(All photographs by Anvita Lakhera.)
He is called Chintu. Ever since Cheeku’s sudden disappearance leaving behind only whispered rumours of death by accident, or was it illness, Chintu has been the lord of this dusty by lane in Gurgaon. He was named Chintu as an after thought by a nine year old on being asked, “Whose dog is this? What is his name?” And Chintu he has been for the past 3 years of his life.
Some dub him handsome, especially for the quiet, dignified manner in which he bears the scars of his eventful life – the missing tip of the right ear, the slight limp in the left fore foot. Others call him crazy and even at times snobbish for his gastronomical idiosyncrasies. Food that has been soaked in milk or smeared with yogurt and butter is the only kind he deems fit for consumption. He may reluctantly sniff at the stale bread but he’d much rather starve than put ‘that’ in his mouth.
Other than that he exhibits all the traits that have become part of the common history shared by humans and dogs. Yes, there are those stories about chasing pigs and robbers too but most of the time, if truth were told, he’d rather be chasing flies.