I take the same route to office almost every day as I have figured it out to be the most optimum one. But if some of you are acquainted with Bangalore’s traffic, you know what I mean when I say optimum, right? We in Bangalore, get a lot of time to re-phrase the great words of Mr. Davies to “What is this life, full of care, we still have time to stand and stare” – involuntarily though as we are stuck in traffic for over sixty percent of our travel time.
So, when you get so much time to stand and stare, I tend to look around, observe things around me and notice the things I wouldn’t while driving – the only positive thing about being stuck in traffic, I think. I used to (and still do) stop at a particular signal on the way and as we moved ahead slowly used to come to a house which had a ferocious looking, huge double fur German Shepard.
He had a big kennel for himself befitting his size but I guess the time I used to pass through it used to be his entertainment time. He would be free, out of the kennel but fortunately inside the main gate. He paced around the gate exactly how lions do in captivity; his height half the height of the gate. I have never missed a chance to look at him, admire him, and in due time I actually got used to seeing him daily, pacing like a lion and barking at even the slightest move made by anyone on the other side of the gate.
He used to look at me, bark at me even as he would do with anyone else. But over time, I guess even he got used to seeing me at his gate during that particular time. He stopped barking at me; he would look at me, give a stare acknowledging my presence and go around with normal business which mostly involved getting annoyed at anyone around and barking at them. He never wagged his tail at me, not that I was expecting it from such a ferocious looking dog. But I would like to think that even he got familiar to my presence and wonder if he missed me the times I changed my route.
For the past few days, I was not able to see him which got me a little worried as I passed by. The house remained silent and the porch looked abnormally big, missing the presence of the majestic dog! Every day I hoped to see him again pacing around the gate, barking at people, sparrows, other dogs, vehicles and what not. But I couldn’t see him anymore. Over the past few weeks, keeping unfortunate thoughts away, I had kind of gotten over my missing the dog. That’s how life goes on I guess.
But today!!! I could hear him barking from inside. I was not able to see him but I recognized his voice. It was the same ferocious bark that has made people trip from their stationary bikes. I was so relieved to hear it that I smiled unknowingly as I moved on. It’s strange how we develop a certain connect with people, things, or animals we see every day. I don’t even know his name but I recognize it’s a he and not a she. I come to know when the shaggy dog needs a bath, when it has just had food (its there on its whiskers a lot of times) and such little things that amuse me at times. I was happy to know that the dog is in good health and I’ll see him again soon I guess. Did he see me passing by? Maybe, it was an acknowledgment bark to let me know – I’ll be seeing you soon! J