I was walking down a street in my so called big metropolitan city at night one day. I generally don’t have any other number senses that the common five but there was definitely a different feeling tonight. I thought I was being followed but there was no one behind me. I could, however, see a shadow along the by-lanes now and then. I turned a corner and suddenly saw a big dog staring at me. One look at the creature and I realized that this is not a home bred dog. No, this is not even your average joe street dog who just barks at you and stops after you pass. This is a big ferocious dog, barking and growling and grinning at the same time, salivating profusely looking at me with a look on its face that is disgusting to say the least. The insane looking beast then charged towards me at such a speed I didn’t even have time to understand what was happening. There were no other dogs around, not even cats that may come to my rescue. Of course, I would like to believe they would have at least tried had someone been there. This big wicked beast knocked me down and bit me, taking a chunk of flesh out from the left shoulder. I felt as if I broke a bone in my back due to the fall, my shoulder was constantly reminding me of hell. I was screaming in pain. There was no one there to hear it though. In my struggle I managed to kick this dog right in the region where it ‘should’ be kicked. It howled and ran away leaving me, literally, a broken person and scarred for life. I wanted to think all this was just a frightening nightmare but the pain in my back and wound on my shoulder kept bringing me back to reality.
A week after that there was a media frenzy over this. The dog was arrested and put behind bars. Mr. Ujit Mikam was fighting the case as a public prosecutor. I was fortunate I did not die due to my injuries. A foreign journalist was allowed to interview the dog. The dog, without batting an eyelid, said I was asking to be attacked travelling alone at night on such a street. Mr Netaji Singh, an ex-CM of my state, when asked to comment on the incident, said that dogs will be dogs, they bite. A certain panchayat leader went as far as saying that it was due to the wrong type of food that the dog was eating literally sounding like he acquitted the monster.
I was so furious that I wanted to personally snuff the life out of all the dogs in this world with my bare hands. Dogs like these should not be allowed to roam free. They should be behind bars through out their life or may be even culled I felt.
Having said that, however, deep inside, I knew this may happen again. If not this, there may be some other dog in its place but there was a good chance that it might happen again. Yes, such dogs should not be alive and most certainly not out in the open but the stark reality is that they are there and I along with many like me are vulnerable. I can argue and argue about the mentality of these dogs on news channels, newspaper columns, open letters, dharnas, candle light marches and what not but this mentality will remain the same or at least take a very long time to change. Until then it’s always better to be safe than sorry. I don’t think that I won’t venture out in the open alone at night but when I do I think I will always carry a weapon of defence of some kind, may be a pocket knife or a pepper spray or may be even a blow horn and if ‘push’ comes to ‘shove’ won’t hesitate to attack with it and make my city streets one mad dog safer.