A true love story…


Life is a mystery with its own twists and turns. Either you cry and get tensed about the adverse situation or you laugh on your worries. The philosophy of life at times becomes more philosophical when you have your dog travelling with you. I faced a difficult time when I happened to travel with my mother-in-law (MIL) and my loving dog TinTin by train from Mumbai to Baroda.
One is supposed to keep one’s pet in a case with a wooden shutter in the guard’s compartment. I did exactly that. As soon as TinTin went inside the cage, he started showing his power. Even before the train moved, he broke open the wooden shutter and came out with a winning smile and his tail swaying with full force like a flag of triumphant king!! Everyone around was stunned! The guard was terrified and got in touch with the parcel office. A desperate call was made to railway carpenter. They came rushing and decided to fix another shutter of a similar cage. I was happy to see the shutter, as it looked strong. But there was a twist in the story as the shutter was of a different size and it could not be fixed.
The guard panicked since one of the top most railway officials was travelling in the same train for inspection. He was not in a mood to compromise with the departure time but he could very well see love and desperation in my eyes for my darling dog. He asked me to board another train but I explained that my old mother was travelling with me and she had a blood pressure problem and she is diabetic. Also, she was in the coach almost 400m away and the train was signalling to move.
The guard finally came with a solution. He invited TinTin and me to his cabin. Although the actual ticket of Mr TinTin was Rs. 30, I had to pay Rs. 450. I was hesitant as I have never liked paying bribe to anybody, but my love for TinTin forced me to do so. I was given a piece of wood to sit, which my brave dog had broken. I was strictly instructed not to move.
There was no question of sleeping. TinTin was getting up at every station to find out whether it was Baroda or not. And after realising that it was not his destination he again used to put his head in my lap and literally start dozing. I was dozing too but of course my eyes were stuck to the gentleman who was staring at me and thinking whether he has done the right thing or not. He was wondering that how could I waste my confirmed ticket and sit on the plywood for the journey, besides paying Rs. 450 extra just for a dog. And probably he got his answer when he saw TinTin licking my face and sleeping in my lap. TinTin was my child, my love! I started believing that God always makes a way where there is true and unconditional love. I also learnt a very practical lesson that whenever you plan to take your dog in a train, you should always check whether the wooden shutter in the guard cabin is strong enough or not, or better still come prepared with a crate to carry your beloved in it!
– Hirath Pandya