We had sniffer dogs sniffing up the whole 60 acres of campus, ie almost 80+ buildings in the campus, all thanks to the misdeeds of a wicked mind, who made an anonymous call about a possible bomb threat to our office campus.
We’d got an email from the authorities mentioning that the campus was being combed , but I for one jumped off my skin when I heard a deep panting from behind and turned back to find a huge canine rite in front of me.
But that was mild, when compared to my colleague’s reaction, when he came out of the rest room to find a huge police dog rite in front of him. And he had no clue about the combing operation also!!
Soon, our project was abuzz with the team proclaiming either about their love for the animal or their fear!! And soon folks were sharing their experiences with canines.
This had me rewinding to atleast 10 yrs back down the memory lane. One of funniest ever I've heard till date happened to my friend Asha,(P.S: she is a bigshot in TCS these days! ;), this happened, during the first summer of our posting in TCS,Chennai. Asha had this knack of starting and maintaining eye contact with any dog that she came across on the streets of Chennai- she would stare at it and murmur something to shoo it away and the dog , made curious by the unusual attention thats being bestowed upon it decides to reciprocate the same and to check the person out personally, decides to follow her.
And one such time, when she was on her way back from work, she saw a dog on the road and started practicing her ‘ Art of hypnotizing a street dog’ immediately. This particular dog, as the case turned out to be, was a wee bit more curious than the ones from her previous encounters and kind of started chasing her in the beginning itself, rather than sniffing and soflty following, which is the unwritten rule, in most cases. It even managed to catch up with her and sniff her shoes , which scared the wits out of Asha who managed to jump into a Rickshaw that was whizzing by!
Scared as she was, for a moment she forgot that she was in Chennai and that Chennai-ites did not understand what the mallu word ‘Patti’ meant. (Patti means dog, BTW). So instead of telling the driver where to go, she just exclaimed ‘ Patti, patti, patti’! to the driver. And that guy couldn’t fathom what she was telling him, could not link the word to any possible destinations that she mite want to go either. But I guess, he really wanted to help the lady in distress, and it looks like the closest word that came to mind his mind, was ‘theepetti’(matchbox), maybe coz of the rhyming of ‘patti’ and ‘petti’, and his brain would have prefixed the ‘thee’(fire ) to the word ‘petti’(box) in his urge to help. He dug his hands to his pockets , produced a matchbox and handed it over to a much shocked Asha!!! The expression on her face, I can easily envision. She herself couldn’t understand why the guy was offering her matches, obviously, she was not going to scare the dog by lighting fire there, but she was courteous enough to say No to the equally confused rickshaw wallah!
It took an analysis session from us roomies, back home in Mullai for her to find out why the guy offered help with a matchbox!!