I told my daughter to take the school bus, daunted by the thought of driving her on the first day of her School Leaving exam. My mind agonized on flat tyres/ traffic jams/ mishaps that cars travelling long distances are subject to. During her mock exams, I executed some crazy stunts to beat a GPS prediction and get her to a paper on time. But I wasn’t up to it on the day, and I had also promised to attend the first birthday ceremonies of a friend’s child later in the morning. My daughter wore me down with the argument that her sleep deprived body would benefit from a nap in the car.
Happy to see her doze off, I congratulated myself on having reached the school’s vicinity within an hour without mishap or traffic snarl. But I drew my breath in horror to see what looked like a dead donkey. Completing the drop-off, I returned to investigate. The donkey wasn’t dead but injured in an accident, lying in its own blood. Its bleeding limbs had been crudely bandaged but I surmised deeper injuries and the need for better care. I gave it water for its sufferings in the blazing sun, took pictures on my phone and posted them on an online animal welfare group. Constrained to wait on, I proceeded home with the assurance that a rescuer with expertise in equine matters would soon reach there. He shifted the animal to a nearby shed where drips and medications were administered. It turned out that the poor injured donkey was also pregnant. He also coordinated for an animal ambulance from Bangalore city to pick up the injured donkey from those distant outskirts. In the meanwhile the donkey’s owners appeared and finding its recovery viable belatedly took charge of their ‘property’.
This was not the satisfactory conclusion one might have wished – the supervised treatment and recovery of a suffering being. But it was an eye opener to the synergies of caring hearts in an area that lacks the established cachet of reaching out to fellow humans. It was heartwarming to take in that the chain of links goes forward without one even knowing the onward rescuers face to face. I was also struck with the realization that there might be a hidden purpose in the directions we are sometimes compelled to take. My reluctant outing alleviated suffering and hopefully saved a life. The host of the celebration I couldn’t attend excused my absence and wisely gauged the larger plan for me to be elsewhere.