After being reminded just how human I am by some nasty-nasty that invaded my body last week and held my tummy, my muscles, my head and my energy hostage for six days – finally, I can move. And move I did, by running 20K today with an inspiring group of fellow running nutters. About a third of the way through the run we picked-up a stray dog who stuck with us, trotting along like a proud thoroughbred, head held high and tail curled and perky. She was dauntless and ran with ease from kilometer to kilometer, despite encounters along the way with other dogs who defended their territory as we ran through it.
That’s the way it works here with stray city dogs – they live on a block, become its gatekeeper and protect their space and the people who live in it. Our canine companion was repeatedly nipped, barked-at, harassed, and even fully attacked by the American Embassy stray. (Shall we read anything into that?)
Live on the street, scrounge for food, suffer the elements and your enemies – and hold your course. That’s what struck me most about this dog who found us, a temporary pack – she held her course and never gave up from India Gate across town to West End and beyond. Maybe I’m a bit of a sap or optimist, however you see it – looking for a sign that says “hold on” – but look, I do and found it today in a furry little street dog who ran 8 miles and didn’t miss a step.
I thought you might like a brief look at the headlines in the Hindustan Times one day this week:
1. Delhi Turns Disease Capital (Record numbers of dengue cases, as well as malaria and the nasty-sounding and equally nasty-feeling chikangunya attack the city and all city hospitals are over capacity.)
2. Fogging on Hold as Government and City Fight Over Funds (Despite number 1 above and the welfare of its citizens, the city refuses to spray pesticide to kill disease-bearing mosquitos because it says it spent all of its money spraying for the Commonwealth Games.)
3. Monkey Menace Back to Haunt Residents (Residents in one neighborhood can’t get rid of their pesky monkeys. They brought in dominant, watch-dog monkeys to scare away the lesser monkeys, but they, too attacked residents. The city trapped and carted away all the monkeys before the Commonwealth Games – but they’re back. Proof that it’s just all monkey business in this city? The place just can’t seem to do anything right.)
4. Men Barging into Womens’ Coach to be Fined (Trains here are often packed with passengers who have little room to stand, much less sit or squat. Some men get around this inconvenience by sitting in the “women only” cars. The guards on these cars are also female, so I don’t think they have much luck in combatting the intrusion. However now, the trespassing men will be fined. Some trains have women-only cars because women are often harassed and fondled – or “eve-teased”, the local name for sexual harassment.)
5. Finger Test Violates Rape Victims’ Privacy (Rape victims are subjected to invasive finger testing during hospital exams. The finger test establishes whether the victim’s vagina can hold one, two or three fingers, indicating whether the victim is “habituated to sex”. Fortunately a Delhi court has ruled that the finger test violates a woman’s right to privacy and is irrelevant to the crime. Unfortunately, the courts talk a lot here and no one listens.)
So not much more to offer you after a week in bed but I did rally for Halloween… (Anyone care to guess from which poem the title came?) Here’s my gory brood and their friends on their way to trick-or-treat:
Halloween mommies at the annual school Fall Fiesta:
Lala on a shopping spree with her mama. We hit the mall early and saw a 10-a.m. movie, Letters to Juliet. Over lunch, we talked about going to Italy together and the tragic/romantic details of Romeo and Juliet. In Letters to Juliet, the best part of the movie was Vanessa Redgrave’s eyes – they twinkled, full of life and good things.
Here’s my Eddie at baseball and coach daddy, below:
I hit the toilet paper jackpot! Thank you Christine for turning me on to the toilet-paper wallah – oh, did he DELIVER!