“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Dog in the Deserted Island

For the last 10 days P was away. First she flew to New Delhi to attend some conference then for a week she was at M G University, Kottayam, attending a programme in Environmental Studies. She got back home today and told me the following story.

One afternoon the participants were taken to Pathiramanal Island. It is an uninhabited island in the backwaters of Vembanad Lake and near the internationally famous tourist destination, Kumarakom. I used to go to Kumarakom a couple decades back for bird watching. It had marshes, inundated paddy fields and then the vast backwater lake, Vembanad. Backwater is a kind of intermediary water body between the land and the sea. Pathiramanal Island is a haven for migratory birds.

When P and her friends got out of the boat, they were greeted by an emaciated dog and an equally dreadful looking cat. It seemed to P that they were marooned – probably dumped by someone. P asked around for some tidbits or biscuits; none had any.

One of the qualities some humans share with animals is the ability to recognize friends. I have it, I believe! And sure did this mongrel, for he immediately came to P, wagging his tail. All P had was a few chocolates which she gave them both. The dog followed her around all through the walk. As they were about to leave the island, P asked the boatman to take the dog and the cat along with them to the mainland. The cat being a cat, avoided getting caught and ran away. P’s friend, Christopher, took the dog in his arms and brought him aboard.

As the boat moved away, the dog trotted up to the bow and stood up on his forelegs and enjoyed the breeze. P could see he was happy. As soon as they came ashore, the dog jumped out excitedly. People smiled at him for all the joyous howling and wagging he was doing. A fisherwoman threw him a couple of fish. The dog was home.

This was one dog in the world for whom this Onam is special. To be back among friends, to be with the ones who love him. That is the spirit of Onam. May this Onam bring you all good cheer.

Balachandran V , Trivandrum, 25.08.2010


Photos courtesy Internet


  1. great piece, Balan. convey my regards to P.

  2. A heart warming story. Thanks to your wife, a dog has survived and been made one happy fellow/lady...Thanks for sharing.. I left you a comment, also, on your previous post. I was a little late getting to read it but please see my comment...

  3. Bals

    "Every Dog has its Onam"!

    I guess u know the fascinating myth and the lore about the creation of "Pathiramanal"

  4. Happy Onam Balanji... really interesting to read.

  5. SAndy, Venu, ANil, Kalapana: Thanks for your comments

  6. A very thoughtful and kind gesture on her part...this post brought a smile on my face and heart.

    Happy Onam !Great music on your page..thanks.

  7. @kavitha: Glad you liked the music!

  8. lovely piece - happy for the happiness of the mongrel.

    but was putting myself in P's position - would have run for my life - terrified of all god's dumb creatures - tho i grew up with dog/dogs around.

    love opening your blog - for the music.

  9. @kpj: I had deliberately omitted some of the sentimental, but true facts. Like how P scratched the dog behind the ears;Like actually she had only ONE chocolate which she bit into two and gave ti the animals; how the dog on reaching mainland, after the initial outburst of joy came up to Christopher and Parvati and licked their hands; how one of the participants who was terrified of dogs underwent a total transformation after witnessing the display of affection between P and the dog.

    I would have been blamed of maudlin sentiments if I had written all that! But every dog lover knows and has in his repertoire, numerous examples of similar incidents that show the bonds of love between man and dog. They have been like that for thousands of years, you know!

  10. me first time around here.... i guess it s ur mush that attracted me :P
    well, Happy Onam...

    men or beast, onam is for all...dogs no exception ha?

  11. Namaste....
    Interesting story, thanks for sharing.

    Have a blessed evening and enjoy the rest of your week.


  12. That was a lovely post. Regards to your wife Bala.

  13. Touching. That was a wonderful gesture.

    Well deserved Onam for the animal

  14. Insignia: Saw your pics. Nice. Hope to see you often. Thanks for coming by.

    Sujata: I shall tell her! :)

    Deeps : My Mush is just facial hair, buddy! :) Here today, gone tomorrow!

  15. Very nice post. But my fear about dogs are escalating day by day, how much I try. I really envy people who can boldly look into a dog's eye.

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