It is a balmy 34 degrees Celsius in the suburb of Mumbai and the hot, humid breeze progressively coats the skin with a mixture of sweat, grime and things unknown. One can’t avoid having a shower after a trip out in the afternoon.
The local population is very agile and adept at navigating the rush hours and the afternoon is when the uninitiated can dare to venture out to complete their task list.
Amidst the hustle, bustle and cacophony, the street dogs of Mumbai eke out a living eating scraps and leftovers. The more fortunate dogs are the growing number of pure bred owned by the rich. You can see them walking early morning with their well fed dogs on leash.
The stray dogs of Mumbai are a hardy lot. Agile, smart and very healthy as a result of decades of evolution under progressively adverse conditions and the sweltering heat that radiates from the pavement late into evening.
I recollect that three decades ago, the stray dog population was uncontrolled and almost a menace to anyone venturing out at night. It was common to see badly injured dogs living painfully towards a slow painful death.Today their numbers have reduced due to regular sterilization.
A few days ago, I was surprised to see a dog sleeping on top of the roof of a car parked in the shade of a tree. When you think about, it is very logical. Dogs are not allowed into the compounds of housing complex where they can get shade. The gates to the building are locked and guarded. Cars take whatever shade is available on the road so the dogs have discovered that the best place to be is on the roof of a car.
Survival of the fittest indeed.