When I was only two months old, a speeding car crushed my mom and three siblings. I never had a father, to begin with. Obviously, there must have been a male that helped my mom conceive. His participation, however, ended just there. Just like that, I had no family. Those two months that I had spent in the warm embrace of my family were no less than a paradise. We did not have a house. So, my mom used to search for shelter every day. There were good days and bad days. Our definition of a good day was finding leftover food under the protection of a tree or tin-shade or a bridge somewhere. A day spent under the burning hot sun with no shade and no rejected food was marked as a bad day.
Despite the hardships, we were a happy family. Our mom was the best in the world. No matter how bad our neighbors, who changed based on our numerous temporary residence, treated our mom, she always showered her love on us. If I tell you how cruel some people can be, you’ll be shocked. Our existence in their proximity was a humiliation to them. Instead of comforting words or a little bit of leftover, they offered us their inhumanity. To get us out of their beautiful surrounding, they threw stones at us. Yes, you read it right! We were not asking them for anything. Believe me! We did not bother any of our neighbors. Of course, we expected kindness, but most days, even this hope died. Nevertheless, the love of our mom was enough for us.
And then that day arrived. Stones and sticks shooed us away from a quiet and comfortable corner next to a house. In an attempt to block one of the stones from hurting me, she got hurt in her left leg. She was having a hard time walking, let alone running. To catch her breath, she stopped on the side of a road. Worst decision of our lives! He must have been a real crisis to be driving his car so fast that he couldn’t notice four lives being crushed under his car. He didn’t stop even when my mom and siblings let out an earth-shattering scream of pain. They died at that very stop. I was helpless to do anything other than to let out a wail. So, that’s what I did. I cried nonstop at the brutality of the world.
My howling must have been an inconvenience to the sophisticated neighborhood because, within a few minutes, one man came out of his house, picked me up by my legs and almost threw me at the far end of the street. Although in doing so, he had inflicted significant pain, both physical and emotional, he had done me a great favor. The house, in front of which he had thrown me to die, belonged to a God. Perhaps, he wasn’t a God, but he would always remain a God to me.
Only minutes had passed since I yelped in front of that house, and my God stepped out. He did not know my story, and I couldn’t tell him any of it. Yet, that man had brought a cup of water for me. He gave me hope that there was still goodness in the world. When he observed that I was incapable of drinking water without his aid, he smiled and patted my head. He rushed back into the house.
When he was gone, I tried to force my legs to move toward the cup. But, I hadn’t realized the extent to which that man had hurt my leg while lifting me and throwing me down. I could not move. The deadly combination of unforgiving sun and my incessant howling had got me parched. I needed to drink the water, but I couldn’t. Nonetheless, I thanked my God for at least showing me compassion during these last few minutes of my life. My family died without this blessing.
Just when I thought I would die, a hand lifted my head and pointed a spoon toward my dry mouth. I knew what I had to do. I opened my mouth and welcomed the taste of those drops of heaven. In just a matter of a few seconds, I had finished the entire cup of water. Just then, the door of the house across the street flew open, and a man stormed out of it. I swear I saw smoke coming out of his ears. He was furious. Like many others, my sight and voice were an inconvenience to him.
“You should just throw it in front of some other house. I have been trying to do some important work, and his howling interrupted everything. When it stopped, I thought it had died. But then I saw you, Karthik. Now that you have re-energized it, it would begin its torture session once again,” that annoyed man blurted out without pausing.
Karthik, my God, stared at him for a few seconds, which seemed like minutes, and shook his head disapprovingly. Karthik didn’t even bother to answer that man. He just picked me up in his arms and headed toward his door. I couldn’t believe what just happened. I had expected another round of “lifting and throwing” me around, but he was holding me with a tenderness that I was not at all accustomed to. When he entered the room, the scream of a little girl made me shudder with fear. A woman’s soothing voice quieted her down. Then, I heard something that changed my entire life.
“Sweetheart, calm down! You always wanted a puppy. Won’t you welcome Caesar to the family now?”
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