Thursday, January 15, 2009

Angels in the City

On some evenings when I pass by the main Thiruvanmimur bus stop in Chennai, a blessed sight greets me—a fleeting view of the top of a head with snow-white hair, surrounded by more than a dozen wagging tails. I consider those days as lucky. The head belongs to Mrs. B and the tails to none other than the street dogs of the area. The dogs stand huddled around Mrs. B to receive their daily meal of rice and eggs. Each day, many people witness this act of kindness. People say that Mrs. B has been feeding street dogs for more than 40 years! Moved by the initiative, one day, I decide to donate to Mrs. B's charity. But local people warn me against it. Mrs. B does not accept donations. Each time I pass her by, I am seized by a fervent question, "O Mrs. B, the chosen one, where comes your motivation from?" But, I cannot speak Tamil and Tamil is what she is conversant with.

There is a dog that looks at me with expressive eyes as I board my office bus. Each time I turn back from inside the bus, I find her gazing at me until either of us disappears from sight. I have often wondered what she may be thinking. One day, inspired by Mrs. B, I purchase a bun for the dog and just before getting into my bus, I offer it to her. She gazes at me some more before accepting the bun. As I look back from inside the bus, I see her chomping away, never for once unlocking her eyes with me, until we both are out of sight. Thus, feeding the dog becomes a daily ritual. Some more join in! I thank Mrs. B for the joy she brought me.

One evening as I am shopping for provisions, I am approached by a distinguished looking lady, "I have seen you feeding dogs. I am a dog lover…. would you like to come home for a cup of coffee?" Impulsively, I agree, my heart doing a little somersault with joy. Her house is around the corner—a duplex with a big garden. As she opens the entrance door, I gasp at the sight inside! At least six pairs of doggy eyes stare at me from bodies comfortably nestled on cushions. The lady laughs and invites me to come inside. Over coffee, she tells me that she has twelve dogs in her house—all rescued from various life and health threatening situations. Some are pedigree dogs abandoned on the streets by the owners while some are simply streets dogs brought in for a loving home. Suddenly, four young dogs come scampering into the room, bestowing the lady with their lavish kisses. I am told they are siblings. My eyes well up when I am further told that they were found inside a gunny bag thrown by the sea-side when they were pups—pups small enough to be held in the palm of the hand.


Gurooji said...

Hey there Ambrosia,

One more person to add to your list--this old man near my house who feeds biscuits to the stray dogs at night. He actually has names for all of them!
We see him when we take Bruce walking, and I wonder if I imagine the longing in Bruce's eyes?

ambrosia said...

Thank you for the addition, Gurooji. The old man is a blessed soul. When I meet or hear of such people, I feel I wish I could get into their minds and "feel" their emotions toward the dogs. I am sure it must feel wonderul.
I can imagine the longing in Bruce's eyes too and I know for sure that its for real!! Let him off the leash and you will know! He he!

Meera said...

Hi. :) So glad to see you again ! And trust me you never barge in ! Your comments are always welcome... Well the election wasnt totally based on qualities. Im not running because Im still new in the university and since Im in my sixth semester I got a lot of catching up to do....I hope everything is goot at your end..take care..:D