Monday, June 12, 2006

Sweet Painful Gift

I like to go jogging in this park. Start with a brisk walk and slowing move to jogging on the paved fitness trail. It was the usual track. The park is normally filled with families with children around the picnic tables, some bikers, people with their pet dogs and those familiar jogging faces. But today was a bit different. I had reached the park a little late from my usual time. The exit area was really crowded. The inside however wore a deserted look. One of those rare occasions where you have the entire trail for yourself!!

The brisk walk had moved to jog and I was next to the children’s play ground. There were 2 kids playing on the slides. Very soon I reached the intersection near the garden. The path I was threading crossed the one coming from the other direction. I slowed a bit as I jogged the intersection. On the crossing lane were 2 dogs running towards me. Hounds or maybe retrievers but they looked really ferocious. There was a man behind them and he held the short lease. As they got closer I noticed that the man was on a skate board and the dogs were actually pulling him!! I continued jogging and very soon I could hear them on my same lane. Suddenly there was a loud noise and I turned around. The man on the skate board had fallen down. Before I could think of helping him I had noticed that the dogs were on loose. My heart skipped a beat!

I turned around to see if there was some place to go where the dogs wouldn’t follow. Unfortunately there was nothing in sight. It was just the guiding track in that serene surrounding. I looked back and the dogs were closer than before. Their determination to bite and rip me off to pieces was even more evident and I did the obvious. I started running in the opposite direction. I knew it was a futile effort as there was nothing really protective in sight. I took God’s name and prayed as I ran. Maybe my prayers were answered. I heard the man calling out for his dogs. He was probably running behind us. The dogs seemed to have stopped. I thanked God and tried to make full use of this opportunity and run to a safer place!

As I turned around I heard the dogs too had started to run behind me and I immediately realized that it had been a while since I had been to the temple and why will God help me when I remember him only in such dire situations? I started running to my full speed again. The faster I ran the louder I could hear the growls. I felt the dogs were now too close to me and were probably inches away in sinking their teeth into my flesh. I saw a pond or a lake on my right and dashed towards it. As I reached closer to the water body I could see the ground below the water and so dashed across it. I was half into water as I waded across. Soon I was on the other side and the dogs too were on the edge of the pond. They had still not got into the water and this gave me some time. In front of me was a barbed fence. I knew if I somehow crossed the fence I can be safe and I ran for my last hope profusely sweating. The fence was made by tying thin metal wires to poles. The wires were 2-3 inches from each other and stood probably 6-7 feet high. My aim was now to pull out the bottom most and crawl under it to safety. Both the dogs were now almost in the mid of the pond. I had to act now and I had to act real fast. I pulled the bottom most wire with all my might and it gave away. One wire closer to heaven!! A shrill noise like a siren or something started as the wire gave away. The dogs had now swum the pond and were almost out. I had no time to pull the second wire. The noise was becoming shriller and louder by each second. It was becoming unbearable. It was clouding my brain so much that I could no more focus on the dogs or their snarls. I think the dogs had backed off with that sound and I too wanted to escape it. I lay on the ground and crawled on my back under the broken wire. The sound was too much for me to take. I somehow wanted to cut it down. I wanted to close my ears and escape from this piercing force. Something must have happened when I pulled the wire and I had to stop this.

With great difficulty I pulled my self up and looked around. It was very hazy and dark. Slowly I could see some light under the blinds of the window. The noise was still defying and I had to stop it. I turned on to my right and saw the alarm clock. It showed 5:45. I hit the button on it ending the deadly battle!!

What a pain this alarm clock is!! Can there be a more lethal combination than an alarm clock and a Monday morning?!!!! It was gifted to me and I cannot throw a gift!! This is the pain which I see last before shutting for the day and this is the pain that pulls me into the day!! I don’t know who invented this but I know this is the most useful; pain filled gift you can give or ever receive!!!

~Narendra V Joshi


Prasanna said...

dude...Guess alarms also end the nightmarish dreams :)

It was a good narration....maybe you should come out with a compilation of your short stories in a printable format....

passer by said...

hey NVJ .. good one man ....

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