Sultan had come in my life after an incidence in my college days of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). When I had missed a Sunday afternoon weekly exam, due to cynophobia, a fear of dogs which was embedded in me since my childhood, for me they were humongous, blood drinking, flesh eating monsters of the Mesozoic Era of the dinosaurs and I felt time had dwindled them into dogs. All prepared I was, to give the exam, as I pulled the lever to open the car door, in the deserted parking of JNU. Three dogs who sat at a little distance caught my eye. Hoping that they would go away, with no movement from their side, I called up all my class mates but as it was destined for me, I could not reach anyone, with all mobiles switched off due to the exam; like a prisoner I sat, waiting for some divine help but nothing happened and already half an hour into the exam, feeling helpless I decided to drive back home.
My parents were surprised, when I returned home early, I narrated to them, that as usual my fear of dogs
had triumphed over me, so to find a solution to it, the next day I saw my mother carrying my biggest enemy a puppy in her arms, before I could realise, he was on the floor, running all over making me shout and cry. My reflexes had already started the rescue operation for myself, by making me climb on the study table and screaming my lungs out, but unperturbed by the frenzy which was griping me, my rival the black Labrador puppy stood there on the floor with his eyes staring at me, till the maid my rescuer carried him away to the study room. When he left the room, I could feel my nerves calming down. I pleaded my mother to leave him back, but on the contrary she insisted that I should give him two biscuits, my spontaneous reaction was never. My mother’s coaxing forced me, to be on the mission which was no less than a war for me, only with my head peeping inside the study room and my army of two maids standing besides me to shield me, in a fraction of a second I threw the biscuits towards him, while he was tightly leashed to the window knob.
The persuaded regularity of throwing biscuits towards him, by my mother, had narrowed the gap between us and time had made the loathing enemy, whom I had named Sultan, my best friend, switching off all the buzzing panic alarms in my brain and wiping out all fears.
Little did I know when I had seen him for the first time, that he would be my best friend and companion in my JNU days, where every day was a battle against the unending exams, and term papers, he would sit for hours underneath my chair in my room, giving me company, at times we both enjoyed our late night drinks, a hot cup of coffee for me and some milk for him, while I was awake all alone late at night, busy burning my brain cells, he would wake up with me when the early morning alarm rang and snuggle in my blanket, while I had to mug up the answers of Latin American history in Spanish Language.
The pressure of reading unending Spanish novels, which he always motivated me to read them aloud, making me feel that he was the most interested audience to them, while he sat next to me completely motionless, with a deep engrossed look on his face as though he was enacting a role from those novels, my grammar was practiced by giving him orders, before the oral exam I would exercise Spanish with him, as he was the mute listener who always gave me the confidence that whatever I said was right. May be without his company I would have never studied hard enough to get the scholarships and the awards.
The day after my Masters exam, Sultan had passed away in my room, where my beautiful journey with him had begun, where I was introduced to his world of canines. He was destined to go away from my life, my heart felt his absence and the vacuum he had left when I held the scholarship and the award in my hand, in reality it was because of him I had received those awards. He is no longer there but the imprints he has left in my life have taught me that dogs are as human as we are, they experience the same pain and emotions with the only difference they don’t have words in their mouth to express them, the magical power of my dog who had walked into my life as an enemy had changed my heart from it being a dog hater to a dog lover. Today, I can proudly say dogs truly define their breed which spelt backwards means “God”. I wish to open a hospital for dogs and work for them; I owe it to my best friend Sultan.