Thursday, January 21, 2010

Unholy Brethren

Today our neighbourhood school, St. Vincent’s Matriculation School, Chennai celebrated their Annual Day. What is a celebration for the school turns into a nightmare for residents as cars and bikes are parked haphazardly all around blocking off entrances and exits, and the roads too. This apart the noise can be quite deafening, and all the neighbourhood porkis also land up to ogle and get their share of free entertainment.
What puzzles me with our (un)holy Catholic fathers who run the school is their complete unconcern for the trouble they cause others. What happened to Christian charity and loving thy neighbour? I guess all that is paid lip service at church sermons when they also invoke the wrath of God on sinners. Apart from preaching with such passion, couldn’t the sanctimonious fathers put their preaching into practice? Or give their flock some practical tips on how to practice loving thy neighbour or caring about the common man/woman.
But no! One observes year after dreary year…when it comes to themselves and their celebrations, the (un)holy fathers are only concerned about themselves and showing off with pomp and arrogance…neighbours, passers-by and the rest be damned (to a living hell!).
Many of us have approached the (un)holy fathers requesting them to be a wee bit understanding and empathetic about the huge problems we face every time the church or the school decide to celebrate. What happens? It falls on deaf, indifferent ears. One observes the utter smugness, arrogance and holier-than-thou art attitude that seems to sum up almost 90% of Catholic fathers that I have met. They stand at the altar and make thundering speeches, sorry sermons, but the reality is so different. There is no humanity, no humility, no acceptance of another point of view. Just this smug attitude of ‘ we are priests and we are better than you’.
What lessons are they teaching their students? That it is all right to trouble the world and create chaos and disturbance as long as you get your way? Their attitude – ‘Look at us… we break the noise pollution laws, we ignore pleas from neighbours, we don’t care about the old and the infirm, we don’t care if people’s are facing health concerns because of our activities, who cares if others are inconvenienced…in the name of God, we can do anything’. Doesn’t that suck?

I must add, we did go and speak to Father Vincent, the Principal, the next day, as the senior school function is on this evening. For once, a Father greeted us courteously, heard us out and promised to ensure that we were not troubled. Needless to say, I was impressed.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dog Days

Almost everyday, I receive mails about people seeking homes for dogs. Either they are leaving town, or their flat associations are causing trouble or many take in a dog and realise only then that they cannot afford the dog or they are clueless about how to train the dog. There are owners who whine and whinge about how the puppy is not toilet trained, or is chewing everything or is jumping friskily around.
Many owners even callously abandon their pets on the road. Are these people humans or beasts? I would call them the latter. After a dog has been used to getting fed at home how is it supposed to scavenge on the road for food? And how does a homegrown dog protect itself against attacks by stray dogs?
Irresponsible ownership is a problem world over. Someone brings in a dog because their kid wants one. Kid doesn’t look after the dog; dog is abandoned. Or the dog works out too expensive; throw it out.
On the other hand you have the greedy callous ones who think dogs are status symbols or want to breed them to make money. These will buy pedigreed dogs for the sole purpose of showing off or for breeding. While many do look after their pooches well, there are others who chain them all day and never give them any love or affection. Dogs are like humans; they need plenty of love. And they give us unconditional love. The worst thing we can do is to deprive them of hugs and cuddles.
Then we have owners who don’t train their dogs and when these badly trained dogs bite neighbours or attack people or other dogs on the road, they give the canine community a bad name. Very often, if a dog in an apartment block bites someone, then all dogs in that apartment block come under the scanner and soon a resolution is passed – no dogs in the building. Owners must understand that they are wholly responsible for their dog’s behaviour. If they are incapable of training, handling or controlling their dogs, they shouldn’t have got them in the first place.
It is terribly sad that so many people are abandoning dogs. It doesn’t speak very well about us…the human race. Where is our humanity? No human being will ever give us the love that a dog will. Please let’s not throw dogs onto the road for them to get maimed, injured or killed. Let’s put a stop to it now.