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Children on the street: of Humans and of Dogs

On the eve of what I now notice to be Children’s day, I was invited for a dinner by a corporate couple. While I was chatting with the man of the house who had reached early to entertain me, the lady of the house walked in from the office.

As she opened the door, the atmosphere of the house suddenly changed, as a large Great Dane appeared, or rather tumbled out of the bedroom enveloped in a bright red tee-shirt.

Let me clarify that I love dogs, and Great Danes are almost at the very top of my list where practically all breeds of dogs are rubbing shoulders now.

So, all the dog lovers already angry due to my reckless courage to have used the word “dog” in the title may put their murderous social media knives back inside the sheath so they can draw them out later.

What makes Great Danes special is their completely put-on awkwardness that they dramatically exaggerate using vitrified tiles flooring found in almost all homes now. As this gangling mass of almost 40 kg skated across the floor to hug the lady as a Great Dane must, it (deliberately, I am now convinced) managed a somersault and a half in the journey and fell flat on its face.

While I know the lady to be tough corporate boss who made management trainees shiver when they show her their presentations, this wonderful exhibition of human management that dogs are expert at turned her instantaneously into a liquid lump of putty that you could have poured through a tea-strainer.

As she went “Oh! My little baby! You are Hurt! Come to Mamma!” and more, I am almost sure that the dog gave me a wink, and went on with a fine display of being a party aggrieved by injustice that this cruel world has kept reserved for the innocent little Great Danes.

While she wore the look of a distressed mother trying to make the world right for her little baby (who happened to be a large hunting dog bred mainly to hunt bears and bores ruthlessly), I was struck by a crazy statistics that India has managed without most of us noticing.

India has almost as many orphaned kids as dogs, which is about two to two and a half crores.

The crazier part is that less than six thousand orphaned kids are legally adopted each year. And craziest is that we have nearly ten thousand couples in waiting list to adopt but can’t because of the complex legal provisions enacted presumably to protect orphans from exploitation.

The net result is, this statistics, when read without actual numbers makes it appear that we are a loving nation with a lot of demand for orphan adoption while supply is less, but the reality is that nearly 99 % orphans grow up without having a chance to join a loving family in India.

When I look at the heroine of our tale fawning at the Great Dane, I realise that here is a wonderful mother for a human child. As I look at the couple, they are healthy, brilliant and kind humans in their mid-thirties whose biological age suggests that their union should have combined their DNA at least couple of time. But, like most highly paid and high-flying corporate couples, the best they could afford to satisfy their biological urge for a child was a large dog now keen to smother my face with massive tongue.

While India is yet to really start, the developed world has already gone to dogs. Japan is showing us what the future would be like, as dogs now outnumber kids in Japan.

A human child has little hope to make a comeback as it is a night-crying lump of helplessness leaking constantly from both ends. And worse is, its cuteness doesn’t last for long as it grows up into a mean little human being that demands constant attention but doesn’t reciprocate through a constant display of affection.

Dog, on the other hand is corrected version of a human child. It beats a child in cuteness when small and retains its charms by remaining a silly but highly affectionate baby even when it grows up.

So, as world becomes a place to enjoy and not survive-in and breed for humans, it is absolutely clear that dice is now heavily loaded against human child.

Though it looks like a win-win situation for a lot of young working couples, it is a crisis worth looking at for humanity.

While I would not like to preach about having a child to young people, I am tempted to make a small request.

As we see “adopt a puppy” posts popping on social media in thousands every day, it is about time that we start looking at the street kid who could be living right alongside the stray pup.

I admit that human beings are not as cute, but they happen to be our own species. While dogs surely deserve all the empathy that you are bubbling with, humans need a chance too.

As a nation, we need to look at the absurd adoption statistics that we have managed as they clearly indicate that we have failed to put right policies in place for the crores of kids still living as orphans.

On this children’s day, if nothing more, let our orphans get as much chance as a dog.

I am happy to admit that I have managed surviving till now with minimum effort as all my intellect has be used to avoid doing anything meaningful. As I needed to while all the free time I generated in course of being lazy, science has been my favorite muse that I have enjoyed company of. As an effort to kill time (in a way, to get even with it) one fine day I decided to write a science column, more for my personal amusement than to attract readers. After getting educated about the attention span of modern readers from my editor, it became more like a challenge to tackle esoteric subjects in 600 words that I have managed to remain interested in for more than a year now. I do not want to add my worldly profile here as these are ideas that need to be considered only on the merits they carry and not as an opinion of a certain human being.

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