Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Illusion

She side-steps some dog poop as she begins her early morning jog of three laps around her home measuring a kilometre each. She would like to listen to some songs but because of the inconvenience of the wires and risk of accidents, she opts to sing them instead in her head. Its the peak of summer and she starts to sweat by the first turn. As she cuts left at the corner with the temple, she hears some strange animal cries similar to that of a crow. But as she approaches the overflowing garbage bin she spots the source which is a tiny little kitten in the middle of the road.

Her heart goes out to the poor thing, so small and fragile, probably shouting out to it's mother. The way it just about manages to keep one feet in front of the other and move in one particular direction, indicating that its just born.

She keeps running, hoping it's mother comes to her soon. Between the vehicles passing by and the crows flying above, such a small kitten in the middle of the road, shouting out like that, has no chance of survival. For a brief moment she considers taking it home if it survives till she completes her first lap, but then decides against it considering the number of stray cats already loitering around her house, specially the kitchen. As she turns around the temple with the dual coloured walls again, she finds the kitten at the same place, still shouting. She keeps running.

A couple of turns and a few hundred meters after the garbage bin, she begins to hear similar cries. This time from behind her and gaining on her. As if the kitten is chasing her. Before she could look back, the cries go past her, originating from a bike driven by a middle aged man and his daughter seated at the back. They are taking the kitten home. The kitten's fate had turned, just like that. From an almost zero chance of survival to a comfortable nine lives.

On her third round, she finds the place around the garbage bin empty and silent. Her mind lingers on the events that took place. Realising that the kitten would never know that its caretakers had saved it from inevitable death.

Again, a couple of turns and a few hundred meters ahead, at almost the same spot that the bike had overtaken her, she again hears some cries. This time its dogs, two of them following a third and dangling from the mouth of this dog was the kitten that had just been rescued. The kitten hung lifeless, held by its head. The dogs ran past her. She kept running.

She feels sad for the cat. The fact that the cat was almost rescued makes her feel worse. She had expected the kitten to die when it was crying near the rubbish bin, but not now. It was supposed to live. More than what happened, it is what she expected to happen that troubles her. Something good should always be followed by something better. Everything we get is forgotten or taken for granted. Not only do we expect to get something better, we are not prepared to lose something that we got before.

The kitten had never realised that it was in fatal danger in the first place and that it had been saved by that girl on the bike, who convinced her father to take it home. It had neither memory of the past nor expectations from the future. Everything in its life, including life itself, was temporary.

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