“Yaatriyo, kripaya platform 3 se surakshit doorie barkarar rakhe, ek through train guzaar ne wali hai”
(“Passengers please note, a through train will be passing through platform 3, and everybody is requested to keep a safe distance”.)
I almost jump out of my seat, befuddled first and exasperated later. How does it feel when you are having the best dream of your life and someone wakes you up, voluntarily or involuntarily? It took a fraction of a second to realize that I was at the station waiting for my train on a concrete seat laid out for weary travelers like me-self; which after looking at the screen I realized wasn’t due till another agonizing 30 minutes. I was meditating, preparing again to sleep when this time a loud shriek reached my ears and decapitated my sleep. Turning around a bit, I notice two three girls, scantily clad in dirty and torn dresses teasing a puppy. The puppy though a street-bred was plump and cute, so much that anybody would want to cuddle it, but these girls were reacting otherwise. They were kicking and poking the puppy with pleasure and every time the little creature let out cries in agony and pain, they laughed their hearts out.
I did not pay heed to their games at first but then I noticed they continued teasing and kicking the puppy, sometimes deliberately stepping on its tail. I could not control my anger, my train was delaying unexpectedly and being a dog person I could not just see those girls hurting the poor creature and do nothing about it. I stand up and call those girls, “Ai tumlog! Kutte ko maar kyu rahe ho?” (“Hey girls! Why are you hurting this innocuous puppy? What has it done to you?”) I survey around to see people looking at me, and by the look on their faces, I deduced that they too wanted to pose this exact question to the girls and was simply waiting for another person to so. I summon one girl by my fingers; she seemed the eldest of the pack and was wearing a tattered grey skirt and an equally exacerbated yellow top with green polka dots. She mischievously smiled and ran away a little only to bend back and again look at me. Her eyes had a unique shine as if waiting to tell a story, I walked towards her only to notice that she was again on the move. It became clear she would never let herself get caught, so I devised a common and popular trick.
I went to a shop situated on the platform itself selling tea, cakes and other food stuff and bought a couple of biscuit packets, in between I noticed the pack of girls eyeing me eagerly waiting for my next move. They were hungry and I had food! Very carefully I looked at them and smiled, they smiled back; to further enhance things I began orchestrating my plan. I threw the packets into the air and the girls swiftly caught them all! Now that the basic trust had built up they all flocked closer to me, hoping to get more. This time I again repeated my question about hurting the puppy to which the eldest replied while looking at the biscuit she was having, “Papa jo roj haamare saath karate hain, hum to wohi kaar raahe the” (“What our father does with us every night, we were doing the same to the puppy!”) and the realization hit me like a thunderbolt! These kids did not even understand the difference between loving someone and hurting them! Someone rightly told that kids are like clay, they get molded the way you want them to be and by the looks of it, their father was molding them the wrong way!
I stared at her countenance unsure of what to do; she seemed to enjoy the food given to her. I look at the puppy which is now sitting under the exact seat where I was sitting, I give the poor creature some biscuits too and it happily obliges wiggling its tiny tail. I am happy! Moments later I hear the familiar whistling of a train, my train. It is time for me to go.
Image courtesy- https://wallpaper.wiki/cute-puppy-hd-images.html/wallpaper-wiki-free-download-cute-puppy-image-pic-wpd009494