My classes begin at 6.15 AM, which means I have to get my car out at 6. The last few months, a few mongrel type dogs have been living under our cars. We had always had the odd dog(s) living underneath our cars for the last few years and I had never been afraid of them because of the fact that all of them had developed conditioned reflexes. All I had to do was say shoo! and they’d disappear without much fuss.

The first morning I got down to drive to class, I noticed that there were two dogs underneath my Swift. I rapped the car and said a loud shoo! One dog ran out. Another came out, looked at me, and snarled. You know that split second feeling when you know something mildly awful is going to happen and that you have to run but can’t, because that nerve which connects your brain to your legs has suddenly disappeared?

It’s called fear.

Before I knew what was happening, I was in my first dog chase. Not only was I running at speeds Usian Bolt’d have been proud of, but I was hollering as well (think capital letters in font size 72). Thankfully, my darling mother rushed out to see what was happening, but before she could figure out what was happening, I leaped sideways into door (full matrix style) and closed it.

“What happened?”

I panted in reply. I couldn’t breathe, let alone speak.

“Dog…”

“Where?”

“Dog..”

She gingerly opened the door and peeped out, but I couldn’t bear to look. What if the dog had gathered its dog army and was just waiting outside to pounce and rip us apart? What if Amma got the first hit? I’d have to save her. And then the dog would get me, which was probably part of it’s evil plan anyway. I’d get rabies! Or worse, I’d have to get my leg amputated and I probably couldn’t wear jeans ever again, which would be thoroughly depressing because then I’d have to donate my Guess pair. I could see it, no I could smell it. I was going to become a denim deprived amputated motivational speaker who spoke about overcoming the pitfalls of destiny. Or something. On the bright side, Amma might let me bunk class.

She stepped out, and I followed her closely (I’m brave like that) but instead of the vicious dog, it was Balaraman, the watchman next door.
Enna Aachu?
(what happened?)

Naai ma. Paavam Lalle romba bayandhidichu
(Dog, ma. Poor Lalle got scared.)
(Also, yes, Lalle. I know. Another day, children. Another day. )

Naai enga? innum irukka?
(Where’s the dog? Is it still there?)

Illiye. Lalle veetu pakkam odicha, naai dho, annanda therupakkam odichu
(No. She ran towards the house, the dog ran towards the street)

And no, Amma didn’t let me bunk class.