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February 2008
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Violence: four very short stories

Middlemen dealing in animals bring old cattle to Mumbai from interior villages in Maharastra to sell those to the slaughter houses. The cows and bulls are made to travel for several nights in covered trucks, and they suffer a trauma. When they are handed over to the new owners, who keep them for some days before sending for slaughter, they don’t accept their new place, don’t take any food, and grow weak. To prevent this, the dalals injure the animals before transporting them in trucks; often the injuries are internal, so that the animals in pain can’t feel the trauma of transportation and their new place.

 

Recently, two oxen were seized and brought to the government hospital. Someone had damaged one eye of each of them, and blood was coming out even after several days. The oxen were healthy otherwise. Violence.

 

***

 

Children were in the mood of Diwali. Two of them saw their neighbourhood pup. They called him towards them; he came shaking his little tail. While one of them played with his ears, the other attached a string to his tail and when he finished with lighting the latai of crackers, the neighbourhood was filled with the noise of the crackers. What others couldn’t see was the voice of the puppy which was running around in a state of panic. Violence.

 

***

 

They were returning back after holidaying in the resort. It was slightly cold in the evening, and the window panes were down. Both of them were still in their memories of the nice time spent together.

 

Suddenly she heard a sound and felt some resistance with the car tyres.

 

“What was that?”

 

“Perhaps a dog came below the car…” He said.

 

“Perhaps? Why didn’t you see that and prevent running over him?”

 

“Forget it yaar; McD is coming, let us have a bite..”

 

And they continued. Violence.

 

***

 

Ram Bahadur and his dog Shyam are two of the most famous people in the chawl. How many people know each other from all the neighbouring flats is not certain; but almost all of them know these two.

 

Ram had lost his one leg in the Mumbai bomb blasts of 1993 while he was near the BSE building selling mungfalies. Shyam had lost his one leg in the serial train bomb blasts of 2007 while he was near the tracks searching for food. Violence.

 

Dedicated to V T and inspired by his post.

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