Random Thoughts

Diwali: A view from the Kennel

A loud, deafening sound awoke me from my afternoon siesta. It took me sometime to get back my senses and comprehend the unusually busy movements of the members of my household, they were dressed colorfully and consistently 'barked' among themselves about nothing in particular. The entire household was lighted up with colored bulbs and even more colorful festoons. There was a reflection of a festive spirit, and naturally no one took great notice of me or my distressing and frantic search for cover. It is not that it was only my home which was in such great spirits, the entire locality seemed to be following the same rules of activity. All houses had lighted small fires that glittered like golden stars. Since morning I could feel a palpable sense of activity in the household but ignored it since I could not comprehend much about the relentless rush of the members of my household. It was their routine. I could never understand what for they were always so busy. However, despite the similar rush, today the bright lights and festoons gave me the feeling that it was unlike the other days. 

As I was reminiscing about these facts a staccato sound associated with sprinkling fire again caught my immediate attention. My distress and frantic search for cover returned and I immediately headed for the sofa. What had happened! Was the world coming to an end? I could not understand what had happened to all my friends in the neighborhood? To my consistent calls I could get no response from them today. Where are they? 

My sense of smell was also betraying me, I could not associate the scents with their origins today. Members of my household were smelling nice and different today. It was unlike the other days when I could only feel the stench of sweat as I nuzzled up to my old man after his return every evening from somewhere. I smelt food of different varieties. However, all these thoughts were fleeting as the sudden incessant bursts chilled my bones and search for a place of survival became my immediate concern. There was also a new smell, that which I could not associate with any known smell in my repertoire, but it definitely came from the dark clouds that followed the loud bursts. What are these loud bursts? Are they the same as those that killed my old man's friend last month? The sound seems similar, but no one is crying today unlike that day? Rather strangely enough everyone seems happy after every loud burst. What an odd world!

I was so deeply engrossed in my thoughts and constant forays in and out of the sofa that I did not see it had become dark and I was not taken for my usual evening walk. The big sleeping willow in my compound looked gloomy today because all its winged inhabitants were silent, as if apprehending an approaching calamity. Did they not come home today? The old willow seemed lonely and forsaken in the absence of the chirping of his friends with whom he loved to share his shade. His spirits seemed sagged which made him look more drooping and old. He was sad, silent and lonely, eager for the return of the cacophony of his winged friends. The cooing of the flock of pigeons was also not to be heard today, otherwise they rattled my nerves with their consistent gutturals. What has happened to My World today? Why are all its members silent to the extent that their existence seems erased? 

I could no longer engage in my contemplation in the depth of the darkness under the sofa, because now the sounds were more unrelenting, spitting fire and dark clouds of smoke followed by a pungent smell. I could not breathe without suffering, my eyes watered and my heart sank. My day of reckoning, probably, has finally arrived, even before I could fully see and understand my world. 

Sitting under the false protection of the dark depths of the sofa, perspiring from the distress of my despair I began to realize why My World was silent today. Like me, my friends were also jostling for the false safety of the darkness. They must be huddled together in solidarity, moaning their inability to challenge the insensate activities of the two legged creatures who barked for nothing, fought for nothing in particular, and consistently trespassed the boundaries of Our World to make themselves Happy

Our World, today was silenced by their heart piercing and deafening sounds. These sounds, as if, competed with each other in silencing Our World. I could not understand why the members of the two legged world constantly and deliberately ignored our existence. The futility of my ability to attract attention towards my fate became apparent when my constant whining failed to be reciprocated by the members of my household. I became convinced of their selfishness and self-centered existence. Today in the gaiety and fun of their festivities they altogether forgot our presence. I, who all these days stood guard to inhibit any trespassers from coming into their domain, today stood silent and helpless watching them trespass my world. This probably is the price that we pay for our greed to get a few morsels without much work, this is the price we pay for letting us to be 'tamed'. The freedom that we lost in being 'tamed', we thought would be compensated by the love and care we will receive. But what is happening today certainly is not something that I expected to receive for our loyalty from animals who were considered to be intelligent, loving, caring and generous. 

All this while the bursts only became more louder and aggressive intensifying my distress and despair while the members of my locality rejoiced in a strange madness amidst the violently deafening sounds associated with thick dark toxic smoke. Helpless and forlorn, drawing upon a felt-solidarity from my silent world, I left things in the hands of Mother Nature. 


More by :  Rajesh Dev

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