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Genie, our family pet slipped into deep sleep on June 14 2010

Genie, our family pet slipped into deep sleep on June 14 2010

My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.
Some day I’ll join him right there,
but now he’s gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I’ll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.
Ai, I’ll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.

No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he’d keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea’s movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean’s spray.

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don’t now and never did lie to each other.

So now he’s gone and I buried him,
and that’s all there is to it.

Translated, from the Spanish, by Alfred Yankauer

Standing at your grave in the garden, now I regret...I could not spend my evenings with you, I could not take you out for long evening walks just the way mom,dad & munny did

Standing at your grave in the garden, now I regret...I could not spend my evenings with you, I could not take you out for long evening walks just the way mom,dad & munny did



{Link} Aravind Gowda’s exclusive report on ‘Bellary turns graveyard for wild animals’ made me feel deeply ashamed of being a human being (I have not done anything, but I am drowned in deep remorse and hideous sense of helplessness)….. I am, over here, reproducing (also providing the link) his report in Mail Today, April 1, 2010.


Aravind Gowda reports ‘A menacing cacophony of noise from trucks and heavy digging machines have replaced the familiar grunts and cries of sloth bears and antelopes – the original inhabitants of the deciduous forests in the iron ore-rich Bellary district of Karnataka. The impact of illegal mining could be witnessed not only in the general topography of the place but also under the once-green canopy.

Today, every leaf in the reserve forests surrounding the mining towns of Sandur, Hospet and Torangallu dons a filthy coating of red dust, raised obtrusively by thousands of illegal ore- laden trucks zigzagging across narrow and bumpy roads cut through virgin jungles. That is the greedy mine lords’ contribution to an already shrinking habitat for wildlife.

Endangered species such as the four-horned antelopes or Chowsinghas and sloth bears Image taken from {taken from TumkurEnvironment blog have vanished from the reserve forests of Bellary because of the 24×7 mining in the so-called protected areas. These animals are often mowed down by the trucks. Not a single antelope or bear has been spotted in the forests over the past year, a forest official said.

“These animals are sensitive to noise and human activities. We patrol the forests regularly. We have not spotted the two animals in recent times. Mining has disturbed their habitat. They must have migrated to other forests,” Bellary subdivision forest officer A.D. Singh said. Sloth bears were found extensively in Bellary a decade ago. “But they are now restricted to Daroji bear sanctuary in north Karnataka, far away from the mining area. Bears are no longer found in Sandur,” Singh added.

Incidentally, veteran Congress leader and one-time mining magnate M.Y. Ghorpade was instrumental in the creation of Daroji bear sanctuary. But none of the current crop of millionaire mine lords has shown interest in protecting the environment of Bellary as a social responsibility initiative.

Forest officer Singh said several bears were crushed under trucks a few years ago. “Bears are nocturnal animals and they come under the wheels of trucks plying on forest roads at night.” Wildlife conservationists attributed the destruction of animal habitat to the unorganised road network inside forests rather than mining per se. Forest officer Singh seconded this argument. “Numerous roads connecting mines in Bellary pass through the reserve forests. These are the main culprits.” The Chowsingha and the sloth bear – endemic to the Indian subcontinent – are listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and also declared vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of threatened species.

Apart from the Sandur reserve forest, Chowsinghas are found in Nagarahole, Bandipur, Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple sanctuaries, Jogimatti reserve forest and Rangayyanadurga state forest in the state.

Forest covers 13 per cent of the 8.13 lakh- hectare Bellary district, of which three per cent are reserve jungles. The forests are dry, mixed deciduous with sparse vegetation where four-horned antelopes, sloth bears, leopards, jackals, peacocks and common langurs were abundant until a few years ago when mining activities were strictly restricted to government-leased areas.

“The four-horned antelopes are shy animals. Loss of habitat is a serious threat to their survival. And they have nowhere to go. The isolated reserved forests are shrinking because of development activities,” wildlife biologist Sanjay Gubbi said. 

{The vulnerability and helplessness of the cub in absence of his mother was captured in the TVC}

Aircel has partnered with WWF-India to help Save Our Tigers. Our national animal is fighting for its life. From around 40,000 at the turn of the last century, there are just 1411 tigers left in India. If we don’t act now, we could lose this part of our heritage forever. Speak up, blog, share the concern, stay informed… Every little bit helps.

This campaign of ‘Save Our Tigers’ was initiated, recently, by AIRCEL {India’s 5th largest GSM Mobile service provider} in association with WWF-India. It intends to draw attention towards the dwindling population of the majestic creature, our National Animal, the Indian Tiger, at an alarming pace due to deforestation, degradation of habitat, disgusting poaching exercises by bloody idiotic bastards –  humans. It also intends to sensitize all Indians to this painful development and prod them into action to save this majestic animal from extinction.

Tigers have been key target of poachers and in 2009 alone India lost 86 Tigers. It’s quite clear that Our National Animal is on the verge of extinction and it’s time to take up some serious moves n launch decidedly proactive efforts. is instrumental in propagating and disseminating information about Saving Tiger. Besides being an information centre, it also works like a Push mechanism to create buzz across all forums like Blogging, Facebook, Twitter and writing letters to the editors of Newspapers. It also has created a platform where people can donate money to NGOs working towards the cause.


I truly appreciate this campaign and its serious intent, but am not sure how Blogging, Twittering, Facebooking etc would really control the brutal practice of murdering defenseless living creatures, majestic animals like Tigers in the jungles, at the ground level? People, instead of indulging in comfortable couch-activism, have to step up their help through donating money on a regular basis or purchasing ‘Save our Tigers’ merchandise  {which needs to be invested to beef up and manage the Forest Security} and insist on trasparency in execution till the last mile. The real cause of this destruction has to be tackled at the Forest level, which is tough task considering the intensity of corruption and tendency to misuse one’s power amongst humans. The campaign should work towards this..otherwise it would end up as a buzzy blip of serious excitement (a great case study on how brands are supporting Social Causes, championing Social Activism), around which people crowded, expressed their sadness/deep feelings/genuine tears and then forgot about the whole thing in a jiffy. The campaign should result in tangible results! 

As I said in the Comments….I am concerned, if brands consider Public Activism as a device to differentiate themselves from the competition n do nothing towards the cause that they are championing, afterwards. well, I do not know what TOI’s highly written about n widely accoladed ‘Lead India’ resulted in….releasing great looking campaigns on issues that have been pet peeves of the people of India is not enough. they should work n sensitize n mobilize people in large nos. to be part of the cause. If brands are strategically chasing the fact of striking a relationship that’s beyond Transactions, then they have to show everyone what n how they are attempting to achieve. n this is, unfortunately, not happening. the real cause may not see any earth shatteringly positive a transformation, but the brand will be seen as responsible…quite sad!

Read Stripey, the Tiger cub’s blog! n fall in love with Stripey and drive the movement to save Tigers

Do you want to lead the change ? do these little things…

Project Tiger 

Update on 8th March 2010 : Two Tigers found dead in Ranthambore

Do not know how I stumbled upon this blog post by Abodh….but I stayed n lingered over it for some time. It’s, indeed, a delight for a canine lover and I fell in love with this cute tan brown chap who seemed curious about the strange device & the stranger stopped at him. And of course, I cant ignore the white one in the background. I wish, the world puts its mad rush on hold for a few moments to engage with these dogs.  


The Welfare of Stray Dogs(WSD) has brought out the “Strays Of Mumbai” WSD Calendar 2010. This year, WSD has come out with ‘wall’ as well as ‘desk’ calendars. Both the calendars have a collection of photographs of street dogs that we come across in our daily commute through the city of Mumbai. Both the calendars have distinctly different photographs taken by WSD volunteer, Rohan Mukerjee


I simply loved this string of words….’Each dog has a unique character and some hidden quirks just like the people they live amongst….’ absoloutely true! I do not like them to be termed as Stray dogs, but prefer to view them as homeless inhabitants of this world, about who the world around does not even spend a few moments. These wonderful creatures come in different shapes, colour shades, a mix of cheerful and grumpy faces, healthy and wrinkled/diseases-rich skins, & are true survivors on Indian streets….they survive the harshest conditions/ way of life, which could make any living thing intensely bitter about its existence….


I watch them…everyday…going about their daily expeditions, all alone or with their gang, searching for pieces of food, fighting with their buddies playfully, at times running against the soft breeze, or indulging in territorial fights, struggling to cross the roads buzzing with maddening traffic, trying to extend their warm & friendly world to humans with a friendly wag of tail, staring at the world around with eyes rich with affection or deep inexplicable level of sadness or depression …I feed them whenever I could, love to befriend them (did a few in Bangalore & Mumbai)…and there are quite a few miserable incidents remained stuck with me, because of their tragic notes, i.e. the moments when I witnessed dogs meeting their death, unpredictable one, breathing the most painful last breath  – the dog crushed or torn into pieces or lying as a lump of dead meat, thanks to bloody, ruthless humans behind the nonsensical wheels of progression+inhumanity.



Do buy these calendars : “Strays Of Mumbai” WSD Calendar 2010, Proceeds from the sale of calendars go towards WSD’s sterilization and other programmes.






My flat went dark for one hour Saturday night !

New York City’s Empire State Building is scheduled to go dark for one hour Saturday night.  So are the St. Louis Gateway Arch, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza and many other iconic structures. The lights will be going out for Earth Hour, organized by the World Wildlife Fund to draw attention to global warming, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday local time around the world. That’s when organizers of the event, which began in Sydney in 2007, want everyone to turn off non-essential lights. About 2,800 cities in 83 countries — including 250 in the United States — had signed up, according to Dan Forman, a spokesman for World Wildlife Fund, an international conservation organization that boasts 1.2 million national members and close to 5 million globally… on  


Skinned Alive





When undercover investigators made their way onto Chinese fur farms recently, they found that many animals are still alive and struggling desperately when workers flip them onto their backs or hang them up by their legs or tails to skin them. When workers on these farms begin to cut the skin and fur from an animal’s leg, the free limbs kick and writhe. Workers stomp on the necks and heads of animals who struggle too hard to allow a clean cut.

When the fur is finally peeled off over the animals’ heads, their naked, bloody bodies are thrown onto a pile of those who have gone before them. Some are still alive, breathing in ragged gasps and blinking slowly. Some of the animals’ hearts are still beating five to 10 minutes after they are skinned. One investigator recorded a skinned raccoon dog on the heap of carcasses who had enough strength to lift his bloodied head and stare into the camera.

The content for the E-mail to be forwarded starts from here :

“There is no need to see the video, but if you must, be aware, it’s horrible.

 Please sign and forward to your contacts, this has to be stopped!!!


I explain the process below:


With a hidden camera, animals were filmed being SKINNED ALIVE!!!


They say it’s done to get a more perfect  ”cut”….afterwards the carcasses are tossed into a pile, still alive, and  for up to 10 minutes you can see their hearts still beating, in agony,  their eyes still blinking, and the puppies little paws still shaking.  There was one pup, that still lifted his head and gazed at the camera with bloodied eyes .



If you don’t care to see the video, please sign and forward to your friends: this monstrosity has to be stopped, we have to act!!


The following video is of excruciating violence. Its painful silences affect us all deeply. If we don’t protect animals from this type of brutality, we become accomplices.



 When the list reaches 500 names, please forward to:


{link : Inside Chinese Fur Farms}


There are no fresh green pastures around….the whole green belt was dug out to make space for monstrous shopping malls (the modern citadels of conspicuous consumption) and outrageously large corporate buildings (do not know, they look meaningless)…herds of hungry cows (abandoned ones) roam about the streets, high speed traffic, approach vehicles that are parked, anticipating some food from heartless heads / humans sitting in the vehicles….I need not tell you, all of us know, most cows survive eating discarded plastic bags. Thin, emaciated creatures wandering around the crowded streets searching for something to eat….they live off plastic bags, fast food boxes, rotten vegetables, clothes….most of them are abandoned, could be due to their inability to produce milk or change in their masters’ business priorities, begin their journey quite early in the morning, i.e. by 6 am, a few stand in front of the apartment complexes waiting for people to feed them, while others walk into the main streets crammed with both human and vehicular traffic. Having forgotten their rustic life,  these animals are being forced to survive in harsh city life. Who has the time to take a pause and ponder about these sacred creatures? Do they really deserve this kind of wretched existence?

Please feed these abandoned cows…bananas, vegetables like Cauliflower or greens or left-over chapatis (rotis, Indian bread), whenever you can. This human task does not require much from one, except a few minutes off your busy schedule. In our country, Cows are sacred animals, they are regarded and respected as a matriarchal figure, for their gentle nature (in Mumbai and South, most people touch the Cows in the streets and seek blessings silently, most stop and feed them bananas…On Mumbai busy streets, usually, both the cow and its owner are found sitting near a temple, the animal is tethered to, busy munching on fresh grass/ bunch of sugarcanes kept in the vicinity….why do people in Mumbai and South behave differently from those who live in Delhi / Gurgaon? Í do not intend here to raise that much avoidable North-South divide, but….shocked to see Cows in highly a neglected condition in the COW BELT of our country)  …why are we neglecting them ? they roam about the streets like destitutes. They clamour for a piece of chapati that’s being thrown out of cars…today, saw a kid kicking a cow, as his parents watched the whole saga, gleefully, as if their kid was on major an adventure. What’s wrong with our society?  Are we losing our ability to treat animals? This is a truly sad state of affairs.




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