Written by Patras Bukhari in Urdu titled ‘Kutay’
By: Abbas Ali
“Asked the professors of animal sciences, enquired of veterinarians, and pondered a lot, but never understood, “What is the benefit of dogs?” Cow gives milk, goat provides milk and useful excreta; what the wonder does these dogs do? People say, “Dog is a faithful animal.” Sir! If faithfulness is the name of barking from 7 pm in the evening without taking a breath until 6 am in the morning, we are well off without such faithfulness. It is the report of yesterday, at 11 o’clock in the night, a dog got a tickle, appeared on the road, and introduced a model lyric. After a half or one minute, a dog from the nearby bungalow complemented the opening stanza. A veteran master was angered, appeared from the hearth of a confectioner, completed the Gazal up to the end. An enlightened dog from the southeast praised it a lot. Now started the untalkable poetry symposium, wretched! Some had brought two Gazals and some three. A few spoke a series of odes extempore. A ruckus started, which refused to cool down. Leaning from the window, I shouted a thousand times, Order! Order! But at such times, even the kings are not heard. Now somebody may ask them, buddy! If you had to conduct such a vital poetry symposium, why didn’t you go to the bank of a river and express your talent in the open air? What kind of nobility is this? You come amidst the houses and wake up the asleep?
The rural dogs are strange and ill-mannered; some are often such nationalists that they initiate barking as soon as they see a pantaloon and a coat. It is praiseworthy to some extent but let us leave this discussion. Additionally, there is one more thing, we have had the coincidence of paying visits with gifts to elites at their bungalows. By God! I saw such mannerisms in their dogs that I returned with all praise for them. As we entered the house, the dog squirted a slight sound and stood up with its mouth shut. We walked ahead, and it also walked four steps ahead and splashed a sound in a delicate and pious voice. It was a watchman-ship with complementary music. Our dogs have neither melody nor tone. They keep on singing without any rhythm.
Unrhythmic fellows! They neither see the opportunity nor recognize the time; they just keep hoarsening. They pride themselves on the fact that Tan Sen belonged to this country. Undoubtedly, our relations with dogs have remained somewhat strained; however, make us swear, we have never abandoned faith in the doctrine of non-violence. Perhaps you might consider it as an exaggeration, but God is the witness; I have not beaten any dog to date. Often my friends advised me to keep a stick in hand during the night; one should necessarily keep staff in hand; it helps keep the evil forces at bay. But we don’t want to create animosity with anyone. Although, no sooner than we see a barking dog, our nobility overpowers us; if you happen to visit us at that moment, you shall definitely label us as a coward. Perhaps you shall also make an estimation that my throat has dried up. But it is correct. Only the hoarsening sounds shall come out from my throat if I try to sing at such events. If you have similar nature, you shall see, at such moments, Ayat-al-Kursi vanishes from your mind and is replaced by Dua-e-Kanoot, which you start reciting.
Sometimes it so coincided at 2 o’clock in the night when we returned from the theatre, with a swinging stick in hand. And were trying to bring to our mind the tune of a song of the play because we could not remember the song’s lyrics, and it was also the stage of practicing as a fresher. Therefore, I settled for whistle blowing; people would consider it English music if I turned tuneless.
Meanwhile, as soon as I turned at the curve, a tied goat was there. Observe the imagination! Eyes took it for a dog. A dog that too with a goat’s body. Implies extremely a dog. My hands and feet swelled with fear. The rotation of the stick slowed down to such a narrow-angle that it hung up somewhere in the air. The music of the whistle too trembled and silenced.
However, the slightest change in the conical shape of my snout did not occur, as if a soundless tune was still coming out. It is an issue of medical science that there is no harm in sweating in winter; it dries up later on.
Because by nature, I am precautious; therefore, I have not had a coincidence of dog bite, which means no dog has bitten me to date. Had such an accident occurred any time, instead of this narrative, an elegy for me would have been published. A historical verse of prayer would have been:
“Let from the clay of this dog grow the dog grass,” but
Whom shall I tell what disaster the street dog is?
I shall have no objection in dying if it were once.
As long as dogs exist in this world and are adamant about barking, take my word, we have a foot in our grave. And also, the barking principles of these dogs are unique. Firstly, it is a recurring disease; secondly, children and the elderly are affected equally. At times, if a heavy, bulky, and courageous dog barks to maintain its horror and arrogance, I willingly or unwillingly say, let you bark (although at such time it should have been tied with a chain), but unfortunately, these puppies: two days older, three days older, weighing in a few grams, also do not abstain from barking.
Thin voice, tiny lungs, and still barking at such a high pitch that the vibration of the sound reaches to the tip of their tail. And they bark at in front of a running vehicle as if they shall take a breath only after stopping the car. If the narrator were in the driving seat, the hands would have outrightly denied working, but everyone shall not take mercy upon their lives.
My principal objection to the barking of the dogs is their sound suspends all the faculties of thinking. Mainly, when a secret assembly of dogs appears on the road from beneath the plank of a shop and starts preaching, tell me if it is possible to remain in one’s senses? We have to take note of everyone one by one. Their shouting and our protest (with closed lips), disfigured movements and settlements (their actions and our settlements). How the hell can the brain work in such chaos? Although, I too do not know, if in such a situation the brain works, what the hell shall it accomplish? Anyways, I always hate this extraordinary injustice from dogs. If their representative comes to us and says with humility, “Sir! The road is closed.” By God! We shall return without a speck of hesitation, and this is not a new thing for us. On the request of dogs, we have spent several nights measuring the roads. However, it is mean if the entire assembly unitedly and unanimously resorts to such unruliness. (I request the respected readers if any of your beloved and respected dogs are present in the room, kindly do not read this essay aloud. I do not mean to hurt anybody.)
God has created virtuous creatures in every kingdom of living organism; dogs are no exception to this rule. You might have seen a God-fearing dog. Generally, the effects of penance are visible on its body. When it walks, its poverty and humility make us ashamed of our sinfulness, making us unable to raise our eyes. Its tail is often stuck to its belly; it lays in the middle of the road and closes its eyes for contemplation. Its shape resembles a philosopher, and the genealogy stretches up to Dev Janes Clubby. Some vehicle owner horned continuously, knocked at different parts on the vehicle, informed through people, shouted himself ten or twelve times, his highness keeping his head there opened his intoxicated red eyes. Took stock of the situation around and closed his eyes again. When somebody whipped, his highness stood up with great contentment, laid a meter away, and started the string of ideas exactly wherefrom it had broken. Some bicycler rang the bell while laying it understood it is a bicycle and to give way to such a worthless thing is against the decorum of sainthood.
At night this dog spreads its dried and thin tail on the road as far as possible. It intends to test the pious and holy people; no sooner did you make the mistake of placing your foot on its tail than it enquired of you in a tone filled with anger and rage, “Child! How come you disturb saints; can’t you see we saints are sitting here.” With the curse of the saint, one’s body starts tremoring. Afterwards, the same dream recurs for many nights that many dogs are stuck to our legs and do not let us go. Eyes opened! My feet were entangled in the ropes of the charpoy.
For some period, if God bestows upon me the power of the best type of barking and biting, I have a significant quantity of the passion of revenge. By and by, let all the dogs reach Casoli for treatment. Here is a verse:
Urfi, do not be bothered by your adversaries’ shouts.
Dogs’ barking has never harmed beggars’ livelihoods.
This is anti-nature poetry which is the cause of disgrace for Asia. There is an English proverb, “Barking dogs seldom bite.” This may be correct, but who knows when a barking dog will cease barking and begin biting?”
(Patras Kay Mazameen pp59 – 65)