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The narrative is the story of a community of people , Dogistan, named after the dogs that its every household owns. The Dogistan’s dogs are of two kinds: tailless and curly tailed dogs. The former are gentle and docile,  while latter are very mean and abject.  The curly tailed dogs outnumber the tailless dogs.  A Dogistani lady,  Miss Ruby,   does not own a dog. She buys a “foreign” dog online from a foreign company thinking that  the foreign canine bargain wil be a source of joy for her.  But bargain turns out  a fraud. The dog delivered to her is not Actual Dog sent by the company.  It is a stray dog of Dogistan with curly tail who  right from the day of his delivery to Miss Ruby exhibits all meanness through his actions and behaviours which naturally annoys  and worries the lady.She consults, and seeks guidance and help from a renowned vet expert of Dogistan who  explains and interprets all abject behaviors  and actions of the dog Sheru for her knowing and learning . The muddle of behaviours and  acts of the Dogistani ‘S curly tailed dogs bring with them only miseries and troubles for Dogistanis .Sheru  is the main character in the story that portrays and characterises all ill manners and bad behaviours of curly tailed dogs of Dogistan.  Dr vet Kabir seems to be the mouthpiece of the author through whom he tells Miss  Ruby and obviously readers that being genetically ingrained in the nature of Dogistani’s Curly tailed dogs, real problem lies in the curl of their tail.  Dr vet Kabir tells her that in his experimental knowledge of several years he has found that curl in Dogistani  dogs ‘ tail will never go. However,  the story ends at a positive note for Miss Ruby as she receives a mail from the canine company that she has been delivered a wrong product by a local thug. That she will soon be delivered Real foreign dog devoid of those ill  manners and behaviours which characterise all Dogistani dogs with curly tails. This brings happiness in the face of Miss Ruby who was looking upset by Sheri’s behaviours . She in the end frees the ugly creature to  get rid of the trouble by delivery of the wrong dog. 

Obviously,  the interpretations of dog behaviours are paraphrased by the vet , seemingly, mouth piece of the author  keeping in mind the society he lives in that is KASHMIR valley. The muddle of behaviours and  acts of the Kashmiris that only have brought and bring with them miseries and troubles for Kashmiris only have been succinctly elucidated by corelating them to the behaviours and acts of Sheru. 

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Miss Ruby was a spinster who lived in a landlocked Asian country, Dogistan. Being lonely at her home, she sanguinely bought a dog, Sheru, online from a European canine company whose website guaranteed its pedigree of decency & proprietary. She thought that the canine bargain would be a joyful addition to her lovely but lonely home & a loyal companion to make her feel happily accompanied in her loneliness. Sheru was a large curly tailed dog. Contrary to her expectations of having struck a decent bargain with the company, Sheru, right from day one, proved to be an indecent & ill-mannered dog.

Lodgement of complaint with the company about his untoward behaviours yielded no result for the gullible lady. The company’s belated response shocked her.

“We have bred & fed the doggie by following all accepted international standards of decent pedigree of dogs. We think he may have come in the company of other dogs of Dogistan which, as you know as Dogistani lady, is infamous for its notorious dogs that most of the Dogistani households own …..”, the response mail read.

“But Sheru exhibited meanness right from he was delivered to me….”, she replied.

“Will recheck, look into why turned out so mean, albeit his history with us showing not a single nasty behaviour as complained. Will revert soon, please wait……….”, the response mail of the company stated.

Consequently, Miss Ruby had to wait till the company was going to revert with update. But in the meanwhile, as Sheru didn’t show any let up in his ugly behaviours & nasty acts, her anxiety increased & so, she decided to consult a man who was originally a vet but had given up his job due to unbearable nuisance of rogue dogs of Dogistan that were brought to him for treatment when he had failed to cure even one. Finding himself ensnared in failure, frustration, impelling him to resign, he was living a frugal life in his hillside house, with doors but always open for free consultation & guidance on dog behaviours, which had earned him a good reputation in Dogistan. His name was Dr. Kabir, aka Vet Kabir. Miss Ruby went to him & began to narrate the awful story of Sheru before him who didn’t believe that the dog’s sellers, such a reputed canine company, would ever cheat her to a fake purchase. He said to her:

“My dear lady, wait for their response. I’m positive, something wrong not on their part but elsewhere has taken place during the delivery of the doggie ……”

“I’ll wait but want to know why he is behaving so disgustingly bad…….”, she asked.

“I think he must be one among the dogs of Dogistan. As I know, Dogistan has two kinds of dogs. Maximum households have curly-tailed dogs, while bare minimum have tailless-dogs. The tailless are tame, friendly, polite & harmless dogs but their numbers in the country are countable on fingertips. All problems fit with the curly tailed dogs only……” said Kabir.

“But what connection Sheru has got with curly tailed dogs of…….?” asked she.

“Yes, there appears a connection, he must be from the rogue breed of dogs of Dogistan about whose mischievous actions I’m perfectly well aware”, said Dr. Kabir.

“How ….how is it possible? I received him from an offshore company…..”, she asked.

“I know…..that is what I say, wait for their response……let them look into it……”, he said, assuring her of some good news from their side.

“Sir, Sheru’s display of typical behaviours & actions worries me a lot, would you like interpret them for me….”, said the lady.

“Yes, sure, it’ll be my pleasure!  Tell me! …..”, replied Kabir.

“Sir, right from the day one, Sheru didn’t allow me to tie him to a chain or a collar, why so?”, asked Miss Ruby.

“He is like a born lawless vagabond, beyond supervision & control, who thinks himself not bound by any rule or law”, replied he.

“He always barks at everyone …..”, Miss Ruby narrated.

“He actually wants to terrify everyone by barking his canine might”, answered Kabir.

“He also litters at roads, meadows, pastures, high lands & low lands, wherever he is taken or gone, why so?”, she asked.

“He is like a born pollutant who wants to pollute every good place, thing,,  of beautiful Dogistan”, he replied.

“He now jumps on to the water bodies wherever he finds them & many times he was about to sink before I rescued him out of troubled waters….”, revealed  Miss Ruby.

“It is his avaricious nature enticing him to grab & grip everything, waters even,  in his paws which is ridiculous & perilous……”, Vet Kabir cleared.

“ Many a times,  I had to face embarrassment for his blocking the roads by sitting in the middle,  barking & wagging his tail ,  not permitting others move ….”,  Miss Ruby said.

“Moron animal, he is only there to cause inconvenience & trouble to others by his actions; real trouble maker”, Vet Kabir answered.

“One day he brought with him gang of stray dogs from distant streets and localities to my home. You can still see them loitering & barking around my home to my utmost disdainful displeasure & inconvenience…….”, Miss Ruby said.

“He is like a quisling who burns his own home by bringing foreign firein it …..”, responded Vet Kabir.

“Why all this abjectness in him, Sir?”, asked Miss Ruby.

He can’t help his scumbaggery. On the basis of my years’ keen observation of  Dogistan’s curly tailed nasty dogs, I’ve confidently come to say, as genetic muddle of behaviours and attitudes never desert their possessor, all ills and evils are symbolised in the curl of the dog’s tail which, congenital defect, doesn’t go away by any method or treatment known to vet sciences. It can’t be straightened, I think you understand. …”, Vet Kabir explained the genesis of the problem.

“You mean, it is as much hard to remedy the defect of curl in his tail as it is hard to change mentality of a man….”, asked Miss Ruby.

“True, the curl in the dog’s tail can never be straightened as it is more resistant to flexibility. Till end times, the curl, turn, crook and hook will remain deep inside the curls of these dogs. It is like unrelenting, inflexible and not-agreeing nature of ruffians….”, Dr. Kabir added more specifications.

“O! Here it’s come….”, exclaimed Miss Ruby filled with joy, swiping her finger across her mobile phone’s thin display screen.

“What, what happened…what is it ?”, asked Kabir.

“Sir, …..it’s mail from the company…..”, her face shimmered with jubilation while reading the mail.

“What it reads?”, asked Kabir.

Overwhelmed with joy, Miss Ruby responded and gasped her happiness: “It reads …. the item, Sheru, sent to you changed by our delivery man turned out a local Dogistani thug, who delivered to you a local Dogistani dog with curly tail, and sold actual item to another Dogistani for money. We are extremely sorry and regret the trouble caused to you…mam, soon you will receive real Sheru from our side…. ….: Delivery Manager…”

“Wow! Don’t I say the foreign company never cheats? I suspected Dogistani hand in it, a Dogistani dog you have been dealing with, I mean. So, they nailed the culprit…….”, Vet Kabir equally happy on hearing the good news said.

“…. meanwhile, you can extricate yourself from the predicament by letting fake Sheru mix with his flock of nasty Dogistani dogs…,” he added.

“Thank you! I must leave now for home to free the dirty creature to achieve my deliverance from big nuisance……and I’ll always remember your advisory about Dogistan’s curly tailed dogs’ congenital defect in their behaviours and actions. …. Bye…”, Cheerful Miss Ruby left the house of Dr. Kabir who wished back and waved her from the door and she too waved him back till she walked a little distance away from his eyes.

M J Aslam is author, academics, story-teller and freelance columnist. Presently AVP, JKB

 

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