Edited by- Aruna Nidamarthy
My name is Duggu. I am an Indian Pariah, I know all of you are fond of dogs but I am neither a poodle, nor a Beagle and certainly not a Labra so I am not really sure how might you like me, but I like you nonetheless.
I am a tough doggo you see, I live on the streets, all by myself. It wasn’t always this way you know, I had a home once. When my mommy gave birth to me on the roadside a lovely boy called Tinku came and took me to his house,we used have so much fun together but then one day I saw Tinku putting all his stuff into big brown boxes, I woofed and woofed because I wanted to play outside but Tinku wouldn't stop packing. I went towards Tinku and scratched his leg, he always rubbed my belly if I did that, I wanted a belly rub, I scratch him and I scratch him and I woof but Tinku wouldn't listen, he screams Go away Duggu! Tinku is crying. Why is Tinku crying? I hate it when Tinku cries. But I have an idea, I am a smart pupper you see, I run to the end of the room and bring Tinku my favorite green ball, Oh how I love chewing it. Tinku still won’t stop crying. All of a sudden Tinku lifts me up, I love it when he does that, I lick his face. I lick his nose, I lick and I lick. Tinku still won’t stop crying. Tinku’s mommy enters the room, she doesn’t like me much. Stop crying Tinku! You know we can’t take Duggu with us, we talked about it.
Tinku let go of me.
Well it’s been one year since, I am almost two now.
I live near Tinku’s neighborhood, sometimes I go to our house, I woof and I woof and I bark and bark but Tinku doesn’t come out. I haven’t seen Tinku in so long. Where is Tinku? There is this old fat lady who throws sticks at me if I bark too much. I don’t like her. Maybe she knows something about Tinku? I woof at her, trying to ask her where did he go. She throws sticks at me again, she gets me this time, it hurts, it hurts so much, I howl and I run away.
I come back to my spot near the dumpster and sit down quietly. I sit like this for the rest of the day, I look at people passing by, they walk, they run sometimes they come in big cars. I am tired from all the running in the morning, I go to sleep. Honk! Honk! I wake up. It’s the sound of Tinku’s school bus, maybe he’s in there? I know he’s not. I wait every day, he never steps out. But maybe he’s in there today? I run behind the bus, I bark and I run and I bark and I run and I stop.
I am thirsty now, I want water. I know what to do! I go to Neetu’s house, Neetu’s house is three lanes away, I walk towards her house, it is so sunny today, I wish I could sit under a tree but I am thirsty so I walk. It’s so sunny, my thin fur cannot protect my body much. Its burning, I think my body is on fire, it hurts. I keep walking. I can see Neetu’s house now, Neetu always puts a big pot full of water outside for me. Sometimes she gives me bread too. Neetu is nice. I like Neetu. She sometimes pats my head as well, she calls me Sheru, but my name is Duggu. I woof at her, I tell her that my name is Duggu but she doesn’t seem to understand me.
I drink water from the pot, oh how good it feels. It’s still too hot, I have an idea, I jump into the pot. The water feels so good against my body. Nice! I wish I could stay here longer.
I hear some noises in the distance, my ears are alert. Oh no! It’s Bunty and his pack again. I don’t like them,they are so big. I am so small, they always snatch my food away and attack me. I step out of the water and run away before Bunty and his other dogs decide they want to trouble me again today.
I go back the dumpster, it’s getting dark now, I can see people coming throwing garbage in the dumpster. Yay! Its food time. I jump into the dumpster, I sniff and I sniff. What will I find today?
I see a tube. What is this? I sniff it, it smells of mint, I lick and I lick, Wow my tongue is cold. I lick some more, I sniff some more. Bingo! I find chapatis in a paper, I eat it, it’s so hard but I chew and I chew. I feel better after eating.
I want to roam around a little, I start walking towards my favorite tree. It’s so big, I like it. There are some kids playing under the tree, this doesn’t look good, they are so big and so many. Okay maybe I can quietly walk past them and go ahead of the tree. I start walking quietly, I don’t want to make any noise. I don’t want them to know I am here, I am shuddering a little. I am almost through, but one of them spotted me, Oh no! One of them picks up a stone and throws it at me, I yelp and I run, now they all are throwing stones at me, another one hits me on the back, one hits my tail, the other hits my leg. It hurts. It hurts so much, I can’t run anymore, my leg hurts but they are chasing me, I run faster , I jump into the dry gutter nearby, they won’t find me here. Phew! I am safe now, I am sleepy now.
There is an incredible pain in my stomach. I howl and I howl. It doesn’t go away, it hurts more. I can feel something in my throat, it’s cold and whatever it was, now it’s coming out of my mouth. I doze off again.
Howling! I wake up in an instant. There is light everywhere, it’s morning, but why is there so much of howling? I can hear so many dogs howl. Something is wrong. I get out of the gutter, my ears alert. My leg hurts. I look left. I look right. I see nothing. What is happening?
I see something coming at me, it’s a stick, it’s a big stick. I have never seen such a big stick. It has a collar attached to it. Something Tinku used to put around my neck. I am running away, the stick hits me on the back. Ow! I howl, it hurts, the collar is now around my neck, I am being dragged away, I try holding the road with my paws, I am still being dragged, I can’t breathe.
The collar hurts. I am being pulled away. Wait. I can’t see anything clearly, there is a big net on me. I am not on the ground anymore, a huge man lifted me up in a net bag, the net is biting into my wounds in the back. It hurts, I yelp. I howl. I want to get out, I want to get out. I bark and I howl and I bark and I howl. I try to bite his hand but I can’t reach it, he keeps walking, I try to tear the net with my teeth, but it won’t tear. My jaw is now stuck in the net. I try to take it out but it won’t come out. I am trying, but it won’t come out. It won’t come out, it won’t come out. I don’t like this. My entire body hurts, and now I can’t move. The big man is approaching a big car, it is big. It is very big. Oh no! Bunty and his friends are inside the big car, they are also in nets, they are also crying out. The big man throws me into the car, I fall inside it. Ouch. It hurts so much, but Bunty! Oh no, please don’t leave me here with Bunty. I want to run, I want to run.
The big man shuts the door. Bam! There is darkness everywhere, I can’t see anything. I am trying to run away but I can’t see anything, I hit a wall, and then another. It hurts. Everybody is howling, trying to run away, Bunty doesn’t try to attack me this time. Phew! But I am still trapped in the net. The car suddenly stops. The door opens and the big man appears, he pulls out Bunty, then Jack , then me and then the rest, He throws us on the ground. My head hits the ground. It hurts, I can’t see anything properly now, my eyes won’t stay open, there’s light but then it's dark. Light and dark. Light and dark.
I am being dragged again. I can’t move my body a lot now, I am trying but I can’t.
The dragging stops.
I hear a howl, it’s Bunty, I have never heard him Howl like this before, now he’s quiet. Why is Bunty quiet? I struggle to open my eyes, I see him. He’s sprawled in front of me. There is blood everywhere. Bunty’s neck is half open. Oh no!
There is a tall man standing over him, he has a big sharp knife in his hand, Tinku’s mom used to make food with that knife, but this one is so much bigger. I try to run away but my body won’t move much, the tall man comes towards me. He cuts open the net. The net is open, I can run now. I try, but he holds me down with his big hand. I yelp and I howl.
Something sharp touches my neck, Ouch it hurts so bad. I have never felt so much pain. Ever.
My eyes are half open, there was a little light, now it’s a little da…