Friday, May 4, 2012

It is better to be a dog in America than a doctor in India

While working in an Indian hospital,  I spent endless happy hours chatting with  doctors from different disciplines in the hospital canteen.  The beauty of these coffee-time chats was that it was not only full of gossip and hospital politics but the gossipers  were people with great wit and biting sarcasm.
One of these was a  middle-aged doctor who, like the rest of us, was poorly paid  but unlike others, he   did not have a private practice to supplement his salary. Once, when his financial and other problems were more worrying than usual, he commented "It is better to be born as a dog in America, than as a doctor in India".  We had all laughed  and joked about it . At that time, none of us had ever been to USA or any country outside India for that matter. (For the record, his comment, sounded so much better in Kannada, with his sarcastic inflections!)

Having moved to  Canada  and having a cat at home,  I am now able to appreciate the truth of his comment ! My cat, unlike us humans,  has no worries. It  spends all it's time doing what it likes. It does not  work, does not worry about paying off mortgage or getting the kids educated and married.  There is someone to fill it's bowls with food and water daily; there's someone to clean it's litter and  when the poop sticks, there are willing slaves to wipe it off  it's backside!  It has four places to choose to sleep ...our bed and the guest bed, a sofa and a chair. It has someone or the other to pet it  and carry it several times a day. It whines and we are immediately at it's beck and call. I take it for walks in the backyard mornings and evenings; if I dont, it mews at me till I yield. I play with this cat  probably more often than some mothers play with their children. We have cut short our trips so that it is not left alone at home. It sleeps the entire day, sprawled on the bed, with it's legs stretched out in all directions. In fact, it was it's sleep posture, which reminded me of the comment of the doctor and the reason for me writing this!  I guess my cat's biggest worry is whether I will take it out to the backyard as soon as I wake or after I had my coffee. I cant imagine, this cat having any other worry on it's mind.

It is a bliss to be born as a pet in a rich country...in a pet lover's home than as a human being in a struggling poor country!

 "The gardener's cat" by Patrick Chalmers  reminds me of my cat. 

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