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By Santosh Dhemre

Eleven minutes into the phone call, Ritu excitedly remembered something. “You should listen to this story”, she began.

“There is this classmate of Tara” she was referring to her just turned thirteen year teenage daughter. “Such ridiculous parents”, she remarked irritably. “So their daughter Anu, on her birthday persisted her parents to get a dog. Being this fake yuppie couple, they agreed. Her father, a pinchpenny by nature, okayed the idea of a rescue puppy.”

“So which breed did they get?” enquired Sanjay, wondering where this story was heading.

“I don’t know all that”, Ritu replied. Being genuinely petrified of animals, for all the warmth she showed humans, dogs and cats were best kept away in her presence.

On the day of her birthday, Anu got herself a Labrador from a local pet rescue centre. The moment since the puppy ran into the kid’s arms, both could not stop smiling.

“What is the story about?” Sanjay was getting restless as this seemed to be just another happy incident in a kids life. “Wait. I’m telling you” Ritu continued.

“You know what?” not waiting for the obvious answer, she went on. “Her dad, didn’t seem too pleased with his decision to allow a pet in the house. One day later he decided, called up the rescue centre, and had the dog taken back.”

“What the f?” Sanjay almost yelled. “How could they do this? Don’t they have some basic sense?” started his tirade. “Such insensitive pricks. What an A grade…” he couldn’t contain himself as he let fly expletives directed at the father of the child. “What must the poor kid be going through? Such kind of people don’t deserve to be parents. There should be a test conducted before allowing people to birth children. This is going to be so traumatic for that kid. Just imagine getting a pet for your birthday and the next day it’s been given back. Ridiculous.” Exhausted with his outburst, Sanjay paused.

“Exactly” Ritu picked up the thread. “I thought the same thing. Such callous behaviour from the parents. Absolutely no thought of what the kid must be going through. To be at an impressionable age and have such a hurtful experience.” She and Sanjay were on the same page. Two middle aged individuals, armed with wisdom collected over years of trial and error. Fairly intelligent and proud to be empaths in this brutally materialistic world, both were voicing their disapproval of this parental behaviour. After a complete 14 minutes, and realising their voices were not going to get heard by the likes of inept parents, they stopped.

After a seemingly long pause, Ritu questioned Sanjay. “You know what Kavya said after listening to this inhuman incident?” “No” Sanjay hastily replied. “What about the dog?”

By Santosh Dhemre

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