Sunday, 25 January 2015

Impending Death and Another Nightmare

I was in the spell of 'Lost in Translation', the film, yesterday. Went to bed at 4:30 am which was quite an improvement, i should say. My room is gloomy now. My radio stopped working and i have discarded my usual songs so that they don't bring back memories. Songs selected by strangers are only what i can take now, i feel. Music-less sleep is difficult for me. I feel cold.
But from the past two days NN and i have been worrying not about people, but about an animal. Dee Bee, a dog that we took care of for some time and we loved. Dee Bee was found by NN and her friend Mal on the road. Mal liked her very much and took to campus. After the initial fondness he left her to NN to be fed. When Mal went to his home in Pune, NN took care of her. I grew fond of dogs because of NN who loves all animals. There were a lot of dogs on campus. Kolkata itself is home to a lot of homeless dogs. And people.

Dee Bee was the most energetic thing i had ever seen. In my sadness and pain when i saw her jump up and down and pounce upon me whenever my feet as much as brushed against the hostel gate, i felt a little better. Two minutes a day became bearable because of her. Piku, a kitten i had found and brought to campus was in the room along with Penny, also a dog Mal had brought out of impulsive fondness. Coffee, our long time cur cure was there too. So our room had three dogs and a kitten. We were scared they would just rip her into pieces and gobble her up. But they made friends. They played all day. Piku even started sucking Dee Bee's teat looking for mother's milk.

Dee Bee and Piku. Photo: NN

Our room was meant for the accommodation of only one person and we ourselves are amazed at how we are surviving here, us two women. With the dogs and cat included we didn't have space to even breathe. I tried giving my kitten to one of the professors. Then i decided to leave for home and as usual, a crazy idea popped up right before the 48 hours long journey. I made up my mind to take Piku home. I did. The journey was hell for her and for me but now she is happy in Kozhikode, eating five mathis (sardines) at a go and making Sethuvamma believe she is human. Sethuvamma doesn't talk about me on phone any more. Only talks of what Piku did that day. 

Dee Bee was sent to Kolkata Municipal Corporation to be neutered. Penny too. Dee Bee caught a viral infection there and has been sick since. She can hardly walk. Looks malnourished and gets scared at the slightest sound. NN took her to a vet and was told that she had distemper. Which meant she wouldn't survive, in all probability.
I think of people dying all the time. I never thought of Dee Bee's death. Not fair.

So there was the gloom of an impending death added to the room. Throughout the night Dee Bee made sounds of pain, unknown suffering and fear. I would jump up from sleep every time she whined or made a sound. When i slipped deeper into somnolence, i had the nightmare.

I was being sexually abused. Thankfully, i don't remember the details. But i do remember the man telling me 'You are liking it. Don't lie to me'. I remember people around me blaming me for having got assaulted. Them repeating that i had liked what he did and that i was making up the 'abuse story'.

Woke up with a start and earlier than i intended to. Dee Bee was dying. There was no radio. I had to repair it as soon as i could.

Some nights are like that. There would only be a sleep which was not fully one. It would be as if you thought you had yourself protected under the thick blanket. While shifting a foot slips out, and lies like that, cold, for the rest of the night giving you nightmares. Sleep, my foot. 

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