Happy Reading


Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

Most countries have many festivals–some peculiar to the country others related to prominent religions — Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism in India and some like Christianity that are universal. We celebrated the Sikh festival Gurupurab recently on November 8.

While welcoming a particular festival, people generally wish each other and usually would say, ‘Happy Ram Navmi ‘ (that falls in April). This is a sign of good religious feeling, fervour and good neighbourly relationship. So common has the word  Happy  become   in India now is that even ordinary women who work as maids or cleaning women have picked up this word and tend to say Happy Ram Navmi or Happy Durga Ashtami (falling in  April) to display their religiosity and learning.

India is a country of contrasts; cultural, linguistic and of course economic. On one hand there are families who live in comfort with maids coming for cleaning, cooking and looking after children when their parents are busy in various ways especially attending social events or their official duties. On the other, are children of maids or poor parents who expect rich families to give them gifts — toys, good clothes and occasional chocolates on special festivals or events

Some rich families have pet dogs that are pampered creatures with delicious foods — chicken or fish. Looking at the goodies that dogs get, children of poor families occasionally wish that in their next lives, they should be born as pet dogs.

Another interesting lucrative side business concerning dogs has recently emerged. If you are not available for a day or two to look after your pet, you can engage a pet-sitter for a not very heavy price. These sitters are expected to take care of your pets as much as you do or perhaps even better.

Once a few years ago, I was in a European countryside with many young people and a few elderly families enjoying their vacations in such interesting places. That was expected, but what was not, was a young man and his three huge pet dogs in his large car. He kept two of his pets in the car while taking out the third from the car and playing with it and exercising himself at the same time.

Another interesting aspect of keeping pets is to give them suitable names. Names such as Brownies  or Doodles are now old hat.  Think of newer pet names, appu or Sachoo  (the honest one). If you are not adept at this skill, get a pet dog book which will make your job easier provided you are able to find a bookstore selling such a publication and provided you know English language since the dog book will be in this language.

This will make your task a Happy Reading.


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi. ravipbhatia@gmail.com


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 9 Jan 2023.

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