How we dogs lost Nagaon Beach
'We still go to the beach. But it isn't really there any more.
OUR beach. It used to be ours. Vast, empty, stretching away as far as we could see.
We remember everything.
Our leashes would be taken off, and we would race away, out of the Human World, into Dog World!
There was Brownie; and Spotted Girl; and White Dog; and Friend and his brothers; Sasha and his two sisters; and Buffalo Dog; Raja the doberman; and the terrible Brindlebrown; and other dogs with no names!
Friends, enemies, acquaintances. All dogs!
Everyone was happy.
We would just be dogs, in Dog World; where humans stand by and watch.
And there we'd stay and sniff and explore and bark and challenge and growl and run and discover and play; until it grew dark.
Then we'd remember our humans because it was getting on for dinner time; and it was time to slip back into their world again, and go home with them to sofas and cushions and beds.
We still go to the beach; but OUR beach isn't there any more.
Dog World is gone.
Our leashes are never taken off now. We pull and strain and try to run, but our human doesn't let us go.
She says she's sorry, but it's because lots of stupid humans come from outside, driving their cars along the shore; and we could get killed.
Brownie's brother got killed because a human drove a car onto him, while he was playing and splashing in the sea.
Sometimes we see dead dogs rotting among the bushes nearby. Perhaps they got killed the same way.
Our human says the beach is like a street now.
Sometimes, on a weekday morning, it still looks empty and safe. But the human says you never know when a car might appear.
Then there is all the food that those outsider people leave all over the place, among piles of scattered plates and bottles and plastic bags. We want to rush there and eat it, but the human says it makes us sick.
And then, Brownie and his family have all moved away to another village, with their human. They have another beach to run on now. It's quite far away from here.
So it's just the two of us.
We race and play and dig and bark and zoom around in our own garden, safe within four walls.
But we'll never run free on the vast sands again, with our friends, enemies and acquaintances.
Everything is different now.'
Kiba and Kimaya
Photos: Rajashree Khalap, B. Jadhav & Javed Ahmed
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