Violinist, voracious reader, social media expert, and a celebrated writer, Vasudev wears many hats and that too with panache! Aloof of the worldly whims he enjoys the company of his beloved dogs. Obliging Kaalicharan’s perpetual requests for a bedtime story, Vasudev dug out a humorous story which is supposedly written by a dog and reveals the secret life of woofs. Look out for the mystifying conclusion to this trancing tale!
My flank itched and so I scratched myself. Then my ear, so I scratched again. Then there was an irritation near my tail, so I twisted backward and gnawed away.
“That filthy dog needs to be thrown out,” screamed the bad-tempered aunt of my ‘mistress’. “What if he has a horrible disease?”
“But he’s a Dog! What’s he supposed to do? Play the violin?” protested my dear mistress. But she looked at me and told me, with her eyes, that I needed to head out for a while and let things cool down. So I wagged my tail, heaved myself up and sauntered out proudly. I took orders from no one except Abhilasha, who called herself my mistress. In fact, I had agreed to live with her out of compassion. In fact, I play the violin.
All this would soon change, I told myself. The local Communications Committee was about to make a breakthrough. For generations, we had believed that humans were just too stupid or evil. They talked in thousands of different ways. They couldn’t understand each other. They fought relentlessly.
We had perfected our communication systems. A few words through barks and scratches and we were able to say whatever needed to be said. A newborn pup was taught the system and he would pick it up easily, within two days.
One language, one system of communication – total efficiency! We had long since learned that the successful way to true happiness was to say little and to want little as well.
On and on and on they went.
Words, words and yet more words.
For absolutely no reason at all, some would throw stones at us. Other humans would pat us and feed us, thinking they were doing great things. We just tolerated them.
Poor things, how much they had to struggle to communicate the simplest things to us. It was terribly confusing to hear them babble continuously.
Then there was this thing called “Shake hands”. All humans loved to shake hands with us, I don’t know why. It bored the daylights out of us. When I was young and more volatile, my first inclination was to chomp at their fresh pink juicy fingers or lift my hind leg and pee on their palms. But now I was wiser. I would either give them my paw to get the silly drama over with or would make them ask me a few times (tease them, in fact) and then offer my paw anyway. Silly idiots, getting hysterical over such matters.
A few months ago, we had a virtual conclave. Raju, the Seer, peed at the telephone pole two houses away from my house. When I sniffed there, I understood that he wanted us to meet and discuss something important – the time for Lifting the Veil Had Come – we had to communicate, demand our Rights and get Answers. Now! No More Craven Tail-Wagging. I passed on the message by peeing on Khushwant’s (whose ‘master’ with the same name had started resembling him strongly) gate and then on Blacky’s gate. It’s so simple – it’s how you pee and the pattern you leave behind that matters. I have heard that humans collect samples of our urine and then say that we’re sniffing for chemicals to establish territorial claims. Utter rot!
So, word got around. We were used to communicating at 3:00 in the morning anyway by collectively howling in the neighborhood. Part of it was communication, part was just noise, deliberately intended to irritate the humans. The system was very efficient. Within minutes, every dog that needed to know something got the message.
The ones who weren’t chained (another stupid trick of our humans) finally did meet and we appointed a senior brown mongrel, who we mistakenly thought was the most intelligent, to figure out how we should break the deadlock. But his recommendation wasn’t very sensible. He thought hard and announced that if we peed on the front door of our houses at exactly 6:30 a.m., humans would finally understand how utterly inferior they were and would take away our collars and put them around their own necks, get on all fours and start barking, expressing regret.
We vetoed the idea because it ignored one fundamental point – that humans had this irrational dislike for urine – even though, hold your breath, they peed several times a day themselves, along the road, just like us! Well, the mongrel couldn’t be blamed. He had never lived in a human home and he had a superiority complex anyway. He was a species-ist, kind of like a racist, in that he was convinced that dogs were infinitely more gifted and humans were inferior. The more intellectual and liberal amongst us disapproved of such radical thinking. We agreed that humans had a problem, but we felt that education was the answer, not confrontation.
Then we appointed a committee of two German Shepherds to suggest something. They went even further. They suggested that all dogs bark continuously from 1 am to 4 am. They felt this would wake humans and force them to listen quietly and absorb our points through their thick skulls because they were busy the rest of their waking day chattering non-stop on their mobile phones or sending SMS, and always ignored us then. We dismissed that committee. Too frivolous, we thought. And there could be a violent backlash, which could prematurely weaken the Revolution.
Meanwhile, the dogs in the neighboring area sent word about some traitorous cats that were trying to pass on information about our attempts to the humans. They were, naturally, driven up a tree and being the way they were, were unable to come down to earth. Good riddance. Well, there will always be innocent victims where there are Revolutions. It is a price that must be paid. Mercy is for the weak.
Anyway, after those initial experiments, we were able to put together a good committee with sound minds. I can’t tell you who they were because I was sworn to secrecy. Violations would mean instant death. The swift and sure punishment was guaranteed. But one hint – do you see dogs that seem to lie around all day doing nothing?
They spend all day in meditation and contemplation. They are the truly evolved souls who communicate with the Great Beyond. It’s from them that we picked our committee.
The Committee met to decide the course of action. They raised a fundamental point that we had overlooked. After communication, what? They solicited opinions to arrive at a consensus. Understand that democracy is fundamental to us. We listen to all opinions. We pick the ones we like. Those whose opinions we don’t like, we excommunicate. The human system has in fact been taken from us.
“We can share what we know!” said an excited Terrier, peeing near the big Neem tree in the park.
“They are heathens – could we not tell them about the True Faith, Ours?” asked the Spaniel barking at 3:30 am.
“Ignore them” moaned a High Priest, a Dalmatian, mournfully, peeing on the tire of his master’s car. “They will never change. Especially their underwear.”
“Kill them! Kill them! Kill them!” screamed a frivolous Pomeranian yapping her brains out, besides herself with rage. This happened at approximately 4:45 am, according to my notes. At 4:51 am, she repeated her viewpoint.
“Kill them! Kill them!! KILL THEM!!!” she shrieked. We heard human yells, either of fury or terror; I suspect the latter.
I thought of Abhilasha. Even though she was so dumb, I could not ignore her or even kill her. She was too nice and friendly.
“Collar them, chain them, take them for walks” growled a bitter Boxer, obviously influenced by the German Shepherds.
The Committee finally came up with a Total Solution after they decided that the topmost priority was state-of-the-art Canine Restrooms on each road spaced out every ten feet, with an emphasis on ambiance and aesthetics.
They decided to send email to the humans and issue a set of graded warnings. They needed to know that Time Was Running Out and we would strike back if they didn’t make Amends and address our demands. ASAP.
So the committee put together a plan to build a dog-compatible computer, which would be hooked to the Internet. They received funding and technical support from weak humans like Taruna, Anurag, Runa, Shrida, Ruchika, Geetalima and Divya and bizarre Facebook groups like Dog With Blog (traitors to their own race – well, who are we to bother if it suits us?). Finally, it was done. The Canine Laptop was invented.
That’s how you’re reading this tale. Do you understand now how and why we finally decided to contact you in this modern way?
I hope you are now working hard to construct those public dog urinals so that we can have a little privacy hereon.
Light blue walls, please!