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Saturday, May 17th, 2003

Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

Lalu's indiscretion

Saved by the devotees

That dog that I wrote so disparagingly about, is actually quite dear to the devotees here. He is known to them by name: Lalu.

Yesterday, Lalu bit off more than he could chew picking a fight with one of the other street dogs, and got himself a little chewed up in the process. Only the timely intervention of Prema Narayan Prabhu and Arun Krishna Prabhu saved him from almost getting himself killed.

I'm in my second story room when I hear this commotion outside my window. It sounds like just another dogfight — big deal. But then I hear what sounds like Arun Krishna Prabhu's voice.

I look out my window and there is Prema Narayan Prabhu, shouting "Hi! Hi!" rushing bravely across the road with a broom. He quickly succeeds in getting the other dog to release it's death-like grip on poor Lalu's throat.

Lalu, who up to this point was not even trying to fight, but lying in a submissive position, whining something that could be universally understood as "please don't hurt me any more," now feeling that his opponent's grip on his throat was slackened, and seeing that he was backed up by reinforcements from the Math, suddenly rediscovers his courage and, jumping up, chases his adversary a little way down the street (but, wisely, not too far away) and sees him off with the canine equivalent of, "And if I ever catch you on my side of the street again, I won't let you off so easily, you son of a bitch!"

At least for now, Lalu seems to be heeding the Bard's counsel that "the better part of valor is discretion," for he is staying well within the temple compound, licking his wounds...

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