Sunday, 2 March 2014

A Special Rescue Mission

Bhargav KVRK

During the busy New Year week, I was walking past the senior boys hostel at night, heading towards my home when I heard a bunch of boys playing with something on the road. When I went closer, I apparently felt that they are troubling a small piglet. It looked like 'Hamm' of the toy story, only difference being the yellow colour  was replaced by black and white smears all over its body. It had a terrified look in its eyes and her tiny ears were dancing while sprinting frenetically. Little annoyed I thought of teaching them a lesson. As I approached them, one of the boys said frantically gasping for breath, "Brother, cover that side, don't allow the piglet to escape." I retorted, " Why are you troubling a small piglet and having fun at its expense, leave it!" No brother, you are not understanding," he tried to explain, "this small creature has strayed away from its drove and is roaming alone on this deserted road in the thick of the night." He took a deep breath and continued, " Two gangs of stray dogs on either side of the road have already spotted this soft target and are trying to maul it. We are just trying to protect it."

My annoyance was transformed into admiration for these students and joined them in trying to encircle it. The piglet was terrified and was squealing, running helter- skelter trying to escape this protective chakravyuha. At that very moment, one of our senior faculty members was attracted to this commotion at this late hour. I quickly ran to him and appeased his curiosity, "Sir, they are trying to catch a piglet which has strayed away. This small creature is under the menacing gaze of a group of stray dogs." He swiftly joined this rescue mission and churned out few innovative ideas from his wisdom filled mind. "Boys, get one of those big cans from hostel which we use for putting used clothes." He added, "Also get a piece of cloth to cover the mouth of the can." One boy quickly ran to the hostel and got a big blue can. This teacher took full charge now, overlooking the rescue operations, he said, "Put the can upside down on the piglet and slowly drag it to the cloth next to it and cover the mouth of the can." The instructions were scrupulously followed. "Now slowly upturn the can with the cloth covering it." Boys started appreciating the ingenuity of their teacher.

Few street hawkers were returning homes from a hard day's work. They stopped and tried to find out the reason of  this commotion. "Oh my God, Swami's students are trying to catch a piglet, they should not do that, it is a dirty animal", one hawker said to the other stitching his eyebrows showing utter abhorrence.
"Sir, we have to save its life, we can't see it being mauled by street dogs", said one boy firmly looking at this street hawker with a voice filled with conviction and eyes looking at the professor for some support. Professor sir was filled with pride at this prompt answer and nodded in agreement. It was finally caught and the can was kept upright with a cloth on it. We were able to hear some noise from inside. The can was a deep one and there was no way the captive could escape from it. We took it to a near-by Sodium vapour lamp and slowly removed the cloth. The can was bathed with the yellow golden light from the street light. The piglet looked up with its button like eyes shining in the diffused light, without any agitation, as if assured that it is in safe hands and gave a grunt perhaps of warmth and coziness .

Fortunately, we found a scooter of one of our faculty members, which was kept in the hostel. I quickly kickstarted it, when one more brother carried the big can with its inmate and sat as a pillion, keeping that bulky plastic can in his lap. We planned to take it to the banks of river Chitravati where generally we find the droves of pigs. When we entered the Chitravati Road leading to the river all the sporadic pedestrians were looking at us with astonishment at the unfamiliar luggage and the outlandish manner of transportation at this unearthly hour. At the fag end of the road just near the river Chitravati we found a herd of pigs relaxing after a long day's 'work'. The matriarch of this herd, of around a dozen piglets, was sitting guard with its head calmly resting on the ground and behind it all the piglets were rollicking, fighting and playing with each other.

We  alighted from the savior scooter, brought that Herculean plastic can down and tilted it, slowly removing the cloth cover. The dowager pig lifted its head a little and looked askance. The piglet sensed the mood of its mother and took measured steps keeping its head down avoiding eye contact. The mother pig give a short, loud grunt, attracting the attention of the 'pathbreaker who returned home'. The mother give a stern look as if saying, "Where were you, is this the way you should behave?" and gave the piglet a nudge inside her protective shield. All the other piglets were waiting for their hero and gave it a rousing welcome. They huddled around it as if asking him, "How was it, what world you explored, was it better than this?" The 'pathbreaker' maintained a serene silence with an unflinching gaze as if telling them, "This place is the best, might be you have to go and experience 'that' to value 'this'."

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