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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Readers Write Index


Sometimes with Animals...

by Madani Mohiuddin Ahmad
KSU, Riyadh, KSA

Nov. 7, 2007

Readers Write


Pets Oasis on Al-Ahsa Street has housed some beautiful amphibians, reptiles, birds, and some forest and land animals. Their refuge is nicely maintained with the state of the art technology. A vet is there to look after the health condition of the animals, and the animal keepers in blue uniform can be seen who are trained enough to keep the animals under control at Pets Oasis. They are responsible for dealing with the customers. Their main task is how successfully they explain the qualities of these animals who have been laced with business tricks. Sometimes they can be seen as taming the animals even with electric shock, the ultimate treatment given by human beings to those unruly creatures. After all they are animals. Disobedience is a serious crime in case they don't care about the valued visitors. They are for sale!

One small colourful singing bird costs 80 Riyals while the South African blue parrot is on sale for 55,000 Riyals. It sings and talks, and to our astonishment, it understands human language. It seems that stereotype training given to it by a man might not be that expensive and is always available at low prices The parrot talks with the customers regardless of their position or status, race or culture. It doesn't care who is who amongst the visitors. Others appeared mute with no physical gestures.

The patched and bright skinned dog was howling and struggling to run away, but of no use. In fact, nobody cared about the dog except for his somersault that delighted the visitors and particularly the children. The clapping were more on the repeat actions. Perhaps dog's faithfulness was sometimes at stake as it didn't respond to the visitor's onomatopoeic behaviour. A common impression on the dog was that better its jaws be locked as howling doesn't sound good. And the salesman out there did the same.

In the refuge is an igloo. Well equipped, still the baby bear appeared to be much restless. The vet with his assistant tried hard to feed the baby bear. The onlookers took notice of the beastly behaviour which later turned into an amusement. Even after several efforts, the baby bear did not respond to food. It was a good show and a nice pass-time for the visitors. Someone asked about the price but declined as the price was not affordable. That cost really too much. Materialism, perhaps, is a threat to the comfort and freedom of the refugee animals. Nevertheless, the ignominious bear continued to keep it's eyelids closed on them.

Why not then framed pictures of those expensive animals in the play room of the babes or they may be allowed to play with other children though lower in status, in the open garden? Nobody cares about the stray animals in the street but the same are too expensive while in cage. Visitors might have thought this way because money matters in our fast changing modern society.

That shawl magnificently hemmed with raw silk and embroidered was everyone's attraction. This art of a craftsmanship was done on an extracted skin of a deer. On the other hand, children were trying to get an eye contact with a tender dear who was fearless and mowing fodder. How good if that child gets in touch with and could share the best of their secrets of the refuge and murmured with a substantial degree of grief? Guardians out there, weren't that jestful and were careless of such animal. But they guessed that the child would ask to buy that. Oh... it's too much... what is the use of it...? It will die sooner or later. Forget it! Sheer waste of money.

The child was not in a mood to leave. Perhaps he liked the young dear while the careful father was in hurry. The game of love couldn't last longer between the two. That was the time to close the business and eventually everyone left. What was left behind were the refugee animals.

शक्ति जो चेतन थी, अब जड़ हो गयी है। बचपन में जो कुंजी मेरे पास थी, उम्र बढ़ते बढ़ते वह कहीं खो गयी है। - दिनकर


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