Thursday, February 26, 2009

The whole slum knows Gachkya

I have known Gachkya for the past twelve odd years. The first time we got a call for a dog with a skin problem, the caller said “woh, mutari mein baitha hoga”. (He will be sitting inside the Urinal*), aur uska naam hai Gachkya”. (And his name is Gachkya).

He was called Gachkya because of his skin problem. The first time I remember being overpowered by the ammonia smell, having to carry out Gachkya who was sitting in the corridor of the Urinal and treat him. Promptly after being treated he would run back to occupy his position.

So it became a ritual if Gachkya was on the first aid list to go to Nariman Point, checking first in the toilet where he would be always sitting, being overpowered by the ammonia smell, carrying him outside, treating him and seeing him trot back right into his toilet. This carried on for years and recently he has thankfully moved into the narrow gullies of the slum behind the toilet.

He has always been a very sweet and quiet dog allowing us to carry him around for want of a better position for his treatment. He always does a little run of the criss cross gullies just to tease us, wagging his tail in tow. It is a game that he has mastered over the years. People never ‘shoo’ him away no matter where he is sitting, inside the Urinal or in the slum gully.

Gachkya is a resident of the slum opposite Tulsiani Chambers in Nariman Point and last Sunday when I saw him, he was as patient, as quiet, as friendly and as sweet as ever. Gachkya must be at least fourteen years old.

* Urinal here means a toilet with only urinal facilities.

Also cross posted on Mumbai Street Dog Photos


Raccoon said...

I remember that endless chase one day in that slum after Gachkya!

Abodh said...

Raccoon : heh heh , Everyone remembers chasing Gachkya. How have you been?