W ell, let me introduce myself. I am Moti. You may call me street dog, stray dog, Pariah, or a dirty filthy animal. It doesn’t matter to me. Not anymore cause in the end, I will remain the same: a street dog, a Pariah for you all. Want to have a peep into my daily life? Well here’s my story for you.
I begin my day in the morning around 6 am when I am kicked and shooed away by the sweepers. At times, stones are thrown at me, or a stick poked into my bony body, reminding me that night is over and day beckons me. I shake myself and come out of my dreamy night and begin searching for tit-bits. Usually, I manage to find some stale bread, rotis and, if lucky, a half eaten chicken or some mutton bones. But it never comes easily as I have to compete with many other neighborhood dogs. Many a times, I have been bitten and hurt in the process of grabbing a bite, but that’s life, my friend, for us street dogs. We have to grab before someone else takes it.
Not all days are bad. Some days, if I am lucky, I come across a kind and gentle family who feed me milk and biscuits. Some even pat me on my head, and say loving words while I thank them with a wagging tail and full belly. But there are days too, when I am shouted at, yelled at, have stones thrown on me, abused and chased by kids, where I have to run for my life and hide under the drain, which is filthy and smelly, to save my life. All for a piece of bread.
What makes me wonder is the amount of food people throw away. Without a second thought of feeding us. But, I guess, in the end it's God’s way of providing us with food. Human’s anger or hatred towards us is something I have never been able to understand. On the one hand, the breed dogs, who live in real houses, are like us, but are given good food, water, milk, are cared for, loved, hugged and played with. And on the other hand, we are chased away from the streets because the breed dogs are on their way, on their daily walk. Somehow, humans fail to see that we are all the same, just different breeds. So, why this big hue and cry?
The most difficult and tough times are in Winter when we have to shiver and cuddle up against each other for body warmth while our well placed brothers and sisters wear coats, and are inside warm rooms, fully sated, and with a warm bed and blanket. Or in the Summer when we have to hunt for water, and many a times drink from dirty drains or outside hotels and restaurants. We have to take shelter from the heat and rain under cars, and many a times we are crushed under the very car that gives us shelter. While our well to do friends up there are in nice air-conditioned rooms or cars go for walks with a nice shiny collar and leash. And if we try coming close to them we are hit with sticks, kicked and shoed again and again, which bewilders me as they are so-called dog lovers. If they can shower so much love and affection on their breed pets why not us? Why be mean to us? We are not asking you to take us into your homes, but can’t we just lie and sleep outside your homes and be given a meal a day? Is it too much to ask? How can human differentiate between two creatures of the same species?
Who is there to take care of us when we fall sick, are too weak to walk and find food for ourselves, too old and frail to move? No one. The hard and harsh reality hits me: that I and my fellow friends are all alone in this cruel, selfish world, and we have to fend for ourselves or else just lie and wait for a speeding car, truck or bus to crush us and take away what little life there was in us. But in the end, I must admit, my life in the street toughens me and makes me ready to face all hardships in life. It makes me a fighter and also a sharer with my fellow beings. And running carefree with my friends, tugging at them, playing with them, barking, at times chasing a car, make my dull, monotonous life worth living.
I don’t mind being reborn as a dog in my next life, but can God be just a little bit partial and give me a better life to live? Can I have the taste of both lives: one outside on the streets, and one inside where I am surrounded with warmth, love and happiness? Well, it seems a dream for many of us, but you never know. The grass is always greener on the other side.
Lastly, for me the word Pariah stands for:
P: for Pretty and Perfect
A: for Adorable
R: for Reliable
I: for Intelligent
A: for Alert and Lovable
H: for Humble