4 years old –
‘There was a big scary dog – very close to where I stayed.
It was a known biter – but I liked him.
People screaming, chaos, mom fainting – reason- I was sitting next to the biter. Both of us calm & relaxed.
8 years old
Lassie was a family friend’s dog. She sat next to me when I had a fever. Wouldn’t leave my side.
She snapped at the visiting doctor – her humans had to carry her away.
But they couldn’t take her back home. She stayed for the next 3 days till I got well.
We were playing carom. Suddenly Jango yelped loudly. I knew something was wrong.
Jango’s human came – the boy said instantly – Malaika pinched Jango!
Immediately Jango turned & barked ferociously at the boy.
He told the others, it was the boy – not me.
Babuli, the one armed monkey at a vets – he was rescued. I was scared of him.
Long time we kept a distance – hoping the other would initiate something.
One day I let go of my fear.
That day Babuli put his hand out & touched my eyebrows for a long time.
Hi – I am Malaika and this was my first experience with an animal. The one that subconsciously planted in me – my calling – to become an animal whisperer.
Over the years, my journey has made me practice with Vets, study professional courses in Canine training & behavior, grooming & other pet care practices. But I couldn’t hold on to any one thing – it kept changing till my experience with Amar when I monitored the Jijamata Udyan Zoo for PETA. That was the beginning of my ‘talking’ journey – one thing led to another till one day I found myself communicating with my best friends.
Amar spent a lot of time in the hospital ward long periods because of chronic renal failure. His cage was a squeeze one. I could reach in and touch his mane and give it a good scratch – I was warned about the consequences if he decided to lash out by the vet. His words fell on deaf ears and I and Amar turned in to friends.
One quiet afternoon as I scratched the side of his mane closest to me all of a sudden there was a firecracker that had gone off among the shanties adjoining the hospital wall and that had startled Amar. My reflexes were quick and I had withdrawn my hand unscathed. My ego had taken a beating of epic proportions in that fleeting moment of being attacked by the Amar I love and who loved me back. As I stood there in a daze I hear “sorry” coming from Amar I quickly swivelled my head in all possible directions of that room to see if there was another human there that had witnessed my downfall. There wasn’t a soul there other than Amar looking at me with that gaze and then I heard those words again “sorry” and I knew it was really him talking and that my ears weren’t ringing. It had finally sunk in that I was in dialogue with Amar and I walked over to the front of the cage with complete surrender I knew that is what he wanted me to do as he didn’t mean me any harm. He was just startled he was already standing with his face pressed against the bars of the cage and I reciprocated and mirrored his movements as he rubbed his face all over mine.
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