He’s “The Dog” to me because I haven’t seen anyone like him in my life. I didn’t believe that a soul like that existed, among humans or any beings of nature. One so pure, that it expects nothing but companionship from you. One that is willing to climb dangerously steep mountains just to keep you company and to protect you from the unknown dangers. The descriptions are not metaphorical. For better understanding, let me tell the story from the beginning …
It was just another Sunday, my friends and I decided to take a day’s trip, I got a list of places near Bangalore one can go to and we chose one from it. The place is called Makali Durga, I thought the pronunciation was ‘Ma-kali-durga’ but turns out it is ‘Mak-li Durga’. We took a direct train from Bangalore Cant (Cantonment railway station) to Makali Durga railway station. We made a bad joke too – ‘Bangalore can’t’ help us now, let’s hope Makali can. The departure time was 7:40 A.M and the fare was just Rs. 15. Among the three friends I had planned the trip with, one turned up – Lakshmi. So, she and I got our tickets, found our train and got on it … eventually. Now, Lakshmi can’t decide which coach to take and I’m restless with the fear of missing the train, so, we run around checking as many coaches as we can and run into one of them just when the train starts moving. Oh, and this happens every time me and her travel together.
The train reached Makali around 9:30. We got down and walked towards the Station master’s room to ask for directions. I really like these Station masters, especially the ones in rural areas. They seem like such dear creatures from an old novel about an old town. I had my eyes set on the office, but suddenly, I heard Lakshmi loudly say “buddy”. I turned back to say “I’m not your buddy, guy!” but as I did, I realised she wasn’t talking to me. She was playing with a dog, she had already named him buddy and now she was scratching his head. Buddy sat on his hind legs. He lifted his head up and closed his eyes, enjoying the love this human bested upon him. When he got up, I noticed that he was limping, he had hurt his left leg but he was quite used to it, he came comfortably limping to me and I gave him my share of love. We regretted not bringing biscuits, pet him for a while and walked towards the hill leaving him in the railway station.
We began walking on the railway track, we could’ve taken the road next to the railway track but didn’t. “It’s a railway trek, we should walk on the railway track” we decided. We walked avoiding the slippery stones on the path and a few minutes later, we turned back and saw buddy following us. We laughed adoring him and resumed our journey. We continued walking on the path, after a while we heard a train horn, Lakshmi heard it first, I denied its existence. When we heard it clearly, we hurried and ran to the nearest cement slab that was next to the thorny bushes, a little away from the track.We watched the train go and laughed at our own stupidity. “We’ll find the exit soon” we assured ourselves and continued walking on the track. Buddy, who was following us, left the road and joined us on the track. The exit was 2 Km away, right after the sign 54/400 which I was supposed to keep an eye out for but forgot the numbers.