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DISTRAUGHT OR FERAL

Ashwin closes a nasty call with his father. His blood pressure on the higher side he struggles to decide as to who was in the wrong between the two of them. What he clearly knows however is that they both feel right in their own right and they both blurted remarks that they will deeply regret. Wearing his practiced defense he goes home, rings the door bell, his wife Vibha opens the door and he walks in like any other day. A little later he finds Vibha checking her wardrobe as she looks at him and asks “So what’s the plan about going to the gathering at your side of the family. I need to organize things…” Before she could finish her sentence he promptly responds “I don’t want you there. Don’t want more soreness”. Shaken she promptly shuts her wardrobe, looks back at him and retorts “Alright. I will call them and extend my regret. Also I will tell them you don’t want me there” and leaves home to pick some essentials from the market.

Vibha gets into the car and dials for her husband’s brother, Gaurav. He picks the call but before Vibha could begin to speak a dog sitting next to her car starts to chase after her and growls at her furiously. The dog barks loud enough to be heard by Gaurav on the other side of the call. He asks concerned for her “What’s wrong there? Is the dog hit?” Vibha answers “No he is not. But I can tell from the way his rear moves that he was hit at some point.” Gaurav says “These dogs are feral. They can be violent for no reason”. Still hurting from the earlier spat with Ashwin she says “Oh no, they are not unreasonable like humans. Haven’t you seen random dogs chasing cars indiscriminately, especially at night”. “Yes, that’s what I am saying. They are ill-tempered.” Gaurav says. Vibha goes on explaining “They are mad at cars. Not at people Gaurav. Some car may have hit one of them or their little one leaving them in pain. This one is howling at my car for the fear that it could inflict the same pain. It’s a defense mechanism”.

The moment Vibha says these words and hears her own self, it undoes a knot within her. Gaurav says curiously “OK may be. Why did you call anyway?” Before addressing Gaurav’s question Vibha closes her internal dialogue by adding “It’s true for humans as well. We can say they are driven hysterical or distraught from hurt but not feral” and then she says “And no nothing – there wasn’t anything much. Will call back later! Bye”

She disconnects the call and turns the car around to go home.

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