Mumbai. A man of mid sixties in Navi Mumbai was found walking a buffalo for his morning stroll at the nearby central park, at a couple of kilometers distance from his army welfare society. The scene created much curiosity in the neighborhood as regular commuters had a 15 minutes delay to the nearby railway station, which does not happen even when it rains cats and dogs.
“I used to walk alone carrying my yoga mat to the central park for my morning stroll. I regularly see people walking dogs of varied sizes and receiving proportionate respect according to the height/size of the dog. The bigger the animal, the bigger the nod of approval and respect from the other pedestrians; It never used to bother me initially”, the ex-military man opened up to Faking News.
“Then one day, I was in a park-bench with eyes closed and yoga mat laid next, preparing for my breathing exercise, heard sound of coins being thrown on the yoga mat. I opened my eyes to the horrific sight of people throwing change at the general direction of the yoga mat while passing comments like, ‘poor old man abandoned by children!’, ‘even central park has beggars now!’ etc.,
I looked around to see there are several other retired military men in the park benches and no coins in their yoga mats. Then it hit me. There was a dog tied to every other bench and a few men even slept not attracting coins or sympathy remarks on them. How this world makes a beggar out of a man with a mat and an officer, retired or not, out of a man with a dog, I wondered”, the man continued.
“The next day, I lured a street dog with some biscuits and walked to my regular bench and promptly tied the dog, threw open the yoga mat and closed my eyes. Horror of horrors! Along with coins on the mat, a few broken pieces biscuits were thrown at the dog. Then it hit me again! Not just any dog! The dog has to be as big as it can genetically get and cleaner than those street dogs, preferably decorated with some good looking tags, ropes and other accessories not unlike our Indian military decorations”, the man smiled at Faking News reporter.
When asked ‘why a buffalo?’, “See! I am no beggar as some of those park dwellers thought me to be. At the same time, I am not very rich either to invest a few lacs of rupees on a dog to gain societal respect. The better choice is a buffalo. Bigger, taller and cooler and I can decorate the animal with all the accessories including those of my unused medals from the service; If I cannot wear them now, my buffalo can!” the man smiled again at the reporter.
“The idea though is not my original. Saw a tweet in a magazine, which read, Indians walk buffalo sized dogs to gain respect on the streets!” the man concluded to Faking News reporter, who was left wondering on his future to pick an animal that can walk fast in Indian roads, an elephant or a giraffe.