ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday September 2, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 14

In memory of my Kalu

Why did they kill her?

She was my Kalu, though some called her Sakuntala. She was the pet of many in the area. Kalu lived with five other dogs in the hospital premises behind the petrol shed down De Saram Place, until she was run down by a vehicle, speeding on a narrow road which had a speed breaker.

Kalu was black with brown paws. She had a beautiful shiny coat and tail, and talking eyes full of expression. She was lovable and loved attention and affection. She used to talk in her very own special language. She was immunized and sterilized and loved living in that environment mingling freely with the people.

Kalu used to visit our clinic which is situated almost opposite the petrol shed and rest on the porch near the security point often waiting for me. She would welcome me warmly in the morning as I arrived at work and was my caretaker at night. During the past 2-3 years, I fed Kalu and the rest and spent time with them during my lunch break. Others who were fond of dogs did the same.

Kalu had to be offered the food first, or else she would get offended and walk away. The food had to be kept on a carpentry table on the premises. She refused food when it was kept on the ground! Last week as I was busy attending the ICAAP conference, I got to know that Kalu had refused food and kept waiting for me to come. There were others who fed her and took care of her but she was not satisfied.

On that ill-fated day, August 24 she welcomed me in the morning in her own special way. I fed her with buns, little knowing that it was going to be her last meal. I bought her rice in the afternoon and went looking for her. I witnessed the most horrifying and heartbreaking sight.

I saw three vehicles speeding down the road opposite the clinic I work in. I was told by the onlookers that they belonged to a politician. I saw my Kalu on the road struggling in a pool of blood. She was on the edge of the road -- the vehicle moving on to the wrong side had knocked her down. It was sheer negligence.

As I ran up to her, I saw blood spurting from her neck. I tried to arrest the bleeding by applying pressure, hoping it was only a deep cut, but a side of her head and neck had been crushed. I held Kalu in my arms, the pet I fed over the years, cared for, loved so much and fondled, as she breathed her last in a pool of blood.

I cried and whispered a prayer: Kalu, what did you do to them, for them to run over you and leave you bleeding to die? Every living being has a right to live. No one has a right to take another's life, be it human or animal. In a Buddhist country where Ahimsa is said to be practised, this behaviour is totally unacceptable and appalling. There has to be justice.The vision of Kalu waiting for me at the clinic entrance will never fade away. You have left a void in me. I will always miss you.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.