Never wake up a sleeping dog they say, but then that was hardly my intention. The first third of the walk was fine till I observed a couple of sleepy dogs staring at me. I chose not to disturb them and continued to walk swiftly. Slowly these dogs got up and started ‘should I bark or not’ kind of growling at me. At this time, another dog lazily woke up and started barking and these two dogs also followed suit. The road was deserted, all shops were closed and there was no one to look up to for help.
This happened a month ago. I had been to Delhi for a conference. My flight was delayed by a couple of hours so it reached Bangalore slightly past midnight. As the buses at the Bangalore International Airport were ready to leave, I took one of the buses instead of a taxi and got down at Ganganagar. This place is two and a half kilometres away from my home. I did see a couple of autos but since I was familiar with the area and the weather was good, I preferred taking a walk. This was not the first time I was taking a walk at this hour, but it was indeed after a long time. The road was empty and silent and I remembered the song from the movie ‘Shahenshah’ – “Andheri raaton mein, sunsaan raahon par…”
A couple of decades back, when I was still in my high school, I was walking with my elder cousin, Suhas, a similar thing happened. Four or Five dogs surrounded us and started barking at us. My cousin said to me not to panic and not run. “Look straight into its eyes and these dogs will stop barking once they realise that you are not afraid of them” he said. And after a minute or two, the dogs stopped barking and left us alone.
I tried to use similar strategy. Let me tell you all that I did not panic. I had a laptop bag in one of my hands and used it to ward off their attacks. I removed my jacket and swung it with my other hand to distract them. One of the dogs came quite close in order to bite me. I kicked its mouth with one of my legs. The dogs were a bit apprehensive after this and stopped attacking me but they were walking towards me. Maybe they were waiting for me to make a mistake. I slowly started walking such that I could face the dogs. I never showed by back to them as I thought that once they see my back, they might start attacking me. After a minute or so, the dogs just stood still and after another minute they went retreated. I guess I was out of their territory. I walked swiftly towards my house. I did see a lot of dogs on the way and none really bothered me, but the remaining part of the walk was just not comfortable. I had read a few incidences of dogs attacking young kids in Bangalore and those images kept flashing in my mind as I walked.
There is a thin line between foolishness and bravado; this was definitely foolishness from my side to take a walk at that hour. Forget the dogs, what if anyone else had attacked me. I do not carry any gun or knife to protect myself and I am neither a karate expert nor a Shahenshah. I thank my stars that these dogs did not wake up or influence the neighbouring pack of dogs. I don’t know what would have happened if I had run after the dogs started coming towards me. I sincerely thank my brother Suhasanna to have given me those words of wisdom which came to such good use that day.
Should I complain to the authorities concerned and get rid of these dogs? I don’t really know. I don’t blame the dogs for whatever I went through. I believe that they were just following their instincts. A lesson learnt the hard way.
Pssst - I haven’t yet told this to my parents and don’t intend to. Kind request to all those who read this -“please don’t reveal it to my parents”. They are not tech savvy and they will not read this. Thanks in advance.