Saptarshi Bhowmick

The Story of Bruises

There’s a dog on the street; tattered and bruised-mark all over him. But he had something of a pride, you know. My colony is full of street dogs and he has a different place in them. No one ever tried to screw with him. He never asked for food, never mends in other’s business. Just there stable as it is, he lays in the middle of the street like he is the king or something and sleeps like there’s no tomorrow. Every time I saw him, it seemed, he was searching for something. Those distant eyes and strange manner; peculiar of course but those bruises on him tell stories; stories that of a legend or something more. I am new here, so I don’t know what they actually are, but they are like some untold stories; penetrating everyone to publish it.

I was on a club meeting; at least I remember clearly, that day I was feeling rather melancholic. There’s a meeting going on about the betterment of our colony and the details get me so bored that I was gazing further than the open window of the club-room. Suddenly I feel a nudge on my laying elbow; there was an old man on the other end, rude get up but a benevolent character I rather say. Though I am not a sociable fellow myself, a presence like him would not remain unnoticed if I get interested more into other’s characters than their faces. Indeed I never saw him before; no blame on my hand as I never tried to notice someone in my colony, instead of a noisy couple lived close to my house. But as I started seeing his face now, he is smiling, “I see you have taken, a quite liking about that dog.” It puzzled me for an instance so I asked how he knew. “Strange, not only I, every sane soul would notice if someone stares at a dog like you do.” I get little embarrassed but again on my mind I thought I don’t know there’s anyone stranger than him though! He said, “Wanna know the story?”, “What story?”, “The Story of those Bruises!”

“So they really have a story then?” I can’t help smiling though. “Of course! Who doesn’t have?” I thought at that moment, it is ok; the meeting is already creeping me out so a mere story of my interest shall not leave same impression as if. It will only relish my appetite for that dog. He started then_

It was 7 years ago; there lived a serviceman with his pet dog. I wouldn’t say he had a pleasant job as he always came his home drunk. He had no wife, no sons in his life, just he and his dog. Long at night the colony could say he beats that dog of his. Whenever he came home drunk, he serves his purpose by beating his dog. Oh! What agony that poor fellow had; screams his heart out as he indulged in every stroke of his bat. No one knows the reason behind it. Some say, he just takes his stress on him. But I knew, that’s not all to it. No stress could be abolished by beating; he just loves to hear his screams. At a time, I even thought, it is not the Liquor that he is addicted to; just the beating, pounding with his high pride. I know it for sure because one day I saw him beating it even in the early morning. God knows what came over him to have such a sadistic hobby. But it didn’t stay there long, as Karma always makes his grand entrance whenever he pleases. It was raining heavily when I came home that day, running hurriedly. Everywhere it is slippery as it is. But hell, I saw something astonishing that day. I saw for the first time in my life that dog was barking at his master as if what audacity it has. That master, madder as it seemed strikes him hard. But though beaten, it never ceased barking. And by taking a step at a time, it comes forward to his master. And then he slipped from his rooftop and fall on the streets. The dog was staring at him from the top. Seems it said, “Who is the master now?”

And with that and a mild laugh, he ends his story. I am not going to say it pleased me but the way he told the story with a never ending smile on his face; it is creepy. “So liked it?” I replied, “No! But that Karma, it was deserved indeed.” Even I laughed at my own resolution. It seems he is not pleased, said, “You think s……”

Suddenly a shriek came like I never heard it before in my life. And the club members rose at once. The meeting being interrupted like that, we all went outside to search for its reason. The rain also started, I don’t know when, I think the story takes its toll rather engrossing me into it. When we came on the road, far before us I think I saw blood. Pursuing it on that corner of the road, we find that mysterious dog in a pool of blood; head smashed as if being hit by a bat! I glanced back and searched for the old man, but didn’t find him anywhere.

And from that day onward I never saw that old man again!

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