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Tilak Rishi, born in India, has been working as a career corporate executive, after doing his MBA. Passionately pursuing his hobby for writing, he also remained a regular contributor to newspapers in India and the U.S. Many true happenings and characters he came across in life, including interaction with former president Bill Clinton, inspired Paradise Lost and Found, his first novel. A family saga, it starts from Kashmir, when this paradise on earth is lost for the tourists who thronged in thousands every year to enjoy its scenic splendor. Terrorists have turned it into one of the most dangerous places in the world. The family is not only a witness to the loss of this paradise, but also to another tragedy of much bigger magnitude. In the aftermath of the partition of India, along with millions uprooted from their homes in Pakistan, the family leaves behind all that it has in Lahore. Starting from a scratch on the difficult path to progress, it still has many joyful moments when along the way it makes a difference in many a life. The survival-to-success story climaxes in California where the family finds the paradise that was lost in Kashmir.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Doggie, the stray dog with super sixth sense

The image “http://www.plannedpethood.org/Take_home/Pets/arloclink.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.As the construction of our vacation home in Alwar (India), near Sariska Tiger Sanctuary was in progress, Jeet, my wife heard a loud cry of a small stray dog out on the road. What she saw horrified her. A man, holding the dog from his ears, after giving a couple of rounds in the air, threw him on the ground. He had presumably punished the dog for chasing his pigs. The dog got up and ran towards our house straight into the arms of Jeet. She immediately took the dog on her lap, patted him and gave milk to drink. Since that fateful day the dog continued to come every day to get the love he got from us, and the food we so fondly served him. By and by Doggie, as we named him, had become a part of our family, staying in the house the whole day and leaving late in the evening to sleep with his family of stray dogs. Indeed, he enjoyed the best of the two worlds, his own free world of stray dogs as well as ours, as our very loving pet dog. In his fraternity he was a filthy rich fellow who was never worried for his next meal, and wore woolens in the cold winter days, hand knitted especially for him by Jeet. All other stray dogs gave him due regard for his riches, as we found on our walks when he could cross through the territory of other stray dogs without any fear or a fight.

Animals are known for their sixth sense to smell a coming calamity. Doggie had it super, as we experienced one day during our walk. Doggie was with us when we decided to go for a walk, longer than usual, up to the scenic lake some miles away. We had hardly covered half the distance when Doggie stopped and would not move a step further in spite of our repeated calls to come. We continued to walk thinking that after stopping for a while he would run to catch up with us. But what we saw next compelled us to discontinue our walk. Doggie was sitting right in the middle of the road, ready to let a car or a truck run over him if we did not return immediately. Panicked for his life, we let Doggie prevail and returned home.

Next morning when he came, we gave Doggie an extra warm hug and gourmet meal, made specially for him by Jeet. The morning newspaper had reported that a tiger had walked out of the Sariska Tiger Sanctuary in search of new territory and was last seen in the vicinity of the same scenic lake that Doggie did not let us make it to during our walk. The forest guards were still frantically looking for the tiger, while we thanked Doggie for using his sixth sense to save us from the likely encounter with the ferocious king of the forest at large.