The amber readout of my Garmin watch flickers on my wrist. “Jeannie, don’t you stay out on the streets after dark in that country.” My husband’s words ring as clear in my mind as my doctors warnings, “Don’t you eat anything that the infamous street-vendors sell, Ms Baca.”
I hold up the saffron coloured Jalebi against the setting Bangalore sun and bite into the crunchy goodness. A burst of sugary heaven spiced with saffron explodes in my mouth. My salivating tongue feels the gritty texture of fried dough dipped in syrup. Take that, Dr. Whatley.
The yellow and green Auto-rickshaw driver appears more nervous that I do of the fading sunlight. “Madam, let yus go to Yotel. It’s getting dark, No?”
“Relax, Anand.” I lick the syrup off my fingers.
The soft January breeze teases my short hair. The gentle tuk-tuk of the scooter rickshaw lulls me into thoughts. I’ve always been a risk taker… When they offered me to do an assignment in India, I jumped at the opportunity. This mystical land; Nothing in India is kind to your senses- The colours are bright, the noise is crazy, reality is stark, people feel deeply- I mean anybody who has to ‘FIND THEMSELVES’ come to India- the land of–”
The rickshaw comes to a sudden halt. That’s when I first see Sita– “She’s dark brown and black. Nothing spectacular about her, but she’s run onto the road to come between the rickshaw and her three puppies.” She’s confident, fearless and not worried about herself-
She’s a mother.
Her hip bones protrude from her severely emaciated body. Then she looks directly into my eyes.
No, Jeannie, don’t even think about it. DO NOT…this is not your country, there is NOTHING you can do, You have a conference call in 20 minutes, your flights leaves in less than 30 hours. Don’t even think about it, just ignore–
She nudges her face against my palm. This is probably the first kind touch she has received in her short painful life.
Her pain is over- Mine has just begun.
She is now mine. Just like all the other animals in this world that have nobody, have me. She’s mine. I just have to find them a home and love—something all of us deserve.
As I sit back from the drab conference call, my mind races. What can I do? Who can I call for help? Who will help me in this foreign land? And Why?
My fatigued mind can’t think anymore so I put out a post on social media and close my fatigued eyes.
Ding Ding Ding
A series of messages jumping on my screen wakes me up. I rub my eyes in amazement as I read the screen. Facebook has been working while I slept.
A man who is a friend of a friend of a friend is traveling to Bangalore from Chandigarh to day and is going to be in Bangalore for a few hours. He just happens to have a friend who has a rescue in Bangalore and can keep the dogs there safely while we figure a way for them to get to the USA.
“It all seems far too convenient,” says my best friend over the phone.
“My gut says, I can trust these people.” I tell her. “I just know I was meant to find Sita and her puppies. “Gosh, Sita even has a best friend called Nandi– wonder if they will agree to take her too?”
So I ask.
So they agree. It’s as simple as that.
The rescue organization called Voice of the Stray Dogs (VOSD) picks up the stray dogs the very next day. Unfortunately one of the puppies has died. The person who came from Chandigarh works for an organization called Peedu’s People. They collaborate to save Nandi, Sita and her remaining two puppies.
My risk taking ways paid off.
I lost myself in belief of humanity and found love in India. The love of Nandi and Sita and her two puppies.
Now we all need your help to get these puppies to the USA so where we have homes already for them.
These poor dogs who have never known love or kindness deserve the same love I found.