Once upon a time when I was a kid – and the sun shone brightly every single day – it was Indian summer you see – we decided our dog was getting fat.
Now to give you a background, the dog was a she – a fact we discovered after we had picked it up off the streets and adopted it. We settled on calling her Wags, because she was always wagging her tail, and besides it was a legitimate name – its what Billy Bob in an Enid Blyton series had called his too.
She was delightful. Her feats included flying and being fearless. She would spot a cat or a goat from the roof of the house and jump off – probably thinking she’s superman or something, but she had no fear of falling. Hence my declaration that she flew and she was fearless.
She grew up with us indoors as we didn’t want her to have any illicit flings with the romeos outside and therefore learnt how to smile like us. Rather grotesque – a yellow fangy black gum grin doesn’t make for pleasantries if you ask me – but nevertheless – it was her attempt at conveying happiness to us.
In time my sister and I decided that she was fat. So we decided to take her jogging. Though the idea was bright – it came with its own set of challenges. Such as – she out-jogged us in a trifle. So we mounted ourselves on our 60cc moped and drove along at a comfortable 25-30 kmph while our lady ‘jogged’ besides us.
She soon had her set of suitors following her eagerly, but we were comfortable in the knowledge that they won’t follow us all the way as they have their territories clearly marked.
Congratulating ourselves and feeling rather invincible, we decided to do a few errands while we were out. Now this is Jhansi – of the 80s. A small peaceful sleepy town peppered with houses amidst fields of hills and dips. Our moped undulated on the hilly roads and alongside trotted Wags.
We came to our destination, my sister’s friend’s house. As soon as she had run inside to collect her stuff, I heard growling. Picking up a stone to do a pretend throw with one hand, while I tightened my grip on Wags’ leash with the other, I see not one, but many dogs that I must pretend throw at. Not a feat that was achievable in my book. As my mind raced with possible actions, Wags declared war. She growled back. I looked at her and hissed for her to shut up. Ofcourse, she was in the seventh heaven. You can take the dog off the street, but you can’t take the street out of the dog. She wasn’t backing down. For some reason she felt that she could take on all these 5 or 6 stray menacing frothing frightening beasts all by herself. I pushed down a sense of pride at how we had raised her. My, she was fearless. Hell – I wasn’t.With Wags saying bring it on, my pretend throws turned to actual throws – and I started shouting for my sister.My shouts elicited a few heads from various windows. Hoping that someone might call off these wretched aggressive canines, I looked up, but the heads just looked back interestedly. My sister ran out screaming for me to start the moped.
Wags however refused to come and the dogs were inching closer to us. She wanted to fight! Really? I wish I could have slapped her then, but I was too busy cursing the moped. It wasn’t starting- it started with furious pedaling and here I was pedaling away for my life on a stationary moped with about five malicious frothing canines a few scant inches away from me and a mad barking stupid dog, and my sister who was shouting at them to back off and trying to get Wags to shut up at the same time.
The moped finally sputtered to life, my sister hoisted a hugely excited Wags in her lap and we were off. Or so we thought. For all our panic and intent, the moped moved at about 5Kmph – because we had to go uphill. For the amount of racket it made, it deafened the barking dogs for sure.
The dogs finally figured we were making a run for it and decided to give chase. Go Ekta – Go. My sister shouted. I am. I am. I shouted back. But we only covered painful inches. I think we willed the moped to go over the hill.
A very agitated Wags also realized she was being treated unfairly and not allowed to show her mettle to her much loved and adored masters, thrashed around between my sister and me. Between screaming, stop it Wags, idiot dog – bloody fools- damn this government – and keeping balance, we covered the hill and hit the main road, which we speedily crossed.
We turned back to see if the dogs were still following us. They weren’t. Their territory was marked – but they were pretty vociferous about what they thought of our visit. Our last sight before we turned the corner was the peeping heads grinning and my sister’s friend doubling up in laughter. Crossing yet another hill which had a speed breaker on its crest – (go figure)-Wags wriggled – eager to resume her jogging. As my sister tightened her hold on the fat dog, I tightened my hold on the accelerator – and revved it as much as I could. the moped roared – and sped up a little – rather petulantly if you ask me. Wags rode home with us on our moped – never ofcourse to be taken out jogging ever again!