Road Flush

India has different customs and traditions as a result of a diverse culture. Most Kannadigas splash water on the courtyards of their residence or the entrances (front of commercial establishments) to wash away the dust and dirt. Commercial buildings are left at that. However, if it is a residential building, women from the family paint beautiful kolams on the floor. A charming custom practised here.

Source: Sridhar Rao Chaganti (Flickr )
Source: Sridhar Rao Chaganti (Flickr )

Another typical yet peculiar custom performed exclusively by the water suppliers is washing every road they pass; a practice they observe dutifully. They have been cleaning roads since the early 1990s.

It’s a ridiculous problem faced by many states in India as if water scarcity and water mafias weren’t enough.

The quantity of water wasted while transporting and transferring is unbelievable. Most of the water tankers have the cheaply made circular drums that leak awfully. A large pipeline is connected and disconnected at the water outlet. These vehicles have one inlet on the top and two outlet valves in the rear. If the driver is not careful to secure the pipe correctly, the water will be leaking in several places. And if the driver is extremely careless while securing the pipe to the outlet, gallons of water are wasted. The outlet is few inches in diameter, so even 10 seconds is long enough to waste a significant amount of water.

If you happen to be behind this vehicle about to near a speed bump ahead, you are sure to see water spurting from the outlet; spouting like a happy whale. The funny thing about Bangalore’s residential lanes is that a kilometer distance has at least 10-15 speed bumps. Bangalore is also gifted with unfathomable potholes. By the time water reaches the consumers, precariously trundling along the bumpy roads, there will be a significant dip in the water.

Poorly designed so-called water trucks, sorrier than ever state of the roads and the wonderfully irresponsible people in charge; what a mind-blowing mess!

Not everyone’s the same

486px-Symbols-Venus-Mars-joined-together

How upset will you be if anybody accuses your homeland? I am patriotic in my own way and do not support blind allegations and judgements of any sort.

I came across the post by Michaela Cross, which recounts her traumatic experiences while staying in India. As a woman, it pained me to read her agonizing experiences. It pained me to be reminded that all women – Indian or foreign are seen as sexual objects. It also pained me to read such thoughts about my country and my people.

The blog is misleading. I will never say that she was bluffing about her painful experiences or about the effect it had on her. I will not deny that sexual abuse doesn’t happen here nor that it happens only to certain people. But it is misleading because the article portrays India to be the worst country with highest sexual assault, which, of course, directly points towards Indian men. This isn’t true.

There are vile monsters in every nook and corner of the world. Some places swarm with the likes of these and some places they are more or less decent. But that doesn’t mean sexual assault do not happen everywhere. Obviously, all people are not alike. So is the case with men. There are decent men who respect women, and there are also despicable devils who leer and abuses women.

After the disturbing explosion of that article in the blogosphere, it came as a huge relief when i read Candace’s post. I was happy to know there are people who do not accuse the whole country for the crimes of some and who understands the fact that not everyone is the same.

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Image source: wikipedia

My Friend

Every morning I see dogs happily trotting beside their owners. Many responsible dog owners spend so much of their precious time to walk their pet, and it’s quite wonderful to see that.

This always reminds me of my first visit to Bangalore. I was so amazed to find different varieties of animals on the road, but I was truly shocked to find dogs of good breeds on the streets. I still have a vivid memory of two very huge German Shepherds roaming around the area where I was staying. They had neither any leash nor any caretaker with them. Had they been abandoned? It’s very unlikely that those two were let off their leash to take a casual walk down the street.

Mr. Lonely

This was years back.

Now, after settling down in Bangalore, I was terribly upset to find out that so many pets are shut out of their homes. Innumerable dogs are getting abandoned on the streets.

People who thought they were a bit humane left their pets tied to some street posts for days together. If that can be called humane, although its surely better than assaulting them. I cannot imagine how many pets are being left to die.

Why does it happen?

It happens when pets become a burden. It happens when people move out of the city or the country. It happens when they want to go on vacation. It happens when they have failed to train their pets and then fail to manage them. It happens when pets become old. It happens when pets get sick. It happens when people do not want to spend resources on them. In short, it happens because humans are selfish.

Humans are, after all social ‘ANIMALS’. We are expected to behave like savage animals.

In certain instances, when fates don’t favour, the pets had to be left back. Instances where the owner had passed away, or the owner or the family is sick, or the family goes into deep debt and had to move away, or the owner is helpless to take decisions, and it is done by others. The reasons are many but comprehensible. What about people who are crueller than savages?

The-runaway-dog

Getting a pup is easy. There are thousands of dogs in shelter homes and pet shops, and of course, the countless dog owners selling their pet’s offspring. But planning for adoption is something that has to be done carefully and responsibly. And planning must be done.

Alright, this is not a high-funded global project, but if a little planning does avoid misery for these simple creatures, then we ought to do it.

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Picture source:
Dogvacay.com
Canadapetgrooming.com

Love Me Please (Part II)

The last post was a bit prickly but frankly i feel good about it. was a bit prickly, but frankly, I feel good about it. What drove me to write it was a small incident.

That awful day, I was travelling back home after the crazy office hours. Along the way, I saw a totally apathetic-looking dog walker tugging at the leash of an adult dog. I’ll name the dog walker “Dummy” (Because I dislike him and also because he was a stand-in for the real owner).

Walking a few steps forward, Mr Dummy stopped abruptly fiddling with the leash. The sweet dog, full of love, padded near to him and started to nuzzle his hand. I was across the road passing by in public vehicle; I couldn’t make out if the doggy just nuzzled or tried to lick his hand. Believe me, the sounds I heard after that was horrible.

Kung Fu Dog
The great Kungfu Dog

Mr Dummy had hit the poor thing on his head. It was so loud I could hear it on the other side of the road. I can never forget that sight, the sound of that strike or the doggy’s cry. I wished that the dog had returned the favor.

All happened within a few seconds. Regretfully, I was so shocked I couldn’t think of anything then. I got furious later, but then I thought what if he is not the actual owner. What is the point in being mad at him?

He might be just an idiotic dog walker who hates dogs. Thanks to the even more idiotic owners who send their poor little pets with such douche bags.

This is not the first time dog walkers would have ill-treated the pets, and sadly, this will not be the last. Most often, we think about employing a dog walker after we buy the pup. This has to change.

If we cannot provide companionship to our pets, then it is extremely important to find another person who can love them. We may not be lucky to find such affectionate humans that quick, so this should be thought of much earlier…particularly when planning to adopt a pet.

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Picture source : dogspelledforward.com

Love Me Please (Part 1)

1

 

I love dogs, so I planned to get a pup when I move into my new home in Bangalore. This was about two years back. Unfortunately, after the distressing house hunt, I dropped the idea of a house and a dog and moved into an apartment.

Seeing a lot of abandoned pets, I thought it would be a good idea to list down a few reminders for every dog lovers and pointers for weird people who just “simply” want a dog.

Run with me!

FYI, pup’s will not be pint-sized all the time! Just like all living creatures, it will grow into an adult…a large dog unless it’s of a small dog breed. Obviously, how big it can get will depend upon its lineage. One of the most basic and important thing for a dog is its physical fitness. Everyone agrees on that, but the question here is, where to take them for a walk?

Those who live in Bangalore or other such cities know that free space is very limited. The little space there is will be either filled with people, stray cows and dogs, goats or at times chickens. How to keep the pets from going all crazy over the chickens I don’t know. Didn’t find many cats here…Small mercies!

Although this is a bit of a stretch, I wouldn’t deny the fact that the city has very less public space for people to take a stroll, let alone to walk the pets.
whogoesthere1

Understand me!

Living in a pricey city, employing a housekeeper (who likes dogs) or even a dog walker is a challenge. I would say pets who have their own poop-cleaners are very fortunate.

It’s great to have household help, but if they are to do everything from feeding to training, that is, practically taking care of the pets, then in reality, who owns them? If we are unable to spend at least some time with them, then clearly we are not fit to own pets.

Hug Me!

We may or may not have large well-furnished apartments. Riches don’t matter here. If we decide to keep our pets inside the house or apartment 24×7, what difference does it make from an ordinary kennel? Do they enjoy antique vases and 52-inch televisions? Of course not! Maybe they will enjoy exquisite hand made floor rugs or designer shoes…oops! It’s understood they need human affection.

Look at Me!

Leaving our pets in apartments or kennels until we get back home late night (Remember…with minimal human interaction)…isn’t that too cruel?

Certainly, life is jam-packed with tight-schedules. If we can’t make time for our family and friends, then how are we going to make time for our pets. For some people, it’s the other way around. It’s an awful truth, but if we are terrible in managing our time, then its a Problem!

Looking after a pup, mostly in the initial stages, is just like looking after a child. It’s not a consumer product where you buy it and throw it after use. It’s a living thing where you need to specifically invest ‘Time’.

It’s absurd, but people do tend to miss out such simple things. This may be because some people tend to be selfish (“Oh! dogs are so cute, I too want one!”) or they think a dog is just an animal (Duh!) to serve them (“Dogs are just wild and uncontrollable animals, they used to live in the jungle..they don’t need any of the comforts. They should be chained!”). Really? What are they? Plastic?

Some think dogs to be…delicious? (Ugh! no comments!). I should particularly mention about another category of people who love their dogs to death…literally! Feeding too much, no exercise…ring a bell?

A Blessing in Disguise?

Travelling through the thickly packed roads in urban Bangalooru has always made me wonder if it’s a blessing for the livestock that strays throughout the city.

Paying respects

Karnataka, the southern state of India, still values and respects cows, as its religious beliefs and laws are quite entwined. The cows are considered as holy animals and therefore worshipped by the Hindu community.

Government Support

According to THE KARNATAKA PREVENTION OF COW SLAUGHTER AND CATTLE PREVENTION ACT, 1964 (ACT 35) slaughtering cows, calves and she-buffaloes are prohibited in the state of Karnataka unless they are diseased.

On December 13th 2012, the Karnataka legislative assembly passed another new bill on anti-cow slaughter called the ‘Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation Bill 2012’. As stated in the bill, any animal falling into the category of bovine will not be slaughtered. High punishment is to be charged to those who slaughter any cow, bull or buffalo.

Cattle Power

I have never seen an urban city that has such liberal views. These animals are totally free to go anywhere they want. Even if they parked themselves right in the middle of the road, every vehicle has to make way for them. Oh, that’s good! Know why? Because pedestrians are always annoyingly honked out of their way and trying to cross a road is like a life or death mission.

Every animal lover will be delighted to know it’s a heavenly place for these animals. A huge relief against animal cruelty too. However, it is doubtful if it has actually helped the four-legged animals to survive.

In search of Banquet

In the streets, you can see small herds of cattle moving along the side of the roads (at times even in the middle of the road!) to their grazing spot. It is a common sight in the city, one that is hardly noticed anymore.

They usually move one after another, where the mother or the older animal takes the front, leading the rest of the herd in search of any patch of green. But they usually have to be content with the leftovers the thoughtful street vendors provide them with or the garbage pile in the corner of a road. Seriously, finding even a square inch of green is quite a task when compared to stumbling into a garbage pile.

Different perspectives

Apart from the problem that the cattle do not get enough fresh fodder for consumption, there comes the challenge of shelter and care, which is equally important. Even though it doesn’t snow in Southern India, it can get very chilly in the winter. It’s upsetting to see how the new born calves lie near the dumps and freeze.

Most of the cattle do not have any loving owners or homes. But some domesticated cattle that do have real owners are let loose to roam around the city for food. Usually, small scale farmers resort to such things because of the increasing value of packaged animal fodder and lack of fresh green. At least they take back the animals in the night.

It is indeed commendable on the part of the government to bring about such laws and the society to support them, but not much has been done to care for these animals in terms of nourishment, shelter or nurture.

Note: This post does not intend to discuss any religion. However, it bears some slight reference in order to acquaint the reader.