Saturday, 8 November 2014

Ross, a fighter.

Ross, two days before he died.
As the strong rays of the sun penetrate my eyes, I wake up slowly. My abdomen still hurts. It feels like my body is torn apart. I feel blooding oozing out of my stomach. I try to recollect what landed me into this situation.

Um..yes.. I remember trying to go inside the lush green field so that I could jump around and play with my siblings, but as I was jumping over what they called “the fence”, something pierced my stomach. It caused a lot of pain and I screamed for my mom but she howled and did nothing to help me. I was unable to move for a while but then I gathered all the strength I could and got away from the iron fence that had pierced my abdomen. The excruciating pain made me scream. There was blood all over. It made me want to puke and I don’t seem to remember anything after that. 
As I look around I see my mother lying beside me and some kids surrounding me. My sisters are still playing around.

I see a teenage girl approach me. I growl at her. I am really scared right now; is she going to hurt me? Even after I growl and try to scare her off she comes near me and lifts me. My heart beats faster. Why is my mother quiet? Why doesn't she stop her? When her face comes near mine, I figure out she’s the same girl who used to give my mother chapattis and milk and played with us. She calls me “ROSS”.

She wraps me in a soft cloth. It feels comfortable. Her white shirt turns red with my blood. She cuddles me and kisses me on the forehead. I am less scared now and want to reciprocate her kind gesture but I can’t lift my paw, I feel all the energy leaving my body. She suddenly gets inside a small room and it starts moving. The noise nauseates me. The next thing I can remember is she holding my muzzle and a man in white coat piercing near my wound. Suddenly the pain disappears but I can’t feel my stomach. From the corner of my eye I see him stitching my open wound. He wraps a cloth around my belly. Ugh it feels so uncomfortable! The girl lifts me in her lap, hugs me and comes out of the “doctor’s clinic”.

She shouts on the roadside and the same kind of room comes there, oh it’s an auto-rickshaw! She takes me near my mom. My mother feeds me milk and then the girl picks me up again and sings me to sleep in her lap. I like the warmth and coziness of her lap. It feels similar to my mother’s embrace. I’m woken up by the loud voice of a lady. It seems that she’s the girl’s mother. She points to the red stains on the girl’s shirt. Oh wait, is she scolding her? The girl puts me on a blanket and goes inside her house. When it gets dark, she lets my mother and siblings in and we sleep together on the blanket inside a small room.

The next day, she unties the cloth around my belly and pours a brown liquid on my belly. I resist as it hurts a lot. She comforts me and kisses me again. I lick her cheek; I don’t know how to kiss. She wraps another cloth around me. After a while I try to tear the cloth with my teeth. She scolds me. I won’t repeat it when she’s around from now on. Days pass by like this. After many days, the doctor comes to the girl’s house and she holds my feet and muzzle. He does something on my wound with metal objects and pierces a needle near it just like he did before stitching my wound. The girl does not wrap a cloth around me now. I feel so free! She lets me go out and play with my siblings and mother now and my wound doesn't hurt too. I am so happy!

The girl gives me and my siblings, milk to drink every day and plays with me and cuddles me often. I like her company. One day, a man comes near her. I bark at him as loud as I can. I want her to be safe just like she wants me to be. I love her more than I love my mom. She saved my life.
A month passes by and I’m out one day playing on the street. Suddenly a red car comes so fast towards me that I don’t get the time to get out of the way. The wheel hits me hard on my belly and I scream in agony. The man from the car looks at me and then speeds away. My mother comes but she can’t figure out what’s wrong. I feel short of breath suddenly. I have to make a lot of effort to breathe. Am I gonna die?

I wait in front of the girl's gate but she doesn't come out. After a while I see her coming towards her home with a bag on her back. She picks me up and hugs me. But she looks at me suspiciously. Something’s not right. She watches my chest and touches it. I wail from the pain. She takes me again to the same doctor in an auto rickshaw. He tells her something and I see her eyes getting welled with tears. She gets me back to her home and gives me milk to drink. But the milk is bitter this time. She makes me wear a coat. I like the coat, I look good wearing it. But I still can’t breathe.

I figure out that sitting on my hind legs makes me breathe better. I lay down to sleep but I run out of breath suddenly. To breathe, I have to sit. But then she takes me in her lap and I fall asleep. She gives me milk to drink again but I can’t gulp it down my throat. I am hungry and weak but my stomach hurts and I can’t breathe at all. She forcefully makes me drink bitter milk sometimes. I hate to do this but I have to growl at her. I notice that she takes me to the doctor more often now.  He pierces the same needle, but now on my bottoms. As days go by, I find myself weaker and it gets harder to breathe. She gets dog food for me. Mother told me once only lucky dogs get to eat it. It smells yummy so in spite of the pain, I eat some granules.

Ross taking his nap.

Ross, sleeping on his sister.
It’s getting colder day by day. The girl’s mother doesn't allow her to take me inside so she sits with me in the yard and makes me sleep on her. I also climb comfortably on her chest and take a cozy nap. At nights, she goes inside and my mother comes inside their yard. I sometimes sleep on my mother and sometimes on my siblings’ back and they let me do that till they themselves are tired from my weight.

One day, she doesn't come back home till evening. And when she does, her eyes are swollen red. It seems she’s been crying a lot. I come walking to her feet and sit there. She picks me up, hugs me and bursts into tears. I hate to see her cry. I lick the tears off her cheek but she cries harder this time. She spends more time with me from that day on. I can sense her sorrow. She seems to be in great pain.
 Meanwhile, with passing time, my body starts going weaker. I run out of breath a lot and the doctor comes everyday now. He pierces that needle daily but unlike before, he doesn't talk to the girl in a hopeful tone. I realize it won’t be long before I die. The girl looks after me as if I’m her child and cries sometimes. The next day as she goes out with the bag on her back, I feel alone. I don’t have any energy left. Her mother feeds me some honey. I’m hungry so I lick it off her finger. After sometime, I fall down on the ground. I can’t get up. I hear a faint sound of the gate. The girl watches me lying on the floor and rushes to pick me up. I’m woken up by her light pats and concerned voice. Her face becomes sad holding me and she tries to feed me but I’m too tired to eat anything.

The following evening she takes me inside, makes me sleep on her and wraps us in a blanket. Her mom doesn't scold her this time. I feel my pain reaching the peak. I can’t help but wail repeatedly. At midnight, she makes me sleep with my mom in the room we do every night. Before letting me go, she hugs me tighter than ever and kisses me repeatedly. I can see the love in her eyes. I reluctantly go inside and sleep with my mother.

I’m suddenly woken up early in the morning night. There’s a sharp pain in my stomach and I can’t seem to breathe. I struggle to breathe but my chest hurts more than ever. I try to walk towards the girl’s door but fall down on the way. I feel the energy evaporating from my body. The pain in my body reaches to a level till I can stand it no more. I let out a last weak cry and my eyes shut close…

Ross (centre), with his siblings on either sides.

**This article is written in the form of fiction, based on a true story. Ross died at the age of 4 months after having gone through abdominal hernia and later a diaphragm rupture. His body was too tender to perform a surgery on him but even then he made it for around a month with meager amount of food. Unfortunately, we lost him in December 2012. Even though he was in a critical condition himself, he never failed to provide emotional support to the writer after she was sexually abused. He'll remain in our hearts forever**


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  2. Your piece did make me shudder. I can't even imagine how much pain Ross went through.Maybe it was better for him. After all he was a baby. How long could he take that pain. At least he is no more in pain :')

    1. Yes, he was liberated from all the suffering his little body had to go through. :')