“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Gandhi
It was Wednesday evening. Amber and I were trying to hurriedly squeeze our way through the mob of passengers at Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station. Somewhere in the middle of cribbing about the chaos and regretting having entered from the Sarai Kale Khan side, which is apparently more dirty, our eyes fell upon some movement on the floor. It was a dog. It was a full grown female mix breed dog. But that’s not important. What’s important is that she was in pitiable state and we couldn’t help but stop to take a closer look at her.
She was dehrydrated; so dehydrated that all her skin had been sucked in through her bones. The slightest movement of her body clearly seemed to be very taxing for her. When we offered her some milk and biscuits, she tried to get up and awkwardly walk towards the food only to realise that she was too devoid of energy to be able to eat. We offered her water and she tried her best to drink some. Her hind legs were giving her away and she was slipping at every small step. What added to her woes was an injury above her eyebrow and a heavily discharging eye.
It was even more heart wrenching to see was the fact that people were in such a hurry that without even realising, most of them were stepping on her tail or brushing their heavy baggage against her. With no strength whatsoever, the poor dog could not cry out, or growl or bark at them. So she just lay there, bearing whatever came her way.
In my heart I knew that there was no way that I was going to turn my back on her and walk away in ignorant bliss. So after quickly making whatever enquiries we had gone to the railway station to make, Amber went about looking for some cloth or a jute sack to help lift her and carry her in our car. Meanwhile, I stood there, shielding her from ignorant passersby, taking in their jerks and jolts like a good old shock-absorber, while our dog lay there catching a quick disturbance free nap!
Very soon, she was sitting in our car’s backseat after a very cute ride in Amber’s arms, all wrapped up in a jute rag. While we drove her down to Friendicoes, a Delhi based NGO for animals, we christened her Mili!
At Friendicoes, while she was being injected for the drip, Amber gently patted her and said, “Koi baat nahi, sabb theek ho jaayega” (Don’t worry, everything will be alright) and I could see Mili wag her tail that very instant. Elated, we showered her with some more love and she gracefully understood and soaked in every ounce of it.
We clicked a picture of Mili, for our family album and bade her goodbye.
Back home, Bhalu and Hachi, our 5 month old pups, were happy that we were back. As they checked and inspected the new smell on our hands, they seemed to understand what Mommy & Daddy had been up to and they seemed mighty proud. I sense that unlike most human children, doggies seem to like that their human mom & dad are good to other doggies as well.
As I think about her today I realise that Mili, like any other mother, had drained herself out while bearing and feeding and nurturing and protecting her babies, several times over the years. So much so, that she had forgotten to save any energy for her own well-being. Lying at the railway station amid constant hurt and insult is not the life a mother ought to have. I am glad she finally called out to us for help. I am praying for a speedy recovery for Mili and hopefully a more respectable life ahead.
Mothers, after all, are God’s greatest Gift to Mankind and each of them deserves a life full of love.