05 November 2010

The Dog In Room No. 5

It began just after the evening prayer. Returning from the mosque within the hostel, I saw a group of men standing near on of the stairs, talking animatedly.

What's the matter, my cousin asked.

There was a dog. In Room No.5.

Now, a dog inside a Muslim hostel is unheard of. Give us cats, rats, even full blown cows and we'll handle them with ease. But a dog?

Praise the lord!

A few of us were posted outside the infiltrated room, whether making sure everyone else stayed out or the dog stayed in, I'm not sure.

But when one of the more courageous of souls, Mr. A (name changed obviously - it's really hard to find someone named Mr. A in a hostel), charged forward with a log in his hand, we were in for a treat.

I assumed he was an expert, for he grabbed a few newspapers, took hold of matchbox, and entered the room. For ten minutes we watched as, behind closed doors, he tried coaxing the dog to leave. Lighting a fire, apparently, is a good way to do that.

And when the dog finally did get tired of the smoke and fire, it trotted out, escorted by regular banging of wooden logs of the floor. And since none of us gave directions, it went straight to a corner of the courtyard, and hid behind a large pile of furniture.

More men poured forward, ready to get rid of the menace. More newspapers were burnt, more logs were used. From either side of the pile, they tried to hit and smoke the dog out. Nothing happened.

Just when the scene was getting boring however, the dog decided to liven the show, and returned back to the corridor, from whence it'd just come. Unfortunately, a poor soul had just opened the door in Room No. 4 at that time, and he leapt forward at full speed upon seeing the furry animal. He slipped, rolled over, picked himself up, and continued running for his dear life.

It's fascinating how good a character study you can conduct when you have a dog in your hostel. Most of my mates, the same ones who ate beef rice and chappatis from the mess week in and week out, hopped around at the sight of the four legged animal. Others, thin wiry fellows who rationed the words they spoke in a day, turned into freedom fighters, holding their crooked wooden logs high in the air, giving commands to their hopping friends.

"Get back, get back!" one said. "Get out you dog!" another yelled towards the room, in surprising simplicity. "Tell that in Tamil!" another quipped.

As the dog began trotting out of the room, all of us climbed onto chairs and tables; if neither was available, we cowered behind each other.

And once the dog was in the middle of the courtyard, with seven men behind it armed with logs, all of us joined in support. It's easier to be courageous when you have 30 others with you.

From then on it was one long freedom march. Half a dozen soldiers and 30 plus cheerleaders, yelling and chanting as we guided the dog towards the gate. And once it left us, there were wild eruptions and whistling among us.

It felt good. Heck, it was the most colourful day in the hostel.

We should do it again sometime. Make it like a second saturday of every month kinda thing.

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  1. Haha! Nice one! Chennai's keeping you busy.

    Clever dog, though.

  2. Haahaa!! :D y dont u secretly let in an animal every month :P

    it is when a situation comes that all the true heroes are seen.

    take me fr instance, ill be the calmest one when everyone else if freaking out! :P and vice versa at times hehe

  3. This really happened?
    You can really make a simple incident dramatic? :) good work!
    kinda reminds me of tigerking...as regards humor only..

  4. The doggie must be shattered lolz nice post!

  5. "It's easier to be courageous when you have 30 others with you."

    i just love that line!

    the way you can write about such a simple incident in such an awesome way is absolutely fabulous! :)