About Me

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Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier, birder and amateur arachnologist. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. Before that, worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai from 1993-2007. Also a wildlife conservationist working in the tiger reserves of central India with Satpuda Foundation.

This blog is for aboriginal breed enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah) and INDog-mix mongrels are featured here. The two are NOT the same, do please read the text on the right to understand the difference. Our aim: to create awareness about the primitive natural breed called the Indian Pariah Dog/INDog. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Time and tide

Run run run!

Kimaya's mantra is "seize the day." Every moment not spent running, exploring, playing, eating, learning new things, sleeping on extremely soft bedding, is a moment wasted.

Incessant heavy rain threatened to ruin our Nagaon visit this week; but on the second day it was much lighter. We went to the beach in the morning...

...only to find that there was no beach. It was high tide.

So we walked in the
wadi, the coconut plantation next door.

That property belongs to my relatives. I don't let Kimaya off-leash there, because in this season the ground is covered in vegetation and there are snakes around. (We have some venomous species in this area including Russells Viper, which I've seen in my own garden).
Luckily my uncle's caretaker has cleared a path through the plants, so we could walk without disturbing anything.

In the evening the tide had receded and the beach was absolutely beautiful, empty as it usually is on weekdays in the monsoon. Just like it used to be before the tourists discovered it.

We met this young black dog with his mother. Kimaya tried to make friends with him, but he wasn't interested in anything but protecting his mother. He's only half-grown but he guards his mum very well, barking whenever anyone comes close to her. I don't know whether she wants to be guarded so zealously, but he does it anyway.

We've known her for a few years, but she's a shy dog and doesn't have any dog friends except Brownie. Her son seems to have inherited her temperament.

Then Brownie came to the beach!!!

Our caretaker Gharat told us our large furry friend has started visiting our house again, every few days. He didn't have his new family members with him this time, so Kimaya was thrilled to meet him.

He's grown even fatter, and his new owners have put a green collar on him with "FASHION" written on it.

It rained a bit, but not heavily, and the sun shone through the clouds all the while, so the sky and sand and trees and rain and we were bathed in that rare golden light you only see a few times a year.

This is the best the beach can be.

And only I was there to see it, with Kimaya and Brownie trotting along beside me!

We reached home drenched and muddy and in great spirits. Brownie stayed for dinner and then he slept over, just like he used to.

I'm worried about all the weight he's put on. I told our caretaker to speak to his owners, tell them to feed him less. Apart from the fact that he hardly runs any more, I felt he wasn't comfortable sleeping on his side, and he changed his position once or twice. He never used to do that.

The next morning he came to the beach with us but then went off home - I'm not sure which home, his original one or the new one. He has three homes when you come to think of it! That's three times luckier than many of the dogs in India.

Our last evening was spectacular again. These pictures and videos were taken with my phone, since I don't carry the camera out on rainy days.

The tide was low and the beach was vast. The sand was covered with a film of sea, and magnificent reflections of clouds and sunset. A bit like those common kind of greeting cards, but being inside the scene makes it different and not common at all!

Kimaya seemed to walk on water, earth and sky.

Kimaya is a whole lot more obedient since her training started. Though she doesn't come when called, she does whiz by me every five minutes or so, which is a lot better than what she used to do earlier (behave as though I didn't exist). I could hear her little paws thudding on the wet squelchy sand whenever she raced past.

A flock of birds flew over the sea, and it reminded me of the migrants far away in their breeding grounds in the Arctic and northern Europe...

Perhaps even as I stood there, they were gathering in huge numbers and stretching their wings and getting ready for the long flight south. Some may have set off already and are even now flying silently towards us, crossing country after country unnoticed by the poor earthbound creatures below. In winter some will land at Aksi beach close by. They'll spend a few months here hunting for crabs among the discarded plastic bags and bottles. Because tourist season will be in full swing then.

Coming back to the dogs -

Brownie made a brief appearance and then went home.

The other dogs on the beach disappeared after a while.

Kimaya scampered around and played by herself, seizing what was left of the day, ecstatic about being young and strong and able to run.

Turning in a circle where I stood, I realized there was absolutely no-one on the beach except Kimaya and me.
It was empty, as far as the eye could see.

I am not very spiritual, but it's impossible not to feel euphoric at such a place and time. Even one hour here is better than a lifetime in noisy, crowded, grim surroundings.

And if you have a happy dog with you, it's one hour of being in heaven.

Konkan Coast

1 comment:

wandereress said...

Lovely post Rajashree. You and Kimaya are really lucky to have such a beautiful place to call your second home. Your description and the videos really took me there. I feel like I have also seen a bit of heaven, with a happy, lovely dog running around me. :) :)