According to genetic evidence cited in a science magazine, the present lineage of dogs was domesticated from gray wolves, around 15,000 years ago. Gray wolves have been quite well researched, studies show that the oldest gray wolves are from Africa and from the Indian subcontinent. The oldest of the Indian gray wolves is the Himalayan wolf that originated 800,000 years ago, when the Himalayan region was going through major geologic change. As a species, wolves have clearly lived longer than dogs.
According to the epic Mahabharata, when Dharmaraj Yudhisthira, the eldest Pandava was ascending to Heaven with Draupadi and his four brothers, he was led by a dog. All except Yudhisthira fell before reaching the doors of Heaven, due to the burden of their sins. At the gates to Heaven, when Lord Indra asked Yudhisthira to abandon the dog, he refused to do so, citing the loyalty of the dog. It turned out that the dog was his father “Dharma”, the Lord of Judgment, whom Kunti had invoked while conceiving Yudhisthira. Dogs and humans have clearly been trusted companions for many years, and probably share some similar characteristics
The civilized dog of today may exhibit a behavior of extreme domestication and an uncanny ability to adapt to the human lifestyle but it goes without saying that it has also inherited the hunting habits of its wolf ancestors. Therefore a dog often needs to be put on a leash, lest its hunting habits take over its judgment. Similarly for humans, following one’s Dharma and exercising proper judgment at all times is probably the hardest thing to do. One’s judgment could get clouded by one’s predatorial tendencies. How can a human being be in control at all times…should humans also be on a leash?
To Leash or Not to Leash?
Doggy Dick scratched his old dirt-filled collar with his giant left paw while his right paw held onto the toy bone, as he looked at his master and wondered “Why would you spend $100 on a fancy dog leash when a $30 one would do?”. These humans were beyond his comprehension. One day his master would happily treat him to a doggie spa reflecting on the high consumer sentiment, as a result of the improving housing prices, and at another time in the same year, he would give him rotten oatmeal for breakfast (as if he didn’t notice that it had crossed the expiry date), citing the $16 trillion that had been lost in the recession by the US economy. Doggy Dick wanted to retort by saying that bubbles of misplaced over-enthusiasm always burst. Meanwhile the economy had regained $13.5 trillion of the lost wealth, but this was too boring a subject and all too complicated for Doggy Dick. For all he cared, a good meal and a good scratch led to a great snore, the rest was poppycock and puppy talk.
When Doggy Dick first saw Kitty Kat it was love at first sight. He barked with joy and broke free from his surprised master. The paws of nature blinded his judgment and his eager paws followed Kitty Kat wherever she went. Every day he felt more attracted to her. Every passing moment he thought about her. It was a dogged obsession. At last Kitty Kat responded to his advances, and they became a couple. They hugged and kissed and danced in the rain. They now lived in the wilderness, where there were no boundaries. No restraints. The skies met the earth in the distant horizon, as the days led to sunsets full of optimism and dreams fluid with universal bliss.
One fine morning Doggy Dick woke up to the scent of another animal. It was a bison in the distant jungle. Doggy Dick’s sense of smell was a million times more sensitive than a human’s. He stood alert, ears and nose pointing towards the target. He could hear sounds four times better than a human, he had an evolved visual system with large pupils that could clearly discriminate moving objects. Doggy Dick realized to his great surprise that there was nothing at that moment that excited him more than to hunt for prey. As he stalked his prey, he felt he was living every moment to the hilt. When the bison detected his presence, it began to flee. Immediately on impulse, Doggy Dick picked up speed chasing the bison, rapidly closing the gap. He was ready for his first kill. Doggy Dick had turned into a ferocious predator. He knew in his pounding heart that he always wanted to be a wolf, and this was his lucky day.
When Doggy Dick returned that night, bathed in bison blood, Kitty Kat could not recognize him. As Doggy Dick recounted with glee how he had hunted down a large prey, Kitty Kat realized this was not the same Doggy Dick she knew. His happy bark had transformed into a long howl. She could not bear his sight. She could not bear his smell. She decided she could not live with a wolf. They started drifting apart; their relationship had now clearly gone to the dogs. Doggy Dick was sad and depressed. The bubble had burst.
Would Doggy Dick have been better off if he had a bigger stronger leash? Was this a failure of the leash, or was this a false belief that a dog could not turn back into a wolf?
What caused the Great Depression?
The causes of the Great Depression in 1929 have long been debated. Scholars differ greatly in their opinions, whether the Great Depression was caused by the failure of governments to regulate interests and money supplies, or whether it was wrong in the first place to have so much trust in free markets.
Should we accept that we have some wolves amongst us in disguise, so we need stronger controls, more regulations, greater checks & balances by a bigger government to serve as a strong leash? Or are we better off with a minimal government, believing that all the lucky dogs who participate in a free market shall follow the same rules, and none of them would turn into howling inside traders at night?
We should let a bare knuckles dogfight settle this debate once and for all.
It is hard not to get emotional on your 40th birthday. You listen to Kishore Kumar singing "Jindagi ke safar mein gujar jate hain jo mukam, woh phir nahin atey..."(In life's journey, the moments that pass away, they never return). Then you start thinking about some memorable moments with friends and family, and that makes you happy again.
I have done the math and I believe the cost of the candles exceeds that of the cake once you break into forty. At forty you break-even! And you want to break free. You sing "Oh how I want to be free baby" and you know that Queen still rocks.
Well it is good to see that they now make candles in the shape of numbers. So I was given just 2 candles for my birthday cake, one the shape of "four", another the shape of "zero"! Now that saves candle money and pushes the break-even point further away.
The four reminds you of the four seasons of your life, the four runs that you scored for the first time when you played cricket, the four friends that made night outs worthwhile, the fantastic four heroes of your childhood comics, and the fourth dimension i.e. time.
The zero reminds you of the balance between the positive and the negative. It could also imply "a total failure". You take pride that the zero was invented by some great Indian mathematician. Of course, the Babylonians and the Greeks might disagree. Swami Vivekananda once spoke for an hour on the spiritual significance of zero. I think that should settle the debate. Well, one is an optimist so you want to zero in on the positive. You want to live life to the fullest and you want to keep smiling. Until the zero hour.
At forty you also think about the infamous Jeetender ads about 40 plus "energy tablets". Now that was before Pfizer saved the world. But I think this has a lot to do with how old you feel in your
mind. It’s all in your mind, as Dr "Fraud" would have us believe. We men never think that way, do we? And if we do, it is merely a Freudian slip.
At forty, you listen to old songs and you think what a genius Kishore Kumar was when he sang for Rajesh Khanna: "Jindagi ek safar hai suhana, yahan kal kya ho kisne jana..." (Life is a pleasant journey, no one knows what shall happen here tomorrow).
Rajesh Khanna drives at a breakneck speed. Hema Malini is all giggles, while she holds tight and tries not to fall off the bike. Remember she had both legs on one side. Like in the golden era. When most heroines didn't spread their legs, around bikes. Of course now it’s going to be a different movie, the heroine would drive the bike, while the hero sits behind with legs on one side.
In this song, Rajesh and Hema drive into the beautiful sunset. The song continues "Maut ani hai, Ayegi ek din, Jaan jani hai, Jayegi ek din...Eisi baton se kya Ghabrana, Yahan kal kya ho kisne jana" (The end is inevitable, it shall come one day, why get unsettled about such trivial things, no one knows what shall happen here tomorrow).