The world is hungry…by Pritish Nandy

I loved this blog by Pritish Nandy. For those who did not know, Mr. Nandy is an animal activist and has and continues to do tremendous work to rehabilitate animals in distress.

It began one morning years ago. Rina put a bowl of water outside the window for the noisy pigeons that wake us up at the crack of dawn. Soon we had so many birds queued up on our window ledge that the bowls increased. Then Rangita put out some in her bedroom too. Birds of all kinds began to crowd our windows on the 24th floor. So Rina put out some grains. It disappeared quicker than we could put it out. So we put out more. But even that left us feeling guilty; many hungry birds still hung around, waiting. Now we feed them whenever we can.

Feeding the strays on the street came next. It started with Shabby, a beautiful white terrier abandoned by her owners when they left India. She greyed over the years with age and dirt. Living on the street isn’t easy, particularly for a home bred pet but Shabby was brave and we first noticed her because she chased every car that drove by, in the hope her owners would return one day, to take her home. No one came but over the years the strays on the street accepted her as one of their own. We started sharing our dinner with Shabby at night and then found it impossible to ignore her friends. So along with Shabby, came Sadhu, Moti, Puchku, Raja, Dushtu and a few stray cats. One day, the watchmen protecting a patch of land near the income tax colony met Rina and Ishita and requested them to feed four pups that a stray had delivered on the patch. So they also joined our family dinner. Three of the pups died soon after, from snakebite. Only Bhujan survived. Plus we discovered Patch and three legged Langdu from Pedder Road. And there’s Pippa, the pretty snail we found in Moti’s water pot who came home and settled next to a basil plant.

On her last birthday, the kids gifted Rina snaps of our entire family. These included all of them and the three current ones: Snarling, surly Rani, 11, who I found outside my MP bungalow in Delhi, her head bashed in, brains hanging out; gentle Mowgli, 4, who Rangita brought home half-blind from a film shoot in Ooty, where she was living in the trees among monkeys; and tempestuous Mojo, barely 1, a Lab with hip displasia gifted to us by our neighbours. An entire wall in our living room is dedicated to them and the others who have passed on. Magic, a rescued pom from Crawford Market; Mogambo, an abandoned boxer; Mambo No 5, another stunning boxer, born in Rashtrapati Bhavan; Mystic, rescued from under a car; and Mischief the tomcat who challenged all of them and ruled our home.

When our colleague Bobbie died, Candy and Sydney came home. But we were overbooked and had to give them away to Melissa who runs a shelter in Lonavla. Melissa left her Bandra home and settled in Lonavla, just to look after her many dogs. Even I had 42 rescued dogs once, in an ashram I built in Murbad. It was run by an old Englishman who I also found abandoned near Kemps Corner, begging for his living. But the locals in Murbad made his life miserable and one day he vanished. So now I have given the land to PAWS and Nilesh Bhanage runs his shelter there.

Wherever I look today, I find animal NGOs doing amazing work. Yet there’s hunger everywhere. Stray cattle, dogs and cats roam the streets, scrummaging for leftovers. Hungry horses collapse, unable to pull their tongas any more. Monkeys trudge all day long, tied to a rope, begging for alms. Sick, emaciated bullocks pull overburdened carts. Once majestic camels lie sick and dying in Juhu beach. Elephants beg for food outside our temples. It’s a sad, pitiful sight. Go to any circus pitched in the city in winter and see those once proud beasts cowering in captivity, just skin and bones, their eyes full of hunger, pain and helplessness. So, next time you throw away food or waste it, think of all those hungry strays all over this city. It’s the cheapest thing to give away. Do it. Do it whenever you can

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6 Responses to “The world is hungry…by Pritish Nandy”

  1. I love animals. I value them endlessly, far far more than humans. I have better relationships with animals than humans and can even be seen bearing semblance of anti social behavior with humans! My life would be empty without all those beautiful animals I have a relationship with. Good humans are those who are kind to animals and I befriend them easily. Be kind to animals.

  2. Anand Khare Says:

    “There is more hunger in the world for love and appreciation than for bread.”- Mother Teresa

  3. Its been a long time I have seen animals on the street. There are no street animals where I live in Muscat; except a few poor Russian cats in mini skirts who stand at night under the street lights – they are so poor they don’t have enough money to cover themselves with proper clothes.

    But there are no proper dogs, birds or cats in the desert or the surroundings where I live.

    Speaking generally, I don’t find anything common between my sympathy for animals and affection for human beings, except that I use the same coaching and mentoring methods for both animals and some humans with low IQ.

    When I was approved by Shell OpCo as a trainer, I was asked to conduct an awareness course for the workforce. I tried many hi-tecch methods that I had learnt from the John Adair modules. But somehow they did not deliver results as expected.

    Finally one evening, I walked into the local bookstore and purchased a book titled, “Dog Training for Dummies”.

    I replicated the methods ditto in my training sessions in the Oil station.

    Go to T5410, lock the inspection chamber, place a tag and come back. There are 5 Cokes on the table. Every mistake you make, I’ll take away one of them. You have 10 minutes. Your time starts now. Go!

    Or,

    Open the valve on the heat exchanger, take the reading on the pressure gauge, check the LL indicator and fill the report. Total score 5 points. Each score is worth one hours overtime in your job card. You have 10 minutes. Your time starts now. Go!

    And so on…

    The carrot and the stick works in most types of elementary coaching and mentoring.

    The only difference is while animals starve for real food, humans can be made to imagine starvation in the future.

    ===

    However, I can assure you that the same doesn’t apply to love. I don’t love animals the way I love humans. I am not programmed that way.

    I don’t eat animals, so my gastric system doesn’t respond to the sight of animals.

    Also, I am not scared of humans the way I am about animals. Even if the humans are poor and hunting for victims.

    Love is a different subject. I consider it more precious than ordinary feelings of affection or caring.

    I may accidently love a human female if she is made the way I like them. But I simply cannot feel the same for a female dog, even if she happens to be the best in her class.

  4. It is the digital spotlight forum…

    […]The world is hungry…by Pritish Nandy « Sharmila says…[…]…

    • Dhun Naterwalla Says:

      Love to read your views on the many varied subjects in your repertoire…particularly those animal topics…….your latest on the carriage horses was truly heart-rending……..is there anything lay people can do to help? I value animal relationships far more than fickle humanity……they are honest,sincere and straightforward, loyal and extremely loving…in today’s day and age , come to think of it…who is the real savage beast? Undoubtedly…..MAN.

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