Blackie's lane

Only people who lived on Blackie’s lane and regular visitors were let through.

I grew up on Blackie’s lane. It is one of the lanes in the old part of the city. You can recognise it if you see a scooter parked on the lane, with keys dangling, ready to be stolen. Blackie came to our lane as a small pup. He made the culvert opposite my house his home.

It was just big enough for him to lie down and avoid the harsh sun and pouring rain. When there was a pleasant sun-shine or a light drizzle, he was out there under the sky running around till he got tired. He only went searching for food when he was hungry. He ran behind the females during some seasons and got into some fights. But otherwise he was mostly peaceful in his little self-made kennel. I saw him getting aggressive only when other dogs tried to claim the culvert. He looked to me an epitome of contentment.

The other thing about him – he could have been a poster-boy for those ‘loose extra kilos’ joints. He had just one simple rule. He ate when he was hungry and he stopped when he was full.And slowly, he became the self-appointed security guard of our road. Only people who lived on Blackie’s lane and regular visitors like postmen, maids and milk and news-paper suppliers were let through.

Anyone else unescorted – man or animal had to undergo a very tough and loud interrogation session from Blackie in order to gain entry. In fact, I had to introduce my fiance to Blackie formally, so that my fiance could enter the lane. It is because of Blackie that my father has become complacent enough to park his scooter on the road leaving the keys in it.

A decade has passed since then; I no longer live on Blackie’s lane. I live in a highrise building in the new part of the city, where security guards man the entrance of the complex. Where the regular visitors wear ID cards to be allowed access. Still, there are many times, when salesmen, people looking for work and donations knock at my door having gotten past the security guards by some means.

At these times especially, I yearn to go back to the simple life of living on Blackie’s lane. Where one could leave the keys behind in their scooter, sleep soundly, and wake up to find the scooter still there. Where we had round-the-clock, reliable, friendly, uncompromising security services, and that too without having to pay any maintenance charges!

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