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Memories of a Little Girl Called Dolly! (XXIII)

One afternoon at 3.30 someone rang our door bell. We were resting. Mom opened the door and saw Dolly and her mother with a large bag. Mom asked, “Have both of you, mother and daughter come to live with us bag and baggage?”

Dolly’s mother said, “I need some extra money for educating my children in a convent. That is why I have started a garment business.”

Mom spread a carpet on the floor and she spread her ware. There were nighties (night dress), dress materials, saris and blouse pieces. Dolly came to me and placed a cute hand on my back, to wake me up by saying, “Netie, dech meterial aaya hai, aake liye. Dekho.”

I went to the washroom to wash my face and came back to have a look. We selected a nightie each for both of us, a dress material for me and a sari-blouse piece for Mom. Mom used to model for Rinku’s mother, who accidentally burnt her little daughter. Dolly’s mother also wanted Mom to buy her products first, so that her business would spread. When Dolly’s mother left, Dolly stayed back saying, “5 mint mein aati hoon. Ek awaj mein aati hoon.”

Dolly’s mother left and the little girl began doing a lot of mischief like covering us with the cloths that we bought from her mother. After sometime, Dolly’s mother called her back.

Dolly replied, “Eka mintey.”

Mom picked her up and took her to the balcony to tell her mother that she was coming down. Surrounding our building compound there was a metal fence, with false Ashoka trees, coconut and betel nut trees. Dolly’s Beiya (Ronak) was standing in between 2 trees to look outside near the bus stop, since it was in front of our building. Suddenly, everybody heard the sound of brake being hit and screeching wheels. When we saw what happened, a goat had gone below the wheel of a bus. Ronak screamed loudly and ran to his mother to hold her firmly. Dolly shouted, “Dab gaya.”

Luckily, Dolly had not gone down at that time. A 4-year old boy had gone to get something from a nearby shop. He witnessed the accident, while returning. He crossed the road, without looking for vehicles and screaming loudly. Mom told some ladies standing nearby to go and hold that boy. One lady picked him up and tried to console him. But, he almost fainted. By then his mother ran to take him away back home.

People tried to move the bus manually, so that they could save the goat. But its entire viscera had been exposed and all its limbs, tail and head were shaking with pain. Some people poured some water into its mouth and caressed its head. But it did not survive. The death was really a dreaded one. The bus left, since it was just a goat. All children in the area were shocked. The 4-year old boy was taken to the doctor.

How did the goat come to the road? It was the time of Bakri Eid! Some religions have the ritual of Qurbani or sacrifice of an animal. There were 27 buildings in our colony with 32 houses per building. There were strict rules that no animal sacrifice would be performed in the building premises, no animal would be made a pet and no hawan should be performed inside the house. There was enough space in front of the building and people would perform hawan there.

Thus, believers in Qurbani would perform it in the open space behind the nearby mosque. That was arranged by a MD doctor couple – Dr. Qureshis. One was a psychiatrist (male) and the other was a gynecologist. Everybody was satisfied with this arrangement. People making Qurbani would be given numbers for the performance of the ritual and all the goats would be tied up in that sequence. They would take the goats around. One such goat was left loose by a small boy and thus it met with an accident.

Dolly with Broom
Dolly with Broom

The carcass was lying on the road. Since it was in front of Dolly’s home, her mother was about to call the municipality to clean the road. However, in the meantime, some people started pulling and separating the carcass into different parts to take it away. Within 10 minutes the carcass was gone. Only blood had stained the road. Within minutes of the humans taking away the parts of the animal’s body, 4-5 dogs removed the remains of it. Thus the road was clean. Dolly’s mother and 4-5 other people from the ground floor cleaned the foul smell by pouring water with phenyl over the place.

The whole area was silent for some time after that.

To be continued…

About Gayatri T Rao

A double post-graduate (MSc. - Botany and MA - English Literature) Gayatri T Rao is a Senior Multimedia Journalist with vast experience in writing on varied topics.

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