So,how much land do you have ?

All men are born equal but they don’t stay as such . A very correct philosophical statement. I feel like using it with some modification for those in govt jobs. As a bunch of youngsters you along with batch mates go into the jobs at the same point of time. For some years you stay as a close knit group sharing your joys and sufferings. Joining marriage of colleagues and the celebrating birthdays of newborns remains a regular feature of your social life for some years . But with passage of time the sense of oneness is gradually diminished as different individuals chart out different paths for their journey of life , based on respective interpretation of human values. The equality as individuals is no longer there at one point of time. Those who moved form one plum assignment to another consider themselves as a cut above the rest. Those who have managed to cultivate a few political godfathers or have acquired halo of godmen due to their familiarization with art of palmistry or numerology have less enthusiasm for sharing company of those who are just plain humans. The level of economic prosperity within the supposedly same financial resources varies form one person to another. While some may still be struggling with repayment of first housing loans there would be others who are concerned about the value of commercial plot not having appreciated sufficiently ! Off course goddess of prosperity does not bless everyone with equal affection. For some the proverbial opportunity said to knock once only seems to have kept on hammering at their doors with regular frequency. And so after a decade or so the bunch of equals has nothing equal except the age group and the gap seems to go on widening.

While ruminating over the scenario another famous phrase flashes into mind. ‘How much land does a man require ? ”. The title of a famous short story beautifully sums up the essence of the story and the basic philosophy of life. The story describes the plight of a human being who while chasing more and more ambitions still ends up unsatisfied and is buried below two yards of land which is the size of land which he actually required for last rites. So how much of land have these extraordinary cohorts acquired and was it so essential? The acquisition of recognition and economic prosperity by reckless climbing and pushing must have not been without sacrificing a few moral values. The constant running after the so called prime posts could not have been possible without spending a few sleepless nights for tactical planning. And then the constant vigil against encroachers on your acquisitions must have given you so many anxious moments. The financial prosperity… has it not added to feeling of insecurity against the fear of losing it ? Have the shining assets not created a false sense of prosperity in your offspring making them extravagant and wasteful ? Will they be able to hold your creations after you are not there ? So many questions but do they have time to stop and think ?

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Do you love your dog

Dog lovers are a different community . I realized this after we adopted a pet after a great deal of in house debate over merits and hazards of keeping a dog. For years we had considered the dog owners in the neighbor hood as queer people with an unwanted burden of looking after the pet all the time . We wondered as to how they cope up in times of crisis such as a family member falling ill when everyone is preoccupied with hospital responsibilities. I had apprehensions about us being able to tackle the dog training aspect.

 

However after initial teething troubles the things got settled. Our dog has now become an indispensable member of core family group, one who sometimes also influences decision making process. On my return from any trip outside the city or the children coming on vacation the emotional reception from our dog spices up the welcome home ceremonials. Thanks to internet we learnt so many things about breeding and training of dogs. There are newsletters and magazines pouring out so much wisdom on the topic that one feels a bit guilty for having remained unhooked with this emotional aspect of human existence. An hour long daily morning walk with the dog is now an indispensable part of my exercising schedule. Our shopping trips invariably include visit to pet shop. Whenever a new visitor opens up with topics of dog breeding our discussions go on and on. We are now a family of dog lovers in true sense of term.

 

But this new addition to my activity schedule has also opened up for my vision an aspect of Indian socials life which is rather disturbing. The pet keeping hobby seems to be gaining popularity by day. On an average during my morning rounds I see five to six dogs being taken out for walk by respective owners or servants. But most of the creatures seem to be not in adorable health conditions. It seems that a fifteen minute outing on footpath for easing themselves is the only exercising opportunity which their masters can provide to them. Some of them are always confined behind the respective gates and are perpetually howling in shrill tones whenever a healthy dog of respectable appearance passes by. In majority of cases the dogs are taken out by servants with a stick in hand. The language of stick is the only one which these poor creatures now seem to know. There is one lady politician who merely “releases” her rascal dog on the road every morning. Since these are only moments of freedom for the thoroughly untrained creature , he satisfies his animal instincts by growling at all and sundry, and chasing all morning walkers without any rhyme or reason.

 

Having experienced the affectionate and disciplined temperament of dog for more than a year now, I feel moved over the suffering of canines who have had misfortune of landing up with these pitiable masters who keep a pet for fun or as status symbol . A thoroughly organized and brave animal like dog definitely deserves only a master who can bring out his best qualities. For those who have no time to take the pet out for a walk or exercise a stuffed toy seems to be a better option.