The artillery fire had started quite early in the day, waking him up from his dreamless sleep earlier than usual. He was lying upside down on the no-mans land, his stomach heaving up and down, and fleas battling out for prized possession of his ears when a distant light shone on his face, alighting his gooey, saliva covered nose with mosaic of colors. Next second, a loud bang woke him from that troublesome reprise, and with a fear ridden, sleep deprived mind, he reacted on stimulus. The enemy would have unkindly called it jackals midnight call, yet it was his way of remarking to the brutality of the enemy. As it is, his cry was overshadowed in the incessant din caused by the continuous shelling.
It was nearing day break and he realized the futility of trying to rest and the day needed big preparations. The enemies were as it is creating environment not so conducive for peace. And preparations for war needed a lot of care to partaken. Sneezing, he braved through the suffocating mist of oncoming smoke to reach his den.
It seemed that the enemies had stocked unquenchable ammunition with them. The gunfire seemed to come from all directions, booming and ricocheting off from everywhere, making him shiver. He as the supreme commander of his forces knew it was practically impossible for his forces to overcome the enemy attack, yet he had to take a formidable stance to boost morale of his men. Yet the rattling of another bout of artillery made him shudder. But he had to fight. The time water reaches above its level, and patience is tested beyond it can be endured, there is no other way but to rebel and throw the brick back at the tyrants. Even if it posed danger to your life…
Through the thoroughly dirty by lanes near his den, strewn with roughly million pieces of blasted off grenades of those weapons of mass desecration, he moved on, lamenting how the once friendly relations with their enemies now had spoiled to become what it had became. Crunching the red and white bits beneath his paws, he moved to make preparations for the general assembly of all his comrades scheduled in the evening, just before the actual attack.
Almost everyone was present, fellows from every nook and corner, places as distant as another towns had gathered at the den in evening. Even the bourgeoisie class, those few favored, petted and fretted upon class; on whom the shower of affection was sprinkled by their enemies, managed to attend. Raghu, the supreme commander of the forces eyed them mistrustfully, as they were from the enemy camp, they might even be there as spies. If all he could, he would have debarred them. But Angad, the commander of forces in line desisted. He was of opinion that whoever and from wherever they were, at the end of the day, they were their own brothers. It will be a big blow to the morale of army if they saw their own people assisting enemy crowds. He also hoped some could be converted. But Raghu was not so hopeful. He still viewed them suspiciously. And he had also arranged for two of his men to surreptitiously keep an eye on the entire bourgeoisie attending that meet.
It was almost the time for twilight to mingle darkness with remnant residue of orangish green light of the day. Stars had started to twinkle, but the pale ghost of moon was missing that night. The atmosphere was charged, and apt for the gargantuan step they were about to take.
Scratching and sniffing, the congregation still behaved as rowdy mobs, which the truth be said, were. Rabies infected, rowdy, still they were just pernicious… apparently harmful, but from inside, completely hollow and as scared as wimps. As a matter of fact he could himself trace some groans and whimpers running amongst the crowd, noticeably Dadu, and Lobo, both of whom scared to hilt, two of the most timid of their kind. At every new noise of booming fire around them, they jumped in air, looking everywhere from the corners of their eyes, ready to run at the drop of the hat. It was piteous to see how hideously they behaved.
A rough growl suddenly erupted, drawing attention of Raghu. It was from Lukha, the most ferocious soldier of their army. Raghu relied on him very much to put the plan of action properly. If ever there was a person on whom he could trust his life on, it would have been Lukha. He had big plans in the night for him.
“I am getting impatient for action… I need some fight…” he said, spittle dribbling from the end of his mouth. His chain dangling savagely as he shook his head in anger.
Raghu decided that time was ripe to tell them now
“Friends, brothers and fellow hounds, we have gathered here to decide and execute our attack on the draconian humans, who have now reached the highest level of despondency… though the rules and traditions of the natural order suggest something else, through mutual decision, and after a lot of deliberation, we have decided that time has come to throw the brick back. And for that we have decided a three point short term plan. We also have on our agenda a major upheaval of the system through a systematized revolution which includes use of guerilla warfare, if need arises. As for the three point programme, it includes, as obviously you must know, three points. They are…”
His speech was interrupted suddenly by the accentuated increase in the shelling around. Few dogs jumped in fright, while others pretended grit, while their tails were firmly stuck inside. Raghu scowled. Humans might feel they were just crackers. The torture that they had to go through was inexplicable in words… oops, barks to put.
The whole drama started to increase from past five years. It was since last five to six years that they had started use of these terrible sky bombs which went up in a small shoot, but blasted at great heights blooming into multi colored flowers in the sky. To him it was as ugly as it could be; the voice and smoke notwithstanding. The terrible bombs which they used to blast on earth, and rails of crackers which they used to alight for obnoxious continuum of time were as it is difficult to handle, what with high number of cases falling casualty to such kind of ‘fun’ annually. But with advent of the era of such sky diving bombs, it had become unbearably intolerable. Frequency in cases of hyper-whimper, excessive stress, stuck tails, injured ears, un-pacifiable barking spree, excessive timidity, loss of barking or biting abilities, physical deformities or malfunctioning’s in newborns greatly increased, leaving apart the actual damage done by stray crackers, hidden for some sadistic enjoyment in nooks and corners, gang chase and attack on singled out dogs, and limps and physical injuries inflicted from actual contact with fire. After seeing this for five years, Raghu, born with a rebellious and self asserting streak, decided he had to do something about it. And his answer was this.
“Comrades, brothers and fellow dogs, don’t be intimidated by the enemy. Today is the day for vengeance and strife for equality and justice, for which we will fight and which we have to gain for our future generation. So please calm down, and listen to my plan, because today is to prove to these merciless pitiless hounds, that they are not alone. Pay attention to my three point plan.”
This seemed to have worked magic. As if infused with some new vigor, everybody brought back their attention, trying to overcome their fear and anxiety. Some actually did, and throwing their nose forward, they flapped their ears eagerly to show they were listening raptly.
This pleased Raghu. The spell was working.
“The first point is- A committee shall go and take care of ground level action. All the plausible and relatively resistible fireworks will be dampened or fused out using their you- know-what. Everybody having an urge to go to a pole, please sign up for this committee.”
“The second point is- Another group of most ferocious barkers will trail every alley and bark loudly each time they see anyone lighting a cracker. Especially a bomb. They will turn tables and frighten our tormentors instead!”
“The third point is especially for bourgeoisie class. They will openly challenge their so called owners, and destroy and rip all the firecrackers in their arsenal much before they are actually brought to battlefield. This can be done only if they are actively contributing to the fight, otherwise the three points will remain two; an unsupported lame struggle!”
He looked at the privileged members. They all had a look of somber anticipation and they wagged their tails ferociously in reply to assert their agreement to the cause.
Satisfied, he took a deep breath and barked, “CHARGE!”
In newspapers next day:
Sporadic incidents reported in the city. Disruptions in festivities due to stray dogs. Many injured because of accidents caused by sudden barking of dogs. Many frightened from bursting firecrackers again.
In newspapers after a year:
Steep decline in this year’s sale of firecrackers. Dog menace continues from last year. Very few areas peaceful.
And on muddy pawed headlines on a paper ten years later:
Noisy and polluting crackers BANNED!
P.s- I hope this does not happen.
P.p.s- This is not in any way inspired, or influenced or pepped up by the Hindi movie ‘ROADSIDE ROMEO’. I haven’t seen that movie yet.
P.p.p.s- The last part is my Diwali wish this year.