When man’s best friend was better than ever
Travel and time. Apart from the fact that the former requires the luxury of the latter, there is more in common. They both beget experience – a very handy virtue. And thus, when this synchronous scheme called time-travelling lands me at an outwardly ordinary looking station in Tokyo, I figured that there was some profundity waiting to shine through the plebeian; as if one of life’s little lessons looking to jump out of the dog-eared pages of history. How right was I…
On the spring evening of April 21 in 1934, my attention was drawn to a crowded commotion at the Shibuya Station, around what looked like an unveiling of a statue of a… dog?! Indeed it was; as I drew closer, there was the sculptor and next to him, the ‘hero’ – an adorably-large Akita dog. Stuck behind an equallyintrigued gentleman, his investigations revealed the tale of Chuken Hachiko (Loyal Dog Hachiko).
With Prof. Hidesaburo Ueno since one year of age, Hachi ko would escort his master daily to the station to see him off for work, and be back in the afternoons to receive him. But come one sundown, the professor didn’t come back, having suffered a fatal stroke at his place of work. Hachi, however, had kept up with his afternoon vigil routine, despite having been sent away to his new owners. “Poor dog… so, how many days now?” asked the sympathiser. Straining to be heard above the waning whistle of a passing train, the other replied, “Ten years…”
To say I was moved would be petty. Instead of turning to behold the paragon of fealty – in bronze and in flesh – I was suddenly looking earthwards, giddy with overwhelming disbelief and faith. And then towards Hachi ko. Staring back at a fawning assembly, unmindful of the mass adulation around him, Hachi’s eyes still seemed to be scouting for a familiar face; one he’d happily hop back home with. Dogs and loyalty, of course… but 10 years?! Have you known love of a greater kind… unconditional and unbroken – exactly how this emotion was first conceived by the Power Supreme. It’s time the world went to the dog(s)...
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Source :- IIPM Editorial, 2006, Editor - Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri
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Friday, June 16, 2006
Canine Canonization! : IIPM