not so luckier ones found our ways to other streets & corners trying to make a decent life of the one we were cursed with. My siblings are everywhere. We all have different stories, yet the same. We all look different, yet, we are the same; the Indian stray dog.
We all are bound by that one single thread, weighed down by circumstances, weighed down by our looks & our origins. While patriotism is in its frenzied state, during red-letter days & rallies & protests, we have no takers. While dog shows are organized for our counterparts with their fancy ears & faces, we are considered a menace.
What humans fail to understand is that the same fancy dogs that are abandoned on the street, add to our numbers. Their genetic makeup gets ensconced into ours, while we merge with them; yet, we retain our identity, & take pride in the fact that no two Indian dogs would ever look the same. We outlive our blue-blooded counterparts, with all their high-class breeding & champion bloodlines, in spite of the conditions that we live in. Yet, we have no takers.
We love our human friends, just the same & would gladly sleep in any corner they feel fit to dispatch us to. We are happy little mutts with wagging tails, no different, yet, are perceived so differently.
We are the same, but just as different.
If only the hypocrisy & craze for everything from foreign shores would peter out someday, we would get our rightful place under the sun, beside the hearth & under a roof.
If only we had a voice.
If only we knew the language.
If only we would be acknowledged for what we really are,
The Indian dog, without the tag of the word, stray.
Dog lover & ace photographer Gokul Krishnan shares this heartfelt rendition of an Indian stray dog’s plight as a guest post for Dog with Blog. Originally featured as photo-essay ‘Stray Dogs in Indian cities’ at strays.in