Love sublime

Love sublime

In a world where kindness is rewarded with ingratitude and love and affection have become rare the following story of the love between a man and his dog has served to restore my faith in the positive goodness of God’s creations. The man in the story is ‘Curly,’ so labelled in my mind as he has curly, grey hair, and his dog as ‘Whitey’ as it was a pretty little white Pomeranian, his fleece as white as snow like that of Mary’s Lamb.

Every morning, precisely at 7 am this man, clad in a collarless white shirt and dhoti, would accompany Whitey on their daily morning walk. As I sat in my balcony and watched Curly and Whitey would pass by my house. The prevalent practice for dogs is to drag their masters by the leash in the direction of their choice, as though they were taking their masters out for their daily walk, and not vice versa.

But Curly never kept Whitey on a leash. The latter would always trot ahead of his master, never too far away, and come to a halt in front of my house as though by appointment, for his attraction was my son’s mobike parked in front of the house. To raise his hind leg and bathe the rear wheel in a hot shower had become a ritual for him, after which duty done the dog and his master would pass on, and play a return date in another fifteen or twenty minutes.

And this time around the dog, probably feeling that he should not be found guilty of discrimination between the two wheels of my son’s mobike, would relieve himself on the front wheel. Thus, having administered the required minimum dose for an adult wheel, Whitey would pass on homewards in the wake of his master.

One day, as Whitey was in the process of supplying its quota to the front wheel, his master happened to look up. Seeing me seated in the balcony he said, ‘hullo!’ I waved to him and said, “Your dog’s contribution to our two-wheeler is much appreciated.” Curly laughed. And that was the beginning of one of those fortuitous friendships. Soon I picked up bits and pieces about Curly’s life.

 He was a widower with two daughters, both married off, and no sons. He lived all alone, except for his faithful Whitey, cooking his own meals and caring for his beloved canine companion. Once in a while I used to drop in at his house situated in the same street as mine, and exchange views.

Then, for about a week there was no sign of either the man or the dog, which was rather strange. So I called at his place one morning. I found him huddled up in a chair. But there was no sign of the dog.

“Where is the dog?” I enquired. “When the poor thing barked and I opened the door they... killed him with a stick...before looting the house.” “Who?” “The dacoits.” Then he pressed to his heart the carcass of the dog and wept like a child, saying,”I can’t live without bun.” And he didn't. He died the next day. Heart attack, said the neighbours. Broken heart, I would have said. Love sublime, Wordsworth would have said.

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