Politically Incorrect Sunday Times of India 8th Feb 2009
“Show me the evidence…”
My neighbour is a really difficult chap. There are no major problems as such. I am ok. He’s ok. Same soil ke phool etc. But it’s his dogs that drive me crazy. I have nothing against kuttas – provided they are well-trained, well- behaved and don’t crap on my doorstep. Even I have kuttas. But they aren’t anything like my neighbour’s. I have control over mine, and if they ever mess up my neighbour’s space, I take full responsibility… and clean up after them. It’s the right neighbourly thing to do… right? We have had touch and go incidents in the past, and exchanged angry words over this issue. But this time my neighbour’s kuttas have gone a bit too far. They tore into my home and destroyed everything in sight. Worse, they caught my own dogs (and me!) napping. Taking full and total advantage of the situation, they created havoc with our lives and left crucial evidence behind - a huge mass of dog poop. This was just too much. I called up my neighbour to protest, but he hung up on me, the bloody so-and-so! I called again… and again. But he refused to answer. Finally, in sheer frustration, I called a common friend to complain about the outrage. He was good enough to offer immediate intervention. But that’s because he is a Gora…. and often borrows my neighbour’s car when his own conks out. Still… I thought it was pretty sweet of him to take up this ugly matter with that crazy man. Two hours later, the Gora called to say he’d had a word with the kuttawalla, who told him it was not his kuttas that had entered my home in the first place! I was stunned, shocked and enraged. ‘What the hell does he mean?” I demanded angrily. “ Of course, those were his dogs… I know their paw prints… why, even their poop is pretty distinct given the strange diet they’re on.” The Gora promised to get back. I waited … and waited. Finally, he called to say, “Proof. He wants evidence. Can you prove the damage was done by his dogs and not your own?” I nearly fainted. “ Are you nuts? Why would my dogs do this to me in my own home?” The Gora remained impassive. And the neighbour refused to open the door when I knocked.
We were clearly getting nowhere. So I rang yet another neighbour. This one had also been attacked in the elevator by those kuttas. “Why don’t we join forces?” I suggested. And that’s exactly what we did. Being civil with that guy was getting us nowhere. “ Shall we just break down his door and barge into his house to confront the liar?” my co-sufferer asked. “ Forget it…we don’t want this to escalate and involve the entire building,” I said resignedly. Then I got a brain wave – if it’s hard evidence he wants, it’s hard evidence he’ll get. I got down on all fours to collect samples of poop, tufts of doggy hairs …. even a broken tooth that had fallen off during the attack. I made three or four neat packets and sent them off to the secretary of the building society. One lot, I handed over to the scoundrel next door via his driver. “ This poop does not belong to my dogs,” he thundered from the window across my room…. “and the hairs do not match my pets’ either. As for the tooth…. it is clearly a plant to compromise me and my dogs.It is clearly non-state dogs you should be tracking. In fact, this whole thing is a conspiracy because actually you want to grab my flat….my dogs would never do such a thing. Never. I do not accept your evidence because I know it is concocted. My dogs did not leave my home that night… and I can prove it.” I was speechless. I certainly didn’t expect this from a man who always had a smile plastered on his face whenever we met to discuss matters of mutual interest. “Come and see the damage for yourself….get any neutral person of your choice to assess it. It is your dogs and your dogs alone that are responsible and unless you admit it, I am going to unleash mine on your home just to teach you a lesson.” My neighbour laughed. His kuttas were about to crap again. And mine were still sleeping.