Saturday, May 04, 2013

Why Can't Humans Be Like Dogs ?

By Gaurav Parab

I was returning home from work, on a day when nothing had gone right. You know the sort of day that a struggling scriptwriter would come up with if budgets are low and the brief is to pack everything into an action filled ten hour period.

Every now and then, the office issued Blackberry ( There is a good reason why it is colored black), sent out that red beacon that signals the arrival of another email. With each email stained with expletives like For Your Action and Work.

Bad day. A really bad day. And you know what they say about when it rains. It pours, and stuff falls from balconies, and you run through two men holding a sheet of glass, get caught in the crossfire of rival gangs, and someone comes to your seat and socks you right in the face before saying,

"This is for stealing the affections of my wife"

The bus went along, and I tried my first play at distraction by switching on some music. But you know how it works. Sometimes that worried voice in your head that says, "What is going to happen?" "What is going to happen" just overwhelms you and drown out everything else. I switched off the mp3 player and then looked out to what were surely happier people. Isn't this what windows do ? Draw a line between what you have and what you would like to have. Put the 'other'  in the other side?

But it was national unhappiness day. Two rickshawallas were fighting with each other, which is inconsequential but for the striking resemblance of one of them to Abhishek Bacchan. Trust me, when you are down and out - you don't want to see Abhishek Bacchan in a rickshaw walla outfit.  You just don't. Then there was an alcoholic husband arguing with his wife outside that customary shanty that props up every hundred feet on our roads. The man needed money for his daily does of spirit, while the woman just had her's broken. Closer home, my montage of desolation ended with the visual of a lanky young kid in a football jersey holding a smaller boy by the scruff of his neck.

"The shins" I shouted to the little one as our bus rolled along.

Clearly, nothing was meant to go right. Earlier that morning, I had experienced pain where I suspect one of my kidneys / colon / marrow / something Latin - is supposed to be. A dull pain, not sharp. Like thunder that slowly rolls in, dark and ominous. Like a butcher returning to his desk after washing his hands.

I got down from the office issued bus and said my customary thank you to the office issued bus driver. In keeping with the general theme, he sighed. The day you smile, the day we fire you - his contract probably starts that way.

It was a day when happiness went to that big place in the sky. It was another day at work.

The bus drops me about five hundred yards from my home. It is like some kindhearted bureaucrat in God's department of humans felt that those five hundred yards would give a stressed out man that last chance to think about things bigger than him and salvage his day. See the big picture. A freaking little dot in the universe. Everyone dies one day. The sort of thing that makes you put on a smile so your family and friends only see the best of you.

But the day belonged to a month, where a hundred thousand yards would not have helped. All I could do was take a step followed by another. The chemicals in the head blurred into a soupy thought that egged me on to be a royal ass. No reason at all. I am unhappy, why not return the favor to the entire universe. Starting with the ones closest to me.

I heard him even before I rang the bell. The missus was screaming out warnings. The air force was scrambling fighter jets. Scientists were injecting themselves with serum. The thing who can be named in a thousand ways was slipping into the dreaded Horse Mode.

Let me explain. For a year now we have had an international dog of mystery called  Djoko. ( Mr. Djoko to you). Djoko has Multiple Personality Disorder. There are moments when Djoko truly believes ( Not feels, BUT TRULY BELIEVES ) that he is a Horse. A wild horse. A fire breathing horse. A horse that should be wearing a cape.

This happens when Djoko is Defcon Level 5 Happy. Which happens every time the door bell rings.

All hell breaks lose. After all, the door bell has rung. THE DOOR BELL WENT OFF! THE DOOR BELL WENT OFF ! Djoko starts howling like Kumar Sanu and starts slamming into the door like Daya from CID.
The stereo automatically starts playing gangsta rap about what "This Dog" is going to be doing to the 'bitches' in some club after getting down from some convertible.

The missus screams a warning. " Are you ready. Are you ready for a violent explosion of love?"

And then you hear the walls rattle. Djoko is waiting for you. He smelt you from five hundred yards away. And now it is time. A welcome awaits you. You can hear him, but cannot see him. This is what Djoko expects when the door will open.

Everything is forgotten. Crappy excel sheets, insignificant deadlines, toxic traffic jams,  chor governments, dwindling bank balances and increasing stress levels. You take out the flyer for that meditation class and roll it into a ball and throw it out of the window.This is nirvana. Mr. Djoko, after prancing around for five minutes, and doing doggy cartwheels, has yanked your heart out from the past and future and brought you to this moment. I repeat, this is nirvana. You are in the moment. The missus looks on and laughs. Djoko gets offended with human-woman-dog laughing, so he slobbers you with his saliva. He playfully punches you with his paws (Ok, Djoko I will call them Hoofs) in the nether regions and between pain and joy - you think the thought every person who has a dog and a crappy day thinks - Why can't we be like them ?

Why can't we feel happy in this most pure and boundless way ? Why cant we all be dogs and switch to the Horse Mode for the remainder of our lives? Seriously, why can't we ?

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