It’s nothing less than a miracle that i haven’t killed brats who habitually throw stones at stray dogs. Contrary to what my wayward tattoos suggest, i’m not prone to violence but it disturbs me no end to see how children behave these days. Especially in the company of their non-intrusive (instructive isn’t the right word here) parents. I grew up in one-room settlements and even then, i don’t remember coming across anyone from contemporaries (or otherwise) who harmed dogs or cats on the street. There was a sense of co-existence in the people who resided in slums. One particular episode that remains etched on my mind is finding a dog struggling to get his head out of a narrow-necked plastic pot. It was obvious that the poor thing must have inserted his face in search of water. The panicky dance it created was unforgettable. Restlessness and fear must be a lethal combination as the mongrel kept banging against the wall in the hope of breaking his mask. Being the girl that i was, i wept like a boy, helpless in setting him free. Face wet with tears, the spectator turned into sprinter and reached home only to make amma suspect whether somebody bullied/beat me (again). On learning what has really happened, she turned off the stove and hurried to the spot. I still remember the calm with which she handled the situation. Gently getting hold of the uneasy dog first, she stroked his neck to relax him and then like a katana-yielding samurai, pulled the pot out of his head in one go. The poor dog was so relieved that he started jumping here and there, barking at the kneeling saviour. Insofar, it was his way of thanking her.
Conclusion: Some lessons are best left to parents and their action.