A Dog Experiences War. We Call it Diwali


A Dog Experiences War. We Call it Diwali

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

Day 1

It’s been seven years since the damned humans last went to war. Seven perfect years of daytime naps, hiding my bone in the kid’s bed, and growling at my reflection in the mirror. The Pomeranian who lives in my building finally sniffed my butt yesterday. Life couldn’t get much better.

But then this morning, the shelling started early, merely half an hour after the sun came up. I had just urinated in my human friend’s right shoe, and was settling in for another nap, when the commotion began. Almost every minute a bomb went off, from the windows I could see little children shoot guns at each other. We were under attack. The soldiers ran around yelling code words at each other. The words rang through my ears, “Happy Diwali, Happy Diwali!

My humans friends either couldn’t hear what was happening or didn’t have the courage to face it. They slept. I tried my best to wake them by drooling on one human’s neck, but they called me a “bad dog.” My tail lowered. If I had to survive this war, I’d have to take matters into my own hands. Just like that time they said it was raining cats and dogs and no one would let me go outside and see.

Day 2

I spent the previous night scavenging through a bunch of worthless stuff lying around the house, managed to find a bedsheet, a new iPhone, a pair of sneakers, and a fresh newspaper. Spent the morning using the material to make myself a bunker under the couch, where I could wait and whine until the war was over. Bombing has intensified in the last 24 hours and I have no plans to leave until a ceasefire is announced.

Oops! It’s time to take a dump; my friend put a leash on me. My entire body was shaking; I didn’t want to enter the warzone. It reminded me of the time I played fetch in the park and a pitbull took my stick. I just wanted to get back into the bunker, but the human kept pulling until we were outside. We couldn’t even see car tyres behind the smoke, and neither my human nor I were equipped with a gas mask, so all we inhaled were fumes.

After a terrifying few minutes, we decide to go back home. My family too was preparing to get out and join the war. To my horror, the younger humans had set their hands on fire and the older ones were unwrapping a line of red bombs. From my bunker, I spotted a pair of headphones on the table, and I stood patiently by it.

“This isn’t your food… come come,” the human told me, using that infuriating baby talk, He ushered me back into the bunker headphoneless. The idiot.

Day 3

The last two days have been hell. I’ve only slept a total of 25 hours, five hours less than usual. The noise has been so overbearing, nothing is making sense to me anymore. Do dogs say bow wow or ruff ruff? What happens when I finally catch my tail? If a stick falls in the park and there’s no dog to fetch it, is anyone really a good boy? A thousand questions race through my head as I chew on the bed sheet.

Two hours later, I emerge from the bunker looking for some kind of food, even Pedigree will do. The humans are up early and seem to be participating in some religious ritual, probably to wash off their sins from the previous night. I whine out to my friend Kulkarni Spaniel who lives next door, and he whines back to signal he’s okay. I look out at the warzone through the window and feel sick to my stomach. Most of the humans have turned to ash.

A few stray groups are still firing pistols at each other, and the odd bomb keeps going off in the distance, but looks like the worst is behind us. The younger kids are putting on flashy clothes. Relatives have come over. My family probably won the war – if there can ever truly be a winner in war. I drink a few sips of water from the toilet, and chase a fly back into the bedroom. It’s time for another nap.