The Hindus believe that a dog’s howling is a very bad omen. A dog’s senses are much more active than humans. Their smelling ability is used by security department worldwide. Dogs can visualize the paranormal activity. Whether this is true or false, I don’t know but I feel that something is there.
Last year on 13th September my elder brother passed away. I lost the childhood part from my life. There was a stray dog that was attached to his family. Dada (my elder brother) gave it food regularly and pampered it. When his daughters went somewhere it would follow them like a body guard. The day when he was hospitalized the dog was howling the whole night. After his death it howled for 10 days. Then it stopped coming their house. No one had any logic for this phenomenon.
In the year 1976 I was an 11th standard student. Beside my parents and big brother I had a pet play mate with me. It was a dog named Munmun. Many times my friends asked me “Why does this masculine dog have a feminine name?” I told them that I wanted to play with girls only and we laughed. The dog did not mind anything because of a feminine name. We were very good friends.
I had a cousin sister at my age. Her name was Shukla. She was very dear to my mother. She had a brain tumour. Those days the survival rate of the brain operation was just 0.05%. My uncle decided that without operation death was certain, so he would take that 0.05% chance. Beside that, the girl’s health was deteriorating day by day. In the month of March Uncle took her to Vellore hospital. This is still situated in South India. For us, March meant exam season. Via land line phone he told us, “Tomorrow morning doctors will do the operation for the tumour.” Next day I and dada went to school. Father went to office but my mother sat down in Puja room (worship place) in front of god and goddess. When I returned home she was still in the Puja room.
At 10’o clock in the night, suddenly Munmun started howling. My mother shouted at me “Mini! Chup kora oke!!!” (Mini! Make the dog shut up!!!.) and prayed to god “May Shukla be alright.” I grabbed Munmun and settled on my bed. Few moments later, he went to the courtyard and howled. We scolded it but all in vain.
Every day my father called my uncle over the hospital’s telephone and asked about Shukla’s health. She was in coma. Doctors took care her nicely. Uncle said “I hope she will be all right”.
The howling continued for eleven days. We observed that exactly at 10‘o clock it started misbehaving and we scolded it. On the eleventh day it did not howl. My mother said “May we get a good news tomorrow.” Same night at 12:30 Munmun was restless and scratching me. I said Munmun please let me sleep. I grabbed it in my bed. But it escaped an started howling and restlessly walking in and around the courtyard . I tried to grab it, but it react violently. Dada tried to sooth it but it kept reacting violently. We left it there and came back to our bed . It stopped howling but stayed in courtyard. I fell asleep. At 3:30 am, I woke up. My mother was screaming “Shukla... Shukla! Stop… Shukla...” She was breathing fast. This time Munmun was growling aggressively. It was moving around my mother’s bed. I served some water to mother. My father patted her. She said, “Bad dream... may god bless us all.” Munmun kept behaving in a weird manner. We could not sleep that night.
Next morning Uncle called and gave us the massage “Last night, at 12:30 am the doctor declared her dead.”