In My View
In My View11 mins 205 11 mins 205
My morning had started off confidently. Yet here I am, sitting on a bench in the local police station, brooding about things that have happened until now and those to come. I am waiting for the inspector to come and decide the next steps. It’s not like I have the choice to leave if I wanted to; I’ve been detained here. My cheeks still burned from the policeman’s hard slap. Things weren’t supposed to be like this. I was the one who wanted to file a police complaint. Instead, I ended up being the one against whom the complaint has been filed. And that too by people I’ve never seen before in my life...well, at least not until an hour ago. To know what really happened, let’s rewind my life by a couple of days.
I saw them while closing the gates after parking the car. They were sitting near the opposite house’s gate and looking at me with those innocent eyes that could melt your heart. Two cute fur babies - a white puppy and a brown one. I instantly fell in love with them. They mustn’t have been more than two months old. Siblings, most definitely. They must have come from somewhere else because I knew for a fact that the dogs in my street were already sterilized. I looked around for the mother but couldn’t find her. Mothers usually don’t leave their young ones alone for very long. So, were they orphaned? Well, I couldn’t come to that conclusion yet. I knew a little about dogs because I have one myself. My boy is three years old.
I went over and picked up the puppies gently. A brother and a sister. Cute. I checked them out and they looked neat and healthy. Good for them. The little guy bit my hand with his razor-sharp teeth. The girl remained quiet and nuzzled against my chest as I carried them to my house. I placed them gently on the ground inside my gates. I quickly went into the house to get some milk for them. When I returned, I saw that they were already back at the opposite gate. They were small enough to fit through the grills in my gate. And for some reason, they liked their current spot. Maybe they felt safe there.
I once again went over and placed the bowls in front of them. They drank the milk to their heart’s content. I knew bringing them into my gates would be futile because they would get out anyway. And I couldn’t bring them into the house because I didn’t know how my boy would react to it. Even if I could, I wouldn’t bring them into the house, in case the mother came looking for them in the street. I decided to take the puppies to my vet and leave them under his care if the mother didn’t come by tomorrow or the day after. I would then put them up for adoption. With this decision, I left them where they were and went into the house.
I was busy with work for the rest of the day. In the evening, I came out to the gates and saw them sitting on the platform at the street corner. I whistled to them. They saw me and came running. Puppies run in a clumsy way. You cannot help but laugh at them. I gave them a good belly rub which they enjoyed immensely. The little boy once again started to bite my fingers. I went back to the house and returned with some powdered dog food mixed with rice. They ate a little and then started playing. I left the food there so that they could eat it later if they wanted.
The next morning and the evening too went on in this manner. The mother had still not come looking for them. I had watched out for her from time to time, all day long. So I concluded that they were orphans. I called the vet and he asked me to come the next morning. Just one more night on the street for the babies. I thought they would be safe anyway as it was a dead-end and there was no vehicle traffic excepting those of residents. How wrong I was in my thinking!
The clock had just struck 7 pm. I sat on the sofa enjoying a cup of hot tea when my dog started barking. Just then someone opened the gate. From the window, I saw that it was someone from the neighbourhood. I had seen the person walk by often but had never spoken to him. He was now looking at something inside my house. I quickly realized he was looking at one of my CCTV cameras at the front. I went outside. On seeing me he gave a half-hearted smile. Before I could ask him anything I noticed a few people standing around something in the background. I felt a knot form in the pit of my stomach as I ran over to them.
The puppies lay in a pool of blood. One of them was badly mutilated, with intestines spilling out. Both of them were dead on the spot. I let out an unearthly cry looking at the sight in front of me. Who had done this horrific deed? Were they run over by a vehicle? Or did someone beat them to death? Triggered with agony, rage and gloom, I shouted at the group of people asking them if they knew who did it. Tears ran freely down my cheek. The resident who had been looking at my cameras answered from behind.
“We didn’t see who it was. I saw the bodies when I stepped out for a walk and called the others”
“But someone must have seen something”
“Maybe, but we cannot go around knocking on doors to find out”
“How insensitive of you to say this!”
“I am only saying how it is, sir. Okay, fine, you can suggest what to do”
Then it struck me. Cameras! The man was looking at it. Why didn’t I think of it earlier!! My anger and sadness had hindered my thinking. I ran into the house to check the footage. There was only one camera focused in the direction where the puppies now lay.
The low-angle shot showed the puppies playing by the side of the road. I was overcome with sadness and guilt. I should have taken them in when I had the chance. As the puppies ran around, they were momentarily blocked from view by a signboard on my gate. At the same time, a car turned the corner rashly and drove into the opposite street. I couldn’t see the license plate but it was a dead-end. So the car should still be there. I couldn’t see the puppies anymore as the signboard blocked my view. So this has to be it. The car had run over the puppies, killing them instantly.
I went outside the house and headed into the opposite street. People were still standing around, looking at the bodies like a museum exhibit. I overheard one of them say it was good riddance as the puppies had urinated in front of her gate the previous evening. Seriously! Has humanity come to this? Their bodies were still warm and all you can say is this! I couldn’t look at the bodies; didn’t have the heart or the stomach for it. The resident who had spoken earlier asked me if the footage showed anything. I didn’t answer him and just shook my head indicating No. Why should I tell him anything? I didn’t know him. For all I know, he could be friends with the guy who ran over the puppies. I rushed past him and reached the car that was standing outside a house. The engine was still warm. I checked the wheels and underbody but couldn’t find any blood on them. Anyway, it was dark and I couldn’t see properly. In my hurry, I had missed carrying my mobile phone with me; I could have used the torch in it. However, I was sure it was the car. I looked up to see a lady come to the gate.
“Yes, what do you want?”
“Does this car belong to you?”
“Please call your husband.”
“He has gone out. Why? What is the matter?”
“I need to talk to him. Did he just drive back home?”
“Yes. But why?”
“The rascal killed two innocent puppies. I need to talk to him.”
“Mind your words. You are mistaken. He wouldn’t do such a thing. Will you please leave?”
As she said this, the resident came over. The lady looked at me.
“Here’s my husband. You can ask him yourself.”
Then she turned to her husband.
“This man says you killed two puppies by running them over with our car.”
The resident responded.
“What nonsense! I did no such thing. Hey Mister, we are a decent family. Don’t create a scene here. Do you have proof for what you accuse me of?”
I was startled by the man’s audacity. It was him! And he had come to my house like an innocent neighbour only to check if the CCTV had recorded anything. I was now so pissed off.
“The CCTV footage will prove that it is you. You wait and see, you rascal. See what I do.”
“Do what you want. Mind your words and get out of here. Otherwise, I will call the police.”
“You will call the police!!! You just wait. I am going to call them myself to take action on you for what you did.”
I left the place with seething anger and didn’t wait to hear his response.
Though I had put up a confident and brave face in front of him, I was not sure if the police would take me seriously. It was an accident involving stray puppies. Would they consider it a punishable offence? Moreover, I was not very confident about the CCTV footage either. It was dark outside when the incident had happened. Moreover, the view was blocked by the signboard. So I was not sure if the footage was good enough as evidence even if I managed to file an FIR. But someone had to stand up for the puppies. They can’t just be blown out like a candle, can they? I decided I would give it my best shot.
Their bodies still lay on the road. There was no one around except a guy on the phone who stood just fifteen feet away. To him, the bodies weren’t even there. I took a few photos of the bodies in case the police needed them. Left to the people of the street, they would just leave the bodies there for the garbage man to pick up the next morning. I went back home, wore a pair of latex gloves and returned with a couple of cloth bags and a shovel. I looked at the torn bodies of the babies. Once again, I was overcome with emotion. I could still feel the little fellow biting my hand, and the little girl nuzzling against my chest. They died without even a name; without ever knowing that some humans could still love them from the heart with all they have got. They were orphans but stuck together even in death. Maybe they are now happy somewhere; reunited with their mother. I gently picked up the bodies one last time, placed them into the cloth bags and returned home. I buried them in the garden and placed a stone marking their graves. Sleep well, my little babies.
I came back into the house and looked at the footage again. Where did the signboard come from? I had not affixed any board to the gate. I didn’t recall seeing it that morning either. I once again stepped outside to check it out. The board read ‘A2Z Mobiles’. It was an advertisement board from a mobile shop. And at the very bottom, after giving all their details in large-sized letters, the words “No Parking” were painted in very small letters. These guys were using my personal property for their advertisement. And the consequence of it was that an incident was blocked from view when I needed it to strengthen my case. Such irresponsible people! What right did they have to do this? I decided to pay them a visit the next morning.
At 11 AM the next morning, I was at A2Z Mobiles. It was just a couple of streets away from my house. I asked for the owner of the shop. A man stepped forward.
“Yes Sir, how can I help? Are you looking for a mobile? We are having a wide range of mobiles for you to choose from.”
“Did you fix your advertisement boards on house gates in K-Block yesterday?”
“Could be, Sir. We covered many houses yesterday. Did you see our ad and come here? If so, we are having special discounts for such customers.”
“I didn’t come here for your mobile. How dare you use my property for your ad? Because of you, my CCTV camera view was blocked and an important incident could not be captured properly. I can report you to the police for this.”
The man was not bothered at all. In fact, his tone changed totally.
“Hey, if you don’t want the board, just remove it and throw it away. Don’t waste my time giving empty threats. Now don’t bother me during business hours. Get lost.”
“How dare you talk to me like this.”
In my anger, I gave the man a tight slap, and in the same flow picked up a mobile phone lying on the counter and flung it at the opposite wall. It shattered to pieces and fell to the floor. After venting out, I got back to my senses. But it was too late. The damage was already done. The man had already called the police and was talking to them.
So here I am, sitting on a bench in the police station. I don’t know what will happen next. But I am going to fight it out, tooth and nail. And when this is over, I am going to fight for the puppies too, come what may.