Part 2 (Please scroll down for Part 1)
If there were still any doubts about Mango’s sex, she put them to rest soon enough. Within a few weeks of setting foot on campus, she went into heat thereby drawing the unwarranted affection of every male dog within a radius of a kilometer. Nobody knows how they managed to enter the college grounds. Overnight IMT went from a relatively peaceful academic setting to a frenzied battlefield as the dogs fought bitterly among themselves for the right to fatherhood. Mango had absolutely no idea why she was the object of so much attention. No matter where she went, a dozen males would trot eagerly behind her, hoping for a whiff of her exotic bottom. Their attention made her uncomfortable and she was prone to snapping at them if they got too close. With her lips drawn back and fangs bared as she snarled, she was a terrifying sight. It did nothing to diminish her suitor’s enthusiasm though. They went berserk with joy if she lunged at them. Evading her snapping teeth in the last second they would determinedly try and squeeze in a fleeting sniff of her behind before leaping to safety. I would watch from a distance and thank the Gods that human mating rituals were not so complicated.
It appeared for a while that Mango would summarily reject all her suitors and opt for a more saintly approach to life. I predicted a life of quiet reflection as she nosed around in the dustbin. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Within a few days she was knocked up.
The library was probably amongst my favorite spots in IMT. Towards the last few months I felt a pang of regret when I gazed upon the rows and rows of shelves, filled with books on finance, economics, operations and marketing. So much I could have read, so much I could have learned. Yet I spent most of my time merely enjoying the air conditioning.
The design of the library was in many ways self defeating. The wall facing the playground was almost entirely made up of large glass windows, offering the student a dreamy view of the football field, the cricket pitch, the volleyball court and at a distance the mess and the hostels. To the right was the tree lined cobbled path that led to the amphitheater. If one were to squint through the trees he could catch a glimpse of the tennis court – a very pretty sight especially under the floodlights late in the evening. It was rather difficult to sit in the library and not let your mind wander – given the number of distractions the field had to offer.
On that particular day I was in the library sitting with my study group, trying my darndest to wrap my mind around a particularly thorny case study on consumer behavior when Shublina began to titter.
“Look! Look!” she exclaimed, urging Akash, Arkava and me to look out of the window.
I gazed at the field. A football match was in progress. I had never played football in IMT but I admired the enthusiasm with which my friends competed. Each of them had a point to prove on the field and would run around hollering for the ball and yelling instructions, often having fierce confrontations with each other. I could never fathom why they took it all so seriously but put it down to one of those things I would probably never understand.
I noticed with a start that Mathew was wearing my shorts – a pair that had disappeared from my cupboard under mysterious circumstances but that wasn’t what caught Shublina’s attention. She nudged me sharply in the ribs and pointed to the middle of the field. It was one of the bizarre sights I had ever seen.
The match was being played with its usual intensity with the ball zig zagging across the field. Two opponents had collided and were screaming bloody murder. The keeper of one side was crouching in anticipation as the ball got closer. Mathew to my disgust had dirtied my shorts. For some reason though, the players were avoiding the center of the field, preferring to skirt around it as they kicked the ball. I squinted at the center and realized why: Mango and a random dog were engaged in a mutual exchange of affection. They were making love.
I know what you’re thinking. What kind of a pervert watches dogs in the act and then writes about it?
The thing is the dogs didn’t seem to be the least bit concerned about the spectacle they were making. “Oh don’t mind us” Mango seemed to be saying. “We’re just having a bit of fun on our own. Perfectly normal for us dogs to get carried away in the heat of the moment no matter where we are you know… Carry on playing, we don’t mind.”
What disturbed me however was not the horrifying spectacle of the dogs going at it in full steam. What disturbed me was how those guys could still play a game around it! I mean, there are limits to how seriously one can take a match!
I tried averting my eyes. We tried reading the case study and made notes from time to time. But we couldn’t help it. Every now and then one of us would take a peek and see if it was still going on…and it went on for a while. It was so unreal.
Those were the days when I wasn’t well acquainted with Mango. She was a friendly if somewhat timid dog. New to the campus she would wag her tail but backpedal if we got too close. I would throw her bread scraps every once in a while but for most part we moved in different circles.
With the puppies on their way now all that was about to change. Little did I know then that my life in IMT would never be the same again…